1st XI beat Ashford by 6 runs
The first XI of Hampton Hill donned their winter coats, snowshoes and bobbly hats as they made the trip to ‘the coldest cricket ground in the world’ – aka. Ashford CC. With the wind blowing any clouds out of sight, sun cream was a surprise order of the day as skipper James Newton Savage broke his duck of coin tosses and put The Hill into bat under the watchful eye of jumbo jet passengers taking off from Heathrow runway 2.
The wise words from the level 2 coaching manual our skipper of “the top three own the first twenty overs” seemed to fall on deaf ears, as both openers got us off to a quick start, but ultimately found fielders after getting themselves in. A particularly comical moment came early when number 3 Harry Coates’ chance of becoming a father took a blow after facing a few overs. He must have been keen to get some ice on his injured member/ego, as he too fell the very next delivery, holing out to mid-on. A period of consolidation ensued through a gritty and determined partnership between J. Newton Savage & R. Coates and the Hill looked on for a respectable score on what looked like a very good deck. After setting a decent platform, both were caught in the cordon and HHCC were now 124-5, just one determined lower-order partnership away from a par score. Alas, collectively we (your author included) did not show the bottle with only C. Newton Savage making it into double figures. We staggered along, with a hint of fortune, to 143 all out after some seriously erratic bowling and very useful extras. At 19 runs, extras were the fourth top scorer in the team, demonstrating clearly that it was a sub-par performance with the bat and didn’t we know it? However, would these extras come to haunt Ashford when they came out to bat? Why yes, they would.
“The job is only half done, boys”, came the words from the Ashford players as they left the field after the first innings, prematurely confident of their chances of victory. They’ve never seen the flying dutchman James Robottom and the seasoned pro Rob Fullicks on a hard and fast deck. After an opening stand of 26 for no loss, a supreme effort from this pair resulted in 7 wickets falling for 16 runs. A bowling partnership of the highest calibre, with all the victims being ‘proper wickets’ (whatever that means), and a special set of figures for the man made of glass (J. Robottom) of 10 overs, 5 wickets for 15 runs.
Ashford were reeling. The Hill jubilant – now confident themselves of a certain 20 boobs. Ashford didn’t stand a chance now, did they? Cometh the hour, cometh the man (or so his thinking went) as their skipper walked in, determined not to give his wicket away and sensibly wearing a helmet, unlike so many of his brash, confident forerunners – their choice of headgear reflected in their shot selection. Playing within himself, he guided his team close to the hundred mark before succumbing himself to his counterpart, snicking a tempting wide half volley, snaffled safely at slip. A side note that it was an excellent fielding performance with not a single catch dropped – what’s that proverb so often used in this situation? It escapes your author…
With spin from both ends, Ashford’s tail slowly ticked closer to the total – overs weren’t a concern. Could the Hill get the wickets? Why yes, we could, but only thanks to a choice of shot that only the batsman at the time knows what was going through his mind. LBW to the injured H. Coates (feeling much better now), trying to sweep when we had two men riding the deep square leg boundary. Shades of Shannon Gabriel ca. 2017, with “Why did he do that?!” being the cry from commentary box/his teammates on the boundary.
So, there was 1 wicket in hand, with less than 20 runs to get. It was a nail biter! Ashford came within a heroic whisker of getting away with it, before their number 11 chipped the ball back to H. Coates the bowler. Pandemonium ensued as said batsman tried to claim a bump ball. But Peter Davies is too experienced an umpire to fall for this sort of malfeasance. Hampton Hill had won by 6 runs. Surely it will go down as a classic for the ages, and I look forward to watching the replays on Sky Sports Classics in years to come.
A big shout out to the sportsmanship of the oppo, buying the Hill multiple jugs and talking over what really was a superb game of cricket. Something you only see in a fellow ‘salt of the earth’ club, who haven’t come into loads of money and lost touch with their roots. Well played all around and we look forward to returning the hospitality on the return leg!
Player of the Match: James ‘The Rocket’ Robottom for a fiery spell of 5-15 from 10 overs including 4 maidens
2nd XI beat Lingfield by 209 runs
After winning yet another toss, skipper JP decided to bat against promoted Lingfield on a glorious day in the park. Openers Jake Wood and JC started positively and put on 60 for the 1st wicket before Woody was caught behind off the bowling off Calver for 22. The arrival of the 'Wall' Stuart Barrs James saw another solid partnership of 58 for the 2nd wicket before a rash shot from JC saw him caught out for 71.
