1st XI- Winning draw against Long Ditton
In an important game at the top of the table, Hampton Hill batted first and got off to a good start at 68-1. Before a consistent fall of wickets meant the Hills innings stuttered. However, a good partnership towards the end between James Boulton (22) and Jake Wood (50*) took the Hill to 192.
However much like the 2s Long Ditton lost a few early wickets, one a piece for James Robottom and James Boulton, and it felt as if they would then shut up shop. A 100 run partnership but an end to any chance of the Hill winning. Although coming away with a winning draw.
Player of the Match: Jake Wood 50 off 38 deliveries
2nd XI- Winning draw against Merton
Going to the IKEA in Brent/Visiting Kingston for any shopping related activity whatsoever/Filling in a tax return/Watching Emmerdale/ Watching paint dry/Loading the dishwasher for the fourth time in a day/Watching Countryfile.
These are all events that have significantly higher excitement levels to what was witnessed at the Bushy Park Kentuckydrome on Saturday. It had all the ingredients. Rampant 3rd team watching with a few beers. Shortish boundary. 40 overs to score 190. What is not to like. Well Merton no Likey. No Likey at all! From the off it was clear they wanted a bore draw of epic proportions. I am not even going to report on the innings apart from a shout to DC who managed to prize two of the limpets out before the close of play. Exworth snaring the only other wicket. The only excitement coming in the last over when JC took his pads off to become the 11th bowler, we used in our quest to find a wicket. It is quite sad that the toss of a coin can influence the enjoyment of a game. By all means shut up shop when you have had a go. But not from ball 1. Have they not seen me bowl?
The game started a bit late with us batting 44 overs. It was tough out there as the rain had resulted in a sticky wicket. It is testament to our batting this year that we made a very competitive total. Everyone is putting their bat up this season and saying I will contribute. Henry ‘The Newton’ Savage being the latest to do so. This was the best innings I have seen from him. Concentration, excellent shot selection and superb running. It was great to watch. Anybody can score easy runs but for me runs made in this context mean so much more. He was joined by his brother who produced a classy and as fluent as you will see in these conditions, innings of 60 odd. Flat feeling after the game on Saturday and Sunday night. But we go again and go hard next week against Kempton. We are still top but not by many. This is where we prove ourselves. I cannot wait!
Player of the Match: Tough choice but Henry Newton-Savage for his anchoring well-judged knock.
3rd XI- beat Ripley by 7 wickets
The Hill won the toss on a damp pitch under no cover looking like a bit of a green top.
Luckily the weather cleared meaning that we avoided another game cancelled against bottom of the league it would’ve been easy for Hampton Hill to let their foot off the gas.
However we got off to a great start when Tahir Butt bowled some good areas on a wet deck that was difficult to score on. Whilst also helping the runs dry up Taz picked up 4-10 off 8 overs.
Taz was also assisted by Warren Carr the experienced spinner helped build pressure through dot balls and was rewarded with figures of 3-15 off 9 overs.
Runs throughout were tough to come by. However, a couple of decent partnerships frustrated the Hill with lots of shots just falling short of fielders.
Good bowling as well from Max Goubert and James Johnson really deserved some more luck.
A run out from Adam Oliver denied Taz of a 5fer when the last wicket fell from a direct hit as a good first innings for the Hill came to an end.
In what seemed to be on paper the strongest 3rd XI for a seriously long time, the Hill got off to a great start.
Massimo Campanale, who turned up and had to make sure his whites were sprayed with deodorant to show he was ready, and Jordan Gomez opened the batting and got Hampton Hill off to the perfect start including one of the easiest looking sixes I’ve ever seen.
However, Massimo was then removed for 12 when he tried to sneak a single however some clever fielding and a direct hit saw the end of the entertaining innings.
Jordan was the next man out chopping on after a good knock of 20. Omar Saleemi was perhaps also unfortunate to glove one back onto his own stumps.
However, then an assured partnership from Paul Thornley and Adam Oliver saw the Hill home with a professional performance to keep them in the promotion push.
Luckily, we were then back to the club to watch some good interesting, timed cricket!
Player of the Match: Tahir Butt with figures of 4-10 off 8 overs
4th XI- lost to Valley End by 65 runs
The 4s won the toss against Valley End and chose to bowl.
Unfortunately, the need for catching practice continued with their best opener being dropped twice early on, before making 77. Some solid bowling by Zonners and Fallows kept the rate reasonable as did some nice off spin from Sury. Although the Hill got into the wickets with Louis McCartney getting 2 and Jerry Fallows 2 including two smart catches from Lewis behind the sticks, Valley End got to the 200 mark.
Hill started nicely and Fergus and Farooq got us to 40 without loss from 9. Then the all too familiar story kicked in and wickets fell. Zonners and Sykes made 20’s but that is all that’s worth saying about the batting and Hill ended on 140 so.
Player of the Match: Pete Zonneveld with a good 36
5th XI- tied with Hampton Wick
It was under grey skies at St James' School with rain falling as softly as a fluffy bunny that the group of stragglers collectively known as the Hampton Hill 5XI came together to play the mighty Hampton Wick 5XI. 'Mighty' because in the estimate of the opposition captain, his team were 'pretty strong'. So strong, in fact, that he suggested they bat first as he worried, they would skittle us out in a few overs and his stout yeomen could do with the batting practice.
It started well for us. By the end of 10 overs, tight bowling by Tommy Rance and slightly less tight bowling by Arsh Ahuja had restricted Wick's run rate to only 3 an over with Arsh taking a wicket through a stunning catch at gully by Sam Walter. Will Smith took advantage of a suicidal call by Wick to pick up and deliver a good throw from extra cover to run out their second batsman.
