Crossbats May in review…

Avi annihilations, a barnstormer for the ages and a landmark to cherish…

MonthPlayedWonLost CancelledAbandoned

With April a rather damp squib, we hoped for better in May and so it came to pass – with some better weather and better performances with the first 3 centuries of the season arriving, and a number of good wins including sensational nail biting last ball win at the end of the month.

Kicking off with the Bank Holiday May triple header

Hyde Farmers came and were dismissed for 115 thanks to an all round bowling (especially Vijay Srikkanth & Adam Skinner) and fielding display. Graeme Winch smashed his first 50 of the season before retiring to give someone else a crack, and in an entertaining partnership Craig Claire registered his highest score for Crossbats with an enterprising 29 as the match was won by 9 wickets – against pleasant and friendly opponents.

Karnataka Challengers were next up with Crossbats seeking revenge for the early season hammering, and the revenge was sweet, as summarised in another fine match report from Duncan Ross – after a mean bowling performance, 55 from Vijay powering us to a 7 wicket win.

Crossbats v Karnataka Challengers

Unfortunately hopes of 3 in 3 were drowned when the heavens opened on the Bank holiday Monday and cancelled the match with London Tigers.

An up and down weekend

The following weekend brought old rivals Yarl to Marble Hill Park, and an excellent team bowling and fielding performance (3-16 for Avi Dubey) restricted them to 121 all out.  52 off 39 balls from Avi meant the result was never in doubt with us winning by 5 wickets.

Celebrating a prized victory against Yarl....
Celebrating a prized victory against Yarl….

With Crossbats flying high, the following day Northfields brought us down to earth and thumped a below par Crossbats.  A big score was conceded despite some game bowling and fielding – including a cracking catch from Vijay to give newcomer Anuj Suri one of his 3 wickets.  215 was always going to be too much despite Vijay hitting a sparkling 49 (3 sixes), no one else made double figures as we folded to 75.

Mid-month maulings

As we passed mid month Mitcham visited Marble Hill Park to coincide with the world sausage dog wakiing record attempt the same day.

It turned out to be a dog day for Mitcham…

Superb bowling from Mark McAlpine (Mark was either bowler or catcher for the first 4 batsmen), Samin Khan (3 wickets), Adam, Adrian Merry and Anir Deoras (5-3-2-3) along with 8 catches taken (almost unheard of!) left us only 106 to chase.

A solid 42 from Winch (during this innings pioneering a new technique for playing the spinner while sprawled on all fours) and 34* from Alan Carter ensured that the win was never in doubt.

The following day was one where the sun blazes down and an unfortunate opponent watches your batting catch fire.  Diu Community of Southall were obliterated by Avi’s 147 retired (93 balls, 20×4, 3×6) and Adam 110 retired (76 balls, 13×4, 3×6) with a 230+ partnership in a mammoth score of 369 off 40 overs.

Avi in IPL mode

It was heart warming to see Adam make his first century for Crossbats in a rare occasion batting at 3 – surely multiples would have been scored previously if it were not for the fact that Adam as captain selflessly bats himself down the order to let others have a chance.

Crossbats v Diu Southall 19 May 2024- Adam Skinner celebrates a fantastic unbeaten maiden Crossbats century
Adam Skinner celebrates a fantastic unbeaten maiden century

Facing an impossible task our opponents were dismissed for just 105, with excellent keeping by newcomer Sam Kelly and 3 wickets from John Gumbley.  A lovely day in the sun.

Bank holiday book-end

The month closed as it began with another bank holiday triple header.

I Don’t Like Cricket Club visited the park and a rather excellent first match report from new Crossbat Duncan Grant tells the story of a barn storming match that ebbed and flowed.

Crossbats v I don't like cricket club 25 May 2024 - mom
Gopal with 58* and 4 catches in a fantastic team performance vs I Don’t Like Cricket Club

The middle match of the bank holiday was another bump back down to earth.  Visiting the very pretty ground at Ripley Crossbats put together a pretty average batting display to be all out for 90.  Ripley were never threatened and knocked off the runs for the loss of 3 wickets with the only highlight being a pair of wickets for the returning Alan Ward-Collins.

Ripley CC v Crossbats - 26 May 2024 - Beautiful ground
Ripley CC – Beautiful ground…shame about our performance!

Finally we closed the weekend with the Marble Hill Cup vs Richmond Nomads.  Replete with Gazebos provided by the marvellous team at English Heritage, Crossbats arrived looking forward to the traditional fun, friendly match to celebrate the occasion and the venue.  Unfortunately the opponents did not arrive with the same mindset.

Crossbats v Richmond Nomads - 27 May - The calm before the storm
Crossbats v Richmond Nomads – The calm before the storm

Batting first Avi & Winch (40) opened with a 131 stand and despite wickets falling at the other end Avi destroyed the bowlers eventually retiring for 156*, off 103 balls with 23 4’s and a 6.  A total of 299 looked like a winning one with the fun presentation and camaraderie to look forward to at the end.

With Crossbats well on top in the Nomads innings, we came to a point where it became clear that there was an insurmountable divergence between the two teams’ interpretations of what friendly cricket means, and subsequently the game was abandoned and we went to the pub.

Crossbats v Richmond Nomads - 27 May - Aftermath
Crossbats v Richmond Nomads – Aftermath

Statto corner

Too early in the season to have a big enough sample size of individual performances for deep statistical analysis  (look forward to that next month 😛) but enough matches played now to call out the front runners:

  • No surprise Avi heads the batting – with his scores so far this season 61, 52, 147* & 156* the average is a modest 208.  Some way behind (but a long way ahead of the rest) Adam has 249 runs with a century and a 50 to his name and a more mortal average of 49.
  • Samin tops the bowling with 12 wickets chased by Guy (who has the best haul so far of 4/36) & Vijay with 11 each.
  • In the fielding “Bucket hands” Gopal has 6 catches in the outfield and Deano 6 dismissals (5 ct, 1 stumped) behind the sticks.

A packed June to look forward to….

June is looking great:

  • 11 matches – including a Thursday evening match vs Moormead and 5 nice looking away fixtures.
  • Plus 13 Crossbats will travel to Amsterdam on the 12th (what could possibly go wrong?) to play at the Dutch national cricket ground.
  • Plus Friday nets.
  • Plus the pub after.

What’s not to like? 


John Reardon