By Simon Heaney
Saturday 11 May 2013
MIDDLESEX CHAMPIONSHIP CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
Birkbeck College 1st XI 215-7 dec (52 overs)
Bessborough 1st XI 158-6 (37 overs)
Winning draw for Bessborough
MIDDLESEX COUNTY CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
Bessborough 2nd XI 185-8 dec (48 overs)
Highgate 2nd XI 89-2 (21.1 overs)
Winning draw for Highgate
MIDDLESEX 1987 CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
Bessborough 3rd XI 225 all out (44.2 overs)
Old Actonians 3rd XI 71-9 (25.3 overs)
Winning draw for Bessborough
MIDDLESEX 1987 CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION FIVE
Old Actonians 4th XI 227-7 dec (49 overs)
Bessborough 4th XI 161-8 (53 overs)
Winning draw for Old Actonians
Sunday 12 May 2013
Bessborough 154-3 (28 overs)
Perivale Phoenicians 154-5 (40 overs)
Bessborough won by 7 wickets
Four draws for Bessborough
It was Even-Stevens for all four Bessborough sides on a rain-affected opening Saturday of the league campaign. The first and third elevens each secured four points for winning draws, while the second and fourth teams both picked up a point for losing draws.
The first eleven traveled to a wet and windy Birkbeck College and were asked to bowl by their hosts. Nirav Ghantiwala (1-24) made the breakthrough in the sixth over bowling Shahzad for 14, but despite some tight bowling Bessborough had to wait another 10 overs for the next wicket when change bowler Rohan Karkhanis caught and bowled Imran Haider (16) with the score on 63.
Birkbeck's number three Ali Haider was playing aggressively and enjoyed pace on the ball and eventually went on to score an unbeaten 115, although the Bessborough fielders gave him a helping hand by dropping him three times before he reached the century.
The other Birkbeck batsmen were largely held in check by the Bessborough bowling unit, particularly the spin duo of Karkhanis (2-32) and Nitin Modha (2-56) during the middle overs.
Birkbeck’s first hundred came at a rate of around 3 runs per over, although Haider picked up the pace after the fall of the fourth wicket with some big hitting. Ian Barrie (2-39) grabbed two late wickets in his second spell, both expertly caught by Sanil Shah, to put the brakes on the opposition, who declared on 215 after 52 overs.
After the tea interval Bessborough started off their innings positively in the knowledge that rain was almost certainly on its way. Captain Danny Hawes (29) and Adil Parker scored freely in an opening stand of 65 with Parker especially keen to get above the required 4.13 run-rate, smashing 49 off 39 balls.
New bat Elango Thavalinkam carried on where Parker left with a 16-ball 21, including two huge sixes, one of which crashed through the window of an adjacent house and interrupted the game as the angry home-owner refused to give the ball back. Talha Junaid added to his growing reputation with a quick-fire 30.
Birkbeck’s bowlers eventually tied down Bessborough’s middle-order with the run rate dropping from 4.67 after 31 overs to a nervy 4.27 after 37, when the inevitable rain arrived and ended Bessborough’s score on 158-6 to give the away side the winning-draw and four valuable league points.
The second eleven were up against Highgate at Headstone Manor with Captain Phil Bush opting to bat first, a decision which apparently surprised their skipper.
Ian Ridley (4) was out to a beauty from Blair Tickner in the third over, which brought in last season’s best new player Mark Emanuel to the crease. He and Bush added 40 with Emanuel at his aggressive best, scoring a quick 30 before being caught at point to a great diving, one-handed catch by Jon Bowley.
Bush and debutant Alexander Haniff pushed the score on to 80 when the captain was bowled by Blair for a stubborn 14.
Haniff was then given a crash introduction to a number of Bessborough batsmen in the middle with three going cheaply before Stephen Kimsey Sr. showed his experience by sticking around while Haniff played superbly to score a century on debut.
After Haniff was bowled for 103 and Kimsey Sr. run out for 13, Bush declared on 188-8 after 48 overs knowing that the inclement weather was likely to restrict the Highgate innings.
Highgate came out after tea knowing they needed to score around 4 runs per over, which they just managed to achieve as they scored 89-2 after 21.1 overs when the heavens opened and ended the contest.
Haniff showed off his all-round talent, bowling unchanged and bagging both wickets in a tidy 10-over spell of 2-38.
The three’s came closest to victory of all Bessborough teams, just one agonising wicket away from claiming all 10 points against Old Actonians.
Bessborough batted first and posted a healthy score of 225 all out from 44.2 overs. Top scorers were Priyatharshan Sathananthan (73), Tharmakulasingam Kirushanth (43) and Vivek Patel (41).
Bessborough were quickly into the Old Actonians line-up with Captain Nathan Theebaraj (2-19) and Akilan Denesh (1-23) getting early wickets. Spinners Kirushanth (3-9) and young colt Dillon Popat (3-12), the latter freshly promoted from the 4s, then ripped through the opposition to leave them teetering on 71-9 when the rain washed away any hope of a Bessborough victory.
Just a few miles up the A40 the fourth eleven’s match away to Old Actonians escaped the bad weather apart from one very light shower. Despite playing with only 10 because of a last-minute cry-off and missing most of last season’s potent bowling attack, a tail-end rear-guard saw Bessborough come home with a creditable losing draw.
Bessborough won the toss and bowled first on a green strip, but couldn’t make the early breakthrough although strike bowlers Ravi Vyas (0-36) and William Gill (1-48) deserved better for their efforts.
First-change seamer Richard Ward grabbed the first wicket as Old Actonians opener John Walker clipped an easy chance off his legs to Captain Simon Heaney. Spinners Bharat Vyas and new colt Roxon Dominic then picked up a couple of quick wickets and when some smart fielding by Ravi Vyas forced a run out, Bessborough were on a roll.
Unfortunately, that momentum was stalled when Heaney dropped a dolly from new batsman Bilal Hussain off Gill’s bowling. Hussain went on to score a half-century as he and Old Actonians’ steady opener Dominic Wallace (78) grabbed back the initiative, allowing Old Actonians to declare on 227-7 after 49 overs.
Bessborough openers Richard Willson and Ward started off brightly with the left-handed Willson clipping some lovely strokes off his legs. Their partnership of 45 was brought to a sudden end when Willson inextricably set of for a single that was never on to run himself out for 23.
That sparked a mini-collapse as Bessborough lost three wickets in quick succession before Ward and Heaney (17) steadied things a bit. When Heaney top-edged to slip Ward continued to play very sensibly on his way to 37. Ward and Bharat Vyas (28) used up more overs, but there were still plenty remaining for the last-wicket pair of Ravi Vyas and Shan Vasudevan to block out.
Despite some probing bowling, the pair dug in for 12 or so overs to see their team home with only a few scares along the way. A special thank you to Shan, who hasn’t played cricket in years and was only helping out as a last-minute substitute for his ill son.
On Sunday, Bessborough dodged the rain to comfortably beat Perivale Phoenicians in a friendly match. Perivale could only reach 154-5 in 40 overs, while Bessborough made the target in 28 overs for the loss of only three wickets. Captain Nirav Ghantiwala (65*) and Alex Irani (58*) both scored unbeaten half-centuries.