Broxbourne 3 v Pinner Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI on Sat 12 Aug 2023 at 1300
Pinner Cricket Club Won by 8 wickets

Match report Chapter IV: Broxbourne III vs Pinner II – The Final Showdown (against potential promotion candidates).

Now, I know some of you may be confused as to where the match report for the 2’s thriller against Hatfield may be, unfortunately, this week will start on a slight sour note as I regret to inform you that in the absence of myself and @CYRUS from that match, much like @SIMRAN’s recent bowling standards, the match report is simply not there. I am sure you all followed along with my gripping ball-by-ball commentary in @NEEL’s death over and you will know that a momentous win was recorded despite a rocky batting innings.
Going into our third match in five weeks, we had previously seen off our two title rivals in comfortable and not so comfortable fashion, we were now faced with our final test, the only team to dent our near-perfect record so far, Broxbourne. We were out for blood today, looking for vengeance as we wanted to complete the clean sweep of beating every team in the league. However, despite his usual cool and passive nature, the person looking for revenge the most today was our skipper as he had his pride dented in our previous game with them, as Ben Taylor, (who we found out uses many many steroids), had hit him back over his head and over the sightscreens. Twice. (Please see reference 1 for scale).
The boys set off on our penultimate away fixture of the year and again we had another long 58-minute journey ahead of us. We had high hopes for a rain free day as the forecast looked promising, but our hopes were quickly dampened (because rain is wet!) as rain began to fall on our windshields halfway through the journey. We assumed it would be clearer when we got closer but 30 minutes until our destination, quickly became 20, which became 5 and the rain was still falling. Thankfully, it had cleared up before we had started the game, so I don’t actually know why I told you all this. We arrived at the ground and were a bit perplexed when we saw a team wearing coloured kits with their names on their backs waiting on a Championship level ground, surely they weren’t waiting for us! They weren’t we were quickly pointed to the other pitch which had no changing rooms and no toilets, quite the contraire.
After a quick warm up and team huddle, which was used as a team building exercise as we got to know each other a bit better, who knew @NICK’s favourite snack is cashew nuts, we went into the field after Simran won the toss, despite my claims to bat first and watch the Arsenal match.
Nick was given the responsibility of opening up the day as Simran had had enough of ruining our morale on the first ball of the game, but he still managed to do just that as he dived over a rolling ball giving the batters an easy run on the first ball of the game. Unfortunately for Nick, I had decided to follow in the skippers standards and let a ball past me (although this one actually was bobbling) and they added another 3 runs. Had it not been for those two errors, Nick would have started his day with 2 maidens (sorry not sorry, don’t get hit next time). Nick continued bowling tidily, with the exception of his customary head high beamer, and looked threatening throughout his spell. Unfortunately, he decided his bowling services were no longer needed as his last 3 balls from his 5th and final over were all hit for 4, leaving his figures at 5-1-28-0. In the absence of our new opening bowler, Jamie, @DES was asked to open from the other end as Simran seems to still be missing after his last two games (4-0-30-0). Des started his first spell brightly with a run out as the batter very foolishly picked me out after my initial misfield and tried to take a quick single, as the ball nestled in my hands, he called yes and barbequed his partner giving us the early breakthrough. Des kept building pressure with his accurate darts and got his personal breakthrough with his first wicket for the 2s coming in his third over as bowled the other opener (who had previously given Simran stick and told him to bring our fielders in, after they managed a quick single an in the over after he ran his partner out, where is the logic?), leaving them at 12-2. Des also managed to grab himself another wicket as he showed Simran how to properly clean out the hutch as the number 11 chipped one high up to Neel who took the catch with ease after being comforted by @RAJ who shouted ‘EASY ONE FOR YOU NEEL’ as the ball was in the air, as you can imagine, our captain wasn’t thrilled about that. Des ended his bowling with 5.4-1-19-2, despite his maiden wickets in the 2s, Des refused to come back to the club and buy a jug (despite saying he was coming back), I’m sure this won’t be factored into selection next week or anything. Our first change attack consisted of @DARSH and Neel. Darsh began his spell fantastically by picking up a wicket maiden when the batter sliced one ferociously at an ever cool @NIK, who took the catch above his head with ease. This brought in Ben Taylor, a nervous Simran gulped as he took the strike, but Darsh managed to keep