On Saturday, the first team entertained local rivals Fordhouses and were eventually victorious by 100 runs. Batting first we were in some trouble at 128-6 despite the efforts of Laeq Chishti (68), before Andy Jones (32) joined forces with Ishaq Mohammed who finished with 85 not out off just 45 balls as we posted 263-8 from our 55 overs. In reply Fordhouses slumped to 62-8 before being bowled out for 163 as Aatif Ali (2-30), Chishti (2-31) and Aqab Ahmed (5-62) all performed well with the ball for us.
The second team made the short trip to Walsall and were comprehensively beaten after we posted 167-9 in our innings, Jack Pope top scoring with 34. After a couple of early close calls, Walsall openers Betty (68 not out) and Ateeq (80) saw their team to a comfortable nine-wicket victory, Richard James taking the solitary wicket to fall.
Hammerwich hosted the third team, and we totalled 221-9 after being asked to bat first with Steve Jones (26), Alfie Morris (50) and Rob Lawrence (56) all contributing well. Although Chris Green, Ross Parker, Ollie Deakin and Nathan Taylor each took a wicket, Hammerwich recorded a relatively comfortable six-wicket win.
The fourth team game was called off as our opponents were unable to raise a team, the points gained leave the team sitting in a highly creditable fourth place at the time of writing.
On Sunday, the first team took on Lullington Park in a game that proved to have a very close finish. Lullington Park batted first, and were dismissed for 237 as Joe Marson, Joe Hinder, Ross Parker and Benji Lawrence took two wickets apiece. Despite the best efforts of Will Hinder (26), Callum Morrell (27), Jack Pope (27) and Alfie Morris (58), we were dismissed for 232 and an agonising five run defeat.
The second team travelled to Streetly who batted first, totalling 256-8 in 40 overs as Richard James (3-50) and Duncan Horobin (3-30) got amongst the wickets for us. A solid batting effort in reply saw our reply finish on 188-5 as Sam Horobin (26), Mohammed Shafiq (38), Jim Horobin (39) and James (33 not out) all contributed well despite the 68-run defeat.
I had a mixed day on Saturday in the second team at Walsall after the olds team had won the pre-match football yet again thanks to a hat trick from Waseem Shah on debut, putting himself firmly in the shop window during transfer deadline week… I then unpacked my kit and realised I’d managed to forget my playing trousers - one panic later, and the offer of a borrowed pair from captain Rich James (with elastic and tie cord of dubious strength, which would surely have meant them spending more time around my ankles!) declined, I headed to a fortunately close sports shop to purchase a new pair after we lost the toss and were asked to bat first, ensuring a hefty fine and retaining the “Muppet of the Week” hat before a ball had been bowled…
A dozen with the bat down the order as I struggled to time the ball properly, an early catch not given whilst keeping wicket, another catch taken and a missed stumping with the scores level along with a painful finger sustained off the second ball of our fielding innings, coupled with a hefty defeat for the team made for not the best of days!
As we enter the final third of the season, all teams still have plenty to play for and can hopefully have a strong finish to the season.