Ratna and Woods tons set up fine ‘Cricket Week’ win.
Sutton CC Mid-Week XI: 269-4 declared in 41-overs, beat The Paralytics CC, 220 all out in 53-overs, by 49-runs.
The Paralytics is a notable local wandering cricket club who ordinarily, play midweek cricket, mostly against clubs in Surrey and surrounds. They are often seen delighting spectators and members of many regional clubs, especially during club Cricket Weeks.
Sutton Cricket Club was pleased to welcome the ’Paras’ players, officials, and followers to Cheam Road yesterday, thanking them especially for turning out on a Saturday! By doing so, the Paralytics CC fulfilled one of Sutton’s, ‘lost’, 2020 cricket week fixtures; and the club is extremely grateful to them. Long may they continue their cricketing ethos!
A lovely late September afternoon greeted players and officials to Cheam Road yesterday. There were many spectators lining the boundary, (social distancing observed, of course,) to witness what is traditionally the fixture that rounds off Sutton CC’s ‘Cricket Week’.
Skipper for the day, Josh Blake, having observed the well-prepared wicket, elected to bat after winning the toss. This week Rehan Ratnasapabathy accompanied Sam Woods to the crease. After 30.5 overs of making merry, the two had accumulated 200-runs in an opening wicket partnership that simply blitzed the Paralytics bowling. At that stage Ratnasapabathy stood on 99 off 93-balls and Woods 93 off 92-balls.
At 202-0, after clipping a single to square off Ian Walters, Ratnasapabathy retired out, on 100 skilful and entertainingly made runs, to be replaced by skipper Blake. Surprisingly, for the club’s 2020 run machine, Blake was out first ball, caught at the wicket by Antony Down off the forever cagey bowling of Chris Page.
Etinder Bopara joined Woods at the crease and at 217-2 Woods, continuing his good work from last week’s game, achieved his adroitly composed ton in exactly 100-balls, and duly retired out as well.
Enjoyable cameos from Bopara, 32 off 29, stumped Downs, chasing Page, and from Joe Lunn, 26 not out, off 19, ensured Blake could declare the Sutton innings upon reaching a challenging score of 269-4 off just 41-overs.
The Paralytics’ top order worked hard to set a foundation for the inevitable assault on the target, with opener Driscoll holding the Paralytics innings together nicely. Senior colt, Aiden Sheridan, (11-0-66-2) had nipped in with 2-wickets as the Paras reached 127-3 from 30-overs.
Blake had replaced Kumar’s effective left arm spin, (14-3-44-1) in the 29th over by bringing on ‘big gun’ Sagar Joshi, (5-1-17-2). In the 31st over Joshi, steaming in, was on a hat-trick after George Duckworth caught Cooper (13 from 25) in the deep and next ball, sent Driscoll’s stumps flying, (56 from 85).
At 5.30pm and after 33-overs, the umpires called for a minimum 20-overs in the final hour of play, as the Paralytics, looking the worse for wear, were tottering on 127-5.
Down (20 no) and Walters staged a 5th wicket recovery with an enterprising stand of 55 runs in 9-overs. Then Joe Lunn held on for a stonking catch at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Walters (33 from 36) off the bowling of Kumar. Page, who began to dig-in immediately as only Page can, joined Down, who was starting to open-up. He was especially severe on Duckworth, brought back for the 15th of the final 20-overs.
With the score standing at 214-6, Blake brought on the right-arm spin of Sam Woods for the 16th of the final 20, and 3-balls later, Page (1 from 19) fell victim to a sharp Bopara slip catch. At 214-7 Richard Clark joined Down.
Next over Duckworth (8-2-43-1) got his revenge on Down, caught by Chat Premasinghe at mid-wicket, for a highly competent 51. After a maiden in the 18th of the final 20, Woods took the ball for the closing over. Second ball and it was 220-9 as Clark fell LBW; and since No.11 was absent, the game was over. A win to Sutton CC’s Mid-Week XI by 49-runs. Woods ended the game with bowling stats of 2.2-1-0-2. Not a bad afternoon’s work given his earlier exploits with the bat!
Part of the challenge of many ‘wandering games’, such as this one, is to ensure that the day sees a ‘perfect’ game of cricket, leaving all results possible as late into the game as possible. Ideally, the winning runs will be scored, or the last wicket will fall in the concluding few balls of the day. This takes a little bit of imagination from the captains, who also need to ensure that all players get as equal an opportunity as possible in the games.
Both skippers on the day, Anthony Down and Josh Blake, deserve much credit for the way they deployed their respective teams during the game, thus producing thoroughly entertaining cricket for the many spectators at Cheam Road to enjoy, in addition to ensuring that all results were possible late into the game.
From beginning to end, an engaging and fun day’s cricket. Congratulations to all involved.