him tame by continuing to bowl top over after top over. Darsh ended a very impressive spell with figures of 8-2-24-1, although he has to thank Nick for the 24 not being a 28 after he made a very impressive two handed dive down to his right to stop the ball going past him for a 4, it’s a shame he could not replicate this on one of the few occasions @KUNAL/daddy let the ball past him and he instead dived over the ball, letting 4 byes go. From the other end, Neel had devised a plan to deal with the big hitting Taylor as he tried to keep everything full and wide on the off side, this worked a treat, with Neel even managing to get a maiden whilst Taylor was on strike. Unfortunately for Neel and the opposition who had to go looking for the ball in the holly bushes, Neel could not deliver this perfect ball every ball and when he got it wrong, he was hit quite far over the boundary for 6. Neel managed to get his wicket in his fifth over when he caught the edge of batter’s bat and Kunal/daddy got his glove to the ball. However, the unusual occurred and the ball spilled out of his hand and was diverted to first slip, luckily for us @ALAN, keeping in theme with his previous fielding performances, reacted quickly and grabbed the ball with one hand to send the batter walking (he didn’t walk as he tried to claim the deflection off Kunal/daddy as a bounce in true one hand, one bounce style). Neel carried his spell over to the interval, during which he asked why he was being targeted by the batter (as if you didn’t bowl him a full toss that deserved to go for 12 on the last ball before drinks), where he was taken off, 5-1-30-1, and replaced by a vengeance seeking Simran. So here it was, the second clash we had all been waiting for, Walia vs Taylor II. Walia took the first blow as he decided the best form of attack was a short ball on his legs, this was sent well over poor @JOHN’s head, who had been asked to move back to fine leg and was expecting a break from the ball being hit at him, this ball being the only thing that “beat” (had John been maybe 12 foot tall, he could have stopped this) him after an excellent fielding display. This 6 off the first ball had us wondering if our captain was about to drop another disasterclass with the ball, luckily for us, he came back fighting and hit Taylor with 3 dots on the bounce before delivering the fatal blow and bowling him on the 5th delivery. Goodnight Mr Taylor. Simran’s second over started much better than the first as he was only hit for 4, instead of 6, which was joyfully pointed out by myself at the time which was greeted with a ‘Yep’ from Simran as he turned away in disgust. Simran looked threatening throughout and was creating chances, the most notable being an edge that was fired into Alan, at slip, which had hit him just on the forearm. During our post-match brief, Alan made sure we knew that the batter had actually middled the ball to him (at first slip) and even gave us a very accurate (NOT!!!) representation of the shot that was played. Throughout the spell, Darsh had also called for two sponsored jug balls from JayDMeats (check them out for some great food), one of which was the drop as just described and the other was actually a wicket! The ball was drilled back at Simran who took a great caught (caught by his thumb, arms and shirt, everything but his hands) and bowled which gave us another vital wicket. Needless to say, the jug was not approved by the jug committee and has not yet been drunk. Another notable moment from this eventful spell was when Kunal/daddy was asked to step back (as he was standing up to the stumps) as he had let a bye or two past him. The very next ball, Simran was charged and hit for 4 through midwicket and Kunal was brought back to stand up. Simran ended his day 8-1-41-2. Our final bowler of the day was Nik, who was the pick of the bowlers today delivering a very impressive 6-0-14-3. Who knew he was able to bowl this well? Certainly not our captain… Nik bowled a variety of different balls, swinging and cutting it both ways and these variations lead to his wickets (cough, cough, @KAVIT, no, just because you didn’t play today doesn’t mean you get a day off). Nik dismissed two batters by bowling them and the third one wicket came when the ball was chipped up to an ever focused me and I took a blinder (easiest catch of the day, despite Raj’s thoughts). Nik’s brilliant bowling lifted everyone’s mood, but none more than Neel who started to take the piss. He came up with a game where he would replace words in movie titles with ‘Fong’ and use it as a form of encouragement or something? Unfortunately, during this time of piss-taking, Neel took it a bit too literally and went to go top up the nearby canal between overs, leading to a short interval. Another key moment that came from our time fielding where John, Nik and I were in the covers and point and successfully stopping anything hit at us, this led to Darsh using a lovely description of us and calling us a certain great wall from a certain Asian country. We must also give a big shoutout to Raj for fielding with his hands today and doing it pretty damn well. We had bowled them out for 165 in the 37th over, a job well done.

