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Saturday 26 Sept v Khukuri, Barnes Common – LOST by 120 runs

Khukuri 258-5 (35 overs, Khem Sah 89, Bishes 56 not out, Ji 45, Mike Ottley 2-39, Cracker McCracken 2-42)
Bricklayer’s Arms 138 all out (30.2 overs, Yogi Patel 26, Mohammed Waqas 26, Sunny Lall 21, Khem Sah 3-2, Subash Aryal 3-27)

For our last game of the season Mike Ottley managed to secure us Barnes Common to play a favourite against our own Nepalese contingent, It was cold, windy, and we lost heavily, but it was great fun to sign off with.

Greg Tremain lost the toss and Tara Thapa put us into the field, minus a late-running Ottley and a late-sleeping Waqas. Khukuri lent us two subs and Greg began perforce with pace from both ends from Sunny Lall and Paul Meek. Khem Sah got going immediately, relishing the pink ball, short boundaries and too many short-pitched deliveries. After five overs the score was 40, after 10, 76, as Khem raced to fifty off 29 balls.

Dropped catches in the outfield didn’t help, and the score had passed 100 before Greg turned to Mike Ottley, who claims Khem as his bunny. Sure enough in Mike’s second over Khem fell lbw for 89 against the man who always gets him out. By then the score was 124 in the 16th over, but in the 18th Ottley got a second wicket as No 3 Raz skied to Yogi Patel at deep extra cover, He and Mike Derks, who registered our only maiden, put the brakes on somewhat, though a missed stumping denied Ottley a third victim. Instead our next wicket fell to a great piece of fielding by Paul Meek who took a fine catch at long on off Cracker McCracken to send back remaining opener Ji.

That was 160-3 after 26 overs, which meant we’d taken 3-36 off ten overs. But now came big-hitting Bishes, who we managed to drop twice in the deep while he was in single figures. Our next breakthrough came instead from Cracker at fine leg, who threw down the stumps to run out No 4 Bikram to make Khukuri 191-4 in the 31st over. Twelve came from each of the next three overs to spoil Ottley and Cracker’s figures, but on 224 in the 34th over Cracker did get Tara Thapa out mishooking as Chris Locke twisted mid-air to take a diving catch to his right. But with still no sign of Waqas and having miscounted the overs, Greg had to bowl the last himself, and Bishes hoisted his own fifty with some huge sixes as 25 more went on to the total to set us a daunting 259.

Yogi Patel and Greg began our reply, with Yogi hitting two fours in the first over. But Greg then chose to leave the last ball of the over, which skidded into his off stump – the first of many such low blows as the pitch misbehaved. With the skipper gone for a duck Sunny Lall and Yogi set about rebuilding, adding 50 to take us to 62-1 after 10 overs. At this point Khem came on to wreck our innings. First he got Sunny bowled by another low bounce for 21, then in his next over trapped Yogi lbw for 26 and had Cracker hitting to cover for a duck. The latter two wickets fell on 67, and when at the same score debutant Bhavya Babel (5) gloved to the keeper off Bishes we had lost four wickets for five runs in 19 balls.

At least Waqas had now arrived, and he and Paul Meek took us to 91 before Waqas called Paul for a run on a wide that was never there#. Paul was gone for 3, but Waqas did make some amends with a couple of sixes before he too fell bowled for 26 by one from Subash Aryal that kept low. That was 112-7, which became 119-7 when Ian Bridgford was lbw for 5. Mike Derks’s long vigil was then ended by a superb low catch by Tara off Subash for 6 to put us 123-9.

The field now ringed the last pair of Mike Ottley and Chris Locke, but aided by a couple of Ottley boundaries they put on 15 before Chris, who’d been dropped by Khem and spared a run-out by Anil Basnet, found his luck ran out when he missed one which took off stump. He’d made 1, leaving Mike 11 not out.

Much mutual congratulation followed on a fine match and season as we gathered for the photo. Thanks to all for your kind messages and your part in making this late summer’s cricket happen.           

Khukuri won toss and batted

Khukuri 258-5 
Ji c Meek b McCracken 45 (4×4, 70 balls)
Khem Sah lbw b Ottley 89 (2×6, 14×4, 53 balls)
Raz c Patel b Ottley 0 (9 balls)
Bikram run out 32 (4×4, 35 balls)
Bishes not out 56 (6×6, 1×4, 26 balls)
Tara Thapa c Locke b McCracken 14 (2×4, 12 balls)
Bittu Pramod not out 3 (3 balls)
Anil Basnet, Janax, Subash Aryal and Subin did not bat
Extras (b5, lb1, w11, nb2) 19
FALL OF WICKETS 124 (2,16) 126 (3,18) 160 (1,26) 191 (4,31) 224 (6,34)
RUN RATE 76-0 (10) 133-2 (20) 190-3 (30)
BOWLING Sunny Lall 7-0-57-0 Paul Meek 7-0-53-0 Mike Ottley 7-0-39-2  Mike Derks 7-0-36-0 Cracker McCracken 6-0-42-0 Greg Tremain 1-0-25-0

Bricklayer’s Arms 138 all out 
Yogi Patel lbw b Khem Sah 26 (4×4, 29 balls)
Greg Tremain b Sobin 0 (3 balls)
Sunny Lall b Khem Sah 21 (4×4, 30 balls)
Bhavya Babel c Ji (wk) b Bishes 5 (1×4, 9 balls)
Cracker McCracken c cover b Khem Sah 0 (4 balls)
Paul Meek run out 3 (13 balls)
Mohammed Waqas b Subash Aryal 26 (2×6, 2×4, 18 balls)
Mike Derks c Thapa b Subash Aryal 6 (30 balls)
Ian Bridgford lbw b Subash Aryal (1×4, 5 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 11 (2×4, 12 balls)
Chris Locke b Bikram 1 (10 balls) 
Extras (b5, lb3, w21, nb3) 34

FALL OF WICKETS 12 (2,1) 62 (3,11) 67 (1,13) 67 (5,13) 67 (4,14) 91 (6,17) 112 (7,21) 119 (9,23) 123 (8,28) 138 (11, 31)
RUN RATE 62-1 (10) 111-6 (20) 138-9 (30)
BOWLING Sobin 4-0-35-1 Anil Basnet 6-0-31-0 Khem Sah 3-1-2-3 Bishes 3-0-8-1 Subash Aryal 7-1-25-3 Bittu Pramod 5-0-24-0 Bikram 1.2-0-1-1 Ji 1-0-4-0

Sunday Sept 20 v Trafalgar, Abbey Rec – WON by 47 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 207 all out (33.3 overs, Sunny Lall 46, Paul Meek 27, Greg Tremain 22, Tara Thapa 22)
Trafalgar Freehouse 160 all out (33.5 overs, Dev Sharma 4-18)

Our last game at Abbey Rec for this season saw an early start, a sunny day and a good win against old friends the Traf – with a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Dev Sharma swinging the game our way.

In a 12-a-side match (both sides batting and fielding 11) the Traf won the toss and put us in. Their young opening bowler was pacey but wayward, extras contributing much to an opening stand of 45 between Cracker McCracken and skipper Greg Tremain. At the other end Kerrigan was more on the money, and frustration got to Cracker in the 10th over as he spooned to cover for 6. Two overs later Greg missed a straight one from the same bowler for 22 – a relative failure by his high standards this year – and we were 53-2. Tara Thapa and Khem Sah took us to 88, but just as Khem was opening up (and had a chance dropped) he fell lbw for 15, followed next over on the same score by Tara miscueing to mid-off for 22.

Mohammed Waqas then edged to slip for 4, and in the 19th over we were suddenly 94-5. Sunny Lall was joined by Paul Meek in a rapid partnership of 73 in seven overs, including 23 taken off Franklyn’s first over. All told Sunny hit eight fours before he skied his 23rd ball straight up – the keeper didn’t have to move from the stumps – to depart for 46. The next over, with the score still 167, Franklyn registered a wicket maiden as Dev spooned his second ball to a leaping Kerrigan at midwicket who took a one-handed catch with his left.

To forestall the Traf’s ambition of getting us out short of 200 the tail had to wag, and it did. Though Paul fell bowled on 177 for a well-played 27 in 21 balls, Dan Jones notched 7 before patting a full toss to cover and then Adil Sheraf and Mike Ottley took us from 185 to 207, mixing watchful defence with some classy boundaries. Adil finally edged to slip for an invaluable 17 while Mike ended 6 not out.

That set an asking rate of just under six an over, and the Traf’s openers set about accumulating at much the same pace at which we had begun. One chance did go down off Tara at long-on, but next ball he had his reward as the other opener was well taken round the corner by Dan Jones. Ten overs came with the score 46-1 – exactly what we had at that stage – but the next batsman and the surviving opener almost doubled that before a piece of sharp thinking by Greg at slip broke the stand.

Khem had had an lbw shout turned down, but No 3 had wandered out of his crease and Greg smartly threw down his wicket. No 4 then walked having feathered Khem to Chris Locke, but with another catch dropped at mid-on and the opener bringing up his half-century the Traf reached 20 overs on 111-3: three ahead of where we’d been, with seven wickets in hand and the asking rate a feasible six-and-a-half an over.

Greg now switched the bowling, bringing on Dev, whose afternoon so far had consisted of a duck and being responsible for both our dropped catches. His first ball was a wide, but the next induced the opener to spoon a catch back to him. The change of bowling – and drop in pace – had worked the charm. From the other end Sunny delivered a hostile three overs that gave up only eight runs while getting the No 5 to hit to Khem at extra cover, while Dev recorded two maidens as he bowled the No 7 and saw No 6 go to a fine catch diving forward by Cracker at backward point.

The return of Mike Ottley accounted for No 8, plumb while swinging across the line as the required rate soared. No 9 offered some brutal hitting, a huge six over long-on slightly spoiling Mike’s figures, But Dev got him as well, bowled once more, and now the only question was whether he could get his Michelle (Pfeiffer, as in five-for). But off the penultimate ball of his allotted seven overs a batting mix-up saw Tara at mid-on obey his keeper’s call with a fine return that allowed Chris Locke to complete the run-out and the match.

Dev ended with 4-18, his day gone from misery to joy, and joined both teams as we finished the evening happily in the pub. 

Trafalgar won toss and fielded
Bricklayer’s Arms 207 all out 
 Greg Tremain b Kerrigan 22 (2×4, 32 balls)
Cracker McCracken c cover b Kerrigan 6 (24 balls)
Tara Thapa c mid-off b Stanford 22 (3×4, 23 balls)
Khem Sah lbw b Alex 15 (2×4, 17 balls)
Mohammed Waqas c slip b Alex 4 (10 balls)
Sunny Lall c wk b Stanford 46 (8×4, 23 balls)
Paul Meek b Robinson 27 (4×4, 21 balls)
Dev Sharma c midwicket b Stephenson 0 (2 balls)
Dan Jones c cover b Karim 7 (1×4, 13 balls)
Adil Sheraf c slip b Karim 17 (3×4, 13 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 6 (1×4, 11 balls)
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b8, lb3, w15,nb9) 35
FALL OF WICKETS 45 (2, 10th over) 53 (1,12) 88 (3,17) 88 (4,18) 94 (5,19) 167 (6, 26) 167 (8, 27)  177 (7,29) 185 (9,30) 207 (10,34)
RUN RATE 46-1 (10)  108-5 (20) 185-9 (30)

Trafalgar Freehouse 160 all out 
JFR c&b Sharma 50 
Archer c Jones b Thapa 14
James run out 20
Reece c Locke b Sah 4
Rob c Sah b Lall 7
Martin c McCracken b Sharma 6
Miles b Sharma 1
Karim lbw b Ottley 10
Henry b Sharma 14
Alex not out 5
Kerrigan run out 4
Extras (b3, lb4, w3, nb2) 12
Tara Thapa 7-1-37-1 Mike Ottley 6-0-38-1 Khem Sah 7-0-30-1 Paul Meek 3-0-22-0 Dev Sharma 6.5-2-18-4 Sunny Lall 3-0-8-1 Adil Sheraf 1-0-7-0
Sunday Sept 13 v Wimbledon Corinthians, Abbey Rec LOST by 2 wickets
Bricklayer’s Arms 170-6 (35 overs, Greg Tremain 64, Mohammed Waqas 50 not out, Tara Thapa 27)
Wimbledon Corinthians 171-8 (34.2 overs, Tom Poulter 2-32)

Sometimes we all need a hero. Mohammed Waqas Gujjar had worked his night shift until 8am on Sunday, been sent to hospital with a stomach complaint, discharged, gone home and fallen asleep. Awoken by teammates’ phone calls, he rushed to the ground, scored a quickfire unbeaten fifty and took a skied catch with his usual sangfroid. If only Tara Thapa had got to a catch off Waqas’s bowling in the penultimate over we could have won this thriller of a match, and crowned his extraordinary day.

Initially of course we just thought he was late as usual. Greg Tremain won the toss and batted, he and Tom Poulter opening against Corinthians’ nagging pacers. With only three extras on the board in the third over, Tom let frustration get the better of him and snicked behind for a duck. Cracker McCracken hit 3 off his first ball but nothing more until he edged his sixth to the keeper. At 7-2 in the fourth we weren’t looking good, but Greg and Tara carefully rebuilt to get us to 56-2 at halfway drinks. 

The break did Tara’s concentration no good: he was lbw next over for 27, and 60-3 became 73-4 and 76-5 as Anil Basnet slashed to point for five and Mani Gurung, a late substitute for Khem Sah, was caught behind for 1. Enter Waqas with 13 overs to go and the tempo soon quickened as boundaries flowed. Ten came off each of the 25th and 26th overs, 11 off the 29th, 12 off the 31st. Greg had played the anchor but came to the party too, accelerating to his fifty as the pair put on 84 in just above 12 overs, of which Greg hit 38 and Waqas 40e, including the match’s only six.

It looked as if the skipper would carry his bat but in the penultimate over he became the keeper’s fourth victim for a dogged if not chanceless 64. Ian Bridgford nudged a single to give Waqas the strike then ran a string of twos to bring up his half-century with one ball to go. Waqas had hit a six, four fours and run an unaccustomed number of ones and twos to the deep-set field for 50 in 32 balls and enabled us to set a respectable target, something our early travails hadn’t promised. 

Paul Meek and Mike Ottley began our attack, both unlucky to see catches fall short of slip and point respectively. In the end they combined for our first dismissal at 20 in the seventh over, Paul at fine leg overcoming looking straight into the sun to take a miscued sweep off Mike. Paul then followed up in the 10th by ignoring Greg’s instructions and getting the No 3 plumb with a short ball that skidded through to put Corinthians 39-2.

At this point in came Sunny Lall, originally down to play for us but who had been shanghaied by his old club. We knew we had to get him out, and Mike Ottley’s appeal for lbw was raucous but also undone by an inside edge. Sunny and opener Omkar, who hit hard for his fifty, took the score to 82 at drinks, but next over an even better fine leg catch, juggled three times by Tara off Adil Shefra, broke the stand at 86.

Now the wickets started to come – on 91 No 5 under-edged a faster ball from Tara into Chris Locke’s gloves, Sunny ran out his skipper and mate Prakhar for 8 on 112, and Waqas took a steepler off Tom Poulter to get No 7 for 8 on 126. But Sunny was playing remarkably sensibly, accumulating at the required five an over, and it was clear we’d need to get the remaining four wickets to win. Tom got the first of them on 149, both bails dropping an age after he feathered them to send back No 8 for 5.  Then Anil Basnet conjured a wicket maiden in the 33rd over, a quicker one taking out No 9’s middle stump for 2.

That left 10 to get or two wickets to fall in the final 12 balls. Pressed by his partner, Sunny kept running twos off Waqas, but then lofted one towards long-off. Alas, Tara couldn’t quite make the ground to take it, and in the final over Sunny hit the winning runs second ball to reach 74 not out – apart from the opener Corinthians’ only double-figure score. If only he’d stayed on our side.

It had been a great team effort to run club cricketers so close for the second year running, even if we didn’t get the fairytale ending Waqas deserved.  
Bricklayer’s won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 170-6
Tom Poulter c wk b Nas 0 (9 balls)
Greg Tremain c wk b Sunny 64 (91 balls, 6×4, fifty in 79 balls)
Cracker McCracken c wk b Sumit 3 (6 balls)
Tara Thapa lbw b Kumal 27 (41 balls, 2×4)
Anil Basnet  c point b Manik 5 (9 balls)
Mani Gurung c wk b Kumal 1 (9 balls)
Mohammed Waqas not out 50 (32 balls, fifty in 32 balls)
Ian Bridgford not out 1 (2 balls)
Paul Meek, Adil Sheraf, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b7, lb3, w6,nb3) 19
FALL OF WICKETS 3 (1,3rd over) 7 (3,4) 60 (4,18) 73 (5,21) 76 (6,22) 160 (2,34)
RUN RATE 24-2 (10) 72-3 (20) 131-5 (30)
BOWLING Nas 6-1-11-1 Sumit 3-0-5-1 Hunter 4-0-25-0 Mayank 4-0-10-0 Kunal 5-0-23-2 Manik 4-0-17-1 Prakhar 3-0-20-0 Vikram 3-0-28-0 Sunny 3-0-20-1

Wimbledon Corinthians 171-8
Omkar Joshi c Thapa b Shefra 53 (56 balls)
John Cadigan lbw b Meek 4 (19 balls)
Vikram Anand c Meek b Ottley 0 (5 balls)
Sunny Lall not out 74 (66 balls)
Manik Saldi c Locke b Thapa 2 (3 balls)
Prakhar Chandra run out 8 (19 balls)
Kunal Roghushwani  c Waqas b Poulter 8 (9 balls)
Sumit Sharma b Poulter 5 (9 balls)
Mayank b Basnet 2 (5 balls)
Olly Hunter not out 0 (3 balls)
Nas Khan did not bat
Extras (b5, lb2, w6, nb1) 14
FALL OF WICKETS 20 (2,7th over) 39 (3,10) 86 (1,18) 91 (5,19) 112 (6,23) 126 (7,26) 149 (8,30) 160 (9,33)
RUN RATE 40-2 (10) 96-4 (20) 149-7 (30)
BOWLING Paul Meek 6-1-24-1 Mike Ottley 6-1-23-1 Tara 7-0-34-1 Adil Shefra 3-0-19-1 Tom Poulter 7-1-32-2Anil Basnet 4.2-1-22-1 Mohammed Waqas 1-0-7-0 


Sunday Sept 6 v Roehampton, Putney Heath – LOST by 94 runs

Roehampton CC 307-6 (40 overs, Ian Bridgford 2-31, Adil Sheraf 2-68)
Bricklayer’s Arms 213-8 (40 overs, Tom Poulter 55, Ian Bridgford 41, Tim Sturm 28, Simon Foister 25 not out)

It was, as Tom Poulter reflected, a score we’d have been fairly happy to defend if we’d batted first. But unfortunately our innings had come second by a long way from what we’d let Roehampton post.

Nonetheless it was quite an achievement that we had a team at all. Thanks must first go to Rupert Style and debutant Adil Sheraf, who stepped in as last-minute replacements for Waqas (injured playing the day before) and Zeeshan Ali (babysitter emergency).

Roehampton by contrast had been oversubscribed, and despite their first XI playing away included a pace bowler for the firsts who would bowl spin and a mix of second and third XI plus a couple of useful colts. Our skipper Simon Foister lost the toss and we were sent into the field for 40 overs.

We began well. as the second over was a Mike Ottley wicket maiden thanks to their opener swishing across the line as the ball travelled undisturbed onto the top of middle stump. But from 4-1 Roehampton built quickly as Paul Meek got no reward for some good swing and Mike was luckless to see the remaining opener dropped at long-on. It took Adil as first change to break the partnership, as with the score on 120 Tom Poulter redeemed himself with a great tumbling catch at long-on, then three runs and two balls later Adil bowled their No 3.

Two wickets in an over and Tom producing a couple of maidens from the other end had halted the charge, and 20-over drinks came with the hope that we could turn the game at 132-3. But Roehampton’s 4 and 5 played themselves in then launched another barrage of hitting, adding another ton partnership before both retired. Tom finished with just 36 off his eight-over spell, unlucky to see a sprinting Rupert just fail to cling on to a catch at deepest square leg, but nobody could match his economy, particularly as we lacked an established fifth bowler.

Roehampton’s No 6 made hay as Simon had to share the rest of the overs between Sean Held, who saw a catch go down at midwicket and 36 come off his three overs, Ian Bridgford, who bowled a 12-year-old and had the No 10 caught by Rupert at cover but leaked 31 off three, and himself, getting one wicket bowled off the batsman’s behind but seeing two overs disappear for 24. With the aid of three retirements Roehampton had given everyone a bat while amassing a daunting 307.

The 12-year-old didn’t have to wait long for his revenge, as in the first over Sean Held inside-edged onto his stumps from the first legal delivery he received – 5-1. Roehampton gave the initial 10 overs to their colts and young William got a second when Rupert Style, who’d lived up to his surname with some elegant shots in his 13, feathered to the keeper and walked. From 26-2 Tim Sturm and Tom Poulter rebuilt, taking us to 60 off the first 10 overs and putting on 80 before Tim, who’d been tied down by the pick of their bowlers, skied to point who took a fine running catch.

Tom by contrast had been scoring freely, posting his fifty in 27 balls with a six to follow his nine fours, but four balls later he was bowled for 55 with the score on 117. Adil followed in the same over as the ball feathered one bail to the ground, while next over Steve Neville was bowled for one.

At 119-6 it looked as if we could collapse, but Ian Bridgford joined Simon Foister and started hitting boundaries. In one over he took 18 from three fours and a six, and over the course of 14 the pair put on 75 until Ian, who hadn’t had to run any of his total until he was past 38, fell for 41. Paul Meek joined in the spirit with three fours in a quick 13, while Mike Ottley stayed with Simon to the end as the skipper got an unbeaten 25.

We finished 213-8, with the pride of not being all out and keeping the loss to under three figures, and retreated to their clubhouse, which thankfully was still in commission solely as a bar.

Roehampton CC 307-6
Saqib c Poulter b Sheraf 68
Josh b Ottley 0
Hasoor b Sheraf 35
Fahad retired 51
Charlie retired 62
Aqib retired 43
William b Bridgford 0
Sadeed b Foister 2
Dhillan not out 0
Sooresh c Style b Bridgford 3
Billy not out 5
Extras (b7, w5) 12
BOWLING Paul Meek 8-0-48-0 Mike Ottley 8-1-48-1 Adil Sheraf 8-0-68-2 Tom Poulter 8-2-36-0 Sean Held 3-0-36-0 Ian Bridgford 3-0-31-2 Simon Foister 2-0-24-1

Bricklayer’s Arms 213-8  

Rupert Style c wk b William 13 (13 balls, 1×4)
Sean Held b William 0 (1 ball)
Tim Sturm c cover point b Dhillan 28 (70 balls, 3×4)
Tom Poulter b Sadeed 55 (31 balls, 9×4, 1×6)
Simon Foister not out 25 (45 balls, 3×4)
Adil Sheraf b Sadeed 0 (2 balls)
Steve Neville b Dhillan 1 (5 balls)
Ian Bridgford b Charlie 41 (43 balls, 1×6, 8×4)
Paul Meek b Dhillan 13 (7 balls, 3×4)
Mike Ottley not out 0 (5 balls)
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b10, lb2, w15, nb10) 37
FALL OF WICKETS 5 (2,1st over) 26 (1,5) 106 (3,19) 117 (4,22) 118 (6,22) 119 (7,23) 194 (8,37) 209 (9,39)
RUN RATE 60-2 (10) 110-3 (20) 184-6 (30)

    Sunday August 30 v Woodlawn, Abbey Rec – WON by 7 wickets

Woodlawn 199-4 (35 overs, Tom Poulter 2-36)
Bricklayer’s 203-3 (32.5 overs, Tom Poulter 90, Greg Tremain 53, Mohammed Waqas 31 not out)

Woodlawn are a team we normally play out in Carlisle Park in Hampton, usually a tight game which we rarely win. But this truncated summer the cost of preparing a grass pitch there would have been prohibitive, so they were happy to come to us rather than use their artificial track.

On a gloomy day, Greg Tremain decided the way to rectify our recent poor scores was to chase, so put our visitors in to bat. Birthday boy Paul Meek opened the bowling with Mike Ottley, both inducing a number of false and uppish strokes, but in the murk hard catches went down in the outfield all day and our first breakthrough came with a run-out. A glance to Bittu Pramod at fine leg saw the non-striker charge down to join his immobile partner at the crease. Bittu kept his nerve and a fine return saw bowler Ottley complete the dismissal. 

Paul and Mike’s spells were both economical – that first wicket came at 47 in the 12th over – and Bittu tightened our grip, belying a recent shoulder injury by bowling six overs for 17. At 20 overs Woodlawn had 78, below four an over, but with wickets in hand they started to accelerate until Paul was able to celebrate becoming 44 by taking a well-judged catch at deep mid-off off Tom Poulter. That removed their opener for 75 out of the 140 they’d reached in the 29th over. No 4 followed next over, bowled by Waqas, but No 5 hit out before being bowled by Tom in the final over to set us a target of exactly 200.

Tom and Greg began our reply well, taking 14 off the first two overs and reaching 51 off 10. Whereas Woodlawn’s top order had relied largely on pushing singles, our openers found the boundary with much more regularity despite some tight fielding. They never slackened below five an over, and by drinks we were well poised at 92 off 18 overs. It looked as though Greg would make his half-century first, but Tom had just started to open up with a flat back-foot six to long-on (only his second of the season and first since our initial game) and now raced past him to post fifty in 55 balls. Greg reached his soon after, but on 53 patted back to the bowler in the game’s only maiden.

That was 119-1 after 23 overs, leaving 81 to get off 12. Though Riaz Gul soon fell lbw for 2 in the 25th over on 131, Tom continued to play his strokes, adding 39 off his last 26 balls, until on 90 he feathered an inside edge to the keeper with 38 still needed from just over six overs. Waqas and Sean Held did it in four, with Waqas belting four fours in 31 not out and Sean three in 16 including the winning hit. Waqas said he had based his batting style on the video of Chris Locke circulated that week, to which the only answer is that he hits the ball much harder though the running ability is reminiscent.

A fine victory built on a superbly paced foundation by Tom and Greg, and a welcome return to winning ways after three successive Sunday defeats.  

Bricklayer’s won toss and fielded
Woodlawn 199-4
J Peters jnr c Meek b Poulter 75

M Cheema run out 24
A Bhardhvan not out 49
J Peters snr b Waqas 1
N Mohammed b Poulter 27
S Patel not out 3
Extras (b3, lb3, w11, nb2) 17
FALL OF WICKETS 47 (2, 12th over) 140 (1,29) 145 (4,30) 194 (5,35)
RUN RATE 40-0 (10) 78-1 (20) 156-3 (30)
BOWLING Paul Meek 6-0-25-0 Mike Ottley 7-0-26-0 Bittu Pramod 6-0-17-0 Riaz Gul 5-0-35-0 Tom Poulter 6-0-36-2 Mohammed Waqas 5-0-51-1

 Bricklayer’s 203-3
Tom Poulter c wk b N Mohammed 90 (81 balls, 7×4, 1×6, fifty in 55 balls) 

Greg Tremain c&b V Patel 53  (75 balls, 6×4,  fifty in 68 balls) 
Riaz Gul lbw b V Patel 2 (6 balls)
Mohammed Waqas not out 31 (23 balls, 4×4)
Sean Held not out 16  (11 balls, 3×4)
Sybash Aryal, Ian Bridgford, Bittu Pramod, Paul Meek, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b2, lb1, w5, nb3) 11
FALL OF WICKETS 119 (2, 23rd over) 131 (3,25) 162 (1,29)
RUN RATE 51-0 (10) 106-0 (20) 171-3 (30)

Sunday August 23 v Gentlemen of West London, Old Tenisonians, Motspur Park – LOST by 5 wickets
Bricklayer’s Arms 110 all out (34.5 overs, Tara Thapa 35, Greg Tremain 24)
Gentlemen of West London 116-5 ( 21.1 overs,  Tara Thapa 2-18, Mike Ottley 2-31)

We’d beaten the Gents of West London last month – our first win against them and their only defeat this season. So it wasn’t entirely a surprise that the tables were turned here. And at least we gave them quite a scare along the way.

