The 2nd XI began their campaign against Wimbledon, knowing that if they wanted to challenge for the title the start was very important. Darren London standing in as captain in Curt’s absence won a toss (something he wasn’t able to do very often last year) and elected to field. After 3 overs with Wimbledon 30-0 and the wicket looking very flat, that looked to be a terrible decision. A much better one was to bring Nish Madan on in the 5th over, he turned the tide with a quick wicket and managing to be his consistent economic self. Mansoor Mirza, on debut, bowled very well from the other end, and in partnership started to change the game in our favour. James Birch called back up to the 2’s bowled very well, and was unlucky to only pick up the one wicket. Mees Hussain leg spin was a huge bonus and by the 40th over we had restricted them to under 4 an over and taken important wickets. The tight bowling continued during the last 10 overs but a couple of dropped catches gave their number 7 the lifeline he needed to hit 24 off the last over taking Wimbledon to 224. A score we felt was still 20-30 under par.
Hussain and Elliot Shaw (90) opened the batting (heavy partnership), and started positively, before Hussain fell cheaply. Shaw was joined by Rajan Soni (16) who put on 50ish for the 2nd wicket, but it was the partnership between Shaw and Harveer Mahajan (85) that won us the game. They batted superbly, milking singles and taking on the bowlers when appropriate with ease. It was extremely pleasing to watch. When the partnership of (150) was finally broken, we only required 20 off 10 remaining overs. A couple of cheap wickets at the end didn’t taint the comprehensive win. A marked difference from last year already with a real team mentality and performance.
Man of the Match: Elliot Shaw (although hard to pick between him and Harveer)
Dick of the Day: Darren London