There continued to be a succession of solid partnerships and spectacular shots throughout the innings, with excellent runs contributed by SBJ (34), JP (60 off 66 balls), Tom 'Rose Cottage' Coates (60 off 34 balls) and HNS (25 off 21 balls) allowing the Hill to amass a massive 311 for 5 off their 50 overs. MOTM Tom Coates was particularly impressive, dispatching the Lingfield attack to all corners, although he didn't quite have the strength to hit any 6s!
Lingfield were soon in trouble against the Ginger pace attack of Mike Murton (2-22 off 6) and Oliver Fallows (3-20 off 8) and were soon reduced to 18-4, Fallows being particularly aggressive and hostile with his bowling and his 'chat'! Lingfield were always in trouble against a run rate of 6 per over and never got close to troubling the HIll; further wicket contributions from Ian 'Nuno' Exworth (2-24) and wickets for JP, James 'Gilo' Everett and Dave Coates bringing the Lingfield innings to an end at 102 all out.
A good workout for the Hill, with contributions across the park from everyone contributing to a solid performance and extending our winning start to 6 out of 6. Next up, we play the final 50/50 game against Stoke D'Abernon before we move into a run of timed games. #Upthehill.
Player of the Match: Tom Coates with a blistering 60 off 34 deliveries
3rd XI beat Staines & Laleham by 138 runs
On a hot day captain Nally was going to bat first although losing the toss made his life even easier when The Hill were put into bat.
The Hill got off to a bad start when Ajmal Bhatti dabbed the ball perfectly to first slip
However, then a very good partnerships between Oisin and Ed Cindery saw the Hill balance back into a good position.
Both getting half centuries Ed was then removed for 52, Oisin continued his fine innings.
James Johnson then joined Oisin at the crease and continued the fine tempo of the innings smashing a fine 42 off 25 deliveries.
Oisin was then sadly removed for 96 on his 3rd XI debut chipping the ball back to the bowler in what was a very good innings to watch throughout.
Some quick cameos all round meant that Hampton Hill got to 261 which was thought to be a good score. On a quality pitch and a lightning quick outfield.
Off the back of a bowling performance of 23 all out last week a similar start from both Tahir Butt and George Barrett put Staines & Laleham under pressure with lots of runs to chase.
A comical run out which included some smart thinking from Lewis Cole saw the ball loop in the air and the batsmen for some reason running and was miles out of his crease.
After a good opening spell first change bowlers of James Johnson and Joe Ayley helped carry on building the pressure set out by the openers.
Joe Ayley continued his fine form of the season picking up 4-28 off 9 overs. James Johnson also was rewarded for bowling great areas picking up 2-30 off 6 overs.
Max Goubert then bowled well towards the end, picking up a wicket with a fantastic in swinging delivery to beat the Staines and Laleham batsman all ends up.
Tahir then wrapped up another dominant victory for the Hill in a 138-run victory which was a bigger margin than last week.
The Hill are now seeing themselves climbing up the table after a shaky start to the season.
Player of the Match: Oisin Shrivastava with this fine match winning 96. Also, a special mention to Joe Ayley for his 4-28 off 9 overs.
4th XI lost to Sunbury by 89 runs
The 4s won the toss and chose to bowl against Sunbury. Some rather loose opening bowling kept the extras ticking over and the Sunbury batsman happy. After steadying it a bit with some spin from Will Aust and Jerry Fallowes, Sunbury had 80 on the board at drinks. The second 20, however The Hill allowed Sunbury to push on and end on 210 from 40.
Some tidier bowling from Will and Dan Mac the highlight. The HHCC batting struggled against a consistent Sunbury attack and wickets tumbled. Only Neil Baverstock who carried his bat on 20 no, made any impact. Hill ended their innings 89 short for 9 down.
Player of the Match: Will Aust - 2/27 from 8 overs.
5th XI lost to Putney by 43 runs.
Putney won toss and chose to bat
HHCC opened with Ellie Mccartney and Tommy Rance who kept it very tidy for 8 overs (TR good pace). Tommy took the first wicket with a beauty that hit top of off stump. Arsh bowled some good balls but too many loose ones but then final over was a wicket maiden with great diving catch from Tommy at point. Ben Blackshire bowled good hostile spell with some swing culminating in 2 wickets in last over (excellent catch above his head on the cover boundary by Charlie Murphy—was going like a tracer bullet for 6) and top of middle stump 3 balls later for the new batsman.
Louis McCartney bowled a maiden then 2 balls into 2nd over went down like a sniper had shot him (we were all looking for the smoke on the grassy knoll!) …. torn groin, had to limp off and luckily Jamie Hillier had come to watch, with the Putney Skip kindly letting us bring him on as a sub.
