Report: Narrow loss at Chingford
Chingford 159 all out (Chak 3-17)
Jesters 148 all out (Howie 48)
Despite collapsing to 100-8 in pursuit of 160 at Chingford, Jonny Bridcut and the tail almost manufactured victory, ultimately falling 11 runs short. There were three wickets for DJ Chak, whose match report follows below...
After a high scoring draw last year, the Jesters arrived at Forest Side expecting another run glut. The skipper duly lost the toss and we were in the field once again. Were we going to spend the afternoon chasing leather or could the reinforced Jesters bowling attack somehow prevent Chingford CC's batsman from scoring at will?
We got our answer quickly enough. Led ably by the rejuvenated Jonathan Bridcut, the Jesters bowled and fielded beautifully. Jonny, Noah Hillyard, Karan Talwar (on Jesters debut), Louis Harris (back on the horse after his award-winning 41st over) and the skipper all picked up wickets at regular intervals. We did extremely well to bowl Chingford out for only 159. So far so good.
To say our chase got off to a disastrous start would be putting it mildly. Robbie was the first to go undone by the sticky pitch and the wily positioning of a fly slip. Rupesh (lbw), Adnan and Louis (both 'caught behind') followed in quick succession. At 31 for 4, we were staring down the barrel.
Oscar Howie and Santosh Verma batted sensibly to get us back on track before Santosh's sweep off a seemingly innocuous ball down the leg side found the square leg fielder, triggering the second collapse of the Jesters innings. The skipper followed Santosh back to the pavilion after an ugly hoick and Noah was quickly back in the hut too. When Oscar was bowled for the highest individual score of the match, a well-made 48, the Jesters' score stood at 97 for 8. Some of us had started looking up the early trains back to Liverpool Street.
As it turned out, Jonny Bridcut and Ronnie Banerjee (another Jesters debutant) kept us in the hunt. Through a careful mixture of attack (mainly Ronnie) and defence (mainly Jonny), they took us to within 20 runs of the win. Suddenly we were the favourites but as is so often the case, something had to give. With 19 runs to go, Ronnie went for a big hit only to hole out to mid-off.
Jonny continued to farm most of the strike but inevitably last man Karan was soon trapped in front, leaving Jonny (22*) stranded. The Jesters finished 11 agonising runs short of their target.
A great game of cricket played in good spirit on a lovely day at a beautiful ground. We look forward to returning next year.