Greg Tremain won the toss – another first – and batted. Tom Poulter had been the scourge of the Gents in previous years, with some big scores and never getting out, but this time a sharp slip catch sent him back for just 8. Then Cracker McCracken played too early and found midwicket on 5, leaving us 17-2. But Tara Thapa joined Greg Tremain to rebuild patiently, then accelerate with Tara doing most of the biffing, including one long six over midwicket. 

Greg was playing the anchor role, but after the pair had put on 55 and got us up to four an over, he was bowled for 24. Eight runs later, on 80, Tara was lbw for 35. This brought together Khem Sah and Riaz Gul, and with 14 overs left it looked as if the two could take us on to a competitive score. But on 98 Khem was caught at long-on for 7, and then we lost three wickets on 100. First Riaz slashed to point for 12, then Anil Basnet was lbw second ball and Paul Meek top-edged to slip for a golden duck

Mike Ottley hit one four but fell lbw, which brought in last man Chris Locke for a cameo in the final five overs. First he hit a 3, completed amid much wheezing, then almost ran himself out, headbutting the keeper in the bum after hurling first his bat then himself into the crease, then nearly ran himself out again walking off convinced fly-slip had taken a high catch (he had, but then knocked the ball out of his hand with his own knee). Somehow he and Simon Foister, who had watched all this having come in at 7, got to the last over, but with a ball to go Simon finally felt compelled to hit out and was taken at midwicket for 1, leaving Chris 4 not out.

So we’d set 111 for the Gents to chase. They’d fielded and bowled well, and we were determined to do the same. Mike Ottley struck first, thanks to a mid-off catch by Greg, and 3-1 became 10-2 when Tara had the other opener plumb. There were signs the pitch was starting to misbehave, and sure enough on 22 No 4 was bowled middle stump by one that kept low from Tara. No 5 then hit Mike for three consecutive fours, only for Mike to bowl him top of leg stump next ball – the cue for an arm-pumping celebration that would make Ben Stokes blush.

The Gents were 35-4 and the game was definitely on. But the next pair launched a calculated assault, particularly on Tom Poulter’s only over, and had reached 95 before our other only success, an lbw for Anil Basnet. The scores were level by the end of the 21st over, and the next ball was belted for six to end the match. As one of their senior players remarked, 160 would have been a tough ask on that wicket – but we were fifty short of posing that challenge. 

Bricklayer’s Arms won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 110 all out
Tom Poulter c 3rd slip b Krishna 8 (14 balls, 1×4)
Greg Tremain b R Patel 24 (58 balls, 2×4)
Cracker McCracken c midwicket b S Patel 5 (9 balls)
Tara Thapa lbw b H Patel 35 (38 balls, 3×4, 1×6)
Khem Sah c long-on b H Patel 7 (14 balls)
Riaz Gul c point b H Patel 12 (18 balls, 2×4)
Simon Foister c midwicket b Kota 1 (23 balls)
Anil Basnet lbw b H Patel 0 (2 balls)
Paul Meek c slip b H Patel 0 (1 ball)
Mike Ottley lbw b R Patel 4 (6 balls, 1×4)
Chris Locke not out 4 (15 balls)
Extras (w7, nb3) 10
FALL OF WICKETS 8 (1,3rd over) 17 (3,6) 72 (2, 18) 80 (4,21) 98 (5, 25) 100 (6,27) 100 (8,27) 100 (9,28) 105 (10,30) 110 (7,35)
RUN RATE  27-2 (10) 79-3 (20)  105-9 (30)

Gentlemen of West London 116-5 
Dubey c Tremain b Ottley 2

Kumar lbw b Thapa 0
Kota lbw b Basnet 29
Pingili b Thapa 2
Sudireddy b Ottley 13
S Patel not out 43
Namilikonda  not out 14
Extras (b9, lb1, w3) 13
 FALL OF WICKETS 3 (1,2nd over) 10 (2,3) 21 (4, 7) 35 (5,8) 95 (3, 19)
RUN RATE 43-4 (10)  109-5 (20)
BOWLING Tara Thapa 7-2-18-2 Mike Ottley 5-0-31-2 Khem Sah 4-0-17-0 Tom Poulter 1-0-18-0 Anil Basnet 3-1-9-0 Paul Meek 1.1-0-13-0 
  Sunday August 16 v Plastics CC, Abbey Rec – LOST by 70 runs

Plastics CC 179 all out (32 overs, Mohammed Waqas 2-27,  Niall Johnson 2-28, Eddie Evans 2-31, Dev Sharma 2-48
Bricklayer’s Arms 109 all out (26.3 overs, Tom Poulter 25)

After all the heat it was a relief to find cooler conditions at the Abbey Rec, the wicket green even if the outfield remained rock hard. With rain forecast Greg Tremain agreed with new opposition the Plastics that five overs would be bowled consecutively from one end, then five from the other and so on, to save time.

They won the toss and sent us out to field, and Mike Ottley struck first with an lbw on 25 in the sixth over. One run and one over later Eddie Evans got a richly deserved wicket for some lovely inswing, taking out No 3’s leg stump, and on 42 in the 11th he added the No 4 playing on. But the remaining opener looked a class bat, and the score had moved to 68 before Niall Johnson had him lbw with a full pitch on his boot, adding the next batsman yorked in the same 16th over.

Plastics bat deep, though, and the sixth wicket put on 41 in five overs before Dev Sharma took a caught and bowled. Next over, on 112, Waqas got their No 8 to nick to Chris Locke. On 120 in the 25th Dev bowled their No 7, and in the next 
Waqas had his second wicket, caught by Sunny Lall, to put Plastics on 129-9. The tail wagged again, however, as 50 were quickly plundered for the last wicket, aided by a couple of drops behind, before Eddie Evans at short mid-on held a skier off Tom Poulter to wrap things up.

By this time some rain had arrived, and the pitch turned spongy for our pursuit of 180 to win. Tom and Greg got 35 of them by the 8th over, when Tom slashed straight to cover point for 25, but the ball was starting to stop off the pitch. It was also keeping low, as Cracker McCracken failed to notice as he pulled over the top of a long hop that bowled him – 46-2 in 10 overs. That became 56-3 as Sunny Lall, having survived a dolly dropped at midwicket, chased a wide to nick behind in the same 12th over.

Next over Greg was bowled for 19, while in the following Waqas went the same way for a golden duck. If any of the top five had hung around this could have been a straightforward run chase of just above five an over, but now we were in trouble. Niall Johnson and Dev Sharma added 21 before Niall was caught at midwicket for 6 in the 20th over. Dev had managed his first six when he and Eddie Evans completed two as a wild throw sailed miles over the wicket and entire field to the boundary, but was then unlucky as a fantastic effort for a catch off Eddie was turned into a brilliant throw to the keeper to run Dev out. At 85-7 in the 21st in came debutant Mike Riser, who decided to charge the slow bowler. This brought him three fours and a two before he was rather inevitably stumped for 14. By then Eddie had been bowled for 10, and our last wicket fell in the 27th over as Chris Locke spooned to mid-on for 1.

We’d lost, but found great new opposition in the Plastics, a sporting bunch with whom we seem evenly matched.  

Plastics won toss and batted
Plastics 179 all out
R Bishop lbw b Ottley 10
Joey lbw b Johnson 40
Dom b Evans 0
Charles b Evans 5
Alex b Johnson 0
Pete c&b Sharma 30
JB Rig b Sharma 24
Charlie c Locke b Waqas 2
Jevs c Lall b Waqas 6
Matt Webb not out 33
Saril c Evans b Poulter 12
Extras (b9, nb5, w4) 18
FALL OF WICKETS 25 (1,6th over) 26 (3,7) 42 (4,11) 68 (1,16) 68 (5,16) 109 (5,21) 112 (8,22) 120 (7,25) 129 (9,26) 179 (11,32)
RUN RATE 39-2 (10) 102-5 (20) 170-9 (30)
BOWLING Eddie Evans 7-0-31-2 Mike Ottley 4-1-16-1 Niall Johnson 5-0-28-2 Dev Sharma 7-0-48-2 Waqas 6-0-27-2 Mike Riser 1-0-13-0 Tom Poulter 2-0-10-1

Bricklayer’s 109 all out
Tom Poulter c cover b Webb 25 (29 balls, 4×4)
Greg Tremain b P Bishop 19 (29 balls, 1×4)
Cracker McCracken b Webster 4 (7 balls, 1×4)
Sunny Lall c wk b Webster 5 (12 balls, 1×4)
Mohammed Waqas b Webster 0 (1 ball)
Niall Johnson c midwicket b Bradbury 6 (21 balls)
Dev Sharma run out 12 (1×6, 17 balls)
Eddie Evans b Webb 10 (16 balls, 1×4)
Mike Riser st wk b Sandham 14 (7 balls, 3×4)
Mike Ottley not out 0 (7 balls)
Chris Locke c mid-on b Sandham 1 (8 balls)
Extras (b1, lb1, w8, nb3)
FALL OF WICKETS 35 (1,8th over) 46 (3,10) 56 (4,12) 60 (2,13) 60 (5,13) 81 (6,20) 85 (7,21) 106 (8,24) 107 (9,25) 109 (11,27)
RUN RATE 47-2 (10) 81-6 (20)

Tuesday August 11 v Sunderland Supporters, Wandsworth Park – WON by 5 wickets

Sunderland Supporters 199-3 (18 overs, Khem Sah 60, Robin 49, Anil Basnet 48) 

Bricklayer’s Arms 200-3 (16.2 overs, Greg Tremain 84, Tom Poulter retired 51, Tim Sturm 28)

Our last midweek fixture produced a series of remarkable events. We’ve never arrived at a pitch to find football goalposts erected on it (rugby we have, but not soccer), we’ve never seen a batsman dismissed for obstructing the field (let alone give himself out for it) and we’ve never chased 200 down inside 18 overs.

Admittedly the latter achievement wasn’t on a par with last week’s epic triumph. This was a scratch match of nine a side, John McGirr’s five Sunderland supporters augmented by Khem Sah, Anil Basnet, Prakhar Chandra and Steve Neville from our ranks. The outfield was even harder and bumpier than then, and boundaries sped away from the outset.

Much of this was thanks to Khem Sah, who hit 60 out of 90 in the first eight overs before Paul Meek got him to slice one high on the off, which Mike Ottley ran from slip to short cover to catch. His fellow opener Ani Basnet then took over, running his new partner ragged until, having called him for a sensibly refused suicidal single, Anil got in the way of the return that would have stranded even him and walked, deciding he’d been guilty of construction. Riaz Gul denied their No 3 his half-century by bowling him, but some lusty blows from Prakhar Chandra took the total to 199.

That was an asking rate beyond 11 an over, and Yogi Patel and Tom Poulter took 15 off the first. but Yogi was bowled for 7 on 17 in the second, which united Tom with in-form Greg Tremain. The two unfurled all their strokes in a lightning stand of 105. 

Greg didn’t have a dot ball until he’d hit 34, and not another until he’d passed his fifty in 21 deliveries. Tom meanwhile hadn’t scored off his first ball, but did off every one of the remaining 27 it took him to reach his half-century, at which point he retired to give Tim Sturm a bat. 

That was at the halfway point with 122 on the board. Tim and Greg took this to 181 in the 14th over before Khem bowled them both, Tim for 28, Greg for 84. But Riaz Gul hit three boundaries and Paul Meek notched the winning run with 10 balls to spare.

 It may have been short, but it was an unbeaten midweek season, and above all great fun. 


Sunderland Supporters won toss and batted
Sunderland Supporters 199-3
Anil Basnet obstructing the field 48
Khem Sah c Ottley b Meek 60
Robin b Riaz Gul 49
Prakhar Chandra not out 17
Dean not out 0
Extras (b15, lb2, w9) 26
FALL OF WICKETS 90, 165, 186
RUN RATE 109-1 (9 overs)
Riaz Gul 4-0-44-1 Tom Poulter 5-0-38-0 Paul Meek 3-0-28-1 Mike Ottley 3-0-41-0 Gre Tremain 3-0-26-0

Bricklayer’s Arms 200-3 
Yogi Patel b Smith 7 (6 balls, 1×4)
Tom Poulter retired 51 (28 balls, 9×4, fifty in 28 balls)
Greg Tremain b Khem 84  (40 balls, 15×4, fifty in 21 balls)
Tim Sturm b Khem 28 (19 balls, 4×4)
Riaz Gul not out 14 (10 balls, 3×4)
Paul Meek not out 2 (2 balls)
Mike Ottley, Chris ocke and Dave Winpenny did not bat
Extras (b1,  w10, nb3) 14
FALL OF WICKETS 17 (1, 2nd over), 181 (4,14), 184 (2,16)
RUN RATE 122-1 (9 overs)

Sunday August 9 v Rotten Livers, Abbey Rec – LOST by 44 runs

Rotten Livers 212 all out (34.2 overs, Tom Poulter 2-30, Waqas 2-35, Sunny Lall 2-44)
Bricklayer’s Arms 168 all out (Greg Tremain 67)

After two landmark victories in our last couple of games this match saw us post a different sort of record: the first time we’ve failed to hit 200 in a Sunday game. We failed by some way to chase 213.

In searing heat we lost the toss and were not surprised to be asked to field. Livers began at a lick but Mike Ottley struck first, bowling one opener with a lovely off-break that took the top of middle and leg. However this brought in danger man Umar, who smacked a quick 15 before Dev Sharma had him well caught at cover, Waqas once again cool as a cucumber under a skier. That was 45-2, which became 83-3 at 10 overs as Cracker McCracken took a fine tumbling catch at deep square leg off Tom Poulter to remove the other opener.

Though the scoring rate was rapid we were taking wickets, and more success followed as a Sunny Lall lbw and an even more nonchalant pouching of a steepler by Waqas, this time at extra cover off Tom, put the Livers at 122-5 on 20 overs. Sunny followed with a caught and bowled to make that 137-6.

But, aided by some ragged fielding, the tail wagged. Tom Poulter was unlucky to see a stumping fluffed and midwicket catch go down, and it was only in the final five overs, by which time the score had reached 191, that our last bowling pair of Waqas and Simon Foister got overdue reward. Both saw catches go down, for Simon at midwicket again, for Waqas two easy ones behind the stumps. But Waqas had their No 6, who top-scored with 35, well taken by Cracker at midwicket, Simon caught a leading edge off his own bowling, Waqas castled their No 10 and Simon completed the run-out of their last batsman.

 That set us a fraction above six an over to win. But Livers are always tough to beat – it was a major achievement when we did the double over them last year. Sure enough we weren’t going to get past 200 before our first wicket fell this time: it went at 21 as Tom Poulter was smartly taken at slip for 8, followed next ball by Cracker McCracken bowled for a golden. Sunny Lall hit three fours but miscued a full toss back to the bowler on 13 to leave us three down for 41, and Waqas hit two boundaries then thick-edged to fly slip for 8. We were 66-4 but Dev Sharma joined Greg Tremain, who was batting beautifully to hold the innings together, and the two of them added 46 as Greg went to a 40-ball fifty.

On 112 Dev was bowled for 7, but as we reached 127-5 we were ahead of the asking rate. ” If Greg stays we can win this,” observed Tom Poulter on the boundary. Fatal. He was out next ball, for 67 out of 135. On 138 both Simon Foister (13) and Ian Watson (0, second ball) fell and while Dave Winpenny, who hit a late cut for four in his 17-ball 6 before being caught behind, Mike Ottley (who got 5 in 27 balls before spooning to silly mid-on) and Chris Locke (2 not out off 14) resisted for another 10 overs and 30 runs the defeat finally came with 17 balls to spare.

Rotten Livers won toss and batted
Rotten Livers 212 all out
Matt b Ottley 1
Sib c McCracken b Poulter 33
Umar c Waqas b Sharma 15
Hem lbw b Lall 34
Murad c Waqas b Poulter 12
Ghasan  c McCracken b Waqas 35 
Andrew Lynn c&b Lall 3
Umid c&b Foister 24
Irfan not out 13
Waqi b Waqas 4
Raju run out 0
Extras (b11, lb1, w16, nb4) 32
FALL OF WICKETS 18, 45, 83, 114, 118, 137, 191, 194, 208, 212
BOWLING Mike Ottley 6-0-35-1 Dev Sharma 4-1-31-1 Tom Poulter 7-1-30-2 Sunny Lall 7-0-44-2 Waqas 6-0-35-2 Simon Foister 4.2-0-26-1 

Bricklayer’s Arms 168 all out
Tom Poulter c slip b Murad 8 (13 balls, 1×4)
Greg Tremain c&b Murad 67 (58 balls, 11×4, fifty in 40 balls)
Cracker McCracken b Murad 0 (1 ball)
Sunny Lall c&b Murad 13 (10 balls, 3×4)
Mohammed Waqas c third man b Umar 10 (8 balls, 2×4)
Dev Sharma b Umid 7 (15 balls)
Simon Foister c cover b Raju 13 (16 balls, 1×4)
Ian Watson b Waqui 0 (2 balls)
Dave Winpenny c wk b Hem 6 (17 balls, 1×4)
Mike Ottley c silly mid-on b Ghasan 5  (27 balls)
Chris Locke not out 2 (14 balls)
Extras (b8, lb1, w18, nb11) 38
FALL OF WICKETS  21 (1, 6th over)  21 (3, 6) 41 (4,8) 66 (5,11) 112 (6,18) 135 (2,21) 138 (7,22) 138 (8,22) 156 (9,28) 168 (10,33)
RUN RATE 60-3 (10) 127-5 (20) 159-9 (30)  

Tuesday August 4 v Epsom Taxes, Wandsworth Park – WON by 5 wickets

Epsom Taxes 183-8 (20 overs, Paul Meek 2-23, Zeeshan Ali 2-25, Prakhar Chandra 2-28
Bricklayer’s Arms 186-5 (19.3 overs, Yogi Patel 65, Greg Tremain 51, Tim Sturm 21 not out)

Another game, another record. We’ve never chased down more than 180 in a T20, yet last night we reached a target of 184 with three balls to spare. It was a thrilling contest played in a wonderful spirit – and gave us a marvellous result.

Not that it looked like our night when the first ball cost five runs – four wild overthrows added to a pushed single. Epsom, always formidable opponents, pushed the score along merrily aided by extras until Zeeshan Ali got reward for some good pace as Waqas redeemed his wayward throw with a characteristically fine catch on the cover boundary. Mike Ottley had the other opener lbw before having to limp out of the attack, stung by a drive onto his leg, but Zeeshan had their No 4 clean bowled for a duck.

No 3 Wilson, though, is a class bat, and though he lost one partner bowled by Riaz Gul the score mounted to 122-4 off 14 overs, leaving Epsom ominously poised for a final thrash. Tonk it they did, but our final bowling pair of Paul Meek and Prakhar Chandra did grab a couple of wickets each – hitting three of the lower order’s stumps while Waqas took another cool catch in the deep off Paul to remove Wilson. No 8 Abhi clubbed some enormous sixes, however, and the final score was a daunting 183.

Daunting, but not impossible. A fast and treacherous Wandsworth Park outfield and fading light can put the side fielding second at a disadvantage if batsmen get set, as Epsom had proved in this fixture a couple of years ago in chasing down a towering total. It all depends on a solid start, and Yogi Patel and Greg Tremain were just the men for the job.

They gave us a great platform, with 41 off the first five overs, 89 off 10 as Yogi reached a 30-ball fifty. Both were playing some lovely shots and never looked in any danger until on 105 in the 12th over Yogi was run out for 65 by a direct hit at the bowler’s end. Riaz Gul hit two fours before playing on for 8 on 127 in the next over, and in the following one Greg nicked behind the ball after completing his own fifty. 

With two new batsmen at the crease and 51 still needed in six overs there was a danger we could have stalled, but playing himself in is not Waqas’s way. Instead he hit successive monumental sixes before falling lbw sixth ball for 14. That put us 154-4 at the start of the 16th over, the asking rate down to a run a ball. Anil contributed 6 but the over in which he was bowled – the 17th – cost just three runs. Now 21 were needed off the final 18 balls.

Tim Sturm, showing he can adapt his game perfectly well to T20 batting, and Paul Meek were equal to the task. Nine came from the 18th over, nine from the 19th, and from the third ball of the last Paul hit through the covers for the winning boundary. Cue wild celebrations and mutual congratulations on a magnificent match.

We repaired to the pub to watch Fulham reach the Premier League in extra time of the Championship play-off final. Salutations to them and their many fans reading this, but from the highlights later it was clear that the preceding couple of hours hadn’t been anything like as exciting as what we had just enjoyed. It made for a very happy evening all round. 

Epsom Taxes won toss and batted
Epsom Taxes 183-8
Shane c Waqas b Zeeshan Ali 15
Nishant lbw b Ottley 15
Wilson c Waqas b Meek 54
Raj b Zeeshan Ali 0
Sachin b Riaz Gul 9
Jay b Prakhar Chandra 23
Savio b Prakhar Chandra 3
Abhi not out 3
Leo b Meek 4
SK not out 2
Extras (b20, w14) 34
BOWLING   Zeeshan Ali 4-0-25-2 Ottley 3-0-15-1  Riaz Gul 4-0-42-1 Anil Basnet 3-0-29-0 Paul Meek 3-0-23-2  Prakhar Chandra 3-0-28-2

Bricklayer’s Arms 186-5 
Yogi Patel run out 65 (40 balls, 1×6, 7×4, fifty in 30 balls)
Greg Tremain c wk b Sachin 51   (35 balls, 6×4, fifty in 34 balls)

Riaz Gul  b Raj 8  (4 balls, 2×4)
Tim Sturm not out 21  (13 balls, 3×4)  
Mohammed Waqas lbw Sachin 14  (6 balls, 2×6)
Anil Basnet b Savio 6  (7 balls, 1×4)
Paul Meek not out 7  (6 balls, 1×4) 
Prakhar Chandra, Zeeshan Ali, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b5, lb2,w7) 14
FALL OF WICKETS 105 (1, 12th over) 127 (3,13) 133 (2,14) 154 (5,16) 161  (6,17)
RUN RATE 89-0 (10 overs)
SK 3.3-0-30-0 Shane 4-0-34-0 Wilson 3-0-23-0 Sachin 4-0-39-2 Raj 3-0-39-1 Savio 2-0-10-1                  

Sunday Aug 2 v Sunderland Supporters,Abbey Rec – WON by 176 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 301-3 (35 overs, Tom Poulter retired 100, Greg Tremain 97, Cracker McCracken 62 not out)
Sunderland Supporters 125 all out (33.1 overs, Mike Ottley 2-14, Riaz Gul 2-14, Simon Foister 2-28)

We’ve never hit 300 before, though over the years we’ve had it done to us a couple of times. But thanks to a whirlwind century by Tom Poulter, Greg Tremain denied a hundred by Dave Winpenny’s gut. and a rapid 62 by Cracker McCracken we reached the landmark and comfortably set a new batting record.

Tom and skipper Greg opened our innings, with Greg setting the early pace thanks largely to an all-run five when the fielder, exhausted by the chase to the boundary, could only propel the ball 20 yards towards the wicket – nobody could recall seeing such a thing without overthrows. Tom then took over, bringing up his fifty in 30 balls as 81 came from the first 10 overs, and then accelerated even more until in the 19th over with the score 170 he reached a chanceless century off just 53 balls. It was just as well he retired, reflected Sunderland’s skipper, as he looked so good he could have got a double ton. 

Greg meanwhile had reached his own fifty off 36 balls, and continued accumulating in the company of Cracker McCracken as 191 was posted from 20 overs. As Greg neared the nineties, though, he was denied one boundary as his straight drive arrowed into the stomach of umpire Dave Winpenny. Dave retired to nurse his bruise but to his credit was able later to field flawlessly. Greg continued to play his strokes but on 97 was bowled by Franklyn Stephenson – our first wicket down with 243 on the board.

There was nearly another as Cracker started to walk having edged behind, only to be shouted at to run back to his ground as the keeper spilled a dolly. But the spinning wiles of Sunderland skipper John McGirr did for Riaz Gul (7) and Sunny Lall (10) both bowled by the old master. Cracker and Simon Foister (5*) ensured the landmark was reached as Cracker posted his half-century and ended with 62, a boundary off the penultimate ball taking us to 301.

Mike Ottley opened the bowling alongside debutant Dev Sharma (a Canadian known as Sunny and playing his first proper match, though with another Sunny in the team and memories of how much confusion was sown when we used to have five daves in the side, we’ll call him Dev for the record). Dev started with five respectable deliveries, then surprised the batsman with a rank full toss that was spooned back to him. Sunderland’s No 3 biffed his side up from 5 to 28, but Mike lured him into hitting straight to the deep mid-off he had just stationed. Greg took the catch, and next ball the remaining opener slashed straight into Sunny’s hands at slip, putting Mike on a hat trick for the second time in a week. 

Alas our loud lbw shout was turned down, and Sunderland moved to 64 before Simon Foister’s tricksy legspin was rewarded, appropriately enough by bowling their left-handed No 5 through his legs. On 79 Riaz Gul bowled their No 6, while Simon’s flight and guile continued to torment their batsmen at the other edge. Unlucky not to get an lbw and a stumping, his due came on 93 when Kerrigan Smith trod on his stumps mowing to the leg side.

Riaz got his second wicket, again bowled, on 106, while on 109 John McGirr nobly walked having feathered high into Chris Locke’s gloves off Tom Poulter – finally Chris’s first dismissal of the season. With Franklyn unable to bat thanks to an injured hand, Kerrigan came in again after his duck, hitting 7 before Liam O’Keefe, who had garnered 41 at No 4 while all around fell, missed a straight one from Greg Tremain. Sunderland were denied their goal of batting through the overs and we had a win to remember.

Bricklayer’s Arms batted by agreement
Bricklayer’s Arms 301-3 

Tom Poulter retired 100 (17×4, 53 balls, fifty in 30 balls, hundred in 53 balls)
Greg Tremain b Stephenson 97 (1×5, 12×4, 79 balls, fifty in 36 balls) 
Cracker McCracken not out 62 (10×4, 42 balls, fifty in 39 balls)
Riaz Gul b McGirr 7 (1×4, 10 balls)
Sunny Lall b McGirr 10 (1×4, 8 balls)
Simon Foister not out 5 (1×4, 4 balls)
Ian Bridgford, Dev Sharma, Dave Winpenny, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b1, lb4, w12, nb3) 20
FALL OF WICKETS 243 (28th over, 2) 256 (31,4) 277 (33,5)
RUN RATE 81-0 (10) 191-0 (20) 251-1 (30)

Sunderland Supporters 125 all out
Pringle c&b Sharma 3
Martyn Stroud c Lall b Ottley 4
Dean Smith c Tremain b Ottley 16
Liam O’Keefe b Tremain 41
Steve Davidson b Foister 9
Rohan b Gul 9
Kerrigan Smith hit wicket b Foister 0
Karim b Gul 1
McGirr c Locke b Poulter 2
Kerrigan Smith (2) not out 7
Franklyn Stephenson absent hurt 0
Extras (b10, lb5, w14, nb4) 33
FALL OF WICKETS 5 (1) 28 (3) 28 (2) 64 (5) 79 (6) 93 (7) 106 (8) 109 (9) 125 (4)
RUN RATE 31-3 (10) 81-5 (20) 109-8 (30)
Mike Ottley 7-1-14-2 Dev Sharma 7-0-23-1 Ian Bridgford 3-0-25-0 Simon Foister 7-1-28-2 Riaz Gul 5-1-14-2 Tom Poulter 3-0-10-1 Greg Tremain 1.1-0-9-1 
  Tuesday July 28 v Archery, Wandsworth Park – WON by 78 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 169-9 (20 overs, Paul Meek 31 not out, Khem Sah 27)
Archery 91-7 (20 overs, Mike Derks 2-14, Mike Ottley 2-23)

Another midweek, another win against a side containing several Brick guests. Mike Ottley lent three of his squad – Steve Neville, Anil Basnet and his mate Arshdeep – to make it 12 a side in the spirit of giving everyone a game post-lockdown. So it was that Anil, after Mike chose to bat, found himself opening Archery’s attack. He responded by bowling Yogi Patel third ball for 2.

