TRCC vs. Ruislip Victoria - July 13th 2013

TRCC lost the toss and fielded.
 
Ruislip Victoria 198-8 Carl Clarke 77, Jim Bridger 42*
TRCC: Graham Burgess 3-35, Adam Smith 2-12, Spence Nichols 2-27
 
TRCC: 199-3 Stuart Barrable 88, Manan Narula 68*
Ruislip Victoria: Furad Khan 1-10, Paul Bailey 1-20
 
Another roasting day for the visit of Ruislip Victoria (RV) with TRCC desperate to get back on track following the poor all round performance last weekend. RV had just 10 men with a call out for a sub so winning the toss they were more than happy to bat first and TRCC were slapping on the suntan cream. Steve Beamish and Akshay Apte to open for TRCC. A first ball full toss despatched to the boundary didn't bode well for Akshay but he was back to form the next ball with good line and length and some decent away movement. The good bowling kept RV relatively quiet with few scoring shots over the first 10 overs though the loose ball was racing through the outfield for 4 occasionally. Carl Clarke for RV then unleashed an aggressive streak with a mammoth straight 6 that had the Heathrow ATC anxiously diverting inbound flights! Graham Burgess on for Steve and a stormer of a full length ball starting on off peg and swinging had middle stump coloured with a beautiful red spot and the first wicket was taken. Next ball was identical to the first in terms of line and length and a huge appeal by all in close had Graham on a hat-trick. That wasn't to be but a double wicket maiden was a superb start and a welcome return to what must surely be the correct line and length for TRCCs speed merchant. Another big 6 from Clarke and Akshay was replaced by Ed Farrar. A brave call by the skipper but three big sixes on his first over by Clarke again and Eds confidence had taken a knock. Drinks up gave a chance to settle the young lad down and his next 3 overs were far better with some decent spin both ways though a couple of loose balls got despatched. Graham was bowling a great line going for just 3 runs in his the opening 5 overs. Spence replaced Ed and despite the obligatory one loose ball per over getting despatched he was soon in the book for the right reasons having. A hard hit cut shot taken very smartly by Stuart Barrable at 1st slip then next over the dangerous Clarke was out c&b, Spence doing well to keep hold of the ball despite falling over. Adam Smith on for Graham and following a bit of TRCC banter over the first 3 balls heading down leg side testing the dubious keeping skills of stand in keeper Ken Cochrane, saw a change of line and middle stump rocked back for the fourth wicket, RV on 114 in the 28th over. With a taste for wickets now, Adam got the sixth in his next over with a high top edge about to land comically on the keepers head, who had no idea where it was, until Tim Hogarth moved in and saved the day! Jim Bridger and Aki Ansari steadied the sinking ship for RV and the run rate picked up. Bridger took a nasty top edge to the face but after a few minutes was happy to carry on, finally finishing not out on 42. Burgess and Beamish picked up a wicket each in the final few overs and despite bowling very nicely Akshay went wicketless for the day. RV had managed to bat the full 45 overs for the highest opposition score this season of 198-8 so TRCC would need to bat well to chase it down.

A lot of weary TRCC players at tea but hopefully steeling themselves for the run chase. Akshay Apte and Tim Hogarth opening but a sharp run hit to mid on by Akshay, Tim on the backfoot and a fortunate direct hit and TRCC 1 down in the second over. Runs of the bat dried up but Carl Clarke was ticking the score on with several wide ball deliveries. Akshay then chipped a wide ball to point and TRCC were 16-2 and things looking very ominous. Stuart Barrable and Manan Narula playing his first game for the league side this season at bat. The first bowling change worked well for TRCC with 18 of 2.3 overs before Booth had to withdraw from the attack. Drinks up at 15 overs and then somewhat surprisingly RV were down to 9 men when the economical Fuaad Khan had to depart early having bowled 1-10 from 8 overs, a touch of good fortune for TRCC no doubt. Some average bowling from RV and Stuart happily stroking the ball for plenty of boundaries. Then after a quiet early period for Manan he too started to free the arms playing some delightful drives and cuts that raced over the outfield. Suddenly the score started to race along ably helped by the RV skipper Clarke back on going for 10 in his fifth over and 25 in his sixth including an amazing 18 wides. TRCC rapidly closing in on the target and the bowling getting more optimistic however Stuart somehow managed to bring his marvellous innings to an end with just 11 required chipping out for 88, but a timely return to form for sure. A few balls later and Manan hit the winning runs to bring up a superb, controlled 68 and a personal best!
A good, comfortable win in the 29th over in the end despite the early scare, but TRCCs batsmen had held their nerve - hopefully a sign of things to come. 7 games left in the season, a 5 point average clear of third place and of course keeping up some sort of pressure on Sandhurst in the hope that someone else triumphs over them to make it a bit tighter again at the top.

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