Will Aust and Ellie McCartney picked up where Tommy and Arsh left off with more excellent bowling. Will got genuine turn from the wicket and, after two balls reminiscent of Shane Warne's magic ball in the 1984 Headingly Test, a look entered the batmen's eyes that can only be described as - and I kid you not, dear Reader - FEAR.
Will finished a spell of 7 overs with 3 wickets for 25 runs while Ellie, the pick of the day's bowlers with her unremitting line and length, was sadly unrewarded although her 4 overs for only 10 runs speaks for the quality of her effort.
Such was the depth of our bowling that 4 others turned their arm in the innings: Joseph Steel, Jamie Hillier, Sam Walter and Will Smith. Jamie and Joseph put in good shifts of 6 and 4 overs respectively with Sam and Will mopping up. Sam's mopping up was exactly that by taking a hat-trick, all three of whom were stumped (out of a total of 5 stumpings in the innings). The first was perhaps the most satisfying as the batsman, having missed it, went wandering off down the wicket and, when Neil threw down his stumps, was subsequently heard to complain that it wasn't fair; it was a friendly and you don't do that in a friendly. Wrong!
And so, the batting began. A reasonable start with about 30 on the board before the first wicket. Sudipta soon followed. Having turned down the chance to bowl to save his energy for batting, he ignored the advice of his captain to hit the ball along the ground and chipped his first ball to mid-off with all the accuracy and assuredness of the person at the top of the leader board playing their final pitching wedge onto the green at the 18th at St Andrews of the final day of the British Open. Although Sudpita must be credited with a sharp piece of fielding that resulted in the running out of the final Wick batsman, following his dismissal he made perhaps his greatest contribution to the day, umpiring for the next 19 overs.
It is hard to praise strongly enough the batting of Arsh whose innings of 75 was an exemplar of control and judgement (except, that is, for the ball that got him out which was a frightful shot). As satisfying as his power hitting was seeing the Wick field settings operating like a set of oversized lungs on an exhausted runner, expanding to the boundary then contracting in towards the wicket depending on whether Arsh of one of his supporting batsmen was facing.
And it is important to mention the supporting batsmen, (not by name as they know who they are) because they kept the scoreboard ticking over and by the time of the final over, we only had 4 to get to win.
And the story of the final over is the stuff of legends - or at least a mini-saga. Wick, suddenly concerned, brought back their fastest bowler - a spear chucker of a youth who claimed only to have bowled three times this season. He did for Phil Wimblett who everyone had been backing for a thick edge past 1st slip for four but instead he lost his middle stump to a yorker. Tommy Rance came in and squirted one to 3rd man. Tommy shot down for a run and then, coming back for a second, demonstrated that he has the turning circle of an oil tanker. Run out!
And then Ellie McCartney: Two to win, one wicket left, all results possible. Spearchucker delivered; Ellie prodded towards point and set off; she and Joseph Steel made it. One to tie, two to win. Last ball: Joseph Steel missed but Ellie was already half way down the wicket; Joseph responded to the run, wicketkeeper fumbled; both made their ground.
A tie! Even the hordes of Omnium could scarce forebear to cheer!
And so. A really enjoyable game, played in a great spirit for which Hampton Wick must also take credit and our thanks. Most importantly, the younger players are showing a growing intelligence and game awareness in the way they approach and play the game.
Player of the Match: Arsh Ahuja with a blistering 75
Sunday away XI- lost to Sanford by 67 runs
Sanford elected to bat and posted 151, a respectable score on a damp pitch and a slow outfield. The HHCC bowlers all performed well with six of the bowlers taking a wicket. Taz (7-1-13-2) and Richard Longley (6-2-13-2) led the way and Andrew Blair took 2 wickets at the death. Adam Fahey took a smart stumping and Andrew Blair a good catch.
The Hill struggled to make headway against Sanford bowling spearheaded by an accurate seam attack. Extra’s top scored with 23; Taz was our top scoring batsman with a quickly struck 16 comprised of two 6s and a 4. Had he not been run out and gone on for a few overs, we may have offered to threaten the Sanford score.
Player of the Match: Tahir Butt with figures of 2-13 from 7 overs
U21 XI lost to Barnes by 7 wickets.
On a day where the excitement to watch England was starting to build however there was a more important crucial game for the Hill.
However much like Italy the Hill got off to the worst start possible when Rich Benett was removed early doors, Oisin was next to follow with an accurate nip backer.
Skipper Sam Fullicks was also removed, credit to Barnes however for some very accurate bowling giving away very few chances for the Hampton Hill batsmen.
Adam Oliver tried to battle through however before a mix up between him and Ed Newton-Savage compounded the woes of the Hill.
Jake Wood was the only Hill batsman to show any sign of comfort, before then holding out to the man at mid-off.
He would want the mention a small positive moment was the 6 over mid-off hit by Tom Coates but was then out to balls later going for a similar shot.
Wickets continued to fall as the Hill were all out for 43.
Despite the low total the Hill tried to remain up for it when going out to field.
One of the major positives was the bowling of Tommy Rance who bowled great areas and made sure that it was as difficult as possible for the Barnes batsmen to chase it down.
Max Goubert also bowled well up front and capitalised on confusion from the batsmen to get the run out, but the Hill were massively short on a good pitch to bat on.
The Hill will need to bounce back with the return of Richmond, hopefully with no dodgy square legs like last time!
Player of the Match: In a game of very few positives Tommy Rance bowled with great accuracy picking up 2-11.