Last over win at Hampstead thanks to Sachin's second Jesters century
Hampstead 220 all out
Jesters CC 223-6 (Rawson 122, Richards 43*)
Won by 4 wickets
30 degrees. Lost the toss. In the field. Great deck, lightning outfield.
We had a terrific start with the big hitting opener dismissed by Dan Hayes to an unbelievable catch on the mid wicket fence by Mitesh, diving forward to take the ball inches from the ground (post complete misjudgement).
Hayes was on fire (almost literally as he bowled his 8 over spell on the trot in oppressive conditions - phenomenal effort!) picking up other opener lbw as well playing across the line.
The spin heavy Jesters attack then gelled well together to keep scoring under control. The spin trio of Mohit Pandey, Achal Varma and Adnan Mohammed raced through the overs, while picking two wickets each.
Things looked under control as we approached the second drinks break with the hosts 135-5 in 26 overs. The Hampstead skipper Noor started well after the break by smashing his counterpart DJ Chak to all parts. He was particularly severe on anything full through the cover and extra cover region.
The scoring rate was rocketing along at 9ish an over for the next ten but the Jesters dug their heels in to chip away during the hottest part of the day, taking regular wickets at the other end to bowl the oppo out in 35 overs. Noor eventually ran out of partners, leaving him stranded on 51*.
The Jesters were set 221 to chase in 40 overs. At 28-2 (Mitesh yorked by the leftie spinner and Ollie Doward bowled by their opening quick after three sumptuous boundaries) and 55-3 (Max Winchester run out after a terrible mix up with Sachin Rawson), things weren’t exactly going to plan.
Luckily for us, Sachin was in the zone. The next two hours were a display of scintillating stroke-play by Rawson junior who cut, drove, flicked and pulled his way to a magnificent 122, his second Jesters hundred (see video below). Sach was supported brilliantly by James Richards who played his role in the partnership perfectly, knocking the ball into gaps to turn the strike over and make sure Sachin stayed in rhythm.
After a brilliant 144 run partnership for the fourth wicket, Sachin holed out at long on. Cue some panic and lower middle order shennanigans from James Whittock (stumped) and Adnan (bowled by a half tracker that kept low). The strike for six over long on by James Richards when we needed 12 off 18 calmed the nerves somewhat - A contender for the Mike Meyers big hitting award. With the classy Varma for company (8*) James took us across the line with a well timed boundary to end with an invaluable 43*. Great red inker and an example of stepping up to play the finisher. A Jesters win by 4 wickets, with four balls to spare.
A superb day out in the sun and a competitive game of cricket that went to the last over. Huge thanks to Hampstead for their hospitality. We look forward to returning to this lovely venue next year.