5s held to Winning Draw
By Charles Martland
Adam Frais hits brilliant hundred; another 3 wickets for Nirusha
The 5s travelled to Highgate on Saturday and the morning got off to an inauspicious start, with the Audi sat nav sending Richard first into a garden centre car park, then to another ground altogether. Eventually, we arrived at Old Camdenians, a postage stamp of a strip on the wrong side of Mill Hill East. Winning a toss for once, Charles opted to bat and chase the 12 points, with short boundaries, the warm weather and late arrivals all playing a part in the decision. The Midd started well, Adam Frais and especially debutant Steve Philips tucking into the early buffet. Steve constructed a solid 24 before nicking off and youngster Linus was quickly bowled by their best player. Richard (40) rebuilt nicely, pushing the fielders and stroking some beautiful boundaries. His knock was ended thanks to a barbeque – the mid-season in July will currently be his 4th – and he had to trudge off ten shy of a deserved half century. Adam kept going, accelerating past 50 and striking 5 bombs, three of which whistled into the trees over the bowlers’ heads. Will joined him for a father and son partnership, which was going nicely until a superb catch in the deep curtailed hopes of a family fun day. Adam soon went to a quite brilliant hundred and kept motoring, steaming to 128 before falling trying to clear cover. Charles (51*) added some late hitting, ably supported by U15 George Johnson and we declared on 296/6 from 46 overs, a pleasing effort.
Cornettos for tea, enough said.
Coming out to bowl, the Midd were buoyed by the prospect of 12 points and took comfort from Highgate’s own prediction of 80 all out. Despite a wayward start, things were going nicely, with Highgate soon three down, Nirusha continuing his excellent season (3/80) with two quick ones and Will (1/36) cleaning up their number 4. What followed was frustrating. Despite ringing the changes and setting fields to take wickets, Highgate dug deep and found a partnership over 25 overs which left us just too much to do. Opener Chris Fletcher made a chanceless century and was well supported by veteran Justin. We tried everything. A big mention to Harry Hayward on debut (0/14 from 6) who didn’t bowl a bad ball and could easily have had a couple of wickets. Mohammed Sultan found some rhythm and will develop as the season goes on. Eventually, we broke through, a Yorker from Sanjay. A run out from Rich, a stumping off Charles and we had a sniff. Sadly, we ran out of overs. They finished 8 down.
5 points against second bottom is disappointing in a way, but this performance was about so much more. 6 lads Under 15 or younger all contributed. We didn’t put a single catch down all day. We stuck at it and they batted well, to which they are entitled. Plenty of positives moving forward and getting a team out this week was a result in itself. Huge game v Finchley next Saturday. We stay top.