Our back-to-back, away-then-home games against Strongroom could not have been more different* battles.
Away in Highgate Woods was a tense, heavy, dank, low-scoring affair. It was like close combat, with fortunes fluctuating and ending in narrow, intensely annoying defeat. On the vast plain of Turney Road, with clouds galloping across the sky, it was a different sort of war; distant and open, with Strongroom launching a barrage of shells onto the gardens backing onto the pitch and looping grenades into the no man’s land between our stationed fielders.
Battered and weary, we dropped the catches that came our way after Tom and Mike had held early promising chances (if these hands, typing this report had caught that catch off Piers, who knows what may have happened). Rob, Rich and Piers were the pick of the eight bowlers used; the Chancellor took his traditional first-over wicket with his highly effective whizz-bangs. However, the target of 254, two and a half times more-ish than that which we’d failed to reach the week before always looked a stretch.
Tea in the trenches of the TR pavilion was restorative (Battenberg always is, isn’t it?) and we went over the top reconciled to our fate but keen to confront the enemy and inflict a little damage. And, at 78 for 2, some of the hard yards had been won. But we hadn’t spotted sniper Ridwan, who picked us off one by one (seven overs for just 12 runs and three wickets). Tom battled hard for a very good 59.
On another day, our 168 would have been a decent total. JE
*One similarity, Antoni reported late for duty in both. Oh, and they beat us in both.
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