3rd XI Reports

2020 3rd XI Match Reports

Cockfosters 100-7 beat Broxbourne III 96-10 by 3 wickets

With the start times becoming 12:00 for the last weekend, the third team were fortunate enough to be playing at Bramley road for the last game and had the short journey down the road. We were playing against Broxbourne who had been talked up to be the “strongest side in the division” by every team we had played against. Neil won the toss and asked Broxbourne to have a bat, with the Minch pitch being a real leveller regardless of a team’s ability.

The two openers got off to a solid start which worried the team as runs were always going to be hard to come by on this track. Fortunately, Saihaan managed to bowl one of the openers (through his legs!) and Prabha also took the other opener’s wicket caught behind and from there, Broxbourne had no idea what was happening as wickets just tumbled one after another. All the wickets were mainly shared around, but Prabhar was probably the pick of the bowlers with an economy of 1.38 off his 8 overs, as well as picking up 2 wickets! Ulti came on with a short burst at the end to take 3 wickets and end the innings with a shellshocked Broxbourne only managing to post 96 runs. Credit to our fielders and bowlers as it was probably the best we have done in the field in any game this season. We took our catches in the field and bowled very tight lines to not allow any easy runs against a very good side.

Despite 96 looking like a poor effort on paper, we knew we’d have to bat well to get there. Mehfuz and Monjur Ahmed opened up together and, just like the first innings, wickets fell pretty rapidly with only 2 players in the side able to get double figures in the whole innings. Mehfuz batting extremely well on a really testing wicket against a good bowling attack and managed to have 8 batting partners by the end of the game. Batting through the entirely innings from number 1 for 34*. Pankaj, who had asked to go up the order a bit, made good on his chance with 17 from number 7 before Broxbourne’s 12 year old managed to take two wickets with some fantastic bowling for someone so young, taking figures of 2.3-0-5-2 in his short spell. Fortunately, extras and Mehfuz managed to get us over the line for what was a very good win against a very strong outfit.

The third team finished 7th in the table, but that isn’t a fair representation of how the side played this year with some solid performances and tight games. As always with the third team, their strength always depends on who is available from the other two teams so hopefully next season with good availability (and maybe one or two new additions) we can have a serious attempt at battling for promotion. Man of the match on the day was Mehfuz for his fantastic innings and not allowing wickets falling at the other end to faze him as he got the side over the line.

Cockfosters 101-10 lost to Datchworth III 105-6 by 4 wickets

The third team turned up to their home game at Minch for another day on one of the most testing wickets in Hertfordshire (Middlesex!). The opposition captain wasted no time in asking Neil to bat first after winning the toss. The old guard of Xav and Tosh opened the batting together and, naturally, found scoring very difficult. despite not scoring at a particularly quick rate, they stayed around for over 10 overs before Xav got caught on 10 (and the side on 16-1). From there wickets kept happening at an alarmingly regular rate and none of them really because of demons in the pitch or particularly good bowling, just poor batting. The side managed to slip to 44-6 where a tale of 2 Garys begins. Gary and Gary managed to build the first partnership bigger than 10 (and the last) adding 45 together with Corken getting 24 off 55 balls batting very sensibly and respecting the opposition’s bowling attack. Gary Webster added 10 at the other end and when they were both dismissed (within 4 runs of eachother) the innings effectively came to a close. Pankaj was told to try batting the others and managed to hit a 4 first ball and get out second ball which really summed up the side’s day as everyone in the side would feel they could have offered more to the side. Despite only getting to 101, the side were optimistic because at Bramley Road, anything is possible.

Medders and Sandeep opened up the bowling and Medders had some real success, bowling extremely well picking up 4 wickets during his spell. Sandeep was leaking a few runs and despite it not being disastrous, on the wicket provided and the total required, just over 4 an over was too many. He was replaced by Pankaj and him and Medders bowled very well in tandem but unfortunately, when the fielders had a chance it went down which was the story of the day for the second and third team. Datchworth’s young wicket keeper batted well for 54* which was a match winning innings whilst everyone around him got single figures, but he was dropped on 20, if that catch gets taken, it is almost guaranteed that the side would have been celebrating 30 points.

As we get into September it is expected that availability would be a bit shaky and all 3 teams felt that this week which might have affected the result as having fielders like Alex Carter in the side would have made a big difference for sure. Man of the match was given to Gary Corken for his role in getting the side to a defendable total. Next week, the last game of the season is another home game against Broxbourne, hoping to give long serving clubman Xav a good send off as he plays his last league game for the club (if selected!).