Nor did Greg Tremain last much longer, bowled by their skipper for 4 to make us 17-2, and Anil also bowled Tom Poulter for 14 to put us three down for 26 in the third over. Waqas and Khem Sah steadied things a bit until Waqas, shocked by a straight one after a succession of wides from the second change bowler, was castled for 9 on 58.

Wides now started to take the starring role as it became clear Archery only had three real bowlers. However the sheer rarity of legitimate balls saw Zheeshan Ali hit one down deep square leg’s throat for 8 on 80 – the only catch in the whole match – and Dave Winpenny bowled for 1. In between those dismissals Khem had been bowled for 27, so Dave’s departure meant we were 88-7 after 13 overs.

Things could have gone horribly wrong, but Tara Thapa and Paul Meek put on 48 before Tara was bowled for 16. On 141 Eddie Evans missed a donkeydrop for 1, but Mike Derks (6*) joined Paul to see us to 169. Paul top-scored with bat in an undefeated 31, but that was 20 short of a magnificent 51 notched by Extras, 42 of them wides, representing six extra overs.

Maybe this was what agitated their far too excitable wicketkeeper, who wouldn’t stop 
 shouting every ball just before the ball reached the batsman. Umpire Greg finally intervened to tell him to keep quiet, only to be met by a stream of abuse. Rather than return an earful, Greg stood on his dignity and left the pitch … and the match. Both keeper and skipper did apologise to Chris Locke after the game for unacceptable behaviour.

This did at least give Chris, who had expected only to score, the chance to don the gloves with a bit more decorum. We started well, with Eddie Evans bowling one opener with the last ball of the first over, then Mike Ottley bowling the other and their No 4 with the first two balls of the next. That was a team hat trick, and though Mike couldn’t complete his own there wasn’t much way back from 5-3. Tom Poulter bowled their No 3 and Mike Derks had their veteran top scorer lbw to make it 40-5, and Zeeshan Ali bowled a swiping Steve Neville for 1 to make it 47-6. Anil Basnet and the talkative keeper provided some resistance before Mike silenced the gloveman by getting him to play on, but in the end we won by 78 runs.    


Bricklayer’s Arms 169-9
Yogi Patel b Basnet 2 (3 balls)
Greg Tremain b Thickett 4 (8 balls)
Tom Poulter b Basnet 14 (11 balls)
Mohammed Waqas b Simon 9 (1×4, 13 balls)
Khem Sah b Stewie 27 (5×4, 21 balls)
Zeeshan Ali c deep sq leg b Simon 8 (1×4, 8 balls)
Tara Thapa  b Peacock 16  (3×4, 14 balls)
Dave Winpenny b Simon 1 (7 balls)
Paul Meek not out 31 (4×4, 21 balls)
Eddie Evans b George 1 (2 balls)
Mike Derks not out 6 (6 balls)
Mike Ottley did not bat
Extras (b3, lb4, w42, nb2) 51

FALL OF WICKETS 2 (1, 1st over) 17 (2,4) 26 (3,5) 58 (4,9) 80 (6,11) 81 (5,12) 88 (8,13) 136 (7,18) 141 (10,19)
RUN RATE 71-4 (10 overs)

Archery 91-7
Vilc b Ottley 1
Arshdeep b Evans 0
George b Poulter 14
Henry b Ottley 0
Charlie lbw b Derks 24
Steve Neville b Derks 1
Ski b Zeeshan Ali  26
Anil Basnet not out 17
Simon not out 1
Extras (lb1, w6) 7
FALL OF WICKETS 5, 5, 5, 39, 40, 47, 87
Eddie Evans 4-0-18-1 Mike Ottley 4-0-23-2 Tom Poulter 4-0-11-1 Mike Derks 4-0-14-2 Paul Meek 2-1-6-0 Zeeshan Ali 2-0-15-1 

Sunday July 26 v Gentlemen of West London, Abbey Rec – WON by 6 wickets

Gents of West London 200-9 (40 overs, Khem Sah 3-42, Sunny Lall 2-3, Anil Basnet 2-59)
Bricklayer’s Arms 201-4 (38 overs, Mohammed Waqas 48 not out, Riaz Gul 46, Greg Tremain 40, Tara Thapa 39)

We had never beaten the Gentlemen of West London – a few draws, many defeats, but nothing to rival this performance. They are always a strong side yet this time so were we. And thanks to some tight bowling, keen fielding and what their organiser Andy Burman described as a “superbly controlled run chase” we finally notched that first victory.

Somehow Greg Tremain had given their skipper the strange impression we were weak in batting, so they put us in the field. The opening bowling pair of Tara Thapa and Mike Ottley did an excellent job. Tara bowled four maidens in his six-over spell while some wily field placing brought Mike our first wicket on 7 as opener H Patel slashed to Waqas at cover. Only 20 came from the first 10 overs.

Sunny Lall replaced Tara and on 34 got the other opener top-edging to debutant Riaz Gul at short backward square, followed seven runs later by tempting No 3 into a miscued hook to Khem Sah at midwicket. Unfortunately he then had to withdraw from the attack with a hamstring pulled reaching a wild return from Anil Basnet.

Halfway drinks saw just 58 on the board, but with Anil’s bowling initially as wayward as his throw Gents accelerated through the next few overs. However Khem struck back on 105 with two wickets in two balls, the first jagging back to take No 4’s off stump, the second trapping their Hampshire League star back on his stumps, plum for a golden duck. Khem then had No 5 well taken on 120 by Mike Ottley at deep mid-on, atoning for an earlier dolly dropped round the corner.

That was the start of the last 10 overs, but rain forced an early tea with nine remaining and 131-6 on the board. The game was evenly poised for Gents’ final assault. Some hard hitting, and hard chances spilt, saw them speed to 161 before Waqas took a steepler at extra cover, followed on 176 by an equally ice-cool catch at long-off, both off Anil’s second spell. Tara was unlucky to finish wicketless, Suraj Khadka bowled a promising spell and Riaz Gul was particularly unfortunate to see three sharp chances go down in the field. The last ball saw a run-out off his own bowling by Anil but 200 had been posted, including 80 off the final 10. Game on.

With the asking rate five an over Greg was determined we should bat time, and he and Tim Sturm got us to 20 before Tim was bowled for 9. Enter Riaz Gul, and he and Greg took us to 42 in 10 overs and 83 in the 18th before Greg’s classy 40 was ended by a slow spinner which bounced over his bat onto the off bail. At halfway we had 92, well set to chase down the target with eight wickets in hand.

Riaz, also batting sensibly but punishing the bad ball, now took us up to 105 before being bowled four short of a deserved debut half-century. Now Tara, who looked out of sorts early on, and Waqas, who hit his first runs off his 10th ball, started to accelerate once they had played themselves in. They matched each other score for score with good running and the occasional boundary, taking us to 141 with 10 overs left and 176 before Tara was bowled for an invaluable 39 in the 35th over.

It’s a measure of how disciplined our batting had been that Waqas gave our only catching chance, dropped at long-on, and he and Khem saw us through, the only regret being that Waqas couldn’t hit an eighth four for a fifty to seal the victory. Instead a single took him to our top score of 48 and the target of 201 with two overs to spare.

It was a great game, fine all-round team performance and a seriously good win. 

Gents of West London won toss and batted

Gents of West London 200-9
H Patel c Waqas b Ottley 6
S Kumar c Gul b Lall 13
R. Cratharaju c Sah b Lall 20
P. Kota b Sah 30
D. Francis c Ottley b Sah 32
A. Pentakota lbw b Sah 0
B. Gulati c Waqas b Basnet 38
R. Sudereddy c Waqas b Basnet 20
G. Newcombe not out 20
M. Dubey run out 11
S.Patel and R.Krishna did not bat
Extras (b5, nb4) 9
FALL OF WICKETS 7, 34, 41, 105, 105, 120, 161, 176, 200
RUN RATE 20-1 (10 overs), 58-3 (20), 120-6 (30)
BOWLING Tara Thapa 8-4-28-0 Mike Ottley 8-1-24-1 Sunny Lall 2.3-0-3-2 Greg Tremain 0.3-0-3-0 Khem Sah 8-1-42-3 Anil Basnet 8-0-59-2 Suraj Khadka 3-0-22-0 Riaz Gul 2-0-14-0

Bricklayer’s Arms 201-4
Greg Tremain b H Patel 40 (7×4, 49 balls)
Tim Sturm b Krishna 9 (1×4, 17 balls)
Riaz Gul b H Patel 46 (7×4, 49 balls)
Tara Thapa b S Patel 39 (3×4, 35 balls)
Mohammed Waqas not out 48 (6×4, 46 balls)
Khem Sah not out 11 (1×4, 10 balls)
Sunny Lall, Anil Basnet, Suraj Khadka, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b3, w5) 8
FALL OF WICKETS 20 (2, 6th over) 83 (1, 18) 105 (3,24) 176 (4,39)
RUN RATE 44-1 (10 overs), 92-2 (20), 141-3 (30)

Tuesday July 21, v Old Adelaide – WON by 160 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 223-4 (18 overs, Yogi Patel ret 49, Greg Tremain ret 32, Khem Sah ret 32, Mohammed Waqas ret 30)
Old Adelaide 63-8 (Jason Reid 28, Tara Thapa 3-17, Tm Poulter 2-0)

It was the battle of the generations. The current Brick team versus those who started the side up in 1992 back at the Queen Adelaide. Young v old, fit v not so fit, modern v ancient. There was never much doubt over the result.

There had been talk of evening up the sides, but in the event so many veterans turned up that 13 played 13 much on the original lines, with only Ian Bridgford transferred to help the aged. The Brick won the toss and Tom Poulter unsurprisingly chose to bat.

The first over set the tone. Yogi Patel (watched by his father, who turned out to be Chris Locke’s newsagent back in the day) cracked three fours and a single while Chris, whose knees had packed up in protest at keeping for 36 overs on Sunday, conceded five byes. 

So it was for the next six overs as Yogi and Greg Tremain laid waste to the bowling of Bert Schoewenburg, Stan Cathrine and Jason Reid. With the score past 100 Yogi retired on 49, only for Alvin Spencer to bowl Ravi Ogale first ball. Khem Sah and, once Greg also retired for 32, Mohammed Waqas picked up the pace again until both walked off for 32 and 30 respectively.

Prakhar Chandra and Tom Poulter now took the score past 200 before Prakhar was bowled for 16 by Dave Packham. Mandar Bangre was bowled third ball for a duck, bamboozled by Kevin Gilmartin finally producing a straight one after five arced down leg side. And on the last ball Eddie Evans was run out for 7, leaving Tom Poulter not out on the same score and a daunting 223 posted from 18 overs.

The Old Ad’s reply began with Dominic Ewer hitting one four before being caught on the cover boundary by Waqas off Tara Thapa. Next ball Steve Neville sliced to Zheesan Ali at point for a golden, but Jason Reid, now accompanied by the durable Dave Winpenny, took us to 39. Jason hit successive sixes off Ludo Stewart, then 6-4-4 to spoil Tara’s figures, but Tara got him bowled next ball. Richard Evans also managed a boundary before being caught for 6 by Tom off Prakhar on 47, and at the same score Dave Winpenny was bowled by Mike Ottley.

Skipper Dave Packham then called Alvin Spencer for a suicidal single, running him out for a duck as Eddie Evans pounced from short baclward square to make it 48-6. But Dave, who survived being cleaned out by a Ravi “no-ball”, and Stan Catherine then took the Old Ad to 63 in the last over before Dave, who’d hit two trademark fours to long-on, was bowled by Tom Poulter for 12. Tom then dispatched Ian Bridgford the same way first ball but Bert saw out the last two balls for a signature 0*  while Stan remained unbeaten on 2.

Most of both sides repaired to the pub to agree that we really must even things up a bit more next year.


Brick won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 223-4 
Yogi Patel retired 49 (20 balls, 10×4)
Greg Tremain retired 32 (20 balls, 10×4)

Ravi Ogale b Spencer 0 (1ball)
Khem Sah retired 32(20 balls, 10×4)

Mohammed Waqas retired 30 (20 balls, 10×4)

Prakhar Chandra b Packham 12 (12 balls, 3×4)

Tom Poulter not out 7 (8 balls, 1×4)
Mandar Bangre b Gilmartin 0 (3 balls)
Eddie Evans run out 7  (8 balls, 1×4)
Tara Thapa, Ludo Stewart, Mike Ottley and Zheesan Ali did not bat
Extras (b24, lb3, w21) 48
FALL OF WICKETS 102-1 (3) 200-2 (6) 206 (8) 223 (9)
RUN RATE 129-1 (10 overs)
BOWLING Bert Schoewenburg 3-0-37-0 Stan Catherine 4-0-43-0 Jason Reid 1-0-20-0 Alvin Spencer 4-0-43-1 Ian Bridgford 3-0-32-0 Dave Packham 2-0-19-1 Kevin Gilmartin 1-0-2-1 

Old Adelaide 63-8
Dominic Ewer c Waqas b Thapa 5 (1×4, 9 balls) 
Jason Reid b Thapa 28 (3×6, 2×4, 18 balls)

Steve Neville c Zeeshan b Thapa 0 (1 ball)
 Dave Winpenny b Ottley 3 (20 balls)
Richard Evans c Poulter b Prakhar (1×4, 7 balls)
Alvin Spencer run out 0 (8 balls)
Dave Packham b Poulter 12 (2×4, 23 balls)
Stan Catherine not out 2 (9 balls)
Ian Bridgford b Poulter 0 (1 ball)
Bert Schoewenburg not out 0 (2 balls)

Chris Locke, Paul Phillips and Kevin Gilmartin did not bat
Extras (b1, w5, nb1) 7
FALL OF WICKETS 5-1 (1, 2nd over) 6-2 (3,2) 39-3 (3,6) 47-4 (5,9) 47-5 (4,10) 48-6 (6,13) 63 (7,18) 63 (9,18)
RUN RATE 47-5 (10 overs)

BOWLING Zeeshan Ali 3-0-14-0 Tara Thapa 3-0-17-3 Ludo Stewart 2-0-17-0 Mike Ottley 3-1-2-1 Prakhar Chandra 2-0-7-1 Ravi Ogale 2-1-1-0 Eddie Evans 1-0-2-0 Tom Poulter 1-1-0-2

Sunday July 19 v Railway Taverners, Abbey Rec – LOST by 8 wickets

Bricklayer’s Arms 239 all out (36.5 overs, Sunny Lall 66, Tom Poulter 56, Greg Tremain 22)
Railway Taverners 240-3 

It was great to be back. The rain stayed off, we made a blazing start – but then a batting collapse and a rusty performance in the field saw us lose a high-scoring first match.

In the finest traditions, the opposition were all at the ground on time while we weren’t, so the toss was fixed for us to bat first. Tom Poulter and Cracker McCracken laid a solid foundation, taking us to 46 in the 11th over before Cracker drilled to mid-off for 14. 

Enter Sunny Lall, who wasted little time playing himself in, dot-3-dot being followed by 4-6-4. With Tom also in full flow against the change bowlers, the next three overs went for 48 and the four after that for 45 before Tom, who’d reached fifty in 43, was lbw to our ex-player, German leg-spinner Matthias Winter for 56. That was 126-2, which by the 20-over drinks break became 143-2 as Sunny posted his half-century in 30 balls.

Sunny eventually holed out to long-on for 66 in 40 balls, and that was the game turned. From 164-2 in the 23rd over we lost six wickets for 22in five overs.

First skipper Greg Tremain, who’d compiled an elegant 22, slapped Matthias to extra cover where another of our former players, Dominic Ewer, gleefully took the chance. Then Lewis Caley’s agony was ended as he was bowled for a nine-ball duck on 181. Next over, with the score the same, Waqas, who’d hit his first two balls for four, spooned the third to square leg  and one extra later Robbie Coton was stumped for 0 to give Matthias his fourth wicket. When Paul Meek was bowled first ball in the following over we were 182-8. 

Old hands Ian Watson and Mike Ottley patiently rebuilt to take us past 200, but despite Matthias (4-70) taking himself off having miscounted his spell he wasn’t finished yet – a sharp catch at gully sent Ian back for 11 to leave us 202-9. Ian Bridford played watchfully as he and Mike Ottley tried to bat out the overs, then unfurled three fours in succession. Mike also found the boundary three times in hitting 18 but in the 37th over chased a wide to nick to the keeper. Chris Locke, batting at 12 as both sides had an extra man, glanced a single but Ian was bowled the same over to mean we set a target of 240: a good recovery but well short of what had seemed possible at halfway.

Sunny Lall opened the bowling with two maidens in a brisk spell, while mike Ottley locked horns with Dominic in a duel of veterans. Eventually Mike got his man as Dom edged onto his boot for slip Sunny to dive forward and a breathtaking juggling catch. That was 36-1, and once Mike had given way to Tom Poulter, Ian Watson took an equally good if very different catch, holding a steepler at long-on to make it 66-2 in the 16th over to remove the other opener.

Drinks came at 93-2 – 50 behind what we had at the same stage – but with danger man Reilly at the crease and No 3 Lalwani merciless on anything legside we couldn’t afford to lose line and length. Unfortunately that’s what happened as too much was short and leggy. Sunny’s second spell wasn’t a patch on his first, and the runs piled on as bowlers and fielders tired. With most bowlers too knackered to take a second spell Greg did at least get a wicket himself, a straight long hop fooling no 3 to hit the base of the stumps, but by then the stand had put on 145 and, bar a heroic effort by Tom Poulter just failing to catch Reilly deep at cow corner, the game was up.

But it was great to be back.

Bricklayer’s Arms 239 all out 
Tom Poulter lbw b Winter 56 (49 balls, 1×6, 5×4, fifty in 43 balls)
Cracker McCracken c mid-off b Geesen 14 (29 balls, 1×4)

Sunny Lall c long-on b Vale 66 (40 balls, 1×6, 7×4, fifty in 30 balls)
Greg Tremain c extra cover b Winter 22 (20 balls, 4×4)
Lewis Caley b Vale 0 (9 balls)
Mohammed Waqas c square leg b Winter 8 (3 balls, 2×4)
Paul Meek b Low 0 (1 ball)
Robbie Coton st wk b Winter 0 (3 balls)
Ian Watson c gully b Low 11 (21 balls)
Mike Ottley c wk b George 18 (23 balls, 3×4)
Ian Bridgford b George 12 (20 balls, 3×4)
Chris Locke not out 1 (2 balls)
Extras (b1, lb3, w25, nb2) 31
FALL OF WICKETS 42 (2,11) 126 (1, 18) 164 (3,23) 170 (4, 24) 181 (5,25) 181 (6,26) 182 (8,26) 186 (7,27) 206 (9,31) 237 (10,36) 239 (11, 37)
RUN RATE 37-0 (10 overs) 143-2 (20) 202-8 (30)

Railway Taverners 240-3 
Vale c Watson (long-on) b Poulter 31
Ewer c Lall b Ottley 17
Lalwani b Tremain 85
Reilly not out 67
Singh not out 13
Extras (b12, lb3, w8, nb1) 24
FALL OF WICKETS 36 (2,8) 66 (1, 16) 201 (3,33) 
RUN RATE 47-1 (10 overs) 193-2 (20) 191-2 (30)

Lall 7-2-38-0
Ottley 6-0-28-1
Meek 5-0-29-0
Waqas 4-0-27-0
Poulter 6-1-31-1
Watson 4-0-39-0
Tremain 4-0-30-1
Caley 0.1-0-4-0  

Sunday 22 September v Trafalgar Freehouse, Abbey Rec – WON by 118 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 222-5 (27 overs, Tara Thapa 47, Tom Poulter 46, Sunny Lall 44, Anil Basnet 44 not out)  Trafalgar Freehouse 104 all out (24.4 overs, Mike Robins 4-30, Mike Ottley 2-18, Jay Singh 2-29)

It was another day to prove the weather naysayers wrong. Morning gloom and early opening had persuaded half the Traf into the pub to watch the World Cup rugby, but Chris Locke, Mike Ottley and rival skipper Miles Evans believed the Met Office forecast of the rain passing after lunch. Most of the Brick gathered pitchside in the drizzle, and were vindicated with a 2.15 start once the remaining opposition were prised out of the boozer.

Much haggling produced an agreed revised format of 27 overs and the Traf put us in to bat. We had nine, they ten but with one hobbled, so each side gained a sub fielder. Tom Poulter and Cracker McCracken set the pace with 16 off the first two overs, including four all run, but on 20 Cracker edged behind in the third for 7. Tara Thapa joined Tom in more enthusiastic running and the pair added 85 in 13 overs before both fell just short of their fifties – Tom (46) conventionally caught at gully, Tara bizarrely  reverse-sweeping to the same fielder next over when 47. 

This brought Sunny Lall and Anil Basnet together with the score 109-3 and ten overs left. They made the most of them. Sunny didn’t hit a dot ball until he’d scored 34, then three balls later was bowled off his legs for 44 in 20 balls, by which time 53 had been added in five overs. Anil then took over, adding 19 with Mike Ottley (caught at slip for 1) and an unbeaten 41 with Jay Singh (7 not out) to post 44 not out himself off 27 balls.

All of which meant a total of 222 and asking rate of above eight an over – not bad for an innings where nobody reached fifty. It was certainly beyond the Traf. Mikes Ottley and Robins bowled beautifully to wreck their top order. Ottley claimed the first two wickets, one prodded to Anil to silly mid-off, the other opener top-edging to Cracker at slip. He then brought in a second slip for Mike Robins, who was swinging the ball superbly, and sure enough Sunny took the catch. Then Tara, just moved to short mid-on, clung on to the next Robins delivery. Momentary lack of a sub field in the clatter of wickets meant no second slip for the next ball, edged straight through there. A pity, as Mike Robins could have had a hat trick – the following delivery clean bowled the Traf skipper.

Half the oppo were gone for 29, and a sixth soon went too as a snick off a Robins lifter was pouched by Chris Locke. But Kerrigan Smith and Martin Stroud held off the change bowlers – Tom Poulter unlucky with a muffed stumping – until at last Jay Singh, who had bowling fast for an edge that would not come, pitched one up to bowl Kerrigan, then caught Martin off his own bowling. It only remained for Anil to york the last man and we could head back to the pub for tea and well-earned refreshment – just as the sun finally came out.
Trafalgar won toss and fielded
Bricklayer’s Arms 222-5
Tom Poulter c gully b Rhys 46 (2×4, 43 balls)
Cracker McCracken c wk b Kerrigan 7 (1×4, 7 balls)
Tara Thapa c gully b Karim 47 (1×6, 3×4, 51 balls)
Sunny Lall b Clarke 44  (7×4, 20 balls)
Anil Basnet not out 44  (6×4, 27 balls)
Mike Ottley c slip b Rhys 1 (6 balls)
Jay Singh not out 7 (8 balls)
Mike Robins and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b4, w17, nb5) 26
FALL OF WICKETS 20 (2,3rd over) 105 (1,16) 109 (4,17) 162 (4,22) 181 (6,24)
RUN RATE 52-1 (9 overs) 115-3 (18)

Trafalgar Freehouse 104 all out 
O’Keefe c Basnet (silly mid-off) b Ottley 4
Rhys c McCracken (slip) b Ottley 8
Miles b Robins 7
Clarke c Lall (2nd slip) b Robins 3
JFR c Thapa (mid-on) b Robins 6
Kerrigan b Singh 10
Karim c Locke (wk) b Robins 3
Stroud c&b Singh 36
Matt b Basnet 13
Tony not out 0 
Extras (b6, w8) 14
Mike Ottley 6-0-18-2 Mike Robins 6-0-30-4 Tom Poulter 4-0-15-0 Jay Singh 6-0-29-2 Anil Basnet 2.4-0-13-1

Sunday 15 September v Wimbledon Corinthians, Abbey Rec – LOST by 8 runs

Wimbledon Corinthians 249-8 (40 overs, Tom Poulter 4-62, Mike Ottley 2-22)

Bricklayer’s Arms 241-6  (40 overs, Sumit Sharma 57, Tom Poulter 41, Mohammed Waqas 35, Cracker McCracken 27, Ian Bridgford 24 not out)

A match that had everything – tantrums, penalty runs, a wicketkeeper storming off, a close finish on the dark. But then given how long it went on it was bound to have.

Against Mike Ottley’s better judgment in hindsight, we agreed a 40-over match rather than the timed game we would preferred with a weakened side. That might have been fine had we started on time, but our timekeeping has slipped in recent weeks – please try to be prompter, people. Also we were only ten, but Corinthians very kindly lent us spare player Sumit Sharma, who has turned out for us in the past.

Thank God he was there, as Mike Robins was hobbled with a bad ankle and Cracker McCracken and Mohammed Waqas were both unable to bowl thanks to crocked shoulders. Nonetheless Mike Ottley, mindful of our lack of runs against Roehampton, chose to bowl.

The skipper and Eddie Evans opened the attack, and Mike was unlucky not to get a wicket first ball as Chris Locke failed to realise Prakhar Chandra, another occasional Brick player, had edged onto his boot. Both Mike and Eddie went unrewarded for good bowling as edges failed to find fielders, but a score off just 24 off the first 10 told how well they had bowled. Eventually, thanks to a languid one-handed take by Tom Poulter at cover, Mike got the breakthrough, shortly followed by him having the other opening top-edging to Cracker McCracken at slip.

Ian Watson then got a wicket in his first over thanks to an astonishing leap by Mike Robins off his gammy ankle at square leg to stretch his right hand up to pouch No 4. This brought in Sunny Lall, who had originally put in to play as he often has for us before being browbeaten into turning out for his old club.

Ian was determined to get him, but unlike last year it wasn’t to be. However at halfway drinks Corinthians had just 77-3. Mike lectured his team on keeping their focus and the runs down. It nearly worked – first ball of the 21st over Sunny skied Sumit high into the covers, where a running Tom Poulter could not cling on.

It wasn’t going well for Tom, now on to bowl as Sunny and No 3 Ben took advantage of some ragged fielding to pile on the runs while he kicked down the stumps in frustration. Nor did Sumit get any joy from repeatedly passing the outside edge, and with Sunny punishing anything full with straight hits the score rattled along at 10 and over. Sunny had another life, spilled at deep midwicket, but at last Cracker McCracken held on to a juggling catch at long-on to dismiss him off Tom for 93.

Aided by Mike Robins, who bowled well despite his bad leg, Tom now got among the wickets. A fine take low down round the corner by Eddie Evans, who fielded tigerishly throughout, gave Tom his second, and after Cracker took his third catch of the day, another top-edge to slip, Tom wrapped up with an lbw and clean-bowled off the last ball of the innings.

