Week 1 - 11th May
1XI - NPL (324-6) beat OMT (110-9) by 224 runs.
Gallyer got off to a good start by losing the toss, however inexplicably the OMT captain decided to bowl first despite them only having 8 players present at the time. James Churchman and Tom Pitts made the most of the lack of players and put on a good opening stand of 75. The runs continued to flow from here with runs from Gallyer (59), Haji (56), Robson (68*) and a quick 32* from Farrant at the death allowed NPL to amass 324 from their 45 overs. A fantastic first innings to start the season.
After a well-earned lunch break, Gallyer and Farrant took the new ball and were unlucky not to make an early breakthrough with some rash batting from the opposition. It was not until Toby got a cheap LBW that NPL started to really get going, from here, aided by an average J.Doble catch, Deepak ran through OMT taking 6-33 in his 10 overs to lead NPL to a massive 214 run victory.
MoM: Deepak Obhrai
2XI - NPL beat Kew by 7 wickets
The 2s got off to a winning start against Kew 4s, with some great displays from the usual and some more unusual sources. Having (in retrospect a poor decision) agreed to play leg-side wides, the skipper won the toss and elected to bowl. Sparing the skipper the job (and one would think his blushes), Gareth Singh stood up and grabbed the keepers gloves and went on to produce a superb display. Seamers Mo (2-17) and Thommo (1-31) bowled the first 16 overs. The Kew skipper then confounded us by insisting it was 8 overs per bowler max, so this led to a change in the attack with newcomer Yawar (0-24 off 8) bowling left arm leg spin, and Macca (1-23) both keeping things tight. Accelerating through the 2 half of their innings, Gareth claimed his second (stumped) and third (caught) victims off the skipper (2-44). Kew finished on 159-6, including 29 wides.
In reply Karim (76) and David Hubbard (19) got us off to a great start, both falling to catches but there were no problems as Venura (11), Thommo (19*) and Yawar’s dad Mashkoor (6*) chipped in as we took 24 overs to reach Kew’s total to win by 7 wickets
MoM: Gareth Singh
3XI - Uxbridge beat NPL by 6 wickets
The 3s kicked off their season with a spirited, but ultimately disappointing defeat to Uxbridge.
Openers Schofield & Churchman making a solid start against some lively Uxbridge quicks. Schofield (47), Churchman (29) batted very nicely but Jim Morton (64) was the pick of the batters, reaching his half century with delightfully expansive strokes. After a couple of wickets which slowed momentum, we posted a competitive 198-4 off their 38 overs.
A tight start was needed to defend the total. A few loose Bradley deliveries were taken advantage of by Uxbridge’s agricultural opener to the short legside boundary, and got his side well ahead of the rate. We certainly looked rusty in the field, with five catches going down in the deep, and Bradley managing to get cramp six times despite fielding at slip. Despite a wicket apiece for Watkins, Day, Atkins and Taplin, Uxbridge sauntered to victory with six wickets and nine overs in hand.
After a slow start to the season, the 3s will hope to return to winning ways against Ickenham at the Lab next week.
MoM: Jim Morton
Week 2 - 18th May
1st XI - Won by 180 runs vs Burnham
Off the back of a convincing win at OMTs, the 1st XI found themselves back at the fortress, most commonly known as the Lab, against a usually competitive Burnham 2nd XI side. With T.Gallyer doing what he does best and losing the toss, NPL were put into bat. A decision that was met with glee from the NPL top order.
Another comprehensive batting display saw the majority of the top order in with the runs. Most notably, J.Churchman with a patient 74 was followed by the usual energetic innings from both T.Gallyer (65) and T.Rowland (76*). NPL using the allotted 45 overs to score another mammoth total of 308 runs for the loss of only 5 wickets.
High in spirits, defending another large total, it didn't take long to tear into the Burnham top order. T.Gallyer with the early wickets finishing on 3-39 was followed by a superb spell from T.McIntosh who ended the day with 5-28. A special mention must go to young L.Pearson who bowled with excellent rhythm and maturity picking up the scalp of the most dangerous looking Burnham batsman and closing the day with two deserved wickets.
Man of the Match: Toby McIntosh (5-28)
2nd XI - Won vs Cookham Dean
The 2’s made it 2 wins from 2 at Cookham Dean. Winning the toss and electing to field with only 9 players present paid off, as newcomer Joyston Brito (2-25) steamed in, supported by Yawar Baig (3-25) to restrict Cookham to 40-4 off their first 16 overs. Eventually we all managed to find the ground, and with a full compliment on the field we attacked a bit too hard in the second half. Some decent middle order batting from Cookham got them up to 142 all out off 38 overs. We lost 8 overs to rain over tea and, trusting completely in Cookham’s calculations, were set an A.R.R. total of 114 from 32 overs. The rain did make batting a little tricky for us, but the NPL top order all scored runs. Karim Khan (12) and David Hubbard (26) saw off the new bowlers leaving Jim Morton (32), and Uday Patel (23*) to get the rest of the required runs.
Man of the Match: Yawar Baig (10 O, 4 M, 3 Ws, 35 runs)
3rd XI - Won vs Ickenham
Expert tosser Mikey Lee donned the pads looking to post a total after a late arrival from a very youthful Ickenham IV.
Harry Churchill and Mikey started accumulating with Harry’s aggressive stroke play and opposition fifth columnist W Ides bringing up the ton. A flurry of quick wickets gave the Lab faithful pause for thought before everyone’s day was brightened when the always-value George Bradley, having stalked around the ground telling everyone what great nick he was in, elected to leave his first ball and saw his bails dislodged.
Bunting and Webster nearly brought the boys home before a quick bottom-hand-dominated 18 for Atkins made sure of maximum bonus points. The change for 250 was cruelly and inexplicably brought to a premature halt, however, when Ben Laing, clearly in the mood for tea, chipped in with the worst umpiring decision seen since Daryl Hair retired to finish proceedings at 219.
Watkins and Bunting knocked the guts out of the away team’s batting in the first 12 overs. 2fer for Bunts, including a cheeky deep-leg slip snaffle and one from a vicious bouncer flying to slip at the other end.
Bradley, Henderson and Atkins kept things quiet for the middle overs. The highlight of this period being when George, in light of the little bit of bad blood between these sides last year, took no shame in celebrating the wicket of Ickenham’s 12 year old number five like Flintoff winning the Ashes.
With the needed rate into double figures by drinks, Webster was brought in to read the last rites, picking up a 5-12 off 4 overs. It would have been more overs, but Laing, operating at the other end, could see which way the wind was blowing so declined to finish his over until he’d claimed the final scalp. 16 balls. It was getting dark.
Man of the Match: Webster (5-12 off 4 overs)