SECONDS KEEP IT SIMPLE
Accuracy and guile too much for Milton
Milton (5pts) 110 lost to Camden (20pts) 147-7 by 37 runs
Early season sun at Milton; welcome in a way that the dampness of the previous year was not. The opposition spray painting and rolling their wicket, distant trains racing from Ely and the waterbirds calling from the river. A scene set for that triumph of the human spirit and optimism over experience – the first game of the season.
From the start there were signs that this was not to be “normal”; 22 players (albeit with one arriving late), sunshine and most peculiar of all a toss won. Mitchell and Bulusu (Ramesh of that ilk after Krishna’s efforts this time last year meant elevation to the ‘senior’ side) opened and solidly, if in no way chancelessly, achieved 50 between them. Then Ramesh allowed their opening bowler some reward for his perseverance in his penultimate over. Mitchell scored just 4 of the next 15 as “swashbuckling” Saurav Bhattacharya applied himself to the run-rate. When he went and Mitchell managed to run himself out (this time without even the excuse of it being a second, tiring run) to a searing (!) direct hit, things seemed set for some middle-order enforcement. However, seams all too often (at least in my vintage wardrobe) come apart and in fairly quick time 69-2 had deteriorated to 97-6. Paul Crossley, debuting at six was stonewalling, Ginto George flayed a, for him, below strike rate 15 off 17, but the new electric scoring thingy was reappraising it’s hopeful estimates of our innings total downwards. At which point Ritesh Raghavan (16) and Martin Baker (26) came together and with ten overs to use ensured a defendable total and that neither our late arrival (Chris Clarke) or youth policy (Doug Mitchell) were needed with a partnership of 35.
Milton were quickly under bombardment from one end as Ginto took advantage of the dry, artificial surface to dig it in and then pitch it up and Ritesh, after claiming that without nets he would be terribly rusty, settled into a steady and rewarding, groove. Chris, keeping and the skipper at slip pouched early chances and things looked good. However, ‘things’ looked less good after a stolid, solid stand of 67 from Anzari and Coston for Milton. Then, in, depending on your perspective, an inspired piece of captaincy, or a last gasp grasp, the skipper introduced Ramesh to the situation. The Milton pair were unable to match the medical maestro and soon a returning Ritesh was hoovering up a 4-14 that put him on the county honours board for the week. Ramesh, with 3-16 was also surely in the running for man of the match. There was still time for Martin to snaffle another wicket in pursuit of Camden’s all time wicket-taker and Douglas to bowl his first over in adult cricket (thereby in league terms beating his dad to it by somewhere in the region of (I would guess, I’m sure others could be more precise) 12 years and nearly seventy matches!). A great start on a great day. As Shane said “cricket is a simple game. Keep it simple and just go out and play”
Man of the Match: Ritesh Raghavan