We had been set 250 – more than we’d hoped at drinks but less than we feared while Sunny was still there – at just above six an over. Mohammed Waqas, promoted to opener as he had to leave early, went off at a cracking pace. the first three overs saw 30 runs scored, and by the tenth we had 66 before Waqas bowled for 35. Tom and Tim Sturm now had to go more steadily against better bowlers, but brought us to 94 before Tim was bowled for 10 and at halfway we had 111 with still only two down. It was all too much for their keeper – after five penalty runs were conceded when a bye hit a water bottle he stormed off, never to return.

We reached 123 before Tom went caught and bowled for 41, then 153 before Cracker was deceived by an ultra-slow off-break for 27. Eleven overs remained from which we needed 97, but Sumit was enjoying himself against his usual side and took us to 201 before he went bowled for a hard-hitting 57, done by Corinthians’ quickie returning to bowl his last over in deep twilight.

With four overs to get 49 it looked all up, but Ian Bridgford suddenly found the boundary while Eddie Evans ran everything. In the last over we needed 15 to win having plundered 14 off each of the previous two. But the dark finally did for Eddie, bowled for 15 off the fourth ball after he and Ian had hit a rapid 38, and Ian Watson was never going to get the two sixes off the final pair of deliveries we’d require. Instead he hit 2 not out, while Ian Bridgford’s unbeaten 24 was his best for the Brick.

We’d come astonishingly close, losing by just eight to a Corinthian side which contained five first-team league players. A most honourable defeat. Now let’s thrash the Traf (next Sunday’s opponents).


Bricklayer’s Arms won toss and fielded
Wimbledon Corinthians 249-8
Ankit c McCracken (slip) b Ottley 28
Prakhar c Poulter (cover) b Ottley 13
Ben not out 56
Ollie c Robins (square leg) b Watson 3
Sunny c McCracken (long-on) b Poulter 93
Sai c Evans (short backward square) b Poulter 2
Omkar lbw b Poulter 13
Steve c McCracken (slip) b Robins 6
Druva b Poulter 11
Extras (b13, lb1, w7) 21
FALL OF WICKETS 47 (1,14th over) 58 (2, 16) 66 (3,17) 190 (5,32) 205 (6, 34) 221 (7, 36) 241 (8,39) 249 (9,40)
RUN RATE 24-0 (10) 77-3 (20) 179-3 (30)

Bricklayer’s Arms 241-6  
Tom Poulter c&b Sai 41 (2×4, 54 balls)
Mohammed Waqas b Druva 35  (5×4, 30 balls)
Tim Sturm b Sai 10 (1×4, 28 balls)
Cracker McCracken  b Omkar 27 (3×4, 27 balls) 

Sumit Sharma 57 (1×6, 7×4, 43 balls, 37 balls) 
Ian Bridgford not out 24 (3×4, 26 balls)
Eddie Evans b Arif 15 (1×4, 11 balls)
Ian Watson not out 2 (2 balls)
Mike Ottley, Mike Robins and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b15, lb3, w6, nb3, penalties 5) 32
FALL OF WICKETS 66 (2,10th over) 94 3, 18) 123 (1,24) 153 (4,29) 201 (5, 36) 239 (7, 40)
RUN RATE 66-1 (10) 111-2 (20) 167-4 (30)

Sunday 8 September v Roehampton CC, Putney Heath – LOST by 4 wickets
Bricklayer’s Arms 124 all out (36.2 overs, Anil Basnet 45, Cracker McCracken 29)
Roehampton 125-6 (38.2 overs, Anil Basnet 2-22, Eddie Evans 2-26)

Only a fortnight ago I was reporting a loss that was outshone by an astonishing Test victory. No such luck now – we went down to a battling defeat, and so did England.

Talk in the week had been of a 12-a-side game, but late withdrawals ensured we were the bare eleven while the oppo only reached full strength by recruiting one of their members who’d stopped to watch and was told to get changed. Greg Tremain won the toss and batted, no doubt seduced by the sight of a motorised roller preparing the pitch – not what we are used to.

Unfortunately the wicket refused to be subdued. A low shooter did for Tom Poulter, bowled for five, while a weird tennis-ball bounce jagged in and took Greg’s off stump for 1. From 13-2 Cracker McCracken counter-attacked, supported by a watchful Tara Thapa, and aided by six Cracker fours we reached 42 before Tara was bowled for 3. Ludo Stewart spooned to silly mid-on for a duck on 44, Mohammed Waqas skied to square leg for 5 to make 50-5, Cracker holed out to midwicket for 29 on 66 and Eddie Evans was our seventh man down, bowled for 2 to put us 71-7 inside 21 overs.

Anil Basnet, straight off hitting a fifty the day before, was still there and looking good with some deft cutting, and with the aid of Mike Ottley, who posted our third top score of 9 including one thumping pull for four, we passed three figures without further loss. 

Anil looked in superb touch, playing straight  to counter some good bowling and despatching any bad ball, and even when Mike fell caught at cover to end a stand of 35 Ian Bridgford provided stout support and pulled a four himself to long leg. But an attempted repeat floated to square leg on 123 and Anil farmed the strike in vain as he was bowled for 45 one run on.

A target of 125 was at least respectable considering where we had been earlier, but never defendable in 40 overs unless we took 10 wickets. Tara and Mike rose to he challenge superbly, conceding just 20 off the first 10 overs with Mike unlucky to drop a sharp c&b and Tara seeing a skier trisect the field. Tara did finally get his reward by taking out the other opener’s leg stump at 23 in the 12th over. Waqas’s shoulder proved too painful for him after two balls (Greg creditably completing the over) so now the skipper turned to Tom and Eddie. Finally, after both had been frustrated by a series of Chinese cuts, Tom got the No 3 plumb on 60 while Eddie bowled the other opener off his boot at 70. Anil then did the No 4 with a fast googly,and when Eddie bowled No 6 round his legs we had their side out for 83 with 10 overs left.

Waqas then took a well-judged catch at cover off Anil to make it 93-6 and raise hopes of a miracle, but Roehampton’s skipper and their young No 8 combined hard hitting with cheeky singles to see them home with 10 balls to spare. Our resistance, like England’s, had been brave but unavailing.

Bricklayer’s Arms won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 124 all out 
Tom Poulter b Hugh 5 (1×4, 7 balls)
Greg Tremain b Badger 1 (8 balls)
Cracker McCracken c midwicket b Rich 29 (6×4, 42 balls)
Tara Thapa b Hugh 3 (22 balls)
Ludo Stewart c silly mid-on b Rich 0 (4 balls)
Mohammed Waqas c square leg b Paul 5 (1×4, 8 balls)
Anil Basnet b Badger 45 (6×4, 66 balls)
Eddie Evans b Paul 2 (13 balls)
Mike Ottley c cover b Hugh 9 (1×4, 14 balls)
Ian Bridgford c  square leg b Badger 4 (1×4, 14 balls)
Chris Locke not out 0 (1 ball)
Extras (b5, lb2, w12, nb2) 21
FALL OF WICKETS 6 (1, 2nd over) 13 (2, 5) 42 (4,12) 44 (5,14) 50 (6,15) 66 (3, 18) 71 (8,21) 106 (9,30) 123 (10,35) 124 (7,37)
RUN RATE 40-2 (10) 70-6 (20) 106-8 (30)

Roehampton 125-6
Boag b Thapa 6
Willmott b Evans 31
Saleem lbw Poulter 21
Allen b Basnet 4
Hasan not out 35
Hannan b Evans 2
Rana c Waqas b Basnet 5
Gerlach not out 9
  Extras (b6, lb3, w3) 12
FALL OF WICKETS 23 (1, 12th over) 60 (3, 21) 70 (2,26) 74 (4,27) 83 (6,30) 96 (7, 33) 
RUN RATE 20-0 (10) 58-1 (20) 83-5 (30)
BOWLING Mike Ottley 7-2-18-0 Tara Thapa 8-2-16-1 Mohammed Waqas 0.2-0-1-0 Greg Tremain 0.4-0-1-0 Tom Poulter 8-0-32-1 Eddie Evans 8-1-26-2 Anil Basnet 6.2-0-22-2  

Sunday Sep 1 v Woodlawn,Carlisle Park, Hampton – WON by 6 wickets

Woodlawn 176-6 (40 overs,Anil Basnet 3-20)
Bricklayer’s Arms 177-3 (Tom Poulter 82 not out, Mohammed Waqas 51 not out)

We had never beaten Woodlawn. A couple of winning draws when we could not get them out, a few when we held out for the same result. and last year a thrilling game when all four results were possible when they needed five off the last ball and got six. Anil Basnet, who bowled the last delivery that bisected two fielders at cow corner, could not sleep for two nights afterwards.

But now we have. Moreover it was a win with only ten men. Jay Singh reported a sprained leg the night before, Dave Winpenny called in sick first thing in the morning and Subash Aryal failed to show for no reason at all, failing to contact Chris Locke or stand-in match manager Mike Ottley. The stupid boy wasn’t even answering calls from his fellow Nepalese, from whom Anil Basnet and on Sunday morning debutant Jeewal Limbu stood in. 

So, minus one fuckwit, we gathered at Carlisle Park for an early start despite no trains within miles thanks to engineering works and an RMT strike.Skipper Mike discovered Woodlawn now play overs rather than the timed game they used to favour. He lost the toss and they batted, kindly lending us a sub field until the late-running Mohammed Waqas  turned up, having failed to read the directions or start time on Mike’s email.

It was time for some heroics, and Tara Thapa and Mike Ottley stepped up. Both bowled beautifully.Tara took first over and only conceded a four edged just past slip. Mike bowled a maiden,then so did Tara. By the sixth over only 10 were on the board as the combined pressure caused a swipe across a straight one to give Mike our first wicket. Even by 10 overs Woodlawn were just 27-1.

Tara finally strayed down leg and took himself off, but though wicketless he had been the pick of the bowlers, combining with Mike – who gave him that accolade – to strangle the start of the innings. Not that Mike,who bowled his eight overs straight through with two maidens for 1-20, did badly himself.

Nor did the pressure relent as Bittu Promod and Tom Poulter took over. Bittu was unlucky to see a catch high to Chris Locke’s right go down but still only 69 had been posted by drinks at 20 overs.

However the wickets weren’t coming, so in the 25th over Mike turned to Waqas, who had injured his shoulder in a bike accident the previous weekend. It showed. The ball flew everywhere as 22 – more than Mike’s entire spell – were conceded, but the one straight ball bowled the surviving opener. Waqas was immediately taken off, job done.

At 103 with just 15 overs left but eight wickets in hand, Woodlawn knew they had to get on with it. At 30 overs they had 132-2. We’d done brillantly in the field with only ten to keep the runs down yet, as Mike stressed, we had to keep on the pressure for the last ten or see the game slip away.

But Anil Basnet was a man on a mission. He bowled their dangerous skipper with a beautiful piece of work, floating a slow leg-break past his outside edge then kippering him with a fast straight one onto leg stump. Tom then finally got his just reward by bowling their No 3, and then when Mike took a top edge off Anil 99-1 had become . 143-5. Anil then made it 165-6 with another clean bowled. Bar Chris Locke dropping another high catch off the luckless Bittu and muffing a stumping off Anil we could have had more wickets, but nonetheless, despite 11 off the last over as the fielding finally frayed, only 44 came off the final ten as we were set 177 to win.

Tom Poulter and Ben Wraight set us on our way with 33 inside six overs before Ben, about to move to Chertsey, had what we hope won’t be his final innings sawn off by a low bounce lbw. (Ben, please come back, at least for this fixture and Ashford – you won’t be far away.) Jeewal then played some fine shots before holing to cover for 12 at 58, and Charlie Mann was out third ball, bowled for a duck at 62.

Only 11 overs had gone and with Tom Poulter already on 32 we were well up on the rate. The essential thing, Waqas was told, was to play yourself in and stay with him. Well, his first four balls were dots, but the fifth sailed over long-on for four. With Tom unveiling some of his trademark silky cuts to reach fifty in 37 balls and Waqas now back into his natural biffing game, the pair reached drinks at 155-3. Now it was only a question of if Waqas could reach fifty. He did, in 31 balls, and with Tom ending on a superb 82 not out we had won inside 23 overs.

A great performance in the field and with both bat and ball. Anil could sleep easy at last.

Woodlawn won toss and batted
Woodlawn 176-6
James b Waqas 47Manras b Ottley 6
Peanut b Poulter 44
Mani b Basnet 8
Kapil c Ottley (gully) b Basnet 4
Harms b Basnet 11
Vishal not out 18
Sharad not out 7
Extras (b12,lb2,w9) 23
FALL OF WICKETS 10 (2,6th over) 99 (1,25) 133 (4,31) 134 (3,32) 143 (5, 35) 165 (6,39)
RUN RATE 27-1 (10) 69-1 (20) 132-2 (30)
Tara Thapa 8-1-36-0 Mike Ottley 8-2-20-1 Bittu Promod 8-0-34-0 Tom Poulter 8-0-33-1 Mohammed Waqas 1-0-22-1 Anil Basnet 7-1-20-3

Bricklayer’s Arms 177-3
Tom Poulter not out 82 (12×4, 58 balls, fifty in 37)
Ben Wraight lbw b Vishal 3 (19 balls)
Jeewan Lumbu c cover b Vishal 12 (2×4, 12 balls)
Charlie Mann b Sharad 0 (3 balls)
Mohammed Waqas not out 51 (8×4, 33 balls, fifty in 31)
Tara Thapa, Anil Basnet, Bittu Promod, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b14, lb2, w13) 29
FALL OF WICKETS 33 (2,6th over) 58 (3,10) 62(4,11)
RUN RATE 59-2 (10) 155-3 (20) 

Sunday Aug 25 v Gentlemen of West London, Abbey Rec – LOST by 77 runs

Gentlemen of West London 247-6 (35 overs, Lal Poonwasie 3-36)
Bricklayer’s Arms 170-5 (35 overs, Tara Thapa 72 not out, Lal Poonwasie 38, Anil Basnet 32)

A game eclipsed by what happened at Headingley. We were in the field, with 32-degree heat, so frequent drinks breaks. The news varied at each, but then the square leg umpire brought out his phone. As we took wickets everyone almost ignored the bowler as we rushed to find the latest. Finally a roar from the boundary announced the win but it was only on finding highlights tonight I realised how close we had come to losing at the death. Amazing. We lost our match but nobody cared.

Frankly this was never a game we were going to win once Waqas decided to WhatsApp a picture of a hurt hand to a gardening Mike Ottley rather than text me as per standing instructions. Had he done so Anil and Tara could have brought a replacement. Learn from this, people.

We were unexpectedly ten and minus a valuable bowler and batsman. The Gents, whom we have never beaten, unsurprisingly chose to bat on a blazing day, though they did very sportingly lend us a sub fielder throughout.

We did begin well. In the third over Tara Thapa induced a thin low nick to Chris Locke – 15-1. Alas Mike Ottley’s three overs went for 21, while Rob Goymer and Tara also suffered as the score hit 55 off 10 overs and 132 off 20. Only Anil Basnet  introduced a measure of control, and on the same score in the 21st over got his reward by bowling the surviving opener. But at the other end Maurice Sukul suffered while Mark Hamilton’s tempting leggies induced uppish mishits that failed to find a fielder.

Anil ended his spell with unjust figures of 1-38 and a handshake from Gents’ best batsman, the No 3 who was on his way to a fine century. But Lal Poonwasie’s loosener was well held at short midwicket by Tim Sturm on 171, and at 213 he claimed a second wicket as No 5 was bowled through the Gents’ favourite pull shot. The returning Rob Goymer had No 6 again well taken buy Tim, this time at long-on at 220, and Lal got his third victim bowled on 229. But Gents’ No 3 got his ton having given only one hard chance to long-on, and survived a skier back to Tara to post 109 not out and set us 248 to win.

It looked a tough target but at least not the 300 we had feared at one point. Skipper Greg Tremain and Tim Sturm started our reply, but the bowling was tight and in the sixth over Greg on 8 was beaten through the gate trying an offside drive against one that came in on him. That was 14-1 but worse followed two overs later as Tim Sturm called for a single to mid-off only to find Lal unmoved as non-striker. Tim’s run-out for 1 left us 15-2.

Lal did atone, hitting a classy 38 off 40 balls as he and Tara Thapa put on 64 before Lal was stumped by a quick-thinking keeper who beat his slow turn back to the crease. We were 79-3 in the 20th over, which became 86-4 in the 22nd as Mike Ottley was bowled for a duck. Tara Thapa and Anil Basnet set briskly about chasing a by now impossible 13 an over, nigh on doubling our score as Tara reached a well deserved fifty in 48 balls and ended with 72 not out off 63,while Anil was out in the final over for 32 off 37. 

Gentlemen of West London won toss and batted

Gentlemen of West London 247-6 

Kumar b Basnet 68
Ahmed c Locke b Thapa 6
Namilikonda not out 109
Kota c Sturm b Poonwasie 20
Sudiredi b Poonwasie 19
Chatarajhu c Sturm b Goymer 4
Puli b Poonwasie 5
Khan not out 5
Extras (b6, w3, nb2) 11
FALL OF WICKETS 15 (2, 3rd over) 132 (1, 21) 171 (4, 26) 213 (5, 31) 220 (6,32) 229 (7,34)
RUN RATE 55-1 (10) 132-1 (20) 213-4 (30)
BOWLING Tara Thapa 7-1-39-1 Mike Ottley 3-0-21-0 Rob Goymer 7-0-49-1 Anil Basnet 7-0-38-1 Maurice Sukul 3-0-26-0 Mark Hamilton 2-0-20-0
Lal Poonwasie 5-0-36-3 Greg Tremain 1-0-12-0

  Bricklayer’s Arms 170-5 
Greg Tremain b Oruganty 8 (1×4, 20 balls)
Tim Sturm run out 1 (15 balls)
Lal Poonwasie st wk b Khan 38 (6×4, 40 balls)
Tara Thapa not out 72 (8×4, 65 balls, fifty in 4 balls)
Mike Ottley b Khan 0 (8 balls)
Anil Basnet b Dubay 32 (2×4, 7 balls)
Rob Goymer not out 1 (1 ball)
Maurice Sukul, Mark Hamilton and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b6, w7,nb5) 18
FALL OF WICKETS 14 (1, 6th over) 15 (2, 8) 79 (3, 20) 86 (5, 22) 169 (6,35)
RUN RATE 29-2 (10) 79-3 (20) 128-4 (30)

Sunday 18 August 2019 Bricklayer’s Arms v Croydon
LOST by 38 runs
Croydon 170-9 off 40 overs 
(Mike Robins 2-21, Sohaib Mohammed 3-36); Bricklayers 132 all out off 29.4 overs (Greg Tremain 51, Hassaan Mahmoon 21)

Croydon WON by 38 runs

A new fixture, against Danny Ryan’s Croydon’s Sunday side, a fixture that looked more off than on, for the most part of the week. Danny, despite two months’ notice, had only seven, and Lockie could only rustle up a half dozen by Wednesday. And that was before the unexpected mid morning rain that attempted to scupper any chance of play, as the doomsayers texted in. The rain was easy to deal with: ‘until the grounds man calls it off, we’re playing’, was Mike’s missive to all and sundry.  By now, Danny was down to six and, with the Nepalese boys having their own game, the chances of eleven versus eleven was looking decidedly slim.  But the rain did cause the cancellation of a game involving one of Croydon’s rivals and so Danny was able to field eleven, come the brought forward start time of 1pm, which, predictably, ended up being 1.30.  The Bricklayers meanwhile, through the efforts of Mike Ottley and Chris, were able to be quorate, through the returning duo of Hassaan Mamoon and Sohaib Mohammed, Sam Burgess, a friend of Tom, and Waqas Mohammed, for a rare non-T20 game. 
So, that’s the preliminaries taken of.  As for the game, captain Greg Tremain won the toss and elected to bat, on account of the green tinge to the pitch and the likely bounce after the morning rain. In a 40 over contest, the Brick struck early – one of Danny’s best bats, going to the third ball of Sohaib’s third ball, taking out the opener’s off stump; the first two deliveries must have deceived the batsman into thinking that a returning Sohaib wasn’t up to much. Bat No 2 was being troubled at the other end by Sunny Lall’s pace and bounce, but No 3, who Danny hadn’t seen before, and a Surrey league player, was a class act and took 14 off Sohaib’s second over. Ten more overs of this and the Brick would be facing a total in excess of 200. As it was, Sunny, in his fourth over, lured the good bat to a half cut, half pull shot. The result was a skier to Cracker McCracken, standing in for Lockie, behind the stumps. The ball seemed to stay in the air for an eternity but Cracker clutched it (he didn’t later) and the Bricklayers were a relieved bunch. With Danny, at No 4, going, clean bowled by Hassaan, when well set, the Brick had Croydon three down in no time. But Bats 2 and 5 led a recovery, so that no more wickets were lost when drinks arrived at the end of the 20th over. Croydon, at this point were 88-3, not far off five an over, thanks in part to the innings of No 3 but also Bats 2 and 5 who managed to survive chances off the bowling of Mike Robbins (first change) and Hassaan (second change) but still managed to keep the score board ticking over.
After drinks, Mike R finally got his reward, when the obstinate No 2 chipped to Tom Poulter, fielding at mid wicket. Wickets a plenty. Hassaan took an absolute blinder, one handed, at short cover, off Mike R, to dismiss Bat 6 for 0, Tom Poulter, introduced into the attack, had Bat 7 caught at square leg, by Mike R, and Waqas Mohammed took a skier off his own bowling, after Mike R finished his spell, to dismiss the menacing No 5.  Croydon were seven down with only 130 on the board. But the other good bat Croydon possessed and Danny didn’t know of, a 15 year old lad, at No 8, in conjunction with No 9, led a steady recovery and duly accelerated, as overs were running out. He scored 48, before attempting another huge hit over the long, mid wicket boundary, and was caught at cow corner by a tumbling Hassaan off the returning bowling of Sohaib, who, in the final over, bagged his third wicket by bowling No 9.
Croydon had recovered to set a target of 171 but it was a rate of less than five runs an over. Bricklayers had a decent batting line up.
Greg and Tom opened the Brick innings and soon rattled up 23 runs between them, before, in the fourth over, Tom (10) was well caught at backward square leg off a good shot. A surprised dismissal, but other bats, although maintaining the run rate, were soon to follow.  Cracker, caught at mid wicket, for 1, Waqas, caught at cover, for 8, Hassaan, caught mid off, for a rapid 21, and Sam, caught by mid off, for 0.  By the end of the 16th over, the Brick were 75-5 – up on the run rate but down on wickets. In all this mayhem, Greg stood firm and was playing some exquisite nudges and drives and, with Sohaib, coming in at six, the rot was stopped. 23 runs were put on, before Sohaib holed out to long off for 9. 98-6 in the 22nd over. Sunny, low down in the order at number eight, joined Greg and these two took the Brick score to 128 and both looked comfortable against accurate bowling, until Greg, having celebrated a fine fifty, got one from Croydon’s off spinner that jagged back and clipped his leg stump. The Brick tail was exposed and Croydon’s off spinner had his tail up. Sunny was unfazed but the two Mikes and Ian Watson folded to the off spinner’s bowling, whose craft and guile hit the stumps of all three, for 2, 0 and 1 respectively, leaving Sunny stranded on 15 not out.
The Brick had failed by 39 runs to reach their target. But it was an enjoyable game, played at a high standard. More importantly, it was an excuse to go the Trafalgar Arms to share a few ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ over a splendid pint of Quad Hop and Shere Drop, something that looked extremely unlikely mid week, let alone first thing this morning.
Innings of Croydon:
Jigar bld Sohaib 0
Mike ct Poulter bld Robins 24
Kieran ct Cracker bld Lall 34
Dan bld Hassaan 7
Ron ct & bld Waqas 25
Mike ct Hassaan bld Robins 0
Paul ct Robins bld Poulter 0
Freddie ct Hassaan bld Sohaib 48
Leo bld Sohaib 16
Chandru not out 3
Noren not out 2
Extras 10
Total 170-9 off 40 overs
FoW: not known
Sohaib Mohammed 7-0-36-3
Sunny Lall 6-0-35-1
Hassaan Mamoon 4-0-19-1
Mike Robins 8-1-21-2
Tom Poulter 6-1-12-1
Waqas Mohammed 7-1-27-1
Mike Ottley 2-0-14-0
Innings of Bricklayers Arms:
Tom Poulter ct square leg, bld Freddie 9 (10 balls)
Greg Tremain bld Mike 51 (60 balls, five fours)
Cracker McCracken ct midwicket bld Chandru 1 (5 balls)
Waqas Mohammed ct cover bld Noren 8 (12 balls, one four)
Hassaan Mamoon ct mid off bld Noren 21 (24 balls, three fours)
Sam Burgess ct mid off bld Paul 0 (3 balls)
Sohaib Mohammed ct long off bld mike 9 (24 balls, one four)
Sunny Lall not out 15 (17 balls, one four)
Mike Robins bld Leo 2 (7 balls)
Mike Ottley bld Mike 0 (1 ball)
Ian Watson bld Mike 1 (5 balls)
Extras 10

Total 132 all out off 29.4 overs
FoW: 1(21), 2(24), 3(45), 4(72), 5(75), 6(98), 7(126), 8(128), 9(129), 10(132)
Chandru 4-0-16-1
Freddie 4-0-26-1
Noren 6-0-27-2
Paul 6-0-21-1
Leo 4-0-23-1
Mike 4.4-0-12-4
Kieran 1-0-2-0​

Sunday Aug 11 v Phene Philanderers, Abbey Rec – DRAWN

Bricklayer’s Arms 231-6 dec (38 overs, Tom Poulter 89, Khem Sah 61 not out, Eddie Evans 33)
Phene Philanderers 138-5 (39 overs, Mark Hamilton 2-31)

Last year a strong Brick team beat Phene handsomely. This seasons, despite my assurances we weren’t as strong, they asked for a timed game, giving the option of a draw. It’s something we’ve done often when we’ve felt we were the weaker side, so we could hardly refuse. We’d bat first, set a target, and they’d either chase it down or we’d have to get them all out to win.

We began well. With two and a half hours to bat skipper Simon Foister and Tom Poulter accumulated steadily, Simon playing the anchor and Tom all the shots. It wasn’t until the 17th over, by which time we had 82, that Simon was bowled for 17 off 49 balls – one more than it took Tom to reach his fifty.

In came Eddie Evans and some more youthful running plus a flow of boundaries from both batsmen saw us to 96 at drinks on 19 overs and to 144 in the 26th over when Tom was taken at mid-on for 89. There had been one chance, dropped at slip in his forties, but otherwise it was flawless striking to put us in command and set the stage perfectly for Khem Sah to carry on. Khem announced his intent with fours off his first two balls. On 159 he lost Eddie, stumped for a well-played 33, and on 165 Mark Hamilton was bowled for a duck. Mike Robins struck five before holing at mid-off on 177, but by now it was all about giving Khem the strike.Ian Bridgford hit three before being bowled to end a stand of 32, and Ian Watson hit one off the only two balls he faced as 22 were plundered off the final two overs as Khem sailed past fifty in 32 balls and ended unbeaten on 61 off 38.

That meant Phene’s target was 232 in an hour plus 20 overs. Simon began with Mike Robins and Mike Ottley, the latter’s spin calculated to speed our over rate so that we had the maximum opportunity to take wickets. Robins was unlucky to see a skier go down at square leg, but an Ottley slower ball produced a better result as Simon pouched the catch at mid-off, and Robins then had his mam bowled with a quicker fuller pitch. Both openers had gone at 17 before six overs were up.

