Match Report RTCC v Old Finchleians 2021
Thursday 20th May 2021
at Old Camdenians
Old Finchleians 136
Railway Taverners won by 7 wickets
The T20 season ought to be defined by the warm afterglow of a summer's day and the sound of clinking glasses filled with frothing cold beer. Instead, our first outing of the year was accompanied by the constant threat of being rained off and a chattering of teeth.
The rain stopped just as we settled down at Old Camdenians, an amphitheatre of cricket with the club house sitting on a ledge overlooking two immaculate squares. It was Jocky's turn to steer the ship in the absence of skipper Eiran, and he got off to an inauspicious start by losing the toss. We were asked to bowl first on a surface that had been slightly softened by the rain, and a strong looking Old Finchleians side made their intentions clear from the get-go. Their opener had one look at Guy and then hoicked the next ball straight up into the air, only for not one, but two Tavs to drop him - the bowler shelling the initial effort, while James couldn't quite reach the rebound sprinting in from cover.
A jolly heave-ho was obviously the name of the game, and Guy got his just rewards just two balls later, Nish taking a good catch standing up to the stumps. Their skipper arrived at number 3 and underlined the policy of attack by stepping down the pitch to Ime and cracking one of our recently procured orange balls well and truly out of the ground.
A new ball was sourced and with the score on 46-1 off 3 overs, Jocky judiciously took the pace off. He stepped up to the oche himself and was rewarded with a double-wicket maiden, their batsmen unable to stop themselves from playing big shots against typically tight bowling. Undeterred by a flurry of wickets, their skipper then went after me and picked out James on the cow corner boundary, a big wicket well held by our silky-palmed Canadian.
5 overs gone, 54-4, and it felt like Old Finchleians had needlessly thrown away their imperious start. The bowling partnership kept the pressure on, and it told. Three more slogs to leg resulted in catches for Dom and Greig as well as a splendid second for James, who, having misjudged the flight of the ball running in from the boundary, flung his arms backwards above his head to snaffle the chance while his momentum was still carrying him forward. 82-7 off 11 overs and we had turned it around.
Their number 5 was still offering some resistance and moved to a well-played 50 that consisted of more than just hitting and hoping, but he too had a rush of blood and decided to reverse sweep a length delivery from Aymon. Ball was introduced to glove and Nish did the rest behind the stumps, the batsman walking off with just a hint of embarrassment. George then removed their number 9, caught by Ime at long-on, before a run-out capped a fine performance in the field, Old Finchleians all out for 136 in the 18th over.
Ben and Ime got our chase underway soon thereafter and played the situation beautifully. This was a decent bowling line-up, make no mistake, but through a combination of hard running and clean hitting they managed to up the run rate to 10 an over without taking any risks. When Ben eventually fell to a top edge in the 7th over, the partnership had already accumulated half of the required total.
This innings was all about Ime though. Thus far, our young gun has been too busy taking wickets to shine with the bat, but he took this opportunity to show his skills with aplomb. It was a marvellous knock, characterised by powerful pulls through mid-wicket and beautiful straight drives, coupled with smart running. He brought up his well-deserved 50 in style, dispatching their accurate off-spinner over the side screens for 6, before he returned to the pavilion a ball later to lap up the applause and congratulations of his fellow Tavs, out stumped for 52 off just 35 deliveries.
Not a minute after Greg and James had hungrily wolfed down the remainder of the runs inside 16 overs, the heavens finally opened to leave our oppo wondering what might have been. But cricket can be like that - it's an individual sport played as a team, and on this chilly evening eleven Tavs showed that our combined efforts can make light work of even the most audacious of onslaughts.
Old Finchleians XI 136 all out in 17.2 overs
Dan Vale 4-1-9-4
Matthias Winter 4-0-26-2
Railway Taverners CC 137-3 in 15.4 overs
Ben Dixon 23 (18 balls, 2 fours, 1 six)