Cricket is back! Jesters victorious!
Northwood 165 all out (O'Brien 3-32)
Jesters CC 167-2 (Harris 52*)
Jesters won by 8 wickets
Bowler and batsman were once again reunited at a distance of 22 yards at Northwood as we dusted off the cobwebs and cruised to an eight wicket win.
Northwood won the toss and donned the pads first. Despite a handy second wicket stand of 73, the innings fell away to 165 all out in the 47th over. Wickets were shared between Shaun O'Brien (3-32), John Murphy (2-27), DJ Chak (2-26) and Adnan Mohammed (2-27).
In reply, Shaun hit the first six of the season during a quickfire 31 before Louis Harris (52*) and Sarbajeet Nag (43*) eased us to victory in the 34th over.
Match manager Adnan Mohammed describes the day below.
The Jesters season finally started at Northwood on 26th July 2020. The day was cloudy with light showers so the covers were quickly put on before the toss. New Covid rules, no teas and changing rooms closed.
The Jesters skipper wanted to bat first given the strength and depth of the batting order and was also amenable to a 40 over per side contest. However, the toss was lost, we fielded and a time game was agreed.
It was as if the season was mid-flow with Phil Berman and John Murphy opening the bowling. Both immediately found their line and length. John was to strike first getting one through the gate. Both finished their eight over spells, with Phil giving up just 16 runs and John taking 1-27.
The Jesters were diligent with their Covid hand sanitisation breaks every six overs.
Shaun O’Brien and Rob Dancey came on as first change and started to chip away at the top order. Both bowled with great pace and movement and returned 10-32-3 and 7-31-1 respectively. Rob in particular found good bounce from the wicket. Robbie Hudson took a high catch at deep square leg - for once not wearing the gloves as Dave Hancock was nominated to keep wicket.
Their middle order started to rebuild with the opposition captain making a counter attacking 50 in a sixth wicket partnership. DJ Chak, bowling with pace and guile, and Adnan Mohammed came on to take the final four wickets with two a piece. It took the returning John Murphy three balls to take the final wicket.
The Jesters were set 165 to win on a decent batting track. Special mention to Dave Hancock for keeping so well and to Alex Smith for putting his body on the line in the field.
15 minute break and then back out.
Robbie Hudson and Shaun O’Brien opened the batting. Shaun started scoring quickly, cover driving and pulling his way to a quick fire 30. He hit his first ball from the second opening bowler for a six out of the ground. One shot, a back foot punch back down the ground past the bowler, is already being talked about as the Jesters shot of the Covid season. Robbie was providing ample support rotating the strike and also accumulating at a fast pace. Shaun was well caught in the slips for 31 and Robbie departed soon afterwards, caught in the deep for 23.
This brought Sarbajeet Nag and Louis Harris together, both playing fluently with Louis showing his full array of front foot drives and Sarbajeet elegantly sweeping, cutting and running the ball down to third man. Both took advantage of the junior bowlers and particularly targeted the very young leg spinner. It was a race to which one of the two would reach their 50. Louis took us over the line pulling the junior leggie for four - and the Jesters winning by 8 wickets with 19 overs to spare. Louis and Sarbajeet ended up with a well batted 52 and 43 not out respectively.
We would like to thank Northwood for their excellent hospitality and the umpires for their diligence. It is good to be playing cricket again!
Jesters XI: Mohammed (c), Hudson, O'Brien, Nag, Harris, A Smith, Chak, Dancey, Hancock (wk), Murphy, Berman