Chingford 188-9 dec (Chak 5 wkts)
Jesters 189-4 (Howie 86*, Hudson 31)
Won by 6 wickets
We chased down 188 to win by six wickets on a scorching day in Chingford, thanks in the main to Oscar Howie's unbeaten 86.
Earlier, captain DJ Chak, whose full report appears below, had taken five wickets and Adnan Mohammed three to restrict the home side, who had raced to 70-0 off six overs!
The Jesters arrived in Chingford on a beautiful, sunny day still looking for their first win in this fixture (previous years at Chingford had produced a high scoring draw and a narrow Jesters loss in a low scoring game). For the third consecutive year, we lost the toss and were in the field.
The lack of cricket over the winter showed in our opening spells and Chingford quickly raced to 114 for no loss (after being 70/0 off 6 overs).
We had almost resigned ourselves to a long, hot afternoon spent chasing leather when Tom Bell took our first wicket in the 19th over - a straight one to trap the more aggressive opener in front for a quick-fire 65. He was soon followed to the pavilion by the overseas number 3, run out by a good piece of fielding from Ronnie Banerjee at point.
Adnan Mohammed then turned back the years to have the other opener caught at long on by Howie. At the drinks breaks the scoreboard read 128/3 in 22 overs but we felt that we were well and truly back in the game.
Banerjee and Bell then proceeded to really strangle the Chingford innings in a period of quality, attritional cricket. Dot balls built pressure as the new batsman struggled to get to going. Banerjee was unlucky not to pick up a wicket in his spell of 10-2-20-0 and Bell had a number of close shouts for lbw in his spell of 10-0-37-1.
With the pitch slowing down and the Chingford batsman looking for a big finish to the innings, the skipper brought himself on. Five wickets fell in his spell consisting mainly of various cutters.
The innings ended with Chingford declaring at 188/9 off 47 overs. A superb comeback by the Jesters in the field but could we chase the runs?
The Jesters’ openers Robbie Hudson and Oscar Howie began solidly to settle any nerves in the dressing room. With both batsman looking good for big scores, the partnership was broken against the run of play as Robbie was run out for 31 by a direct hit from point.
Hope briefly fluttered in Chingford hearts when the next few batsmen (Harris (13), Mohammed (4) and Alex Smith (13)) fell but Howie took it upon himself to guide us home, unleashing some beautiful drives and flicks on his way to 86*. Sarbajeet Nag provided support at the other end with an elegant 28*. A clinical (and uncharacteristic) six wicket win was completed with one over to spare.
Many thanks to Chingford for their hospitality and we look forward to returning to their beautiful ground next year.