NEWSOld Citizens Cricket Club v Rickmansworth Cricket Club, 8th June 2024Old Citizens Cricket Club v Rickmansworth Cricket Club, 8th June 2024

Thursday, 6/13/2024

As Penn Street dropped out, Old Citizens Cricket Club played a 35 over match with a Rickmansworth CC eleven on 8th June. We had two more players making their Old Citizens debut, Jay and Gobi, and after a several years hiatus we welcomed back Yusuf Ramazan. I won the toss and chose to field and Sharujan and Aditya took the new ball. Sharujan was unlucky to see two thick edges go for four in his first over and I then dropped a catch off him in his second over. In Aditya's second over the other opener edged a ball and somehow I palmed it into the safer hands of Sharujan at slip. After eight overs Jay and Richard came on and Richard bowled the number 3 with his third delivery. Rickmansworth looked to rebuild but could only make slow progress and passed 50 in the 15th over. Yusuf came onto bowl and immediately found some pace and a good length and he bowled the remaining opener for 20. The Rickmansworth captain came into bat and demonstrated a lovely technique in executing a classy cover drive. Just as Rickmansworth seemed to be recovering they had a calamitous misunderstanding with both batsmen ending up at the same end and I had all the time in the world to remove the bails. After a moment of confusion the captain trudged off. Soon after Sakeed flummoxed the new batsman with a lovely flighted leg break which kissed the off stump. From 61 for 5 the number seven led the counter attack. In ten overs they added 48 before there was another run out. This time to add to the comic effect it was to a waist high no ball and number 4 was dismissed for 19 runs. An over later Gobi had the seventh batsman caught at mid wicket by Yusuf for 19 and then Nic bowled the number 9. Number 8 hit 14 in an over, but I then stumped the number 10 to give Gobi his second wicket, and the Rickmansworth innings closed on 138-9. Gobi and Sharujan opened our reply and both got off the mark with boundaries. However, Gobi was then bowled by an inswinger. Aditya carved a full ball to the third man boundary but was then caught behind to leave us on 17-2 after 3 overs. Urshan joined Sharujan and together they eased us out of our early trouble. Like we had done Rickmansworth rang the changes and it was a leg spinner who changed the match in their favour. Sharujan was lbw for 18, and in the same over Jay was caught at mid off. When Urshan was caught at point for 14 we had lost 5 wickets after 15 overs. I joined Yusuf and we got to the drinks break on 63 from 18 overs. Despite the fall of wickets the required run rate was under control which allowed me to do little more than keep my wicket intact whilst Yusuf kept the scoreboard ticking over. After a sedate start he began to free his arms and two boundaries and a six followed. There was a generous supply of extras and we were able to ease past a hundred. I found a bit of timing and swept a four and we were able to hone in on the target. At this point the only question was would Yusuf get his half century. He could, and soon afterwards scored another four to score the winning runs. He finished on 54 not out and I finished also unbeaten with 17. It was pleasing to start the season with two victories.

Richard Hillman