Camden 2nd XI 2013 Match reports

2nd XI Vs Wisbech - By Will Sutton

Camden shuffled their cards, swapped Queens' for Kings and, in Toms Wilson and Grint, came up with aces to record a fourth win on the spin. Perhaps wisely, given the fates of previous visiting 'keepers, the Wisbech gloveman came ready injured (apparently the result of jumping out of a third storey window!). Needless to say, the famous frozen sweetcorn was not required. David Owen, ably donning the gauntlets for Camden, also chose to don a lid throughout and was among the 9 men who took to the field, captain Ali Khan waylaid by the wayward Nish Dabhi. Having invited Wisbech to bat, Will Sutton, standing-in as captain, could have been forgiven for thinking he'd done a Nasser Hussain. Tom Wilson, with a wonderful first over culminating in a spot of furniture rearranging, swiftly allayed any fears, as did the sight of Khan's car speeding into view. Dip Basu, suffering with a heavy cold, couldn't reproduce the heroics of last week, but Wilson, with the wind on his back, continued to cause all sorts of trouble. A third wicket soon followed for the recent recipient of three grade A's at A-Level, comprehensively bowled with the leg bail almost carrying for six. Matt Merry replaced Basu and mesmerised Matt Esser (38), the Wisbech captain, in particular with his “weird” bowling. With Merry impossible to attack and Wilson almost impossible to defend, the home side were already well on top when Tom Grint further underlined their dominance with an incredible direct hit with one stump to aim for. More than anyone else, Grint doesn't deserve to be relegated this year and it was great to see his obvious delight. Wilson, restricted to 7 overs, was replaced by Mike Wells and then Ali Khan, the latter inducing an edge to Owen before the rain threatened to stall Camden's progress. Fortunately, the storm was brief and Khan picked up another wicket, pouched by Basu at slip, leaving Wisbech reeling at 75-6. Merry (10-2-32-1) induced a top edge to Sutton before Khan (7-1-11-3) swapped ends to enable Wilson to return to polish off the tail and bag himself much merited figures of 11.3-4-19-5.

Wary of the rain forecast for later, the home side had gone a long way to wrapping up an early victory. Wisbech's total of 108 might still be needed to overhauled quickly, however, so pinch-hitters Khan (2) and then Dabhi (4) were sent in early. With the experiment failing, it was instead Grint and Sutton who took on the task, swiftly adding 53 and taking the score to 75 before Sutton (23) top-edged to square leg. Basu (6), despite playing the shot of the day – an improvised ramp to a beamer – and Wilson fell in quick succession, but Grint (50 not out) and Wells (13 not out) smacked the winning runs to seal a satisfying fourth win a row.

2nd XI Vs Thriplow - BY Will Sutton

Another win. Another outing for the frozen sweetcorn for a head injury to a visiting 'keeper. And Ali Khan thought that deciding whether to bat first had given him a headache. From the very first ball, which leapt alarmingly off a length for 4 byes, it was clear that a change of wicket from the previous two weeks might not see a continuation of recent run fests. Ed Bearfield-Smith began to make a mockery of these early assumptions, however, and throughout the innings the run-rate never dropped below 4. Both openers fell in successive overs – Bearfield-Smith (18) to one pull shot too many (or, more accurately, too early) and Chris Hoole (13) run out. Unlike last week, Will Sutton (2) was blameless in the run out, but he soon nicked off. Dip Basu (16) looked well set before advancing and playing over the top of one, and with the home side on 83-4 and (despite his misleading name) Richie Turner (12-3-39-3) bowling tidily the game was in the balance. Balance was something sorely lacking for Paul Staley, staggering from the field with the aforementioned trusty cobs clamped to his forehead after being sconed by another lifting delivery from the Hedgerow End. The change behind the sticks and being down to 10 men didn't help the visitors who were already being put to the sword by Toms Maguire and Wilson. An expertly paced partnership of 67 came to an end when Wilson (34, including a dismissive and towering 6) chipped to mid-on, but the momentum was with the home side. Maguire brought up an excellent fifty, and incoming batsmen could join him in playing with selfless freedom. Jon Adler (4) was caught and bowled, although it would have been on Barton Road had it travelled as far laterally as it did vertically. Maguire was seen off by Umpire Hoole for 54 stylish and valuable runs. Khan, idiosyncratically winding up his bat like a lasso, smashed a quick-fire 20, and Mike Wells (22 not out) and Duncan Gibson (1 not out) took the score to a respectable 207-8.

It was a score that soon looked insurmountable for an inexperienced Thriplow side. Their reply was quickly in dire trouble, with Maguire (9-2-23-3), extracting bounce from one end, and Basu (12-7-27-2) joining the dots at the other, seeing the visitors floundering at 31-5 and Maguire on a hat-trick after Gibson's juggling act saw off the brave Staley Sr. The hat-trick was averted, but the rest of the innings was largely a formality. Wilson (2-32) and Wells (3-4) polished off the tail, meaning the margin of victory was a resounding 97. A third consecutive 20 points for the 2s in their late charge for safety, and successive Saturdays with all three Camden sides recording wins.

2nd XI Vs Ely - By Will Sutton

Ali Khan finally won a toss and, keen to maintain the momentum from last week's epic overhaul of 308, the choice to bat first was welcomed by what looked suspiciously like a proper (if a little Tom-heavy) 2nd Team. The hitherto heroic Hainsey (5) nicked off early on, leaving Tom Grint and Will Sutton the task of laying the foundations. While Sutton's back, hamstrings, knees, calves, achilles, ankles . . . may have been burning, his batting rarely caught fire. Grint was the far more fluent in a partnership of 76, so it was a shame that Sutton's ball-watching led to the needless run-out for 46 of the only man in cricket with legs skinnier than Ben “Sticksy” Barton. At drinks, Camden were well-placed at 100-ish for 2. Sutton (27) fell (not over, surprisingly) shortly after, as did the unfortunate visiting gloveman when taking one in the eye. That left Tom Tom to navigate a 92-run stretch. Maguire cruised along, often speeding down to fine leg on his way to a jaunty 48, while Hogan, initially stuck behind some slow bowling on a spongy road, found a circuitous route to 50. I don't drive (as anyone listening to the verbal diarrhoea of the fielding side could attest) so forgive me if this metaphor lacks integrity. Ed Bearfield-Smith (14), Tom Wilson (26 not out) and Khan (10 not out) helped the home team to 258-6. About par? We were about find out . . .

Michael Griggs, smarting after the somewhat highbrow chat round the tea table, and Maguire, soon bowling with a gully cordon of three, took the shine-proof new ball and restricted the Ely openers to 25 from the first 10. Maguire, and then Khan, saw off the openers before a stand of 96 threatened to take the game away from the home side. It was Khan (2-65) who broke that partnership. This soft dismissal and Griggsy's return spell arguably turned the match, his insistence on keeping the field up proving largely successful in forcing up the run-rate. So keen was the burly Burwell-based bowler to make up for the lack of overs under his belt over recent years, he had to settle for 12.1 overs (whoops), 1-47. With Khan also bowled out and Barton being taken for a couple of lusty sixes, Wilson, The Enforcer even off two paces, came on to snaffle a couple of catches off his own bowling. Maguire held his nerve to defend 17 from the final over and Camden had sneaked to a much-needed 20 points with a 4-run win.