2nd XI Reports

2021 2nd XI Match Reports

Cockfosters 95-10 lost to Botany Bay 240-4 by 145 runs

After a hammering defeat last week, and some players dropping down from the first team, there was a determination to put things right after what can only be considered a disappointing start to the season. Botany Bay is a lovely ground which would hopefully help the Cockfosters Batsmen to get some confidence after some tame displays in recent weeks. On arrival, Ben won the toss and elected to field with the damp weather overnight and the chance of it drying out and giving us the best batting conditions possible.

With Botany Bay in recent years having their first team drop down from Championship to Division 7A, most of their better players had moved on, including Kasey Harris who had moved out of the area until he returned this year. He opened up on the back of 2 league 100s this season already (and 2 more in pre season). As expected, he caused many problems for the Cockfosters bowlers. Arun Joseph and Craig Hutchins opened up and didn’t get much reward. Craig managed to keep the run rate down a little bit going for less than 4 an over in his spell which was helpful for the side. Dinesh De Zoysa and Nate White were next to try making a breakthrough and the perserverence was finally rewarded with Nate White picking up two wickets for himself to finally get us on the scoreboard. Harris and new batsmen Marchant coming in and really pushing on to posting a big score. Harris finally was dismissed in the second last over with Tom Slevin’s one over being a very good one, only going for 4 runs and taking the key wicket, albeit slightly late. Marchant was dismissed on the second last ball of the game but the damage was already done with Botany Bay posting 240-4 off their 45 overs. An imposing score, but something that the batting line up we had should be able to make big dents into.

Another week yielded another opening pair as Tom and Andy Stokes walked out to the middle. The top order were all dismissed cheaply with Tom, Andy, Ben and Chris Holmes all adding up to 34 runs between them. Wickets fell regularly but this didn’t stop Kieran Wetherill from batting extremely well, not letting the surrounding chaos effect him. He ended on 43 not out as the tail went out with a whimper. This week there were no excuses like a first team bowler getting dropped, it was just poor batting on a track that had far more runs in it, as proven by the Botany Bay batsmen, as well as Kieran. 

That is back to back weeks of losing by over 100 runs, and something that needs to be put right. 4 points from the weekend is a poor return and something that can be improved upon with next week’s trip to Flitwick.

Cockfosters 142-10 lost to St Margaretsbury II 265-7 by 123 runs

After being the only side not to pick up a win last week, the second team were looking to bounce back against St Margaretsbury second team this week. With a strong looking side, spirits were high and we were confident we could pick up a good result. Ben lost the toss and the side were asked to field first on a lovely day at Chalk Lane. Unfortunately, this could have been a case of the wrong team at the wrong time. Opener Mark Willis, who has been playing St Margaretsbury 1s for the last few years, had been dropped after only scoring 1 run for the first team this season. As you could expect, he was out to prove a point (at the expense of our bowlers). With him playing some fantastic shots whilst supported by the other batsmen in the top order who all contributed with 20s and 30s. Arun finally dismissed him for a good paced 98 with a great ball to bowl him, but at this point the side were severely on the back foot. Bowden also managed to get 50 batting at number 7 which helped St Margaretsbury to post a massive 265-7 off their 45 overs. Whilst there was obviously some high level batting on display, everyone would feel they could have performed better. Arun probably avoids criticism with figures of 2-36 off his 9 overs, with Jacob Driscoll also keeping his economy down to 4 as well, but all the other bowlers went for at least 6 an over which is making the task for the batsmen incredibly hard. 

Tom Slevin and Adam Pigden opened up with the task of giving us a positive start to the run chase, but naturally, St Margaretsbury’s dropped first team player was an all rounder who opened up the bowling for them as well. Adam, not being phased by the score, batted sensibly trying to give the team a platform for a run chase. However, Tom and Will were both dismissed quickly by Willis. Wickets from there started to fall at regular intervals with only 4 people getting double figures (Adam 26, Ben 17, Kieran 38 and Nate White 11). Kieran batted very well for his 38 but ultimately with wickets falling regularly and a run a ball being required right from the start, the only way we were getting to 266 was by someone posting a huge score and that didn’t happen. We used up a bulk of the overs to scrape to 142 all out which secured 3 batting points, but before the game we were hoping for far more than 10 points. 

Another disappointing result and something that we need to put right next week against Botany Bay if we want to make sure we are at the right end of the table rather than battling against relegation.