Charlie went for some tap in his first 2 overs but came back strongly changing to pace from spin to tighten up his last over. Mallet had bowled the rest of Louis McCartney’s over and then bowled a few loose ones but then proved the old adage “where there is one there is 2” but getting another chance snaffled by Charlie (he doesn’t drop much!) and then plumb LBW which the batsmen was really angry at his own umpire about!! Was quite amusing!
Their best batsman was knocking us around, so brought myself on and bowled him with Ellie and Tommy getting the extra overs to limit them to 170 (Ellie with a wicket maiden in the last over).
Gavin and Nish opened with a lot of swishes and misses from Nish who after a tireless fielding stint standing at first slip and not moving much then had to retire on 16 due to fatigue when Gavin called a few singles! Gavin then unfortunately top edged a pull to the keeper.
Jamie batted at 4 instead of Louis but hit across the line and was bowled which left Mallet and Charlie to begin the chase for real. Mallet ended up 34 and batted valiantly chasing the score but in truth we went for 20 too many in the bowling and just could not get their excellent (my 1 over bowler apart) tight bowling away. The Hill came up short for loss of 4 wickets. (129).
Player of the Match: Will “Mallet” Smith for 2 wickets, lots of chasing in the field and good effort in the chase with 34.
Mentions for Tommy and Ben in bowling with Charlie 17 not out in the batting.
Sunday Away XI lost to Kingstonian by 8 wickets
HHCC won the toss in this 40 over game and posted a competitive total with Ajmal Bhatti anchoring the innings with a well-made 56. Nitin Chhibbar provided good support with 30 and an unbroken partnership of 50 between Tom Magalhaes (32*) and Naved Nakhwa (29*) took the Hill to a somewhat larger total than at one time seemed likely.
Our opening bowlers Taz and Arsh were the pick of our attack with Arsh claiming the 2 wickets to fall. After the first few tight overs, Kingstonian always seemed to have the chase under control and reached their target with six overs to spare.
Player of the Match: Ajmal Bhatti with 56
Sunday Home XI beat the Coaches XI by 46 runs
A day like no other I've witnessed at Bushy Park. The coaches out early as usual for the 10 am coaching session and an under 9 game where HHCC beat Teddington by 20 runs...a great omen for the day ahead.
This was followed by an inter club under 13 match involving Jit's squad. A fantastic two hours interspersed with superb batting, aggressive bowling, amazing catching but at the heart of it all, fantastic team spirit. With the under 13 game going down to the wire, it was especially poignant to hear the children themselves involved making sure that the last over went to the person whose turn it was to bowl, not the person most likely to win the match. This would have made Jit especially proud and the game finishing a tie was just the most special celebration it could have been.
Cue Ian and Nigel speaking on behalf of Jits's family and friends at the club. Jit’s family have kindly set up a fund in his honour and this window allowed everybody to pause for a few minutes to remember the impact Jit had on so many of us. The money raised has allowed us to buy our new net for the club and it was fantastic to see children playing in the net throughout the day.
So, to the first innings of the match between the club and the coaches. The club batted first and got off to a slow start with both openers going back cheaply. The club XI then rebuilt with Rob Fullicks and Ed Newton Savage combining to score at a steady pace to put the innings back on track, both batting beautifully. The innings was interspersed with some super batting, tidy bowling from all 10 bowlers and Tom Hampton's brilliant run outs and catches but the total of 195/8 was always going to be a challenging one for the coaches.
Between innings, a clearly motivated Sian Clan took on a coaches 8 man team in a softball pairs challenge. Some brilliant cricket showed the passion and enthusiasm of Jit's family and friends competing against a coaches team led by Rick Stevenson. The Sian clan came out on top but once again, the game was a real tribute to the memory of Jit.
Finally the coaches XI started their chase of the 195. Some tight bowling from the colts in the club XI made it a difficult challenge from the start. Several batsmen got in but none went on to make the big score that was going to allow the coaches to challenge the club XI score. Wickets fell at key times and it seemed that the 195 was always going to be too many for the coaches to chase down and they finished 46 runs short.
So, lots of great cricket played in the spirit of Jit and a wonderful day in the sunshine at Hampton Hill. More importantly, an opportunity for many different "families" within Jit's life to come together and celebrate his impact on us all. What Sunday gave Jit's family and friends was a chance to say a proper goodbye and allow us all to reflect on the positive contribution he made on all our lives...I think it’s a day he would have enjoyed.
Player of the Match: Arjan Sian bowled very well for figures of 1-33