Phene decided to dig in. The two Mikes had no further reward as catches went where fielders weren’t, nor could Eddie Evans break through with his outswing. Drinks came after 19 overs with the score 51-2.

It was obvious Phene were not going to chase the nine an over they now needed to win off the last 20, so Simon decided to try to buy wickets. With Tom Poulter spinning from one end he rang the changes at the other. Ian Bridgford  and debutant Max Ellis had no joy in their two overs each, but the looping leg-spin of Mark Hamilton finally broke the stand in the 29th over, Mike Robins at mid-on holding the catch. Next over Ian Watson got No 5 smartly stumped by Chris Locke, and in the next Mark struck again with a great leg-break that took off stump. 

We had eight overs to claim the remaining five wickets, but now our luck ran out. Mark saw another stumping appeal turned down, a catch spilled at cover and even the bail failing to drop as the ball rolled onto off stump. Simon did at least achieve the feat of using ten bowlers, as he followed an over by Khem with one of his own leg-breaks, but it was to no avail. Phene got their draw, our first of the season.

Bricklayer’s Arms batted by agreement
Bricklayer’s Arms 231-6 dec 

Simon Foister b Strange 17 (1×4, 49 balls)
Tom Poulter c mid-on b Jones 89 (11×4, 77 balls, fifty in 48 balls)
Eddie Evans st wk b Jeremy 33 (3×4, 35 balls)
Khem Sah not out 61 (10×4, 38 balls, fifty in 32 balls)
Mark Hamilton b Jones 0 (5 balls)
Mike Robins c mid-off b Jeremy 5 (11 balls)
Ian Bridgford b Kalpak 3 (11 balls)
Ian Watson not out 1 (2 balls)
Max Ellis, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b3, lb2, w13, nb2) 20
FALL OF WICKETS 82 (1,17th over) 144 (2,26) 159 (3,27) 165 (5,28) 177 (6,31) 209 (7,36)
RUN RATE 47-0 (10) 104-1 (20) 177-4 (30)
BOWLING Darling 7-0-34-0 Leclercq 8-0-41-0 Strange 6-0-33-1 Jeremy 9-0-50-2 Jones 5-0-38-2 Kalpak 3-0-19-1 Niraj 1-0-13-0

Phene Philanderers 138-5  
Kalpak c Foister (mid-off) b Ottley 5
Jones b Robins 9
Strange not out 57
Eade c Riobins (mid-on) b Hamilton 21
Niraj b Hamilton 3
Hodgson st Locke b Watson 3
McGahan not out 17
Extras 23
FALL OF WICKETS 17 (1,5th over) 17 (2,6) 90 (4,20) 99 (5,30) 102 (6,31) 
RUN RATE 24-2 (10) 54-2 (20) 99-3 (30)
BOWLING Robins 5-1-18-1 Ottley 9-2-17-1 Evans 5-2-12-0 Poulter 6-0-18-0 Bridgford 2-0-12-0 Ellis 2-0-13-0 Hamilton 6-0-31-2 Watson 2-0-4-1 Khem Sah 1-0-40 Foister 1-0-1-0

Weds Aug 7 v Epsom Taxes, Wandsworth Park – WON by 18 runs
Bricklayer’s Arms 140-6 (18 overs, Ravi Ogale 42 not out, Anil Basnet 30)
Epsom Taxes 122-4 (18 overs)

Our 14th and last midweek game this season ended, as 11 have, with a victory. Earlier, way back in May, we’d beaten Epsom Taxes at their ground. Since then they had won every game – until last night.

District line chaos meant a delayed start and agreement that we would bat in an 18-over game. It did not start well as Sunday’s hero Tom Poulter was bowled for 1 in the second over. That brought in Ravi Ogale to join Khem Sah, but when Khem edged behind and Subash Aryal was bowled second ball we were 32-3.

Anil Basnet joined Ravi and the two plundered endless quick singles, provoking some shoddy fielding which yielded overthrows and fluffed a runout as extras became top scorer. Anil wristily cut a string of boundaries, then hit a six over backward square as the pair added 66 before he perished for 30 at long-on. 

Waqas hit a couple of quick fours in his 9 before holing out to long-off, while Jay Singh also hit a six before being bowled for 8 at the start of the final over. With two twos and a single Ian Bridgford gave Ravi the strike for the last ball. He launched it high into the trees for his second six of the night, leaving him undefeated on 42 and us on 140.

It was a good target to set, but with small boundaries to defend we would need to disciplined in bowling and fielding – above all, as skipper Mike Ottley stressed, not to match the 34 in extras they’d given us. Tom Poulter made a great start as their skipper top-edged to Khem at square leg to the only bad ball he was to bowl. Tom and Ravi kept a tight line, conceding just 18 and 21 respectively off the bat. With extras at a minimum, it looked as if we’d squeezed the life out of their run chase, backed by some excellent work from every fielder.

But Epsom weren’t giving up yet. Jay Singh got the second wicket, bowling the remaining opener in the 10th over at 57, but he and Waqas couldn’t match our opening bowlers’ accuracy and were taken for 35 and 29 respectively off three overs each. For the last four overs, as Epsom passed 100 with eight wickets in hand, Mike turned to Khem and Anil. 

Anil was outstanding, conceding just 2 in an over where he was desperately unlucky to see a stumping appeal refused and just fail to get hands on a skier off his own bowling, and when  at the start of the next over  Khem took out the No 4 bowledEpsom needed 31 off 11 balls. They were not to get them, as Khem conceded 11 off his two overs and Anil just six. We even had the bonus of a great direct hit from point by Waqas to dismiss the batsman running to the bowler’s end.

So we’d won by 18 in a game between two tightly matched sides. Kudos to Ravi and the batsmen who set us up, to the bowlers who gave away half the extras Epsom did, and to a fielding performance exemplified by Dave Winpenny getting everything behind a hard-hit square cut to save four. And thanks to everyone who turned out in all weathers on those 14 summer evenings, and especially to Mike Ottley for organising and skippering the midweek side.


Bricklayer’s batted by agreement
Bricklayer’s Arms 140-6
Khem Sah c wk b SK 11 (2×4, 11 balls)
Tom Poulter b Shane 1 (4 balls)
Ravi Ogale not out 42 (2×6,4×4, 33 balls)
Subash Aryal b SK 0 (2 balls)
Anil Basnet c long-on b Ishan 30 (5×4, 1×6, 30 balls)
Mohammed Waqas  c long-off b Ishan 9 (2×4, 7 balls)
Jay Singh b Ishan 8 (1×6, 5 balls)
Ian Bridgford not out 5 (4 balls)
Mike Ottley, Dave Winpenny and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b9, lb8,w17, nb1) 34
FALL OF WICKETS 11 (2, 2nd over) 32 (1,5) 32 (4,5) 98 (5,14) 120 (6,16) 129 (7, 18)
RUN RATE 49-3 (9 overs)

 Epsom Taxes 122-4 
Sachin c Khem Sah (square leg) b Poulter 0
Jason b Singh 29
Sunny not out 55
Shane b Khem Sah 12
SK run out (Waqas) 7
Extras (b5, lb2, w11) 18
FALL OF WICKETS 0 (1, 1st over) 57 (2,10) 110 (4,17) 122 (5,18) 
RUN RATE 57-2 (10 overs)
BOWLING Poulter 4-0-18-1  Ogale 4-0-21-0 Waqas 3-0-29-0 Singh 3-0-35-0 Sah 2-0-11-1 Basnet 2-0-6-0  

Sunday Aug 4 v Rotten Livers, Abbey Rec SW19 – WON by 3 wickets

Rotten Livers 168 all out (34.4 overs, Tom Poulter 5-9, Mike Ottley 3-25)
Bricklayer’s Arms 171-7 (33.5 overs, Tom Poulter 63 not out, Manik Saldi 28)

A superb game which we won with seven balls and three wickets to spare, thanks to a great display in the field and a fine batting performance, led in both departments by undisputed man of the match Tom Poulter.

Livers chose to bat and Sunny Lall and Mike Robins opened the attack. Sunny saw one chance go down low to gully, but soon got his man caught at cover by Manik Saldi. But Mike had no luck, the other opener cross-batting merrily as several balls just missed the edge, and 50 came up in 10 overs before skipper Mike Ottley turned to Tom. It brought immediate success as Nos 3 and 4 were bowled, both off pad or inside edge, to make Livers 56-3. 

Tom’s spin was tying the batsmen in knots with a string of maidens, the only runs coming from Prakhar Chandra, who was suffering having saved four off his own bowling with his shin and then getting a hand to a fierce drive by opener Sifat, who was accumulating by staying away from Tom’s end  Tom’s next victim was No 5, bowled to leave Livers 73-4 at drinks. That became 80-5 for Cracker took a blinding low left-handed catch at slip to redeem a second drop. 

But Sifat was still there, past his fifty and going well, until in Tom’s last over he bowled him as well – a crucial wicket to bring up his Michelle. Tom finished with the outstanding return of seven overs, four maidens, five wickets for nine runs. In 42 deliveries he had only allowed three scoring shots.

From 104-6 the Livers mounted another stand, but Mike Ottley broke it when the dangerous Irfan edged to Chris Locke. Sal Azam then had his reward for a persevering spell when Simon Foister held a catch at midwicket, and with Mike bowling the No 9 Livers were 145-9. But the last of the tail wagged before Cracker, at last getting a catch not down at his ankles, took a top edge off Mike with two balls to spare of the allotted 35.

We had 169 to chase, but Livers are a side we rarely beat and their bowling was spot on. Cracker soon spooned to midwicket for 3, but from 5-1 in the third over Simon and Manik doggedly kept out the opening attack, posting our only fifty partnership of the innings. But then both went in the 16th over, Simon bowled for 11, Manik for 28, to put us 59-3.

Enter Tom, who put on 33 in eight overs with Ian Watson (stumped for 9),then a rapid 42 in five with Sunny Lall. But when Sunny was bowled for 13 and Prakhar soon followed the same way for 6, we were six down still 27 short of the target. Tom though was in the zone, barely acknowledging the applause for his half-century as he farmed the strike with some great strokes and hard running. Sal Azam was eventually run out for 2 but by then we had 158, and Mike Ottley had only one ball to face, which he stroked for two, as Tom saw us over the line with successive fours.
Rotten Livers won toss and batted

Rotten Livers 168 all out
Matt c Saldi (cover) b Lall 4
Sifat b Poulter 69
Ben b Poulter 8
Umed b Poulter 4
Rolston c McCracken (slip) b Poulter 4
Murad b Poulter 0
Andrew c Foister (midwicket) b Azam 13
Irfan c Locke (wk) b Ottley 21
Tahir b Ottley 0
Luke c McCracken (slip) b Ottley 14
Doug not out 6
Extras (b11,w13) 24
FALL OF WICKETS 16 (1,5th over) 50 (3,11) 56 (4,13) 73 (5, 17) 80 (6, 19) 104 (2, 23) 143 (8, 29) 145 (7, 30) 145 (9,31) 168 (10,35)
RUN RATE 50-1 (10) 93-5 (20) 145-8 (30)
BOWLING Sunny Lall 5-2-19-1 Mike Robins 7-0-39-0 Tom Poulter 7-4-9-5 Prakhar Chandra 4-0-35-0 Sal Azam 6-0-30-1 Mike Ottley 5.4-1-25-3

Bricklayer’s Arms 171-7 
Simon Foister b Murad 11 (1×4, 49 balls)
Cracker McCracken c midwicket b Irfan 3 (9 balls)
Manik Saldi b Murad 28 (4×4, 31 balls) 

Tom Poulter not out 63 (5×4, 50 balls, fifty in 41 balls)
Ian Watson st wk b Doug 9 (1×4, 27 balls)
Sunny Lall b Irfan 13 (2×4, 9 balls)
Prakhar Chandra b Murad 6 (1×4, 7 balls)
Sal Azam run out 2 (5 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 2 (1 ball)
Mike Robins and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b9, lb4, w17, nb4) 34
FALL OF WICKETS 5 (2,3rd over) 57 (1,16) 59 (3,16) 92 (5, 24) 134 (6, 29) 142 (7, 30) 158 (8, 33) 
RUN RATE 39-1 (10) 76-3 (20) 142-6 (30)

Thursday 1 August v Westminster, Wandsworth Common – LOST by 9 wickets

Bricklayer’s Arms 75-7 off 16 overs (Maj 24); Westminster 77-1 off 10-1 overs 

Many thanks to Ian for knocking up the match report.  Sadly, a rare defeat for the Brick, at the hands of Westminster, but it was at the fourth time of asking.  No embellishment on my part, I can assure you.

Thanks to Maj, the Brick got a game at Wandsworth Common, Thursday evening. There were three regular Brick players – Dave Winpenny, Ian Bridgford and recent signing Ludo, as well as Maj, and all his friends and their family members from Ealing. Some of whom weren’t expecting to play cricket and, as it turned out, a couple of young lads who had never played before. There were a couple more Brick players expected but sadly they got stuck in public transport nightmares, so Maj set about organising the team and we batted first. 

The first few didn’t last long, in conditions that favoured swing, which Westminster used to great effect. There were plenty of surprise balls that were nipping back in and bouncing high. Zaheer played some feisty strokes, finding the boundary here and there, but got caught before too long. Ian Bridgford played himself in for a couple of overs but got tempted by a full toss which he didn’t connect with and it hit the sticks. It wasn’t looking good but Maj and Kashif played themselves in and put together a nice little partnership.  After they went, we were in trouble, as being only a team of 9 including 2 juniors, it didn’t take long, although Usted, coming in at 8, flicked the first delivery of his legs for a one-bounce four. 

The Brick made 75 and, as Maj pointed out, that could be a winning score at Wandsworth Common, with the unpredictable bounce and movement. Unfortunately, no one thought to bring a new ball and our bowling attack got no movement whatsoever. The only wicket came by a way of an impressive run out from Zaheer off the bowling of Ian Bridgford. Thrown in from the extra cover boundary, it was a direct hit. The funny thing was, no one appealed except the thrower –  Zaheer himself – and to a few people’s surprise, it was given.

We had two young boys on the field who were not much older than 7 or 8 who did a fine job of fielding on the boundary at fine leg and third man. But when Westminster belatedly gave us two fielders, no one thought to tell the two halflings who stopped a four at fine leg when the batsmen didn’t bother to run. No one complained.  It was that sort of a game. 

It was Marshall batting at No 2 that did most of the damage, batting patiently and brilliantly against some pretty fair bowling overall but he looked comfortable. The Brick bowled and fielded with great commitment under good captaincy from Maj.  We left the pitch in great spirits after a very enjoyable game. 

Champagne  moment? Possibly two. One you’ve already heard of: Dave Winpenny, in the eyes of Maj, blasting the finest cover drive Maj had ever seen.  If only, as Maj said later, Dave had made contact.  The other?  At stumps, Dave’s kit was strewn everywhere and, bar a few, everyone had disappeared, leaving the die hards to clear up.  All to the good, but can Dave explain why they found a pair of pyjamas in his cricket bag?  


Bricklayer’s Arms:

Zaheer Abbass  ct, bld Whelan 12 (13 balls)
Ludo Stewart bld Whelan 0 (1 ball)
Ian Bridgford bld Whelan 1 (9 balls)
Kashihif run out 10 (21 balls)
Maj Khan bld Whelan 24 (20 balls)
Dave Winpenny bld Hugo 2 (5 balls)
Eyaz not out 2 (1 ball)
​Usred run out 4 (2 balls)
Haider bld Walker 1 (2 balls)
Extras 21
Total 75-7 
Innings of Westminster:
Khawaja run out 14
Marshall not out 43
Steve Smith not out 12
Extras 8
Total  77-1 off 10.1 overs 
Bowling- Maj Khan 2-0-08-0 Ian Bridgford 3-0-14-0
Kashif 2-0-11-0 Zaheer Abbass 2-0-20-0
Fiaz 1-0-13-0 Haider 0-1-0-4-0

Tuesday July 30 v Westminster, Wandsworth Park – WON by 33 runs
Bricklayer’s Arms 170-4 (16 overs, Yogi Patel 99, Ben Wraight 52 not out)
Westminster 137-4 (Mike Ottley 2-34)

Ah, the English summer. Wandsworth Park deserted, save more than a dozen men sheltering under a tree, occasionally venturing out to point at clouds light or dark. hold out a palm to cup the drizzle or tread gingerly into a muddy field.

Yes, it was wet, but Chris Locke and Mike Ottley had somehow coerced most of both teams to turn up pitchside on the promise of the Met Office map forecast showing an easing-off after six. Amazingly they were right – the third time we’d been lucky midweek after a drenched afternoon, and by far the closest call.

Mike Ottley won the toss and batted. We would be nine against nine on what was for the moment a sunlit evening. Yogi Patel rattled off three fours, then gave Tom Poulter the strike for the last ball of the first over. It bowled him, played on. Lewis Caley hit one four, then found Yogi had arrived wordlessly beside him at the crease. Lewis did the decent thing but was run out at the bowler’s end. We were 27-2 in the third over of the 16 agreed.

More wickets could have sunk us, but Ben Wraight joined Yogi to reprise a partnership that had delivered 135 for the first wicket last week. This time they went two better, putting on 139 at nearly 11 an over. Every bad ball was punished, with Yogi rattling to fifty in 30 balls as both regularly found the short boundaries. By halfway we had posted 83, and as Yogi moved into the nineties with successive sixes and Ben reached his half-century with one of his own (also off 30 deliveries) they had doubled that in the final over. With five balls to go Yogi needed one for his ton – a feat he’d achieved against the same oppo last year. It wasn’t to be. He was bowled for 99.

Ravi Ogale was lbw first ball for our second golden duck of the day, but a four from Anil Basnet left us on 170 and Ben unbeaten on 52. Westminster would need nearly eleven an over, and it had now turned dank and drizzly. To their credit they went for it, but to ours we bowled well with an increasingly sodden ball. Tom Poulter went unluckily wicketless for just 13 in four overs, while Mike Robins spared Chris Locke’s blushes for a drop behind by bowling one opener next ball. Their spells meant just 52 had come by halfway.

First change Mike Ottley bowled the other opener with a well flighted off-break in the ninth over. Anil, who hadn’t brought spikes as he thought the game would be off, was unable to find his length and was hit for 25 in his two overs, but an Ottley lbw from a grubber broke the stand and Ravi followed that with a clean bowled. Some hearty biffing in the dark piled on runs in the final few overs but the target was never threatened. Victory was ours by 33 runs and both sides repaired gratefully to the Brick, glad to have played and to have thoroughly earned a beer.

Bricklayer’s Arms won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 170-4 
Yogi Patel b Whelan 99 (17×4, 2×6, 55 balls, fifty in 30 balls)
Tom Poulter b Kelynack 0 (1 ball)
Lewis Caley run out 4 (1×4, 3 balls)
Ben Wraight not out 52 (9×4, 1×6, 32 balls, fifty in 30 balls)
Ravi Ogale lbw b Whelan 0 (1 ball)
Anil Basnet not out 4  (1×4, 3 balls)
Mike Ottley, Mike Robins, Chris Locke and Rupert Style did not bat
Extras (b2,lb2,w5,nb2) 11
FALL OF WICKETS 13 (2,1st over) 27 (3,3) 166 (1,16) 166 (5,16)
RUN RATE 83-2 (8 overs)

Westminster 137-4  
Kayum b Ottley 33
Marshall b Robins 6
Mason not out 47
Werner lbw b Ottley 19
Gordon-Khan b Ogale 1
Kelynack not out 17
Extras (b8,lb3,w3) 14
FALL OF WICKETS 32 (2,5th over) 56 (1,9) 99 (4,13) 102 (5,14)
RUN RATE 52-1 (8 overs)
BOWLING Mike Robins 4-0-35-1 Tom Poulter 4-0-13-0 Mike Ottley 4-0-34-2 Anil Basnet 2-0-25-0 Ravi Ogale 2-0-18-1 

Tuesday July 23 v Prince’s Head, Wandsworth Park – WON by 53 runs
Bricklayer’s Arms 223-2 (20 overs, Yogi Patel 84, Ben Wraight 54, Lewis Caley 35 not out)
Prince’s Head 170-5  (20 overs, Mike Ottley 2-28)

A glorious evening by the Thames saw 393 runs in 40 overs and a victory to avenge our defeat by the same opponents on Richmond Green last month – plus a new batting record for a 20-over game.

In this heatwave Mike Ottley picked a good toss to win, sending in Yogi Patel and promoting Ben Wraight to open in place of Tom Poulter who was delayed by District line. Yogi set the tone from the get-go with two fours in the first over and three in the next, and once Ben was allowed to join in we had 49 off the first four. The pair were ruthless on any bad ball, and there were many as the Prince’s Head were clearly at least one bowler short from the side that had dismissed us for 100 at the end of June. Instead our ton came up at the start of the tenth over, from which 21 were taken for the second time already in the innings.

Short legside boundaries helped, but both batsmen were equally ruthless offside. Ben reached fifty first, to be immediately overtaken by Yogi with a six. The two had posted 135 early in the 12th over when suddenly Ben was gone, bowled by a a rare straight one for a very handsome 54. Yogi carried on, adding a second six and several more fours as Lewis Caley farmed him the strike, and then Lewis tired of that and started biffing as well, a four and six taking us to 181, where upon Yogi was bowled 16 short of what would have been his second T20 ton.

That left the best part of four overs to go, and Tom and Lewis lifted us way past 200 to end undefeated on 35 and 19 respectively. En route a new record was set – back in 2013 Alex Armstrong hit our first and so far only other T20 century to rival Yogi’s as we took Chelsea Cobblers for (I think, have yet to locate scorebook) 219.

So the Prince’s Head needed 224 to win. Their intent was made clear as Mike Ottley was belted for six in the first over, but he recovered his length to do the other opener with a beautiful fuller offbreak, then bowled the swinging No 3 in his next over. But short boundaries and a lightning outfield kept the oppo scoring freely at eight an over as Mike had to retire from the attack with a pulled hamstring and Charlie Mann, who’d bowled well despite a side strain, also gave way.

Ravi Ogale and Mohammed Waqas took over but the next wicket wasn’t about them. Rather it was a piece of fielding brilliance as Ben pounced from midwicket to run in and throw down the bowler’s end from side-on, leaving No 4 stranded.

It could then have been all over had Chris Locke been able to get down to a straightforward edge off Ravi by the surviving and prospering opener. Instead, while Waqas got his wicket courtesy of a calm take by Tom at mid-on and Ravi finally received his due by bowling No 6, opener Matt continued to hit out, now joined by an uncomplicated Aussie who stepped across his stumps to mow unerringly to the legside boundary. A muffed stumping off Tom was our only other chance, but Tom and Danny Ryan, called in as an emergency bowler by Mike, kept their nerve and line to ensure the unlikely target was never within reach. A shame for their opener  Matt, left on 96 not out, but a very enjoyable game celebrated by both sides in the Brick.

Bricklayer’s Arms won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 223-2
Yogi Patel b Harvey 84 (2×6, 13×4, 42 balls, fifty in 27 balls)
Ben Wraight b Paul 54 (1×6, 9×4, 36 balls, fifty in 33 balls)
Lewis Caley not out 35 (1×6, 5×4, 27 balls)
Tom Poulter not out 19 (3×4, 11 balls)
Ravi Ogale, Mohammed Waqas, Cracker McCracken, Danny Ryan, Mike Ottley, Charlie Mann and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b15, lb6, w8, nb2) 31
Fall of wickets 135 (2, 12th over) 181 (1,17)
Run rate 118-0 (10 overs)

Prince’s Head 170-5 
Matt not out 96
Tony b Ottley 0
Adam b Ottley 3
Mike T run out 8 (Ben Wraight, mid-on) 

Paul  c Poulter (mid-on) b Waqas 13
Mike P b Ogale 5 
Tomo not out 28
Extras (b9, lb1, w7) 17
Fall of wickets 8 (2, 1st over) 20 (3,3) 56 (4,7) 84 (5,10) 113 (6, 14)
Run rate 84-4 (10 overs) 

Mike Ottley 3-0-28-2 Charlie Mann 3-0-23-0 Ravi Ogale 4-0-31-1 Mohammed Waqas 4-0-33-1 Tom Poulter 4-0-28-0 Danny Ryan 2-0-23-0

Sunday July 21 v Putney CC, Putney Common – LOST by 84 runs
Putney CC 187 all out (37.5 overs, Mike Ottley 3-21, Chris Cowling 3-34, Niall Johnson 2-33)
Bricklayer’s Arms 103 all out (26 overs)

Finally we got back to Sunday cricket after three weekends off for various reasons – and lost. Having done superbly to dismiss Putney for under 200, we failed to bat long enough as all too many got in, then got out as nobody made 20.

A misunderstanding of Mike Derks’ email  – “yes, watching the tennis was exhausting…” seemed not to equate to “yes, I can play”, as Chris Locke read his reply to the usual plea for players
 – meant Chris, whose swollen hand had relegated him to 12th man, had to stand at gully for 16 overs until Cracker’s mate Chris Cowling arrived newly 
summoned from his bed (he works nights)

By this time we were doing pretty well. Put in the field, we’d opened with a maiden from Mike Ottley and once Jay Singh found his line the openers were well contained. Then in the 7th over frustration paid off as one opener swiped to Sean Held 
at midwicket. A maiden from Jay let Mike at No 3, and first ball he pushed to Jay at short cover. The hat trick was avoided, but same over Mike trapped No 4 in front. Putney were 34-3 in the ninth over.

Mike signed off with a fine spell of 3-21, including two maidens, while Jay though luckless only gave up 23 off seven overs. With Niall Johnson and Eddie Evans both bowling well – and each unlucky to see No 5 dropped at mid-off in his twenties – drinks had Putney at 71-3. 
But the surviving opener and No 5 put together a fine stand of 94 before Niall at last got his reward, bowling Nos 1 and 6 to finish 2-33 while Eddie, who 
also saw a chance ground just before keeper Cracker, was unfortunate to post 0-43.

Half the Putney side were out for 137, and a decent enough interval had passed for Chris Cowling to enter the attack. He got some tap early doors but gave Sean Held a wicket by clinging on at cow corner, then chipped in with three of his own – bowled, caught behind and bowled
to put Putney 169-9. No 5 meanwhile was determined to reach his ton and a decent total on his own, some big sixes taking the score to 187 before, attempting to keep the strike, he failed to beat a great throw by skipper Greg Tremain with just one stump to aim at.

So the target was 188 – roughly par on a low-bouncing pitch, but achievable if we could bat all 40 overs. Greg and Simon Foister set off in sedate pursuit, but in the 4th over Greg on 3 went to a blinding catch as wide slip threw himself to his left to take the edge one-handed.
Chris Cowling started belligerently but called Simon for a suicidal single in the ninth over. Off Simon went for 5, followed by Cracker who hit his first ball for 2 and decided to leave his second, which sailed uninterrupted onto his stumps. We were 26-3.

Chris and Charlie Lyle added 18 more, but now low bounce did for Chris, bowled for what proved a top-scoring 19. Charlie hit a six but on 59 then hit over another low one for 12, while on 67 Sean Held 
followed the same pattern for 16. Eleven runs later Eddie Evans miscued to mid-off for 7. Jay biffed another six before Niall departed for 6 on 94, then two fours to take us past three figures, but after he holed out to long-off for 16 Ian Bridgford did not trouble the scorer 
as a caught-and-bowled ended proceedings.