Cockfosters 161-8 lost to Stevenage III 162-5 by 5 wickets

The 2s came into the weekend as the only Cockfosters side with a win under their belt in the league. With a few players struggling to find the Stevenage second ground (with one or two accidentally going to the main ground next to it) the side did finally arrive at the ground. The pitch was similar to last year, and the side lost the toss and were put into bat. Tom Slevin and Kieran Wetherill at the top of the order, but Kieran was only there for a short stay as his opening experiment ended and he had been dismissed for 1. Tom stuck around to get to 11 but was following Kieran with the score on 33-2. Will Edwards struggled to bat fluently with Stevenage bowling very well but he dug in, batting with skipper Ben. They managed to get to a 58 partnership together before Ben was dismissed for what would turn out to be the top score of 38. Will was gone shortly after for a battling 27 off 81 balls. Tom Woodbridge was the only other batsmen to apply himself with Rollo, Carter and Simon all being dismissed for not many. AJ down the order offered some very useful support adding an unbeaten 16 with Ravi getting his usual token not out at the other end. Posting 161-8 off their 45 overs, it would be hard work in the field but the side was still full of confidence. 

The reply got off to a decent start with one of the openers being dismissed early on for 1 with Kieran taking a good catch off Arun’s bowling. However the other opener, Roy, was batting well, scoring runs at a good rate. With the score on 80-1, Ben turned to his trusted spinner Ravi and he delivered the goods, dismissing Garikipati for 21. He went on to take 3 more wickets to end with excellent figures of 4-35. However, there were some slightly unsavoury scenes with some contentious decisions happening the fielding side got a bit frustrated which led to the situation getting a bit heated. Thankfully the situation calmed down and we managed to finish the game off. Roy ended on an excellent 85* to lead his side home. 

A disappointing result particularly as we were hoping to pick ourselves up after the Old Owens result, and regardless of whether or not there were some controversial umpiring decisions, the side fielded poorly and put down too many chances at key times. Onwards next week to another home game as we host St Margaretsbury in a must win game.

Cockfosters 94-10 lost to Old Owens II 95-5 by 5 wickets

After the washout of the previous week, the side were relieved that there would be cricket this week with Old Owens the next visitors to the Lane. Old Owens were known to be a fairly strong side, particularly as their first team are in the Championship meaning anyone who is dropped is making a hefty drop down. Ben learnt that they have a few players that bounced between the 1s and 2s and unfortunately, this week was their turn in the 2s. With it being a bit overcast, it was no surprise that when Old Owens won the toss they elected to bowl first.

Dan Stead and Adam were opening up and something that became evident early on was the pitch was doing absolutely all sorts. As the weather hadn’t been great and it had been hard to prepare new pitches, they were using the same strip as 4 other games had been on. That on top of the fact the pitch was a bit damp made it an absolute batting nightmare. The worst start possible happened with Dan being given out LBW early despite him thinking it was a little on the high side of things. Fortunately over the day his whole team let him know that it was probably going over which made him feel a lot better about getting 0. From then on, it was a complete roulette. Ben got bowled by a great ball. Tom Woodbridge on his first league game for the club in a decade looked very good for 10 runs before again, getting out to a good ball. Adam as well dug in but was removed for 9. Nathan also hit a few good shots for 13 before being bowled by another great ball, which was the story of the whole day. Old Owens’ bowlers were of a very good standard and on the pitch if you put it in the right area it was doing enough off the seam to threaten batsmen whether they were in or not. The only reason that the side got to a remotely respectable score was the fact that Dan Rollo hit a fantastic 30 in the circumstances with the slow outfield and bowling friendly wicket. Ravi secured another not out with the side ending on 94 all out. Despite the fact it was a very low total, with the pitch and our bowling attack (as well as the events against Datchworth) we felt we were in with a real chance. 

Nathan and Bipin were given the new ball this week and early wickets fell which got the side well up for the game. However at 3 down with 13 on the board, out walked Thiruchelvam (or Robbo as their team called him). After taking a few wickets in the first innings, he turned out to be the side’s bane. He came out with a real attacking intent and with some great batting and also some fortune that was definitely needed in the middle, he managed to accumulate runs at a decent rate. The Old Owens captain at the other end was dismissed for 14 by Nate White which gave the side some needed life, even if it felt it could be a bit late. Atta came to the crease and knew his role was to just survive whilst Robbo knocked off the runs. With some interesting running tactics to try getting Robbo’s 50, Cockfosters at least won that battle with Bipin dismissing him stumped after some sharp glovework from Dom Williams. No one wants to walk out to the crease with 1 to win, but Gaeton dealt with the pressure of the banter he would have received if he managed to mess it up. 

