|Saturday 3rd June 2006 vs Great Gaddesden C.C.|
|International Effort from Washington|
|Washington C.C.||202-8 (40 overs)|
|Great Gaddesden C.C.||188-11 (40 overs)|
Peter Kloss Reporting
Three fine performances from two New Zealanders and a West Indian ensured a Washington victory last Saturday. Kiwi Tony Harris hit 91 to be the backbone of the Wash innings, and then Neil Martin (3-24, New Zealand), and Taran Persaud (3-38, West Indies) turned in excellent bowling performances to restrict opponents Great Gaddesden.
Opening the innings, Harris took control from the start, scored fluently and was unlucky not to get his century, being bowled attempting to push the scoring rate even further. At the mid-point Washington were not convinced the 203 target they had set Great Gaddesden was enough on the best batting wicket they had seen all season. However accurate swing bowling from Martin, and steady spin from Persaud ensured that Gaddesden left themselves with too much to do in the final overs. Both bowlers bagged three wickets in the process. Skipper Peter Kloss was delighted with the outcome and the performance of his truly international team, also comprising South Africans and Australians, as well as some Englishmen.
Summer had finally arrived, with glorious sunshine and shirt-sleeve temperatures to match. The Washington captain won the toss and chose to have first use of the green, but hard and even pitch. His decision appeared to be vindicated when Washington reached 95 from the first 17 overs, with David Gluckman (8) the only casualty. By this time Tony Harris was in full flow, batting beautifully with his stock shots of the straight drive and the pull through mid-wicket. He and Paul Irons (31, including three big 6s) put on a partnership of 62 for the second wicket before Irons skied one and was caught. However the situation might have been very different for Harris as he was dropped by the wicket keeper very early in his innings when the keeper “lost the ball in the sun”.
Brad Hitchcock (16) supported Harris for a few overs, but then Washington had a middle order collapse, losing 4 wickets for only 14 runs. The procession of victims were Nigel Bakhai (5), Lee Fogarty (5), Graeme Lilwall (0) and Taran Persaud (2). Russell Pendry (16*) and Peter Kloss (7*) then steadied the innings and pushed the score on past the 200 mark in the final 4 overs.
At tea Washington felt their 202 runs were no more than par for the situation and did wonder over their sandwiches whether the score would be enough. However a close finish, as always seems to be the case between these closely matched sides, was apparently on the cards again.
Great Gaddesden started their innings cautiously and scored slowly initially. Richard Jones (0-19) and Neil Martin (3-24) bowled with good control, and left arm medium-pacer Martin also got the ball to swing considerably into the right handed batsman. At times Martin was unplayable, and got two of his three victims at the wicket – bowled and LBW. After 16 overs Great Gaddesden were only 60 for 3, well behind the pace. New boy Kumaren Naidoo (1-41) bowled a steady spell of left arm medium pace and Peter Kloss (1-33) and Russell Pendry (0-12) chipped in with a few overs. These bowlers were a little expensive however, allowing Gaddesden batsmen Fendick and Higgins to score at close to the required rate.
Spinner Taran Persaud (3-38) then came on and slowed the pace of the ball right down. This turned out to be exactly what was needed, the batsmen having to hit the ball rather than using the pace of the faster bowlers. In the context of the run chase situation Persaud bowled excellently. Maintaining his line and length, and turning the ball significantly, he bowled to his field, restricting batsmen to singles mainly. Washington also fielded well, returning the ball in from the boundary promptly and efficiently. Persaud used his flight and guile to good effect, two of his wickets being stumped off wide balls as the batsmen came down the wicket to attack.
At the death Great Gaddesden had left themselves too much to do, requiring 39 from the final 4 overs. Paul Irons (3-17) bowled at the close with Persaud and reaped the benefit of the batsmen desparately throwing the bat to gain three wickets for himself. There was a little panic in the Washington ranks at the end with a couple of overthrows going astray, but the team regained their composure and ran out winners by 14 runs.
Great Gaddesden then put on an excellent barbeque for the Washington visitors on this clear, but slightly chilly summer's evening. Both sides mused over the closeness of the games between the two sides, there being at least a couple which have gone to the last ball in the past.
Peter Kloss said “I was glad this game wasn't as close as some we've had here – it's all rather nerve racking! I think we all enjoyed today. The weather was excellent, everyone got a game, and I was really pleased we could play 13-a-side. Great Gaddesden is definitely a fixture not to be missed”.
Washington departed for Belsize Park, looking forward to the next visit to Great Gaddesden, in mid-August.
Man of the match: Tony Harris, for 91 runs, the bedrock of the Washington innings
Packing the kit: Neil Martin, for choosing baseball in New York, rather than cricket in North London
Washington: Tony Harris, David Gluckman, Paul Irons, Brad Hitchcock (+), Nigel Bakhai, Lee Fogarty, Graeme Lilwall, Taran Persaud, Russell Pendry, Peter Kloss (c), Neil Martin, Kumaren Naidoo, Richard Jones