We went into bat with our tails high as we were confident that we would see this one through, Alan and Darsh were sent out to start the chase and we got off to a great start with Alan nudging a 4 wide off slip on the first ball and setting the tone by scoring 10 off the first over. Darsh attempted to emulate this and did so with some sort of success as he edged one through slip for 4 on his first ball. They both continued batting at a steady pace, respecting the good balls and punishing the not so good balls. Alan, on 43, played the shot of the day with a huge 6, over cow corner, had he done it one run later, the camera would have been on, and we would have had an absolutely great video, but you will just have to deal with the one that is attached as he brought up a great 50 with a less fun shot. The pair batted through past drinks and put on 105 (our best partnership of the season) before Alan (58 – runs, not his age) was run out pushing for a double. As he came back to the hut, he claimed that he had missed out on a ton today as all he needed was another 10 balls! Nik, the specialist batter who doesn’t bowl, went in to join Darsh, who continued playing well and brought up his 50 in and his dismissal in dramatic fashion. As Darsh was on 49, he played a lovely reverse sweep (after missing one the ball before) and took a quick single to bring his 50 up. If you watch the video below you will hear a certain Simran say ‘just wait for him to finish up’, not knowing he was on his 50, he took the second run and was run out. In I went to join a comfortable looking Nik, who was playing everything with ease and ticking over the score nicely. I faced one ball, which was tactfully left before the end of the over came and Nik was given strike back, I had assumed given we needed 20 runs to win, I would probably get to face again but a mix of terrible bowling and shoddy keeping meant the first 3 balls of the over had all gone for 4 byes, meaning my likelihood of getting another ball to face was diminishing quite fast. Luckily, Nik didn’t let me down and left me with another chance to hit. Their very courteous captain gave me a very high full toss which I hooked for 6 to bring home the deserved 30 points, after 29.1 overs, and leaving me on 6* with a strike rate of 300!!! Nik ended up with 18* after another great performance with the bat and in the field, this time with great bowling added too. A special mention must also go out to Extras today who contributed 36 runs to our chase.

So, our last 3 played games had been against the rest of the top 4 and we have come out on top each time, with our most convincing win coming today after a top performance, from the pressure bowling to the highly intensive fielding all the way to the great running between the wickets (despite recording the most run outs in one game this season), every aspect of our game today was on top form. 3 more finals to go and then we can get our hands on a deserved trophy after what has been a great campaign so far. A big thank you to John for scoring for us today, even though he used a yellow highlighter for some of it, and to everyone who had a stint of umpiring, especially to Neel and Raj, who had a second stint due to our captain refusing to be a team player. Despite Raj umpiring twice, we were all still holding our breath when he went to the bowler’s end.

Pinner Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 5w 27b 3lb 
for 2 wickets
Alan Carter Run out  58 82 8 1 70.73 1
Darshan Dixit Run out  50 62 5 80.65
Nik Fong Not Out  18 20 3 90.0 1
Sam Davies Not Out  6 2 1 300 1
Raj Vernekar  
John Hoh  
Simran Walia   1
Neel Panchal   1
Des Hubert  
Kunal Choksi  
Nick Lawrence  

Broxbourne 3 Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
A. Grover6.002300.003.83
G. Picker7.022300.003.29
N. Smith4.002500.006.25
G. Kay5.002800.005.60
H. Smith4.102300.005.52
N. Robinson1.00900.009.00
R. Irwin1.00700.007.00

Broxbourne 3 Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
5nb 3w 8b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
165 (37.4 overs)
S. Fryer b D. Hubert 6
R. Irwin run out S. Davies 1
N. Robinson ct A. Carter b N. Panchal 41
T. Preston ct N. Fong b D. Dixit 8
B. Taylor b S. Walia 31
H. Smith b N. Fong 24
G. Kay ct  & b S. Walia 20
J. Porter Not Out  8
N. Smith ct S. Davies b N. Fong 0
A. Grover b N. Fong 4
G. Picker ct N. Panchal b D. Hubert 6

Pinner Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nick Lawrence5.012800.005.60
Des Hubert5.411929.503.35
Darshan Dixit8.0224124.003.00
Neel Panchal5.0130130.006.00
Simran Walia8.0141220.505.13
Nik Fong6.001434.672.33