A disappointing result overall, and whilst batting the side probably could have dug in more to get a higher score, but ultimately Robbo batted well and we didn’t have an answer to him, scoring over half the total required. A hard result to take but we were not too disheartened as it was a good effort.

Cockfosters vs Bishop’s Stortford Nomads was cancelled

After an anxious wait of asking “surely we can’t play in this” for the second week running, this time fortune and the groundsman were not on their side as Bishop’s Stortford’s captain got in touch with Ben just before the meet time to say the ground was unplayable. No chance for back to back wins but hope for the following weekend with a big match against Old Owens coming up.

Cockfosters 191-10 beat Datchworth II 98-9 on run rate

With the other two games already called off, the second team players were told to arrive at Chalk Lane as with his fancy weather app, Ben was under the impression we could get a game in. Despite some extra drizzle when both teams arrived and a slightly delayed start, cricket was indeed possible which after the first week’s washout was good for the side. On a wet day and a pitch with a tinge of green after the weather we had had for the previous month, it was no surprise that Datchworth elected to bowl first when they won the toss. 

Opening up for the 2s was a partnership that hadn’t seen much use in recent years of Dan Stead and Simmo. Simmo unfortunately nicked off early on and Dan, despite looking very positive, was dismissed with a sharp catch off Geraerts own bowling.

Adam added some useful runs getting to 25 before being caught, with Ben and Jacob Driscoll (on league debut) following very shortly after for not many each. At this point, Dan Rollo and Alex Carter were brought together in the middle with the side in a spot of bother at 53-5. After hearing all the batsmen complaining about how hard it was to bat, Alex decided he would prove them wrong and hit two lovely shots for four in his first two balls.Despite the occasional ball doing a bit off the surface, both of them didn’t let it phase them and played their natural games, adding some valuable runs with a decent run rate. However, all good things must come to an end with Rollo the first to depart with a very good 44. Nate White came and went before Craig Hutchins came out to help the side ensure they had a decent total to defend. Carter ended on 41 before finally being dismissed and Craig managed to get 30 runs as well meaning the side managed to get to 191 all out off of 44.4 overs. It wasn’t an easy track to bat on but some very good innings helped post a score we were very confident in defending.

Bipin and Craig were entrusted with the new ball with early wickets being crucial to stemming any possible Datchworth charges before the rain that was scheduled to fall around 6pm. Ben and vice Captain Rollo’s decision to try Dan Stead in the catching positions was instantly rewarded with a catch at gully in the first over off Bipin’s bowling. Bipin then bowled the number 3, Hitch, leaving Datchworth at 0-2 at the end of the first over. Craig managed to dismiss Kemp at 4 as well leaving Datchwoth at 6-3 and in all sorts of problems. Cockfosters tails were up and 30 points looked almost a certainty. Wickets fell regularly with Craig picking up 3 wickets, Nate picking up a wicket as well with another catch in the new look slip corden and Jacob taking his first two league wickets for the club. As we go to the 17th over, we realised that there was a very dark cloud overhead and between overs the side were sprinting into positions to make sure that all the hard work that went into the day wasn’t for nothing. Fortunately we managed to get over the 20 over hurdle and had a different issue presented to us. Clark stuck around for a very long time from number 10 and his partner at number 11 was well aware of his role of “Don’t get out”. The Clark and Croucher partnership felt neverending with no signs of wickets coming (although in fairness, the total was very far away as well). Eventually in the 34th over, the slight drizzle we were playing through became very heavy rain and hailstones (with lightning also striking in the distance) so the 15 people out there all sprinted off the pitch as quickly as possible. 

A very solid performance, and one thing that was notable for the day was the togetherness and enjoyment factor all the players displayed. 30 points had been secured which was the first win of the season for any team due to the weather we have had. Next up, the side would be hoping to build some momentum when travelling to Bishop’s Stortford.

Cockfosters vs Weston was cancelled 

Due to some registration miscommunication we had to make some late changes to make sure we could actually field 11 players on our trip to Weston, however we had heard that their groundsman had made the interesting decision to not prepare a wicket before the morning of the game and it was too wet for a game to take place. Disappointing but it wouldn’t be cricket season if we had good weather.

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