August 2023 in Review
August was a funny month; we never got close to the scorching heat of 2022 and was even further away from the run fest of last year. A highest team score of the season (and probably most seasons) was registered but aside from this Crossbats batting consistently struggled to put together big totals. In spite of this there were some memorable moments, as Avi passed 1000 runs, Samin passed 40 wickets (setting up an exciting “will he – won’t he get to 50” before September is out) and Alan Carter pulled of a wonder catch. We also said a sad farewell to Stu Skinner who moved up North having anchored so many innings this season.
The month started with a comfortable win against Strongroom – a modest Crossbats target made to look large by an outstanding bowling and fielding performance lead by Samin’s first (and well overdue) 5 wicket haul of the season.
The middle week of the season saw Chiswick visit again, and again field a weak side against a strong Crossbats team. Carnage ensued – 150* off 75 balls with 28 boundaries by Avi (retired to save the opposition from further punishment) and 71* off 41 balls by Stu Skinner resulted in an unassailable 351 off 40 overs. Chiswick batted out time and never got close while Samin recorded the memorable analysis of 8-3-9-4. The cricketing gods brought us down to earth the following day however, as a very flat Crossbats failed to reach previous standards with bat, ball or fielding against Cobham Avorians and were soundly beaten on a day which saw the inaugral award of the Drossball cap.
Next up Stu’s farewell match against Southwark Park, who arrived and immediately lost a player with a shoulder dislocated in warm up and another taking him to hospital; with the help of a couple of young lads recruited from the Marble Hill nets they scraped together 138 after being 49-7 (with an absolute stunner of a one handed catch close in the covers by Alan Carter which must be a catch of the season) and there were a few heart flutters in the Crossbats reply but an eventual 3 wicket win. Again on the Sunday vs Clippaz we came up short – despite 47 from Anir a total of 161 was not quite enough as despite being 63-5 ( and 4 more wickets from Samin and 3 from Anir) a stretched bowling line up was not quite able to stop our opponents winning by 2 wickets.
The bank holiday brought the month to a close and alas our tail off in batting form came into focus. Yately were dismissed for 117 but from 50-2 a collapse saw us fall 24 runs short. The following day 3 wickets from Adam Skinner and Adrian Merry and 7 catches in the field limited Kings Road to 141 but Crossbats never got close being bowled out for 115.
Avi’s July burst was topped up by a 150 in August and he sits proud at the top of the batting stats having passed the 1000 mark. Right below him sits Stu who decided to protect his average by moving to Yorkshire and finished with 588 runs at 53 with 5x50s – he will be missed. Adam is just behind his brother and closing in on the 500 run mark.
The 6 hitting contest has now seen a marked shift – Adam has now recorded 11 maximums, with Vijay on 9 and Avi and Preet on 6 each.
Bowling & Fielding
This was the month where Samin really got the rewards that had not quite come his way for turning up game after game and testing opposition batsmen while giving them nothing and 17 wickets in 6 games in August propelled him deservedly to the top of the bowling stats in terms of wickets, average and economy and brings him tantalisingly close to the half century. Adam has 40 wickets in sight and Avi is top of the spinners.
Deano and Dan stand out on the keeping side in terms of overall dismissals (18 and 12 dismissals respectively) and Adam continues on his quest to beat the keepers in catches from the outfield only a couple behind Deano.
Alas, the season is now in its last stanza, but still time for some magical moments, close matches and fun in the 3rd innings. And a tour. Look forward to the season wrap up and statisticians report at the end of the season!