The 2nd xi proved that less really is more, as they triumphed with what turned out to be only 9 men on a bitterly cold day at Richmond Green.
Winning the toss and fielding first gave Corinthians a little breathing time to try and find their errant players, but to no avail. As it turns out, one had been called into work, and the other turned up to the 1st xi game, so on we trekked with 9. This led to some inventive field placings, and some bemused who kept finding the ball falling into safety. Or in the case of Cliffo, the ball would travel in the general direction of the slips, then directly to the third man boundary, with little chance of being intercepted, no matter how many fielders were moved there.
Corinthians stuck to their guns in the field, but for long periods it appeared that Cliffo’s early breakthrough would be their only reward, as Prince’s Head built a solid platform until well after drinks. It took a double change from the captain, bringing himself and Olly Hunter into the attack. Hunter picked up two, and Druva three, generally bowling directly at the stumps proved sensible given the lack of fielding assistance, although two fine catches were snaffled by GB and then Hunter himself. Prince’s Head were eventually pegged back to an even 150 off of their 35 overs, but given Corinthians were bowled out for 32 on their last visit, it’s fair to say hopes weren’t high at the break.
New look opening pairing Hunter and Wadhwa strode our for the chase, and the scale of the task was made clear off of the very first ball, as Wadhwa could easily have been knocked over by a pea-roller which thankfully pitched outside leg before cannoning into his pads. They nudged and hurdled their way into some nick though, and soon it was 40-0 off 10, and Corinthians were starting to think the unthinkable. Hunter paddled and cut, Arvind blocked and swept and suddenly the task was looking much more palatable. Although as soon as those thoughts arose, they were cut off but Hunter skying one to mid on, who held onto a fine catch in the Spring chill. Clifford junior joined Wadhwa and they tucked into the support bowling, Arvind reaching his fifty in quick time, with a series of blows disappearing over the backward square leg boundary and towards the road. At this point drinks had arrived and the end was in sight. Arvind decided to take a break and retire his innings, in order to give someone else a go, something that seemed unthinkable an hour ago, and out strode Rajeev on debut. Rajeev’s batting style was quickly made clear and despite the odd woolly whoosh, enough balls made enough contact with the bat to send them soaring over the boundary and see Corinthians to a remarkable victory.
Man of the match – Arvind Wadhwa