Actonians Cricket Club


Perivale Phoenician 4 v Actonians Cricket Club 4th XI on Sat 19 Aug 2017 at 12.30pm
Actonians Cricket Club Won 10 Points

Match report “Cometh the hour, cometh the columbian”

Dear reader let me take you on a journey, a journey back to July 6th 2013. It was a simpler time, the president of the United States didn’t support Nazis, Britain still loved the EU and the next day Andy Murray would win Wimbledon for the first time. It was also the last time Old Actonians 4s had beaten Perivale 4s in the league and we approached Ealing Central Sports ground with the heavy weight of history on our shoulders.

Bilal did his preliminary pitch inspection with a view to batting first given the 45 overs a side format and an Actonians side that batted down to number 10. However on inspection the pitch was a little damp from overnight rain and it looked as though if it would misbehave it would do so early. A stiff westerly breeze was also blowing which would aid swing as well as heralding the arrival of Zephyrus in Greek mythology*. Seeking the advice of your correspondent we decided that bowling first was the right call with our seam heavy attack. This was the last meaningful contribution I made to the outcome of the match. The toss was won and we took the field.

Aneeq Malik opening bowler, middle order batsman and now chief caterer of the 4th team was given the ball and produced immediate results inducing a slow looping edge from Perivale’s opener which Oli West scooped up diving forwards just centimetres from the turf. Actonians were in dream land the scoreboard read 0-1 and the real match could begin with the two Perivale batsmen who had been in the runs over the last few weeks according to Aneeq “Simon Hughes” Malik.

They proceeded to knock the ball about nicely with the opener displaying a fondness for a back and across dab down behind square on the off side and the number three’s more traditional Middlesex 1987 league approach of trying to blast everything towards cow corner. It took two moments of frankly unusual fielding competence to see then on their way. First Roheet Gupta induced the number three to scoop a drive high into the covers and Tom Whear took a neat catch running round over his shouder. Next over with the aforementioned Whear into the attack Matt Gherkin pulled off a moment of magic running across from extra cover and taking a catch diving full stretch at where you would expect to see a silly mid-off standing. Two difficult chances, two top drawer catches, two important batsman seen off. Regular watchers of the fours thought that this might herald our Perivale curse being lifted but as soon as that thought made its way into my mind you could hear the faint laughter of the cricketing gods. Curses are not so easily lifted…

The next phase of the game involved fine spells from Roheet and Tom taking Perivale from 41-1 to 71-6. It was old fashioned pressure bowling and decent fielding which suffocated the Perivale middle order. Roheet bowling through his ten overs to take 3-26 and Tom Whear bowling with fantastic skill and control to bowl eight overs in a row for just 14 runs. Despite his tight line and decent shape away from the batsmen the biggest thing we learnt from his spell is that he will be petitioning the ICC to introduce the umpire review system into the 1987 league. He was denied numerous lbw shouts on the basis that they were “going down leg” despite him bowling outswing and hitting batsmen in front of the stumps.

Once the umpire finally shed a grasp of angles that would have confused M.C. Escher and awarded Tom a decision he began to wish he hadn’t. The period of suffocation was ended by 20 runs in 5 balls by Perivale’s number 8 with hitting so clean that there was a suspicion he worked at a dry cleaner’s during the week.

Aneeq “the analyst” Malik was brought back into the attack and he was a man with a plan. Yes this number 8 could hit a length ball cleanly over mid-off but could he handle a Yorker? Specifically a Yorker on the second bounce. The answer was an emphatic no as Aneeq produced an absolutely perfect (two bounce) yorker that clipped the base of off stump. With Oli West forcing the next man to produce a looping chance to mid-on Actonians were well on top with the score at 104-8.

The next thirty or so minutes of play would have disgraced a colts team with only eight fielders so I won’t dwell on it. Suffice to say Perivale’s number 10 ‘batsman’ produced the innings top score of 34 all of which went in the air in a partnership of 53. After we finally wrapped up the innings for 163 Perivale had wriggled away from us. Like a villain delivering a monologue in a James Bond film we had taken our eyes of the task in hand and Perivale had accumulated a total that was only slightly below par.

After tea Bobby and Tom set about the task of our response. Both players looked organised with contrasting styles. Bobby the right hand looking to play off the front foot and flicking the ball off his legs. Tom the leftie playing off the back foot through the covers with authority. Forty seven runs were steadily accumulated without much in the way of the fanfare or alarm. Perivale made a few ‘appeals’ that would have disgraced a no win no fee firm of ambulance chasers. However Bobby gave a simple looping leading edge into the covers and Tom was bowled off his pad by a ball that kept low.

To summarise we had bowled well but allowed Perivale to get too many runs, our openers had accumulated steadily but fallen in quick succession and your correspondent couldn’t shake a feeling of terrible de ja vu. Surely we couldn’t face another middle order collapse that handed Perivale the ten points. When Matt Gherkin was run out going for a single that frankly only existed in Shahid’s imagination it looked like all our worst nightmares were unfolding in front of us. The scoreboard read 57-3 and we needed a hero.

Luckily we had one. From the misty mountaintops of Columbia he came sashaying to the wicket with the gait of man who taught dance during the week and destroyed Columbian bowling attacks for fun at the weekend. Old Actionian’s Len Goodman became our Len Hutton.

Shahid (45*) and Oli (53*) demonstrated that if you wait the bad balls will come. Their partnership of bludgeoned pulls, forceful cuts and scampered singles put on 107 and saw us home with 6 overs to spare. The curse was lifted, ten points were in the bag and the promotion dream lived on.

*incidentally Zephyrus never turned up despite being a handy fielder and bowling some decent occasional legspin according to some of Homer’s later works.

Perivale Phoenician 4 Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
163 (40.2 overs)
Lee ct  O.West bld. A.Malik 0
Milan ct  M.Gurkhin bld. T.Whear 23
Jasmir ct  T.Whear bld. R.Gupta 15
Sharaaz ct  S.Akram bld. R.Gupta 13
Namunter b  R.Gupta 10
Karimbir lbw  T.Whear 6
Hanwamt Not Out  14
Navil b  A.Malik 16
Malkut ct  M.Gurkhin bld. O.West 1
Waheed b  S.Smith 34
Sachin ct  R.Masterton bld. A.Malik 4

Actonians Cricket Club 4th XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Aneeq Malik9.2135311.673.75
Steve Smith6.0036136.006.00
Roheet Gupta10.022638.672.60
Tom Whear10.0236218.003.60
Oliver West5.0015115.003.00

Actonians Cricket Club 4th XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 3 wickets

(38.2 overs)
Bobby Uberoi ct  bld. MIlan 20
Tom Whear b  Malkut 19 1
Shahid Akram Not Out  45 1
Matt Gurkin Run out  7 2
Oliver West Not Out  53 1
Andrew Jones  
Aneeq Malik  
Bilal Hussain  
Roger Masterton   1
Steve Smith  
Roheet Gupta  

Perivale Phoenician 4 Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy