The 5s assembled for their tenth game of the season at a breezy Cavalry Park against high flying Marchmont 3s. The 5s had three father and son combinations with the skipper and Robbie Murray returning from holiday, Rahul and Aadi Khadse, and Richard and Freddie Charman. The other seniors were Mike “Boom Boom” Kennedy and Martin Robertson, everyone’s favourite sweater salesman. The junior contingent was completed by James Stronach, Benji Risi and 12 year old Theo Griffin on league debut.
The skipper won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bowl, mindful of the 5s losses on their last two outings when they had batted first. Regular opener Robbie took the new ball down the hill, and got in to his stride with his customary accuracy. Theo was entrusted with opening at the other end, uphill in to the wind, and rewarded the skipper’s trust by clean bowling one of the openers in his second over. However, the dangerous combination of Wheelhouse and Sachdeva began to get in to their stride and started finding the short boundaries. Their left/right handed combination forced numerous field changes as the skipper sought to restrict the scoring. Theo was replaced by Rahul (T.Griffin 4-0-27-1) up the hill and Aadi took over downwind. The Khadse pairing bowled with great skill and Aadi induced Wheelhouse into a big top edge that Richard brilliantly caught in the swirling wind. Rahul then bowled Greenwood, who departed noisily and three more wickets from Aadi, including bowling Sachdeva, left Marchmont in trouble. Another wicket before drinks from Rahul, nicely caught by Mike at fine leg, reduced Marchmont to 82 for 7 at the half way point. Aadi was unlucky not to complete a fivefor with a further difficult chance put down, but still finished his spell with excellent figures (A.Khdase 5-0-22-4).
After drinks Mike took over keeping duties from James and Rahul completed his fine spell (R.Khdase 8-0-28-2). Freddie’s leg spin was introduced at the other end. However, a dogged 8th wicket stand started to develop. Robbie returned, up the hill this time, but despite continuing to bowl accurately was unable to force the breakthrough (R.Murray 8-2-22-0). Eventually, Freddie induced a mistake from Childs who gave a simple catch to Robbie at fly slip. However, this brought Holdstock to the crease, who despite batting at 10, was clearly a decent bat. He continued the Marchmont resistance along with Shukla and the boundaries started to mount again. James replaced Robbie and helped keep the scoring under control with good skill. Freddie finished his fine 7 over spell (F.Charman 7-0-36-1) and the skipper introduced yet another junior, Benji, to the attack. This proved inspired as Benji induced Shukla to edge behind, well caught by Mike for an determined 36, (B.Risi 1-0-8-1) and James took the final wicket, with a plumb LBW, to end the innings (J.Stronach 3.5-1-10-1). Marchmont were all out for 164 in the 35th over.
Marchmont provided an excellent tea, and Keith and James marched out to start the chase. They got the innings off to a great start with 37 off the first 6 overs, including two sixes hooked over square leg by James. Unfortunately, James then nicked off from a good ball, well pouched at slip and had to depart in the 7th over (J.Stronach 18). Martin joined the skipper and a solid partnership developed, with a good balance of defending the good balls and hitting boundaries from anything wayward. Keith got to his 50 in the 17th over and at drinks the 5s were well placed at 107 for the loss of just one wicket. There was further acceleration after drinks with boundaries coming thick and fast, including a massive six from Keith over mid wicket. Marchmont also very sportingly called Martin back after he had been given out LBW from a ball that he had hit. Another example of the fantastic spirit in which so many games are played in Division 7. The skipper finally fell in the 26th over, bowled trying to hit another boundary, which ended an excellent 105 run partnership with Martin (K.Murray 90). With only 23 runs required, Mike attempted to get them all off his first over and unfortunately top edged a catch to slip (M.Kennedy 1). This brought Richard to the crease, but he was bowled by a good ball that nipped back (R.Charman 0). Any concerns in the Carlton ranks that they might fail to get over the line were dispelled by Martin’s solid presence (M.Robertson 33*) and Robbie’s 5 ball cameo, which saw him hit two fours and a six to bring the victory home in the 29th over (R.Murray 14*).
A superb all round performance from the 5s to beat one of the top teams in the league. Restricting them to 164 was very impressive, with good bowling throughout to limit scoring chances on the small pitch with fast outfield. The ground fielding was also sharp and four fine catches were taken. There was also a strong batting performance, ably led by the skipper, but with excellent support from James and Martin. However, the Five Star Award deservedly went to Aadi for his 4 wickets, which were so important in keeping the home team to a manageable total. Many thanks to Marchmont for the game being played in such fine spirit. A big thank you also to Paul Bailey for umpiring and Harry Charman for scoring. Great to get back to winning ways!