Putney CC 187 all out 
Gus b Johnson 47
Yassar c Held (midwicket) b Ottley 11
Chas c Singh b Ottley 0
Noman lbw b Ottley 0
Sheva run out (Tremain, mid-on) 91
Tycho b Johnson 4
Ajay c Cowling (deep midwicket) b Held 5
Rohit b Cowling 3
Beedle c McCracken (wk) b Cowling 0
Peddie b Cowling 3
Rob not out 0
Extras (b2,lb7,w14,nb3) 26
FALL OF WICKETS 30 (2, 7th over) 30 (3, 9) 34 (4,9) 128 (1,29) 137 (6,31) 156 (7,33) 161 (8, 34) 161 (9,34) 169 ( 10,36) 187 (5,38)
RUN RATE 39-3 (10 overs) 71-3 (20) 136-4 (30)
Mike Ottley 8-2-21-3 Jay Singh 7-1-23-0 Eddie Evans 7-1-43-0 Niall Johnson 8-0-33-2 Chris Cowling 5.5-0-34-3 Sean Held 3-0-25-1

Bricklayer’s Arms 103 all out 
Simon Foister run out 5 (26 balls)
Greg Tremain  c second slip b Frost 3 (7 balls)

Chris Cowling b Rohit 19 (4×4, 27 balls)
Cracker McCracken b Beedle 2 (2 balls)
Charlie Lyle b Ajay 12 (1×6, 1×4, 15 balls)
Sean Held b Rohit 16 (1×6, 1×4, 15 balls)
Niall Johnson c k b Peddie 6 (15 balls)
Eddie Evans c mid-off b Peddie 7 (1×4, 9 balls)
Jay Singh c long-off b Chris 18 (2×4,1×6,4 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 0 (3 balls)
Ian Bridgford c&b Peddie 0 (6 balls)
Extras (b2,lb2, w10, nb1) 15
FALL OF WICKETS 9 (2, 4th over) 24 (1, 9) 26 (4,9) 44(3,14) 59 (5,15) 67 (6,18) 78 (8, 20) 94 (7,24) 103 (9,25) 103 (11,26)
RUN RATE 31-3 (10 overs) 78-7 (20) 

Tuesday July 16 v Westminster CC, Wandsworth Common – WON by 58 runs
Bricklayer’s Arms 146-4 (20 overs, Khem Sah not out 42, Tom Poulter 38, Ben Wraight 24)
Westminster 88 all out (16.4 overs, Khem Sah 3-24, Mike Ottley 2-7, Maj Khan 2-10, Tom Poulter 2-13

Winning the Cricket World Cup has done marvellous things for the sport. Suddenly young cricketers have poured outdoors in joyous enthusiasm for the game, improvising games wherever they could find a pitch.

Like our one, which we arrived to find strewn with boundary markers from the artificial wicket next door, which the local youth refused to move off our square. They hadn’t paid for the pitch and we had. So, in the spirit of inclusivity and bringing cricket to all parts of this rainbow nation, we summoned the groundsman to evict them under threat of calling the parks police.

Finally we could begin. Mike Ottley chose to bat in the hope Waqas could still get here despite his bike breaking down. Turned out he couldn’t, but we still had a pretty strong batting line-up. But just as Chris Locke was regaling younger team-mates with tales of Yogi Patel’s 20-over ton here against the same oppo, Yogi was clean bowled for 1 in the first over. 

Tom Poulter and Danny Ryan rebuilt, with Tom reeling off a string of cultured boundaries to take us to 43 before Danny failed to take a look at the first change bowler and played on for 7. Ben Wraight joined Tom as we reached 65 before Tom was bowled for a quickfire 38. Ben went on to 24, including our first six before being bowled at 95 in the 15th over, by which time Khem Sah was in full flow. Khem and Maj Khan then posted a fifty partnership, hitting a six apiece (and in Khem’s case four fours) as we set Westminster 147 to win.

It was a good target but not beyond them unless we bowled and fielded well. The tone was set by Maj Khan taking a diving catch at midwicket off Mike ottley, then Danny Ryan at cover holding one off Charlie Mann while Mike, who started with two wicket maidens, bambooozled and bowled the remaining opener. That was 13-3, which became 27-4 and 42-5 as Maj Khan and Tom Poulter had the next two lbw. 

The batsmen were still going for it, and it took a special catch to break the next partnership, Mike Ottley running from deep extra cover to long on to take a skier off Tom Poulter. Maj Khan’s second lbw now got rid of their top-scoring No 5, while Khem Sah broke the tip of their skipper’s middle stump in taking it out of the ground. He then leaked a few boundaries before finally heeding Mike’s plea of “off peg” to gain a second  wicket courtesy of a great one-handed gully catch by Danny. Finally Khem broke the leg stump in the same way (cheap Sports Direct rubbish) and we could head victorious to the pub.

Bricklayer’s won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 146-4 
Yogi Patel b Kelynack 1 (3 balls)
Tom Poulter b Kovats 38 (6×4, 26 balls)

Danny Ryan b Andy 7 (1×4, 7 balls)
Ben Wraight b Bester 24 (1×6, 1×4, 21 balls)
Khem Sah not out 42 (1×6, 4×4, 33 balls)
Maj Khan not out 12 (1×6, 9 balls)
Mike Otlley, Ludo Stewart, Charlie Mann and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b3 ,lb6, w11, nb2) 22
FALL OF WICKETS 2 (1, 1st over) 43 (3,8) 65 (2,11) 96 (4, 15)
RUN RATE 64-2 (10 overs)

Westminster 88 all out 
Sam b Ottley 2
Kovats c Maj Khan (midwicket) b Ottley 6
Cleary c Ryan (cover) b Mann 2

Lintoff lbw Maj Khan 4
Andy lbw Maj Khan 24
Bester lbw Poulter 6
Kelynack c Ottley (long on) b Poulter 7
Burke b Khem Sah 2
Sunich c Ryan (gully) b Khem Sah 12
Walker b Khem Sah 0
Bird not out 7
Extras (b7, w3) 10
FALL OF WICKETS 10, 13, 13, 27, 42, 55, 64, 68, 80,88
RUN RATE 42-5 (10)
BOWLING Mann 3-0-22-1 Ottley 4-2-7-2 Maj Khan 4-0-10-2 Poulter 2-0-13-2 Khem Sah 3.4-0-24-3

Tue July 9 v Archery,  Regent’s Park, NW1 – WON by 6 wickets
Archery 69-2 (16 overs)
Bricklayer’s Arms 70-2 (10.1 overs, Khem Sah 27)

A short match but a merry one. It had looked, given the World Cup semi, as if we’d be nine against nine. It turned out we were against six. Still, since there were 15 of us on Regent’s Park where the weather was far better than Old Trafford, we might as well get on with it.

It was agreed Archery could bat first in the hope of late arrivals, up until eight wickets if necessary. It turned out it wasn’t. Though one opener was soon castled by Khem Sah, the other, Charlie, played marvellously, only denied a bigger score by a huge lush outfield and his understandable reluctance to run more than a single. Charlie, we discovered, now plays for an over-70 side who regularly beat top amateur clubs like Free Foresters. He’d “been lucky enough to play twice at Lord’s and a few times on the Nursery Ground”.

He and his less evergreen partner accumulated surely but slowly, as Khem, Roop Sharma, Rob Goymer and Mike Robins posted niggardly figures. But we couldn’t catch in the outfield, and after Mike Robins’ mate Kyle upped the run rate with two overs almost doubled by wides the second wicket fell in the final over to deserving debutant Charlie Mann. Charlie had already suffered two spilled chances at mid-on and fine leg, but now luck was on his side a grubber trapped his veteran namesake lbw.

We were left with 70 to get against eight fielders (including two of our own). After two overs we had 23 of them, as Lewis Caley blasted two fours and a six in 18 in nine balls before our own Charlie proved the Brick could catch by diving forward at long-on.

Khem now took over, with four fours in 19 balls before he was caught behind in the ninth over for 27 with the score on 65. Wides and a single from Rob Goymer, who carried his bat for 15, saw us home and into the pub in good time. 

Archery batted first by agreement
Archery 69-2 
Charlie lbw b Mann 25

Vic b Khem Sah 0
George not out 21
Ski not out 0
Extras (b2,lb1, w20) 23
FALL OF WICKETS 5 (1,3rd over) 68 (2, 16)
BOWLING Khem Sah 3-1-11-1 Roop Sharma 3-0-8-0 Mike Robins 3-0-14-0 Rob Goymer 2-0-4-0 Kyle 2-0-19-0 Charlie Mann 3-0-13-1

Bricklayer’s Arms 70-2  
Rob Goymer not out 15 (19 balls)
Lewis Caley c sub (long-on) b Thickett 18 (1×6, 2×4, 9 balls)
Khem Sah c wk b George 27 (4×4, 19 balls)
Greg Tremain not out 0 (3 balls)
Mike Robins, Kyle, Roop Sharma, Charlie Mann and Chris Locke did not bat
FALL OF WICKETS 23 (2,3rd over) 65 (2, 9)  

Tuesday July 2 v Superstars, Wandsworth Park – WON by 8 wickets

Superstars 77 all out (16 overs, Tom Poulter 4-18, Mohammed Waqas 2-7, Prakhar Chandra 2-14)
Bricklayer’s 82-2 (12 overs, Ben Wraight 35 not out, Yogi Patel 28)

A comprehensive victory was set up with a first Bricklayer’s Arms hat-trick as Tom Poulter wrapped up Superstars’ innings in style.

Skipper Ravi Ogale won the toss and chose to field. He opened the bowling alongside Khem Sah but though both kept the runs down they had no joy until in the eighth over Ravi bowled one opener. Then Prakhar Chandra with a direct hit ran out the newly arrived No 3 as he tried a quick single.

Superstars were 36-2 in eight overs. Now Mohammed Waqas and Tom Poulter took over the bowling and combined as Tom took a nonchalant one-handed catch at cover off his bowling partner. Tom then took out the off bail with a beauty while Waqas cut one in to knock back off stump.

That was the dangerous surviving opener gone, and now Prakhar Chandra came to the party with two wickets, one thanks to Ravi calling and pouching a skier, the other bowled.

This set up an over Tom will long remember. The first three balls just brought a single but the fourth was hit back to him low enough to counteract the setting sun.The fifth flicked the pad on route to clipping the leg bail. In came the field for the final ball of his spell. It was straight, it hit the pad, up went the umpire’s finger and off came Tom’s shirt as he careered  towards fine leg celebrating the Brick’s first hat-trick. The umpire refrained from booking him.

Yogi Patel and Ben Wraight put together a classy fifty partnership before Yogi struck out to cover. Debutant Ludo Stewart swished and missed for a duck but Waqas and Ben then traded sixes to get us home within 12 overs.

Bricklayer’s won toss and batted
Superstars 77 all out  
Warren b Waqas 29
Umar b Ogale 6
Anand run out (Chandra) 1
Kinnard c Poulter b Waqas 0
Hewett c Ogale b Chandra 4
Reeve b Poulter 0
Singh not out 16
Sears b Chandra 1
Forman c&b Poulter 1
Frankland b Poulter 0
Konrad lbw b Poulter 0
Extras 12
FALL OF WICKETS 36 (7th over) 38 (7) 50 (9) 56 (11) 64 (12) 64 (13) 76 (15) 77 (16) 77 (16) 77 (16) 
BOWLING Khem Sah 4-0-21-0 Ravi Ogale 4-0-9-1 Mohammed Waqas 2-0-7-2 Tom Poulter 4-0-18-4 Prakhar Chandra 2-0-14-1

Bricklayer’s 82-2  

Yogi Patel c cover b Forman 28 (6×4, 24 balls)
Ben Wraight not out 35 (2×6, 4×4, 23 balls)
Ludo Stewart b Reeve 0 (6 balls)
Mohammed Waqas not out 15 (2×6, 6 balls)
Maj Khan, Ian Bridgford, Khem Sah, Ravi Ogale, Tom Poulter, Prakhar Chandra and Chris Locke did not bat 
Extras (b3, nb1) 4
FALL OF WICKETS 52 (1, 10th over) 53 (3,11)  

Friday June 28 v Princes Head, Richmond Green – LOST by 52 runs

Princes Head 152-5 (20 overs, Jay Singh 4-11)
Bricklayer’s Arms 100 all out (18.4 overs, Ravi Ogale 32, Jay Singh 24)

A glorious evening on Richmond Green but a not so glorious pitch, with our chase hobbled by a series of stoppers and shooters. 

Tom Poulter won the toss and fielded. The Prince’s Head got off to a flyer, with in the first three overs as Ravi Ogale and Rob Goymer were punished despite a couple of edges just eluding gully. It took the introduction of Jay Singh to change our luck. His loosener was spilled at deep square leg, but next ball debutant Craig Dennan took a juggled catch at cover and in the same over he bowled No 3. No 5 went to him the same way in his next, while in his third Ian Bridgford held a skier at midwicket to make the remaining opener Jay’s fourth victim. 50-0 in the seventh over had become 69-4 in the 11th as Jay and Tom applied the brake, but once they came off the batsmen tucked in, only a run-out by Cracker McCracken completed by bowler Ian Bridgford breaking a stand of 51. Eventually 152 was posted, even Jay’s final over conceding seven to leave him with still great figures of 4-11.

Cracker hit the first ball of our reply for four but then spooned to cover, as did his opening partner Craig for 1 in the third over, and when the pitch did for Tim Sturm, bowled for 1, we were 8-3 in three. Ravi Ogale counter-attacked with sixes and fours, but another low bounce castled Geraint Thomas for 3 on 31 and debutant Ben Wraight for 1 on 34. In the ninth over Ravi, having hit 4,6,2 off the first three balls, skied a stopper for 32 to put us 50-6. Tom Poulter was bowled for 13 by a daisy-cutter on 61 and in the same 12th over Ian Bridgford was bowled first ball. Rob Goymer hit a four as he and Jay Singh took us to 75 in the 14th before Rob was also bowled.

This brought in Chris Locke, who hit his second ball just over the (mercifully short) bowler’s head for his first boundary for four years. He then settled down to play second fiddle to Jay Singh who added a six to his two fours as the pair put on 25, the highest stand of our innings, to restore some pride as we reached three figures in the 19th over. The pair had several lives and finally Jay on 24 top-edged to gully to send us all to the pub.
Bricklayer’s  won toss and fielded 

Princes Head 152-5 
Dave c Dennan b Jay Singh 24
Matt c Bridgford b Jay Singh 33
Tom O’Brien b Jay Singh 0
Pete b Jay Singh 4
Pronom not out 33
Mike P run out 31
Mike O’Brien not out 11
Extras (b10, b3, w3) 16
FALL OF WICKETS 50 (1, 7th over) 50 (3, 7) 65 (4,9) 69 (2,11) 120 (6,18)
RUN RATE 43-0 (5) 68-3 (10) 103-4 (15) 
BOWLING Ravi Ogale 4-0-35-0 Rob Goymer 4-0-39-0 Jay Singh 4-0-11-4 Tom Poulter 4-0-20-0 Cracker McCracken 2-0-23-0 Craig Dennan 1-0-7-0 Ian Bridgford 1-0-7-0

Bricklayer’s Arms 100 all out
Cracker McCracken c cover b Phil 4 (1×4, 3 balls)
Craig Dennan c cover b Phil 1 ((2 balls)
Tim Sturm b Phil 1 (6 balls)
Ravi Ogale c mid-on b Liam 32 (2×6, 4×4, 21 balls)
Geraint Thomas b Liam 3 (10 balls)
Ben Wraight b Mike O’Brien 1 (2 balls)
Tom Poulter b Mike O’Brien 13 (3×4, 14 balls)
Jay Singh c gully b Adam 24 (1×6, 2×4, 23 balls) 
Ian Bridgford b Mike O’Brien 0 (1 ball)
Rob Goymer b Mike O’Brien 5 (1×4, 5 balls)
Chris Locke not out 5 (1×4, 17 balls)
Extras (b5, lb1, w5) 11
FALL OF WICKETS 4 (1, 1st over) 7 (2, 3) 8 (3,3) 31 (5,7) 34 (6,8) 50 (4,9) 61 (7, 12) 62 (9, 12) 75 (10,14) 100 (8,19)
RUN RATE 21-3 (5) 59-6 (10) 88-9 (15) 

Putney Cup, Sunday 23 June, Dundonald Rec SW19 – THIRD
Putney Cup Semi-Final v SW London Camra LOST by 3 runs
SW London Camra 160-3 (20 overs) Bricklayer’s Arms 157-6 (20 overs, Manik Saldi 61, Greg Tremain 39)
Putney Cup Third place play-off v Trafalgar Freehouse WON by 39 runs
Bricklayer’s Arms 132-6 (20 overs, Prakhar Chandra 34, Greg Tremain 26, Mohammed Waqas 21)
Trafalgar Freehouse 93-6 (20 overs, Jay Singh 3-19)

Putney Cup Semi-Final v SW London Camra LOST by 3 runs

Well, we held it three years on the trot, but now the Putney Cup has a new name on the trophy – that of the Sunderland Supporters. Congratulations to John McGirr and his team, who beat South-West London Camra in the final.

We weren’t there as we’d failed by just three runs to beat Camra. The semi-final began well as Tara Thapa held a steepling catch off Ravi Ogale at cover in the first over, then in the fourth Waqas tapped our own Cracker McCracken lbw. Ravi and particularly Waqas gave little away and with Tom Poulter also bowling tightly Camra had just 55 at halfway. But the rest of our bowling failed to match those standards despite Tara bowling Camra’s hard-hitting No 4 on 92, and they posted a daunting 160 without further loss.

Waqas hit a four and six before going for 12 bowled on 24 by Tom Carter in the third over and in the fifth Tom Poulter (5) went the same way at 34, but we were up with the rate and now exceeded it as Manik Saldi hit a blazing fifty in 24 balls. At halfway we were on 91, and only on 122 in the 15th over did Manik perish, bowled by Mike Robins for 61 which had contained three sixes and six fours.

Greg Tremain had meanwhile played the anchor role, but now he and Ravi Ogale got us within 20 of victory before both fell in the same 18th over – Greg bowled for 39, Ravi caught behind by Mark Hamilton for 10. Eddie Evans hit a four first ball and he and Tara scampered us to needing 11 off the last over. But when Tara was run out Anil Basnet could only manage two twos off the final two deliveries. A great game – but we now had only pride to play for against the Trafalgar.

Camra won toss and batted
SW London Camra 160-3 
Cracker lbw Waqas 12
Ali c Thapa b  Ogale 0
Kilo not out 54
Junaid b Thapa 47
Shazz not out 29
Extras (b6, w5, nb7) 18
FALL OF WICKETS 0 (2,1st over) 18 (1,4) 92 (4,11)
RUN RATE 55-2 (10 overs)
BOWLING Ogale 4-0-28-1 Waqas 4-1-13-1 Poulter 4-1-20-0 P. Chandra 2-0-26-0 Tara Thapa 4-0-40-1 Ottley 1-0-17-0 Basnet 1-0-10-0

Bricklayer’s Arms 157-6 
Mohammed Waqas b Carter 12 (1×6,1×4, 8 balls)
Greg Tremain c long-off b Ali 39 (4×4, 50 balls)
Tom Poulter b Carter 5 (1×4,3 balls)
Manik Saldi b Robins 61 (3×6,6×4, 32 balls, fifty in 24)
Ravi Ogale c wk b Ali 10 (1×4, 10 balls)
Eddie Evans not out 9 (1×4, 7 balls)
Tara Thapa run out 2 (3 balls)
Anil Basnet not out 4 (2 balls)
Prakhar Chandra, Mike Ottley and Chris Locke did not bat  
Extras (b3, lb1, w4, nb5) 15
FALL OF WICKETS 24 (1,3rd over) 34 (3,5) 122 (4,15) 141 (2,18) 141 (5,18) 152 (7,20)
RUN RATE 91-2 (10 overs)

Putney Cup Third place play-off v Trafalgar Freehouse WON by 39 runs
For this game Prakhar Chandra’s brother Shikhaar and Jay Singh came in for Manik and Anil,who had to go (though Anil did field and bowl for Camra). Mike Ottley won the toss and batted.

Tom Poulter again went early, holing out to cow corner for 7 in the second over, but Prakhar (34) and Greg (29) took us slowly but steadily to 72 in the 13th over before Prakhar was caught at mid-off just as he had started to accelerate. Greg followed on 82 in the next over for 39, but Eddie Evans and Waqas hit quick runs to get us to 118 before Eddie was caught in the covers for 18. Ravi Ogale was bowled for a duck, but Waqas posted 21 off 12 balls before he was bowled by the Traf’s very promising Surrey’s under-15s girl bowler, Sally Dawson, in the last over. Mike Ottley and jay Singh saw us to 132.

The Traf had been skittled for 59 in the other semi but proved more obdurate this time against very tight bowling by Mike Ottley and Shkhaar, both of whom were unlucky to finish wicketless (Shikharr thanks to his own brother spilling a dolly at mid-on. Instead Jay Singh grabbed three fine wickets, two bowled and one thanks to a juggling catch by Ravi, and Tom Poulter (caught by Mike), Eddie Evans (caught and bowled) and Tara Thapa (bowled) shared the rest as the Traf ended on 93-6. 

It only remained for Charlton supporter Chris Locke to present Sunderland with their only trophy of the season and congratulate them on defending 152 by more than 30 runs to clinch a well-deserved first Putney Cup.
Brick won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 132-6 
Tom Poulter c deep midwicket b Kerrigan 7(1×4,5 balls)
Greg Tremain b Wright 26 (2×4, 30 balls)
Prakhar Chandra c mid-off b March 34 (4×4, 40 balls)
Eddie Evans c extra cover b Kerrigan 18 (1×4, 18 balls)
Mohammed Waqas b Dawson 21 (3 balls)
Ravi Ogale b Kerrigan 0 (1×4, 10 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 3 (4 balls)
Jay Singh not out 2 (2 balls)
Tara Thapa, Shikhaar Chandra and Chris Locke did not bat 
Extras (lb2, w17, nb2) 21
FALL OF WICKETS 8 (1,2nd over) 72 (2,13) 82 (3,14) 118 (5,18) 119 (6,18) 129 (7,20)
RUN RATE 48-1 (10 overs)

Trafalgar 93-6
March b Jay 6 
Stroud c Ogale b Jay 26
Wright b Jay 2   
Archer b Thapa 0
O’Keefe c Ottley b Poulter 6
Miles c&b Evans 5
Kerrigan not out 6
Rhys not out 9
Extras (b11,lb4, w18, nb4) 35
BOWLING  Ottley  4-0-19-0  S. Chandra  4-0-14-0  Thapa   4-0-18-1 Jay Singh 4-1-19-3 Poulter 2-0-11-1 Evans 2-0-8-1

Tuesday 18 June v Archery, Wandsworth Park – WON by 76 runs
Bricklayer’s Arms 140-7 (16 overs, Lewis Caley 63, Mohammed Waqas 23)
Archery 64 all out (13.3 overs, Waqas 3-10, Michael Grant 2-0, Ravi Ogale 2-15)

This was the closest weather call Chris Locke can remember. The Met Office radar showed the rain gone by 6pm, as he assured oppo skipper Ant Thickett twice. Bless his heart, he believed me, as did Mike Ottley, and between them they whipped in the doubters despite a 5pm deluge.

That and a South West Railway strike did however mean that nearing six Mike, Lewis Caley and Chris were the sole members of the Brick team at a surprisingly playable pitch. But Ravi Ogale, Greg Tremain and Mohammed Waqas soon followed as it was agreed we would bat 16 overs against those so far outnumbering us who had turned up for Archery.

Mike sent in Greg and Ravi to start against what is always a good bowling side. Both found the boundary before Greg swiped to mid-off for 5 in the second over. Enter Lewis Caley, who outscored Ravi with a couple of fours before Ravi got a brute of a shooter as he aimed over long-on.

In came Waqas, who played exactly the same shot for six off his first ball, the after a dot a single unfurled successive sixes and a four before a second dot frustrated him into picking out long-on. 23 off eight balls had put us on 53 in the sixth over, but with only seven of us there by now Mike Robins found himself at the crease before he’d even had the chance to pee after his long journey.

He rose to the task with a couple of fours, making 9 before potting one back to the bowler on 72 in the 8th over. Lewis, who’d meanwhile moved to 20, took over as Mike Ottley sprinted a quick 5 aiming to give him the strike.Then Mike tried one single too often to be stranded on 87, and was shortly followed by Ian Bridgford, bowled for a duck – 92-6 with four overs to go.

By now Charlie Lyle, a welcome returnee from last season, had found the ground and ran willingly to give Lewis the opportunity to turbocharge the innings. Lewis added two sixes to his array of fours to move to fifty in 29 balls and an eventual 63 in 36. He was finally bowled with three deliveries to go, leaving Chris Locke to mishit his first run of the season and Charlie to end 3 not out as we posted 140.

It was a great effort, setting nearly nine an over, and Mike Ottley was determined to defend it. Only boundaries could hurt us, and we gave away just three all innings. Ravi Ogale struck early, scrambling the seam to knock over one opener’s middle stump with only 2 on the board, then on 12 Waqas bowled the other. 

A stand briefly threatened, but on 35 Ravi bowled No 3 and Waqas bowled No 4 and had 6 lbw. Another stand was broken on 58 by Ian Bridgford’s lbw, and Mike Robins finally gained reward for a great spell and peach of a final over by bowling No 8. It only remained for Mike Grant, who’d made us ten v ten with just six overs to go, to gain revenge on public transport by bowling the last batsmen in his first three balls for two years.

A great win, against oppo we used rarely to beat but also the weather. Thanks to all who believed in Chris Locke’s faith in Met Office radar and got the game on.


Bricklayer’s Arms batted by agreement

Bricklayer’s Arms 140-7  
Ravi Ogale b Gilly 6 (1×4, 9 balls)
Greg Tremain c mid-off b Thickett 5 (1×4, 8 balls)
Lewis Caley b Thickett 63 (9×4, 2×6, 36 balls, fifty in 29 balls)
Mohammed Waqas c long-on b Thickett 23 (3×6, 1×4, 8 balls) 
Mike Robins c&b Praveen 9 (2×4, 8 balls)
Mike Ottley run out 5 (12 balls)
Ian Bridgford b Praveen 0 (5 balls) 
Charlie Lyle not out 3 (6 balls)
Chris Locke not out 1 (1 ball)
Michael Grant did not bat
Extras (b18, w3,nb4) 25
FALL OF WICKETS 10 (2, 2nd over) 26 (1, 5) 53 (4,6) 72 (5,8) 87 (6, 12) 92 (7.14) 138 (3,16)
RUN RATE 72-4 (8 overs)

Archery 64 all out
Vic b Ravi Ogale 1
Stewie b Waqas 4
Ben b Ravi Ogale 13
George b Waqas 8
Ski lbw b Bridgford 7
Charlie lbw b Waqas 0
Shahid b Grant 6  
Praveen b Robins 6
Gilly not out 0
Thickett b Grant 0
Extras (b4, lb4, w11) 19
FALL OF WICKETS 2,  12,  35, 35, 35, 58, 64, 64, 64 

BOWLING Ravi Ogale 4-0-15-2 Mohammed Waqas 4-1-10-3 Mike Robins 3-0-14-1 Ian Bridgford 2-0-16-1 Mike Grant 0.3-0-0-2

Sunday June 16 v Ashford Sunday Second XI – LOST by 63 runs

Ashford Sunday Second XI 213-9 dec (37.3 overs, Mike Ottley 4-48, Mike Derks 2-25)
Bricklayer’s Arms 150 all out (40 overs, Geraint Thomas 57, Subash Aryal 21)

It may look like a loss in the book but this was something of a triumph. A scratch team came within 12 balls of an unlikely draw – and even, with better catching, could just have won.

