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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