Things looked dark when earlier in the week Chris Locke had to send out a cricket crisis email, only to get replies in the negative from our few well-mannered cricketers and be met by a wall of silence from everyone else. But Mike Ottley, Anil Basnet and Tara Thapa – my only three yeses – set to work and bit by bit recruited a side. 

Even then childcare issues ruled out Sean Held on the day so Naveen Joshi, who had only turned up to spectate, was press-ganged into borrowed whites. What is it about Father’s Day that forbids dads doing what they want? Combine that with injuries and the allure of India v Pakistan and we were not strong.

The format, agreed long in advance, was an 80-over timed game, with the side batting first having a maximum of 42 overs to bat but with the option to declare and get more overs to bowl the opposition out. Unsurprisingly Ashford chose to bat first.

We started OK, debutant Jay Singh whistling pace downwind while Sal Azam, bowling into the strong breeze, was disconcerting the openers as the ball stopped on the batsmen. Sal’s reward was a caught and bowled on 28, while Tara Thapa, who’d spelled Jay, had no luck with some beauties past the edge. It took Maj Khan’s spin to get the second breakthrough, a back-foot lbw to remove No 3 on 68.

But Ashford were accumulating steadily, until Mike Derks removed their obdurate opener courtesy of a fine slip catch by Jay. That made it 97-3 at drinks, which soon became 103-5 as Mike Ottley bowled No 5 and Mike Derks No 6.

We were in the game, but Anil Basnet had already dropped their No 4 off Maj and now spilled No 7 off Mike. The two reprieved batsmen posted 70, including Anil shelling No 4 again off his own bowling, before Mike Ottley showed how it worked by taking No 7 off his own bowling. Subash Aryal bowled No 8 with a beauty that jagged back from around the wicket, while Mike helped himself to the tail bowling Nos 9 and 10. But all the while No 4 had been hitting well, and a last-wicket stand of 30 saw him to his ton and the declaration.

This came in the 38th over, giving us 42 to bat with a required run rate just over five. That soon looked notional as Jay went bowled for 9 at 10, Anil was smartly stumped for a duck on 17, Mike Derks’ stubborn resistance of 5 off 33 balls was ended lbw on 30 and on 33 the same verdict did for Tara (9).

That was in the 13th over, leaving debutant Geraint Thomas – batting for the first time in a decade – and Subash Aryal with an awful long way to go. But they put on 57 in 12 overs before Subash was stranded coming for a second run. 

With Ashford’s second-string bowlers on, Maj Khan kindled dreams of an improbable win as he biffed our only six as Geraint continued only to punish the bad ball. But Maj was bowled for 18 trying to attack the wrong delivery, and at 136-5 our chase was over.

Graint went to superbly disciplined fifty in company with Mike Ottley, but when the skipper was bowled in the 37th over and Sal Azam holed out two balls later Geraint focused only on keeping the strike. Unfortunately this led to Nazeem being run out for 0 with 24 balls left, and while Geraint managed to nurdle a single off the last ball of the 39th over his attempt to do the same off the final delivery off the 40th was doomed. He was last out for a great innings of 57.

Anil blamed himself – “I bowled shit, dropped three catches and got out for zero” – but in truth we could all be proud of managing to get a great game on.

Ashford won toss and batted
Ashford Sunday Second XI 213-9 dec  

Evans c Jay Singh (slip) b Derks 32
Singh c&b Azam 7
Mahtab lbw b Maj Khan 18
Elliott not out 104
E.Turner b Ottley 2
K.Manning b Derks 0
Beressom c&b Ottley 21
Smith b Subash Aryal 0
L. Manning b Ottley 1
C. Turner b Ottley 0
Cousens not out 2
Extras (b4, w21, nb1) 26
FALL OF WICKETS 28 (2) 68 (3) 97 (1) 99 (5) 103 (6) 173 (7) 174 (8) 175 (9) 183 (10)
RUN RATE 47-1 (10 overs) 97-3 (20) 168-5 (30)
Jay Singh 3-0-20-0 Sal Azam 4-0-19-1 Tara Thapa 6-0-26-0 Maj Khan 5.3-0-33-1 Mike Ottley 10-2-48-4 Mike Derks 4-0-25-2 Anil Basnet 2-0-18-0 Subash Aryal 3-0-18-1

Bricklayer’s Arms 150 all out  
Jay Singh b C. Turner 9 (2×4, 12 balls)
Mike Derks lbw b L. Manning 7 (33 balls)
Anil Basnet st Evans b C.Turner 0 (10 balls)
Tara Thapa lbw b K. Manning 9 (1×4, 15 balls)
Geraint Thomas run out 57 (9×4, 85 balls, fifty in 63 balls)
Subash Aryal run out 21 (2×4, 23 balls)
Maj Khan b C. Turner 18 (1×6, 1×4, 10 balls)
Mike Ottley c wk b K.Manning 0 (10 balls)
Sal Azam c midwicket b K. Manning 0 (2 balls)
Naveen Joshi run out 0 (2 balls)
Chris Locke not out 0 (1 ball)
Extras (b2, w16, nb11) 29
FALL OF WICKETS 10 (1, 3rd over) 17 (3, 7) 30 (2,12) 33 (4,13) 90 (6, 25) 136 (7, 32) 147 (8, 37) 147 (9, 37) 149 (10, 38)
RUN RATE 26-2 (10 overs) 64-4 (20) 134-5 (30)

Sunday June 9 v Railway Taverners, Abbey Rec – LOST by 5 wickets

Bricklayer’s Arms 146-8 (35 overs, Tim Sturm 72)
Railway Taverners 149-5 (30.3 overs, Khem Sah 2-21)

All winning runs have to end somewhere, and it’s fair to say that we were outbowled, outfielded and – with some honourable exceptions – outbatted by a strong Taverners side.

The day had started with news that Tom Poulter was out injured. Ravi Ogale nobly agreed to head down from north London but would be late. Joe Mansour volunteered to hang around until he got here, and Anil Basnet won the toss and batted.

Mike Derks and Tara Thapa found themselves up against the best bowling attack we’ve faced in a long while. Maiden followed maiden until, on 5 all of which he’d scored himself, Tara lashed a rare loose ball straight to cover. By then it was the seventh over.

Tim Sturm came in and added some impetus, but when Mike Derks tried finally to attack he was caught and bowled for 5 off 33 watchful balls. That was 28-2 in the 14th over, and by drinks three overs later we still had just 40.But Tim and George Grylls took us to 65 in the 21st over before George was bowled for 17. Two overs and just two runs later Khem Sah played across his first ball to be bowled.

Rob Oldham added 12 including our only six of the game as 26 more added in four overs, and after he was bowled Ravi Ogale hit a quick 10 before a ball he’d blocked span back onto the stumps. Tim had meanwhile posted an excellent fifty, and now he and Anil took the score from 104 to 137 beforein the penultimate over Anil was caught at mid-off for 7 and next ball Tim was held \at long leg for 72 – an invaluable innings that had held our batting together as he hit 12 fours in 84 balls. A brisk 8 in five balls from Ian Watson saw him and Mike Ottley get us to 146.

It was something to bowl at. As Anil pointed out, we had got the Taverners for 143 in winning last time round. Ravi bowled one opener in the fourth over – 14-1. But our own veteran Dominic Ewer was unveiling his full repertoire of strokes – the dab through gully, the nurdle behind leg – and even added a hook stroke. And Mike Ottley was having no reward for a great spell: top edges of varying difficulty went down spilled by Mike Derks, Chris and Ravi. Instead it took a change of bowling to break through. Anil did no 3 with a leg break that took off stump, then took a juggling catch at mid-off off Khem, who followed up next ball by getting Dom to snick Chris’s first dismissal of the season.

In two overs 64-1 had become 66-4. It looked like game on, but Tavs’ skipper Reilly had held himself back, and he and their No 5 took them largely untroubled to the brink of victory. Ian Watson did bowl the junior partner, but Reilly then hit the boundary that won the game and brought up his fifty. We’d been beaten by the better team.

Brick won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 146-8 Mike Derks c&b Stoneham 5 (1×4, 33 balls)
Tara Thapa c cover b Mansbridge 5 (1×4, 20 balls)

Tim Sturm c long leg b Mansbridge 72 (12×4, 84 balls, fifty in 69 balls)
George Grylls b Dion 17 (4×4, 21 balls)
Khem Sah b Dion 0 (1 ball)
Rob Oldham b Dion 12 (1×6, 1×4, 10 balls)
Ravi Ogale b James (2×4, 5 balls)
Anil Basnet c mid-off b Mansbridge 7 (1×4, 19 balls)
Ian Watson not out 8 (5 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 0 (3 balls)
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (lb5, w4, nb1) 10
FALL OF WICKETS 5 (2, 7th over) 28 (1,14) 65 (4,21) 67 (5,23) 93 (6,27) 104 (7,28) 137 (8,34) 137 (3,34)
RUN RATE 19-1 (10) 40-2 (drinks 17) 56-2 (20) 123-6 (30)

Railway Taverners 149-5
Ewer c Locke b Khem Sah 18
Allen b Ogale 4
Lalwani b Basnet 38
Mulligan c Basnet b Khem Sah 1
Skinner b Watson 25
Reilly not out 52
James not out 0
Extras (b4,w2,nb1) 7
FALL OF WICKETS 14 (2, 4th over) 64 (3,15) 65 (4,16) 65 (1,16) 145 (5,30)
RUN RATE 35-1 (10) 73-4 (20) 145-5 (30)
BOWLING Ravi Ogale 6-1-23-1 Mike Ottley 7-1-22-0 Tara Thapa 3-0-25-0 Anil Basnet 3-0-24-1 Khem Sah 7-0-21-2 Rob Oldham 1-0-11-0 Mike Derks 2-0-14-0 Ian Watson 1-0-7-1

Tuesday June 4 v Westminster, Wandsworth Park- WON by 7 wickets

Westminster CC 113-4 (18 overs, Tom Poulter 2-15, Steve Thavam 2-22)

Bricklayer’s Arms 118-3 (Greg Tremain 68 not out)

An evening that had looked in jeopardy from afternoon rain turned out fine in the end as the sun shone on another victory.

Chris Locke and Mike Ottley had checked the weather radar and assured everybody the match would see no rain. Sure enough the pitch was still rock hard as Westminster won the toss and batted, launching a flurry of boundaries off Joe Mansour and riding their luck against the unfortunate Rob Goymer, who saw one snick fly past Chris Locke and a skier spilled at mid-on. Both Rob and Ravi Ogale eventually reined things back a bit, but Westminster still had 63 on the board inside nine overs before Steve Thavam took out opener Tom Burke’s off stump.

This brought in the hard-hitting Lingard to join the already free-flowing Kayum, and the next three overs saw the score climb to 97, leading to fears of a target above 140. However the following over saw Steve take out Lingard’s middle stump with a beauty, and with Tom Poulter bowling No 4 the game changed. Thanks to those two and Mohammed Waqas, only 16 runs came from the final six overs, Tom bowling No 5 in the last, as we restricted Westminster to just 113.

We lost Yogi Patel in the fourth over to catch behind for 4 at 13, but Greg Tremain and Tom Poulter took us to 40 before a switch to a debutant bowler ruined Tom’s concentration. Having seen one ball roll and the next go backwards, he hit the overpitched third straight to cover for 10. The over eventually brought us 17, mainly wides and no-balls, to put us up with the run rate, and Greg and the returning Lewis Caley moved us swiftly to 86 before Lewis skied back to the bowler for 16. Ravi Ogale joined Greg, who posted his fifty off 33 balls and ended proceedings with a six as we won with 10 balls to spare.


Westminster won toss and batted
Westminster CC 113-4

Kayum not out 53
Burke b Thavam 18
Lingard b Thavam 13
Mason b Poulter 1
Rufus b Poulter 7
Cleary not out 0
Extras (b 16, lb2, w3) 21
FALL OF WICKETS 63 (2, 9th over) 99 (3,  13) 100 (4,14) 113 (5, 18)
RUN RATE 63-1 (9)
Rob Goymer 4-0-26-0 Joe Mansour 1-0-10-0 Ravi Ogale 4-0-19-0 Steve Thavam 4-0-22-2 Tom Poulter 4-0-15-2 Mohammed Waqas 1-0-2-0
Bricklayer’s Arms 118-3 
Yogi Patel c wk b Bester 4 (11 balls)
Tom Poulter c cover b Rufus 10 (1×4, 17 balls)
Greg Tremain not out 68 (2×6, 9×4, 46 balls, fifty in 33 balls)
Lewis Caley c&b Whelan 16 (3×4, 10 balls)
Ravi Ogale not out 10 (1×6, 7 balls)
Mohammed Waqas, Mike Ottley, Steve Thavam, Rob Goymer, Joe Mansour and Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b2, lb1, w3, nb4) 10
FALL OF WICKETS 13 (1, 4th over) 40 (1, 9) 86 (4,13)
RUN RATE 56-2 (9)

Sunday June 2, v Rotten Livers, Abbey Rec – WON by 108 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 251-6 (35 overs, Sunny Lall 76, Kunal Ragovanshi 50, Tara Thapa 41 not out, Khem Sah 38)Rotten Livers 143 all out (28.2 overs, Anil Basnet 5-38, Khem Sah 2-20,Mike Ottley 2-23)
Another win, and this time against a side we haven’t beaten for years. Last time the Livers destroyed us after we had half their side out under 40. This time they didn’t have their destroyer-in-chief, but still had us 17-3 and we needed our best performance in the field so far to back up a great batting recovery.
On what started as a sunny day Greg Tremain won the toss and batted. But in the second over Tom Poulter nicked to the keeper for 1, and four overs and 16 runs later Both Charlie Mercer (3) and Greg himself fell lbw. 
Khem Sah joined debutant No 3 Kanul Raghovanshi, who was already cutting beautifully to the third man boundary, and the pair added 80 in 11 overs before Khem, having mixed discipline with strokeplay for a crucial 38, holed out to cow corner just before drinks. 
Kunal moved to an untroubled fifty in company with old friend and Wimbledon Corinthian team-mate Sunny Lall, but then lost focus to be bowled immediately. We were 110-5 on 20 overs and the innings was back in jeopardy. 
Tara Thapa proved a great foil for Sunny, though, as the pair ran the field ragged and piled on the boundaries in a vital stand of 133 that took us into the final over. Sunny hit fifty in 34 balls and reached 76 in another 17 before he was caught at long-on, but Tara, who ended on an invaluable unbeaten 41, and Cracker McCracken, who hit 2 off his final ball, took us to 251.
That set a required rate above seven an over, but Livers’ Umar was merciless on debutant Joe Mansour, bowling for the first time in four years. Thankfully Mike Ottley at the other end produced his best spell of the season so far, starting with a maiden and then bowling Livers’ steadier opener Martin Davies as he shaped for an unwise cut – 25-1. Thanks to smart legside stumping by Cracker he added a second wicket on 51, but Umar soon reached fifty out of Livers’ 59.
Anil Basnet had replaced Joe but his first two overs had fared no better, going for 20. The first ball of his third over looked like going the same way, but the full toss was top-edged by No4 to Sunny at square leg. The batsmen having crossed, it was Umar on strike next ball – and it bowled him. Suddenly it was 67-4 and the main danger man gone.
Cue wild celebration and a transformation in Anil’s bowling. He didn’t get the hat trick, but 20 runs later he repeated the two in two balls, both well caught by Tara at slip, though on the second occasion the umpire decided it was lbw first before the ball bounced off the glove. Three runs later Anil had another lbw for his Michelle (Pfeiffer = five for) and at drinks Livers were on 92-7.
Khem Sah meanwhile had bowled meanly, beginning with two maidens, and got his reward on 108 as Anil – that man again – took a tumbling catch at deep mid-off. There was late resistance, meaning Anil had to content with 5-38, but Khem and Tom Poulter wrapped up the innings on 143 by bowling Nos 9 and 10 in quick succession.
Bricklayer’s Arms won toss and batted
Bricklayer’s Arms 251-6
Tom Poulter c wk b Amit 1 (10 balls)
Charlie Mercer lbw b Amit 3 (8 balls)
Kunal Ragovanshi b Efti 50 (7×4, 55  balls, fifty in 54 balls)
Greg Tremain lbw b Amit 0 (4 balls)
Khem Sah c deep midwicket b Dan 38 (5×4, 32 balls)
Sunny Lall  c long on b Tahir 76 (10×4, 51 balls, fifty in 34 balls)
Tara Thapa not out 41 (5×4, 34 balls)
Cracker McCracken not out 2 (1 ball)
Anil Basnet, Joe Mansour and Mike Ottley did not batExtras (lb2, w33, nb5) 40
FALL OF WICKETS 1 (1, 2nd over) 17 (2,6) 17 (4,6) 97 (5, 17) 110 (3,20) 243 (6,35)
RUN RATE 42-3 (10) 98-4 (drinks, 17) 110-5 (20) 205-5 (30)

Rotten Livers 143 all out 
Martin Davies b Ottley 2 
Umar b Basnet 51
Dron st McCracken b Ottley 4
Tahir c Lall (sq leg) b Basnet 7
Sib c Thapa (slip) b Basnet 10
Umed lbw b Basnet 5
Efti lbw b Basnet 0
Mobashir c Basnet (mid-off) b Khem Sah 8
Andrew Lynn b Khem Sah 20
Irfan b Poulter 17
Dan not out 0
Extras (lb2, w33, nb5) 40
FALL OF WICKETS 25 (1, 4th over) 51 (3,8) 67 (4, 11) 67 (2, 11) 87 (5,15) 87 (7,15) 90 (6, 17) 108 (8,22) 143 (9, 27) 143 (10, 28)
RUN RATE 67-2 (10) 92-7 (drinks, 17) 100-7 (20)
BOWLING Joe Mansour 6-0-56-0 Mike Ottley 7-1-23-2 Anil Basnet 7-0-38-5 Khem Sah 7-2-20-2 Tom Poulter 1.2-0-2-1

Thursday May 30 v Old Adelaide, Wandsworth Park – WON by 7 wickets

Old Adelaide 119-4 (18 overs, Jason Reid 56 not out, Rob Goymer 2-14)
Bricklayer’s Arms 122-2 (11.4 overs, Mohammed Waqas 70, Fred Shiels 2-19)
A great game between old friends, some very old indeed. Long before the Brick in its present incarnation was thought of, we used to be the Queen Adelaide CC, lasting 15 years until the pub was refurbished and we were all barred in 2007 (we made the front page of the Wandsworth Borough News under the headline ‘You’re too old to drink here’). 
But with a spare fixture and a pitch going begging, original captain and supremo Dave Packham offered to get up a veteran XI, and so the ancients assembled.
Intending to get to the pub early, Packham won the toss and batted. Unfortunately Dave Winpenny, having made the ground, was too poorly to play. So his natural place at the top of the order (yes, in the last century he used to open, as indeed did Chris Locke) was filled by Alan Petrides and Steve Neville.
The two decided to eschew that unnecessary running about that ruins so much sport, instead trading in boundaries – most intended, bar the occasional snick past stand-in keeper Ian Watson. There were two singles and one effortful two before Steve wafted once too often to be bowled by Roop Sharma for 11, by which time they had posted 23 inside three overs.
Club batting record holder Fred Shiels now joined Alan, who by now was unfurling his trademark elegant cover drive, to add a further 20 before Fred fell to a catch at long-on by Khem Sah off Rob Goymer just the 177 short of his highest score for us. Next ball Alan mistimed a cut to gully for 18, and the vets were 43-3 in what became a double-wicket maiden for Rob.
Jason Reid and Richard Evans took the score to 68 despite tight bowling by Khem Sah before Tom Poulter bowled Richard for 2. Jason however was back in the groove, hitting some huge boundaries as he and Dave Packham added an unbroken fifty partnership. 
Jason surged toward his own half-century by taking Mike Ottley’s solitary over for 4,2,6,4 and 4 off the first five balls, and having run a leg-bye off the last delivery hoisted his fifty in 27 balls with another huge six in the final over off Ravi Ogale. He ended 56 not out as Dave Packham finished unbeaten on 12, which left a surprisingly respectable target of 120 off 18 overs.
The Adelaide old boys’ bowling did not manage to rekindle the same glories. For the Brick Waqas was in no mood to hang about, biffing sixes and fours galore (including one caught by Fred just over the line). His fifty took just 16 balls, and only when he and Tim Sturm had put on 100 in the eighth over did they both fall to Fred – Waqas caught by Jason in cow corner for 70, Tim lbw for 20. It only remained for Simon Foister (7 not out) and Ravi Ogale (12 not out) to see the Brick over the line and most of the cricketers back for a reunion pint or several in the Adelaide.
Thanks to Dave Packham for organising and everyone for participating in a great friendly evening, on and off the pitch.  

Old Adelaide won toss and batted
Old Adelaide 119-4
Alan Petrides c Waqas (gully) b Goymer 18 (4×4, 24 balls)
Steve Neville b Sharma 11 (2×4, 9 balls)
Fred Shiels c Khem (long-on) b Goymer 6
Jason Reid not out 56 (3×6, 7×4, 28 balls, fifty in 27 balls)
Richard Evans b Poulter 2 (12 balls)
Dave Packham not out 12 (1×4, 20 balls)
Danny Ryan, Alvin Spencer, Chris Locke, Bert Schoewenburg and Paul Phillips did not bat
Extras (b3, lb4, w3, nb4) 14
23 (1,3rd over) 42 (3,8) 42 (1,8) 68 (5,12)
BOWLINGRoop Sharma 3-0-25-1 Rob Goymer 4-1-14-2 Khem Sah 4-1-11-0 Tom Poulter 4-0-24-1 Ravi Ogale 2-0-17-0 Mike Ottley 1-0-20-0
RUN RATE 49-3 (9 overs)
Bricklayer’s Arms 122-2  (11.4 overs)
Mohammed Waqas c Reid (deep midwicket) b Shiels 70 (7×6, 5×4, 26 balls, fifty in 16)
Tim Sturm lbw b Shiels 20 (2×4, 20 balls)
Simon Foister not out 7 (1×4, 6 balls)
Ravi Ogale not out 12 (2×4, 12 balls)
Tom Poulter, Khem Sah, Roop Sharma, Rob Goymer, Ian Watson and Mike Ottley did not batExtras (b5, w7, nb1) 13
100 (1,8th over) 100 (2,8) 
Bert Schoewenburg 3-0-42-0  Alvin Spencer 2-0-36-0  Fred Shiels   3-0-19-2  Jason Reid 2-0-7-0  Danny Ryan 1-0-6-0  Dave Packham 0.4-0-7-0
RUN RATE 101-2 (9 overs)

Sun May 26 V Trafalgar Freehouse, Abbey Rec – WON by 140 runs

​Bricklayer’s Arms 232-6 off 34.3 overs (Sunny Lall 101 retired not out, Simon Foister 31); Trafalgar 92 all out (Mike Derks 3-8, Tara Thapa 3-25, Mike Ottley 3-26​, Ravi Ogale 1-28

What started as a wonderful, sunny and warm day, turned out to be drizzly and chilly afternoon, as both teams pitched up at their ‘home’ ground of Abbey Rec.  Much rancour and hostilities before a ball had even been bowled, as opposing managers, by a string of emails, couldn’t agree on who held hosting rights. And all for the sake of avoiding the cost of a £14 match ball.  (All in good humour, of course).

Once diplomatic relations had been restored, it was left to new skipper, Mike Derks, to take charge of Brick affairs, against old, friendly rivals, the Trafalgar.  Mike won the toss and elected to bat, which would ensure a longer game but, as the home side had chosen a 35 over format and the away side barely had any bowlers, on account of absences and injuries, Mike, the other one, agreed a concession with the Traf skipper that they could bowl more than seven overs a bowler. (Up to a point). Early on, in the Brick innings, this worked to the Traf’s advantage, as the Traf’s most dependable bowler, Kerrigan, bowled a tight opening spell of nine overs for 26 runs. This included the wicket of Sumit Sharma, when he holed out to deep mid off for 17. But the Traf bowlers from the other end were not so accurate or effective and, before departing, Sumit had cracked three fours off them in his 15 ball innings. Simon Foister, making his season’s debut, held up one end beautifully, as Ravi Ogale, first down, amassed a quick fire 22 (one four) before being caught in the deep.  Sunny Lall, at number four, joined Simon (who went on to make a composed 31 from 67 balls (no fours, but two threes on the Rec’s large outfield that left him gasping)) and, despite the odd possible scare, if indeed, a scare can be described as ‘possible’, Sunny soon ratcheted up the innings, as he took the Traf change bowlers apart. From 76-2, he took the score to 232 and was on 101 when he retired after completing a second century of the season, in only 51 balls. This included 18 fours and not a single chance; maybe one at 51 but difficult to judge whether that, too, was only a ‘possible’.  On retiring on 101, the Brick were comfortably placed at 232-5, with Mike D unable to add to the score, adjudged lbw to the returning Kerrigan. The other Brick bats were Simon Fernandes, out, lbw for 0, Tara Thapa, caught for 2, and Ian Watson, an invaluable 17 not out (two fours) supporting Sunny when he was at his most belligerent.

After Ian’s wonderful tea, which was taken mostly in the changing room, given the inclement weather, it was down to the tail to open the bowling. Martin Frost of the Traf and Mike Ottley renewed their ‘intense’ rivalry and, on Mike’s fourth ball, Frosty popped one up to a diving Watson at short mid wicket. Touch and go whether Ian would launch himself towards the dropping ball in time, but was ultimately prepared to sacrifice the carefully rolled cigarette he had previously held in his hand.  Perhaps not, he said, if the ground had been wet.  

Mike Derks opened from the other end, his first spell of the season, and soon snared bats two and three, one bowled, the other caught by Foister at mid off.  Mike O removed the dangerous Jason, No 4, clean bowled, and proceeded to account for No 7, with a caught and bowled. Mike D then bagged his third wicket, a nice catch by Simon Fernades, at mid on, to remove No 5. 

Wickets were tumbling, but the Traf’s No 6 refused to be budged and a knocked up a chancy but boundary-laden 45, before finally some one could catch him – the skipper, taking a steepler at mid on, off Tara, when other, much simpler, catches had been spurned.  This coincided with the skip’s decision for Tara and Ravi to switch ends after the drinks interval. The move paid off.

That was the end of the Traf’s resistance, as Ravi and Tara, between them, helped themselves to three more wickets. Ravi bagged the Traf captain with a nice caught behind by Mark Hamilton and Tara got Kerrigan plumb lbw for 0, as well as the last bat, young Matt, for 0, caught by a diving Hassaan Mamoon at short leg.

So, a convincing 140 run win and much rejoicing by both sides in the Traf after.  Might have have been all so different if the Traf’s Kerrigan could have been allowed to bowl all their overs.

‘Oi, Frosty, where’s the £73 match fee your team owe us?’

Innings of Bricklayers

S Foister ct Kerrigan, bld Jason 31 (67 balls)

S Sharma ct Stroud, bld Kerrigan 17 (15 balls, 3 fours)

R Ogale ct, bld Stoud 22 (27 balls, 1 four)

S Lall, retired not out 101 (51 balls, 18 fours)

S Fernandes lbw bld Jason 0 (2 balls)

T Thapa ct Jason, bld Rob 2 (4 balls)

I Watson not out 17 (23 balls, 1 four)

M Derks lbw bld Kerrigan 0 (2 balls)

H Mamoon, M Ottley, M Hamilton did not bat

Extras 35

Total 232-6 off 34.3 overs 

FoW 1-27, 2-76, 3-124, 4-125, 5-141, 6-232

Innings of Trafalgar

M Frost ct Watson, bld Ottley 0

J Clark bld Derks 3

M Wright ct Foister bld Derks

J Archer bld Ottley 0

L O’Keefe ct Fernades bld Derks 0

R Stanton ct Derks bld Ravi 45

M Stroud ct and bld Ottley 0

M Evans ct Hamilton bld Ravi

K Smith lbw bld Tara 0

M O’Flaherty ct Mamoon bld Tara 0

R O’Flaherty not out 0

Extras 21

Total 92 all out off 23.3 overs

FoW: 1-0, 2-11, 3-12, 4-12, 5-25, 6-84, 7-89, 8-91, 9-92, 10-92


M Ottley 7-1-26-3

M Derks 6-1-8-3

T Thapa 5.3-0-25-3

R Ogale 5-1-28-1

Weds May 22 v Epsom Taxes, Wandgas Ground – WON by 18 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 114-8 (20 overs, Khem Sah 25, Maurice Sukul 22)
Epsom Taxes 96 all out (19.4 overs, Ravi Ogale 2-12)

A great victory in a fine match put us back to winning ways against always tough but congenial opposition – and set a new record for run-outs.
Mike Ottley had somehow scrambled together 11, only for one to have to take a friend to hospital with a stroke and another’s electric bike to break down. At least both told him, so it was agreed we bat while waiting to see who turned up, as eventually Mike Robins and his stricken bike did
Khem Sah opened with Tim Sturm, who was done for a duck by an inswinger in the first over. Ravi Ogale then holed out to mid-off for 2 while Waqas was bowled for 3, putting us 19-3 inside five overs. However Khem and Maurice Sukul put on a quick 40 before Maurice was bowled for 22. Khem had anchored the innings well, but with retirement at 30 looming he was caught behind for 25 and with half the side out for 69 the innings was in danger of foundering, particularly as our last two had yet to appear.
Epsom’s 11th had appeared, though, and they generously lent him to us just as Mike Robins tipped up. Meanwhile Lal Poonwasie, bowled for 7, and especially Tom Carter, caught at gully after bludgeoning three fours in 14, had put us back on track. Six not out from Mike Ottley, 3 by Mike Robins before he fell lbw, and 2 not out from Epsom’s Sunny saw us to 114, largely aided by 30 extras (it was 2 for a wide or no ball with no extra delivery).
It was a respectable target but all too gettable if we bowled loosely. But Khem Sah set the tone with great line and length, rewarded in his first over by a lightning slip catch by Mike Ottley as the ball seemed past him to his left. The sight of a Brick catch taken at slip seemed to inspire the field, and Waqas was next to shine with a great chase to the boundary and return to run out their No 3 as he tried to steal a third run. That was 24-2, which became 30-4 as Ravi Ogale, who had taken over from Tom Carter, had their No 4 well snaffled by keeper Maurice and in the same over pinned No 5 lbw.
That brought Epsom’s kipper to join the surviving opener, and the pair took to the score to 78 in the 15th over before the opener had to retire and the skipper top-edged the returning Tom behind. We were back in the game, and Epsom’s desperation started to show as the next four dismissals were run-outs. First Khem, from short third man, pinged the ball back to bowler Tom’s where a quick-thinking Ravi flicked the ball back on the stumps. Then Ravi scored a direct hit from midwicket, Lal at square leg threw for bowler Mike Ottley to remove No 9, and finally the returning opener was stranded as Tim Sturm ran in with the ball from cover to whip off the bails.
Fine catching, nagging dot-ball bowling (kudos to all, including the wicketless Waqas, Mike Robins, Mike Ottley and Lal, who delivered the last over, having not bowled for yoncs) and great fielding had won the day.

Bricklayer’s batted by agreement
Bricklayer’s Arms 114-8
Khem Sah c wk b Shane 25
Tim Sturm b Wilson 0
Ravi Ogale c mid-off b Chanchal 2
Mohammed Waqas b Wilson 3
Maurice Sukul b Shane 22
Lal Poonwasie b Shane 7
Mike Ottley not out 6
Tom Carter c gully b Danny 14
Mike Robins lbw b SK 3
Sunny (Epsom) not out 2
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b1, lb3,nb2, w24) 30
FALL OF WICKETS 3-1 (2, 1st over) 14-2 (3,4) 19-3 (4,5) 59-4 (5,11) 69-5 (1,12) 76-6 (7,14) 104-7 (8,16) 109-8 (9,19)
RUN RATE 59-4 (10 overs)
Epsom Taxes 96 all out
Wilson run out 34
Shane c Ottley b Sah 1
Jason run out 7
SK c Sukul b Ogale 4
Chanchal lbw b Ogale 0
Sachin c Sukul b Carter 17
Sham run out 6
Sitan run out 0
Danny run out 1
Brett not out 2
Extras (b1, lb1, w11, nb3) 16
BOWLING Carter 4-0-24-1 Sah 4-1-17-1 Ogale 4-0-12-0 Waqas 1-0-6-0 Robins 4-0-22-0 Ottley 2-0-6-0 Poonwasie 0.4-0-0-0

Sunday May 19 Putney CC, Putney Common – LOST TWICE

Match 1 LOST by 9 wickets

Bricklayers Arms 108 all out (25.1 overs, Tom Poulter 57)
Putney CC 109-1 (16.1 overs)
Match 2 LOST by 46 runs
Putney CC 137-7 (Tom Poulter 3-17, Khem Sah 2-12)
Bricklayers Arms 91 all out (Mike Robins 20)
“A bad day at the office,” said Mike Ottley after we’d lost the beer match as well as being gubbed in the main event. Indeed it was, though it had started brightly.
On a damp Putney Common we were put in to bat by our hastily rearranged opposition (Barnes Occasionals having cried off). We were ten at that point, including Chris Locke who had intended to rest his dodgy knee provided wannabe new recruit George Wall showed up. But George ignored calls and texts and never arrived. What possesses people to swear they won’t let you down and then disappear, depriving someone else of a game and leaving the team in the lurch? No explanation or apology has been received.
Also missing, though in communication, was Anil Basnet, held up at work by a replacement not arriving to take over his shift. Chris Locke therefore limped into the XI.
Skipper Greg Tremain and Tom Poulter opened, only for Greg to swiftly edge behind for 3. Tom however was in imperious form, well supported by Tara Thapa as the pair put on 70 in 11 overs before Tara was bowled for 19. Tom then brought his fifty, but Khem Sah perished second ball, top-edging to square leg, and when Tom himself was bowled for 57 we were in trouble. Steph Mindel got 5, Eddie Evans 4 and Mike Robins 5 but no other batsman scored as we subsided from 81-1 in 14 overs to 108 all out at the start of the 26th.
It was agreed to take tea after Putney’s chase, which bar Eddie Evans bowling one opener and being unlucky to mask the umpire for an lbw against the other was an untroubled cruise to the target inside 17 overs.

After tea we played a 15-over beer match, with Putney batting first. This initially went better for the bowlers, Khem getting both openers. Unfortunately we were not backing them with catches. Chris Locke injured his hand leaping for a fast snick at slip, while three skiers went down before finally Anil, who’d arrived just before tea, held onto one to give Tom Poulter a first wicket. He added two more, one bowled, one courtesy of a lightning stumping by Steph, but the reprieves for their No 3 proved costly as some big hitting took Putney to 137 for the loss of just one more wicket, bowled by Anil.
A daunting target was made worse as Khem went one better than the first innings, top-edging again to square leg but this time for a golden duck. Greg (7) was then sent back by Tom too late to make his ground. Tara (3) was bowled, as was Tom on 12. The top four were gone for 28, and when Steph was caught and bowled for 5 we were 37-5.

Some resistance came from Anil Basnet and Mike Robins, who put on 30 until Anil was lbw for 17, and then Mike and Eddie Evans who took us to 88. But then Mike Robins went to an athletic keeping catch for 20, Eddie was bowled for 11 and Mike Ottley comically for a duck. With Chris Locke unable to bat that was that for the day.
Match 1 (40 overs, Putney won toss and elected to field)
Bricklayers Arms 108 all out 
Tom Poulter b Peddie 57 (8×4, 47 balls)
Greg Tremain c wk b Peddie 3 (5 balls)
Tara Thapa b Peddie 19 (2×4, 37 balls)
Khem Sah c sq leg b Peddie 0 (2 balls)
Steph Mindel b Beedle 5 (1×4, 11 balls)
Eddie Evans b Soham 4 (1×4, 7 balls)
Mike Ottley b Soham 0 (8 balls)
Mike Robins c short cover b Harvey 5 (12 balls)
Ian Bridgford b Harvey 0 (6 balls)
Chris Locke not out 0 (3 balls
)Extras (nb3, w12) 15
FALL OF WICKETS 11 (2, 3rd over) 81 (3, 14)  87 (4.16) 93 (1, 16) 102 (6, 19) 102 (5, ,20)  102 (7, 21) 106 (9, 23) 108 (8, 26)
RUN RATE 62-1 (10 overs) 102-6 (20)
PUTNEY CC 109-1 (16.1 overs)
Henry b Evans 9
Alex not out  73
Amir not out 12
Extras (b8, lb 3, w3, nb1) 15
BOWLING Evans 4-0-24-1 Ottley 3-0-19-0 Robins 5-0-32-0 Bridgford 4.1-0-32-0

Putney batted first
Beedle b Khem Sah 4
Nomi lbw b Khem 3
Ajay not out 45 
Tycho c Basnet b Poulter 5
Peddie b Poulter 11
Rohit st Mindel b Poulter 15
Soham b Basnet 12
Tan not out 4
Extras (b3, lb1. w 14) 18
BOWLINGKhem Sah 3-0-12-2 Tara Thapa 3-0-23-0 Mike Robins 2-0-19-0 Tom Poulter 3-0-17-3 Eddie Evans 1-0-18-0 Anil Basnet 2-0-24-1 Mike Ottley 1-0-18-0
BRICKLAYERS 91 all out (14.1 overs)
Khem Sah c sq leg b Amir 0 ( 1 ball)
Tom Poulter b Amir 12 (1×4,9 balls)
Greg Tremain run out 7 (1×4, 7 balls)
Tara Thapa b Peddie 3 (6 balls)
Anil Basnet  lbw b Peddie 17 (3×4, 12 balls)
Steph Mindel c&b Rohit 4 (5 balls)
Mike Robins c wk b Rohit 20 (3×4, 14 balls)
Eddie Evans b Alex 11 (2×4, 8 balls)
Mike Ottley b Alex 0 ( 5balls)
Ian Bridgford not out 0
Chris Locke  absent hurt
Extras (b 3, w12, nb3) 18
FALL OF WICKETS 0 (1,1) 12 (3,2) 21 (4,4) 28 (2,5) 37 (6,7) 67 (5,11) 88 (7,12) 90 (8,13)  91 (9, 15)

Wed May 16 v Fleet Street Strollers, Barn Elms – LOST by 6 wickets

Bricklayer’s Arms 127-7 (20 overs, Tim Sturm retired 26, Greg Tremain 25)Fleet Street Strollers 132-4 (17.3 overs)
Well, we had to lose sometime. The Fleet Street Strollers midweek side are unbeaten in two seasons and so they remain. At least, thanks to more heroic Mike Ottley efforts, we fielded eleven and posted a target.
We started well by winning the toss and batting. Unfortunately Tom Poulter was bowled at the end of the first over and Yogi Patel in the fourth. Greg Tremain and Tim Sturm rebuilt with a fifty stand until Greg, desperate to get strike in the over in which he’d reached 25 and would have to retire, was comprehensively run out as the non-striker. 
Tim also had to retire on 26 and the momentum was lost as from 71-3 at halfway we fell to the slow slow bowling of Alastair Macauley, both Waqas and Anil bowled in slow motion. Rory Alleyne hit a few good blows before a great catch at mid-off, Mike Ottley and Sal Azam ticked over until both met in the middle for a run-out more comedy than Greg’s, and Ian Bridgford hit two fours, one intended, to see us to 127.
There was some hope as Waqas, having switched to round the wicket after too many of the legside wides that beset our pacier bowlers, took out one opener’s middle stump while Tom span one in to bowl the No 3. But former Brick (and Queen Ad) veteran John Low kept up an end while Strollers’ skipper swung merrily, and after Low’s own comedy run-out and the skip’s retirement our only other reward was a fortunate lbw for Anil. Two no-balls sailing over the keeper and a six ended the evening just as dusk was set to become dark. 

Bricklayer’s won toss and batted

Bricklayer’s Arms 127-7 
Yogi Patel b Keightley 5 (10 balls)
Tom Poulter b Williams 2 (4 balls)
Greg Tremain run out 25 (21 balls, 3×4)
Tim Sturm retired 26 (17 balls, 3×4)
Mohammed Waqas b Macauley 3 (6 balls)
Anil Basnet b Macauley 0 (2 balls)
Rory Alleyne c mid-off b Wall 14 (25 balls, 1×4)
Mike Ottley run out 4 (5 balls)
Sal Azam not out 4 (5 balls)
Ian Bridgford not out 8 (5 balls, 2×4)
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b2, w27, nb7) 36
FALL OF WICKETS 7 (2, 1st over) 15 (1,4) 67 (3,10) 82 (5,12) 82 (6,12) 111 (7,19) 112 (8,19)RUN RATE 71-3 (10 overs)
Fleet Street Strollers 132-4  
Daly b Waqas 0
Low run out 9
Selby b Poulter 2
Oliver retired 29
Wall lbw b Basnet 28
Merryweather not out 26
Robertson not out 1
Extras (b15, lb3, w12, nb4) 40FALL OF WICKETS 4,9,58,122
BOWLING Waqas 4-0-21-1 Poulter 4-0-31-1 Azan 3-0-13-0 Basnet 4-0-23-1 Ottley 1-0-14-1 Bridgford 1-0-5-0 Alleyne 0.3-0-10-0

Sunday May 12 v Khukuri CC, Abbey Rec – WON by 6 wickets

Khukuri 205 all out (31.5 overs, Khem Sah 68, Sunny Lall 3-31, Eddie Evans 3-43, Tom Poulter 2-27)

Bricklayer’s 206-4 (34.4 overs, Tom Poulter 80, Greg Tremain 50, Sunny Lall 36 not out)

Skipper Greg Tremain emailed Chris Locke last night: “Great game today – excellent cricket, a friendly rivalry and a genuinely balanced game all the way up to the final over. Thanks for organising and for all who came and put so much into the game.”
It was our pleasure. Khukuri, aka our Nepalese contingent, had stepped into a hole in our fixture list just as they did as Gurkha Warriors on two evenings last year, and again were great opposition. The only difference this time was that we won – just, with two balls to spare.
The morning began with one of Chris’s emergency appeals as Dave Winpenny had leg problems. Eddie Evans stepped in, but then so did Geoff  Balasoghu, meaning 12 arrived pitchside. Chris decided to give his dodgy knees a rest and Mark Hamilton the gloves.
We began well with the second over a wicket maiden for Tom Poulter as one opener spooned to Mike Robins at square leg. Then Eddie Evans found his line to bowl the other while Tom reeled off another maiden before taking his second wicket courtesy of a great one-handed catch at point by Geoff taking a fizzer in his left. That was 25-3, which became 45-4 when Mike Robins got through Tara Thapa with a swift full toss.
This however brought in Khem Sah to join Bittu Promod, both of whom had hit runs for us in the previous week. Sure enough they moved rapidly to 86 before Bittu, going down the pitch to explain to the umpire how he couldn’t possibly be lbw, was run out for 32 by Tom running in from gully.
With half the side out before drinks, big-hitting Party came to the party, and he and Khem smote happily until a great catch  off Sunny Lall by Greg at extra cover stopped the last of Party’s full-blooded blows. Khem however found another kindred spirit in Suraz, and the pair added 65 in eight overs before Sunny bowled Suraz for 33, then did the same on 201 to Khem for a handsome 68.
Only four more runs were added as Eddie Evans mopped up the final two wickets, the first caught in the off by Ian Bridgford, the second bowled. Crucially we had denied Khukuri the last 20 balls by getting them all out.
Tom Poulter and Greg Tremain started with a bang, 20 coming off the first two overs, and Tom took just 35 balls to reach a swift fifty while Greg played the anchor role. Before drinks they had a century partnership, but Khukuri through bowlers Khem and Party were starting to squeeze the run rate. Greg reached his fifty, but Tom was then bowled for a great 80 (1×6,6×4, 59 balls), followed immediately by Greg, run out as Prakhar Chandra tried to push a quick single off his second ball.
Suddenly the asking rate climbed from six to eight an over as new batsmen Prakhar and Sunny faced a rejuvenated attack. Sunny took the more aggressive role and so nearly paid for it as he slashed to deep point only to be spared by a drop. Reprieved he took full advantage, a six and four redressing the rate, but then Prakhar went caught at deep extra off a high full toss. But Cracker McCracken scampered a quick 10 before being run out, and Eddie Evans sensibly gave Sunny the strike to notch the winning run off the fourth ball of the final over.       
Khukuri batted first by agreement
Khukuri 205 all out 
Janax b Evans 8 (2×4, 9 balls)
Sachin c Robins (sq leg) b Poulter 1 (9 balls)
Tara Thapa b Robins 10 (1×4, 18 balls)
Jiwan c Balasoghu (point) b Poulter 6 (15 balls)
Bittu Promod run out (Poulter) 32 (5×4, 30 balls
)Khem Sah b Lall 68 (1×6, 9×4, 49 balls, fifty in 38)
Party c Tremain (extra cover) b Lall 12 (2×4, 11 balls)
Suraz b Lall 33 (6×4, 24 balls)
Anil Basnet b Evans 5 (10 balls)
Buthha c Bridgford (extra cover) b Evans 1 (2 balls)
Subash Aryal not out 0 (0 balls)
Extras (b3, lb6, w20) 29
FALL OF WICKETS 3 (2, 2nd over) 12 (1,3) 25 (4,6) 45 (4,12) 86 (5,17) 120 (7,21) 185 (8,29) 201 (6,31) 205 (10,32) 205 (9,32)
RUN RATE 14-2 (5 overs) 39-3 (10) 76-4 (15) 88-5 (drinks 17) 114-5 (20) 159-6 (25) 201-7 (30)
BOWLING Evans 6.5-0-43-3 Poulter 7-2-27-2 Balasoghu 5-0-34-0 Robins 6-0-45-1 Lall 6-0-31-3 Chandra 1-0-17-0
Bricklayer’s 206-4 
Tom Poulter b Party 80 (1×6,6×4, 59 balls, fifty in 35)
Greg Tremain run out 50 (4×4, 72 balls, fifty in 70)
Prakhar Chandra c mid-off b Tara 6 (16 balls)
Sunny Lall not out 36 (1×6, 2×4, 25 balls)
Cracker McCracken run out 10 (10 balls)
Eddie Evans not out 1 (1 ball)
Ian Watson, Mark Hamilton, Mike Robins, Ian Bridgford and Geoff Balasoghu did not bat
Extras (b2, lb2, w17, nb2) 23
FALL OF WICKETS 147 (1, 25th over) 147 (1,25) 181 (3,31) 196 (4,34)
 RUN RATE 28-0 (5 overs) 62-0 (10) 94-0 (15) 111-0 (drinks 17) 124-0 (20) 149-2 (25) 167-2 (30)
BOWLING Party 7-0-40-1 Subash 3-0-21-0 Tara 6-0-35-1 Anil 4.4-0-26-0 Khem 7-0-36-0 Suraz 5-0-26-0 Bittu 2-0-18-0

Tuesday May 7 v Kingston Taxes, Wandgas Ground – WON by 36 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 136-4 (20 overs, Mohammed Waqas ret 32, Cracker McCracken ret 31, Yogi Patel ret 30)Kingston Taxes 100-6 (20 overs, Mike Ottley 2-20)
We continued our successful start to the season with what skipper Mike Ottley hailed as “a thoroughly professional performance” to see off Kingston Taxes.
Once more we were only ten, but that in itself was a triumph for Mike’s tenacity in finding players. Not that we could find more than six at the scheduled start, meaning we had to bat to have any hope of finishing before dark. That and a 20-over format were agreed, with batsmen retiring on hitting 30.
Khem Sah and Tom Poulter began briskly, but fell bowled on 18 and 10 in the fifth and sixth overs respectively. By then Yogi Patel and Cracker McCracken had  been scrambled into pads and the pair took us from 33 to 85 before Cracker, having belted five fours, was first to retire with Yogi soon following. Debutant Sal Azam soon fell bowled for 2, but Dave Winpenny, promoted perforce up the order, sensibly ceded strike to our other debutant, Mohammed Waqas, who scored all the runs in a partnership of 20 before Dave, who’d just received an accidental beamer, was bowled on a long hop’s second bounce.
Waqas continued to bludgeon the ball to all parts, with two sixes and three fours as he posted a rapid 32, and Mikes Ottley and Robins, both 1 not out, saw the innings to 136.
Khem and Tom now became our opening bowling partnership as Kingston set about the chase, punishing anything wayward until Khem swung one in beautifully to claim our first wicket. A run-out via a direct hit from Yogi at cover brought a second and Waqas found the right line eventually to bowl out a third batsman, but we seemed unable to remove the hard-hitting Bilal (aided it turned out by the scorer not realising he had passed 30).
Up stepped the skipper to ensure he couldn’t retire and return. Mike Ottley flighted one through the bemused batsman, who played forward, back and all around a ball that hit nothing but middle stump. Same over a slower one hit the same stick and Kingston were 57-5 in nine overs. Though only one more batsman fell – bowled by Sal to give both debutants a maiden wicket – the two Mikes, Waqas, Sal and Cracker ensured Kingston would never get near the target. 
As dusk turned to dark we repaired to the bar to watch a possibly even greater performance, by Liverpool against Barcelona. Very satisfying all round.

Brick batted first by agreement
Bricklayer’s Arms 136-4

Tom Poulter b Macintyre 10 (1×4, 7 balls)
Khem Sah b Davies 18 (1×4, 17 balls)
Yogi Patel retired 30 (3×4, 27 balls)
Cracker McCracken retired 31 (5×4, 24 balls)
Sal Azam b Kennedy 2 (4 balls)
Mohammed Waqas retired 32 (2×6, 3×4, 20 balls)
Dave Winpenny b Spencer 0 (8 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 1 (7 balls)
Mike Robins not out 1 (1 ball)
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b1, lb1, w8, nb1) 11
FALL OF WICKETS 29 (2,5th over) 33 (1, 6) 99 (5, 15) 119 (7, 18)
RUN RATE 67-2 (10)
Kingston Taxes 100-6
Bilal b Ottley 31
Stokes b Sah 14
Matthew run out 1
Falce b Waqas 2
Sadler b Ottley 0
Coyne b Azam 14
Davies not out 22
McIntyre not out 3
Extras (b4, lb2, w7) 13
BOWLING Sah 4-0-14-1 Poulter 4-0-17-0 Waqas 2-0-14-1 Ottley 4-0-20-2 Robins 4-0-13-0 Azam 1-0-4-1 McCracken 1-0-1-0

Sunday May 5 v Kingstonian, Abbey Rec – WON by 81 runs

Bricklayer’s Arms 227-7 (35 overs, Sunny Lall 100, Bittu Promod 68) Kingstonian 146-8 (35 overs, Sunny Lall 3-18)
A fine win to start our season featured a great century by Sunny Lall and a superb knock from Bittu Promod, proving that partying until 2am and then answering the call to play at 10am is no barrier to cricketing prowess.
Bittu was needed as Hassaan and Mohammed had cried off that morning, leaving us two short and Mike Ottley texting furiously to find last-minute replacements. Kingstonian had warned that they had also struggled to raise a side, getting a full eleven only by adding several colts, and so asked that we bat first.
We did not start well. In freezing conditions skipper Greg Tremain cracked one superb four through the off and then tried to repeat the shot to a different ball. He was bowled for 7, as next over was opening partner Prakhar Chandra, out for 1 trying to cut one that kept low.
From 8-2 in the fourth over Sunny Lall and Tara Thapa rebuilt well, adding 58 until Tara was bowled for 10. Anil Basnet soon followed, dispatched lbw second ball to one that hit his thigh. But from 67-4 Sunny Lall and Bittu Promod put on 78, with Sunny reaching a ton out of a total of 145, featuring some great hitting down the ground among 11 sumptous boundaries. 
Next ball he spooned to point, but Bittu, who had played second fiddle to reach 18 by that point, now took the major role in a quickfire stand of 52 with Ian Watson (caught at point for a valuable 16) and 25 with Mike Ottley. Bittu finally went in the 33rd over for a scintillating 68, leaving Mike (8 not out) and Ian Bridgford (1 not out) to see out the overs.
We were well pleased to set a target of 228, but Kingstonian’s openers set about the chase with 50 in the first seven overs, with a flurry of boundaries interspersed with catches not going to hand as we paid for being one light in the field. Greg had said at tea that to win we would have to rely on bowling at the stumps, and finally that paid off as on 55 Tara brought one back to knock out middle. One catch did at last find a fielder, Greg taking a top edge off Sunny at extra cover, but drinks saw the game evenly poised, Kingstonian 91-2 where we had been 89-4. 
But now came the catch that turned the match. Greg belying his own words by running to wide mid-off to take a swirling ball one-handed in his right just above ground. It was a great take and gave Sunny the wicket of the dangerous Abul, who had tonked 61.
That was 93-3, and on 115 two more wickets fell as Anil brought off a run-out of No 5 with a great return to Sunny, who then bowled their No 4. Anil himself had No 6 spooning to Tar at short extra cover, and would have been on a hat trick had the umpire not sportingly called no-ball to spare schoolgirl Leah being bowled.
It mattered not – the match was won, with further wickets for Prakhar and Bittu, the latter involving the batsman rushing across his stumps to hit to leg only to find his off stump removed. Kingstonian closed on 146 (Leah 3 not out) and we had our victory.
Bricklayer’s batted first by agreement
Bricklayer’s Arms 227-7  
Greg Tremain b Hikmat 7 (1×4, 15 balls)
Prakhar Chandra b Jim 1 (3 balls)
Tara Thapa b Alan 10 (21 balls)
Sunny Lall c point b Terry 100 (11×4, 80 balls, fifty in 46, 100 in 79)
Anil Basnet lbw b Spanden 0 (2 balls)
Bittu Promod c Hikmat b Madhav 68 (9×4, 53 balls, fifty in 44)
Ian Watson c point b Terry 16 (2×4, 15 balls)
Mike Ottley not out 8 (1×4, 11 balls)
Ian Bridgford not out 1 (5 balls)
Chris Locke did not bat
Extras (b3,w12,nb1) 16
FALL OF WICKETS 8 (1, 3rd over) 8 (2,4) 66 (3, 13) 67 (5,14) 145 (4,25) 197 (7,31) 222 (6,33)
RUN RATE 18-2 (5) 52-2 (10) 72-4 (15) 101-4 (20) 146-5 (25) 197-5 (30)
Kingstonian 146-8 
Abul c Tremain b Lall 61
Alan b Thapa 18
Madhav c Tremain b Lall 9
Hikmat b Lall 19
Spanden run out 1
Kavi c Thapa b Basnet 1
Hassan b Chandra 0
Amer b Promod 14
Leah not out 3
Jim not out 1
Terry did not bat
Extras (b9,w8, nb2) 19
FALL OF WICKETS 55 (2) 75 (3) 93 (1) 115 (5) 115 (6) 122 (6) 123 (7) 145 (8)
BOWLING Prakhar Chandra 4-0-27-1 Mike Ottley  4-1-23-0 Tara Thapa 6-0-23-1 Anil Basnet 6-1-18-1 Bittu Promod 5-1-16-1 Sunny Lall 5-0-18-3 Ian Bridgford 3-0-4-0 Greg Tremain 2-0-7-0