Cockfosters 96-5 lost to Hitchin IV 176-9 on run rate

The 3s arrived to Hitchin’s lovely ground which they have spent millions developing, unfortunately the 3s were playing down the slope on the second ground which had not received a big money make over. Neil won the toss and elected to bowl first after the large amounts of rain we had had in the last few days. Medders and Saihaan opened up the bowling and both bowled extremely well and made life difficult for Hitchin’s opening batsmen. Medders in particular conceded very few runs from his 8 overs and took 2 wickets as a reward (finishing with figures of 2-13). Saihaan also picked up a wicket as there was some serious pressure on the Hitchin batsmen, especially as they consider batting their strong suit. There was some dropped catches in the field which didn’t help in trying to really turn the screw and ensure Hitchin didn’t post a big total, however a couple of dropped catches (Gary Corken almost taking a worldie of a diving catch but not being able to cling on) and Praba dropping a fairly simple catch (after Neil had just moved him in order to take a catch there) was a real shame as if we could have clung on to them it could have been a different game. Gibbs managed to get 67 for Hitchin which was a big reason for them getting to 176 in the end, but could have been easily given out run out a long time before posting his 50 with a tight run out going against the team. With their tail putting up a bit of resistance, and spin really not working as well as our earlier seam options, the innings came to a close and a fairly difficult chase was ahead for our batsmen.

Nate White and Mehfuz opened the batting and got the team off to a good start with the team at 55-0. Nate’s innings consisted of some very good batting resulting in a new high score for the club of 34, but also of the opposition giving him what he thought was some very poor chat. Amusingly for people on the sidelines, Nate really was getting triggered by the chat, which possibly affected his running as him and Mehfuz had their problems. From their 55 partnership, 2 quick wickets ensued with Mehfuz being run out and Nate being bowled shortly after to put the team in a tricky spot. However, it did allow them to do a couple of laps of the boundary to talk out their running issues which was nice. Alex Carter managed to get to 25 with some good hitting ability before also being bowled, with a couple more quick wickets following. Gary Corken was meant to be joined by Neil as the fifth wicket went down, but the rain came and the pitch started to become unplayable and therefore the sides agreed to call it a day there. Unfortunately, Fosters were about 20 runs short of the run rate required at that stage and lost the game, but it was a valiant effort against a side that had won all their games so far.

Cockfosters 99-10 lost to St Margeretsbury III 100-6 by 4 wickets

The Cockfosters side arrived at Bramley road with late call up John Tuckwell who thankfully was available to slot into the side after a late cry off. Neil lost the toss and were put in to bat on what was a typical Bramley wicket. Naturally, run scoring was difficult with a track that was doing all sorts, but the Cockfosters batsmen did themselves no favours by throwing away their wickets cheaply at regular intervals which meant that getting any sort of total to defend was a hard task. Neil tried to rally the troops with a bit of a captains knock and ended with the highest score, despite that being only 15. Late call up John and his son Josh were the two highest other scorers down the order with 12* and 8 respectively to try giving the side something to bowl out, but eventually succumbed to a low total of 99 all out.

In response, Saihaan opened the bowling up with Sandeep and both did a good job at making life difficult early on for the St Mags’ batsmen, with Saihaan being the pick of the bowlers with 3-20, there were even a few moments where it looked like the total could be defendable but 5 and 6 Jennings and Wall put on a stand which ended the side’s unlikely hopes for a win. Thanks need to go to Adam Pigden for being willing to be a sub fielder when Neil unfortunately got a ball straight in the lip whilst keeping (which required some stitches after the game) and hope the skipper recovers quickly!

Next up for the third team are Hitchin IV away, who are a side doing fairly well in the league. Hopefully with good availability we have a chance to get back to winning ways.

Cockfosters against Ickleford III was cancelled

With lots of friday rain and a poor forecast, Ickleford let us know early the game wouldn’t be going ahead which was a real shame with such strong availability. Hoping for better conditions next week when we host St Margaretsbury III.

Cockfosters 149-7 beat Stevenage V 148-9 by 3 wickets

On what was the hottest weekend of the year so far, Neil made it 3/3 in terms of Cockfosters skippers forcing their team to field first, however, he was the only one who won the toss and chose to do it. After some miscommunications with selection and drop outs. There was a bit of confusion when Neil was expecting Gary Corken to show up (who had shown up at the club as he was playing for the 2s) whereas Craig surprisingly showed up to play for the 3s (where Neil thought he was in the 2s).

Saihaan and Craig were asked to open up and Saihaan had some early breakthroughs and bowled extremely tight only conceding 13 runs from his spell, taking 3 wickets in the process. The top order didn’t provide much resistance to the Fosters bowlers with them all falling cheaply (despite a bit of resistance from the Stevenage captain who got 28 at number 3). Medders came on to bowl and his first 4 overs were all maidens and did a great job of stemming the flow of runs, despite not being rewarded with any wickets. Sandeep at the other end took 2 wickets, one of which being a Medders diving/falling catch, as the Stevenage lower order batsmen tried to get their team to a defendable total. Their number 7 managed to get 45 whilst wickets continued to fall around him preventing any real partnership from really developing. Prabha took 3 wickets with Craig also taking one in his second spell which meant Stevange were only able to post 148-9 off their 40 overs.

At the interval, Alex Carter decided to give everyone a fright by collapsing just before the second innings. The cause turned out to be his lack of any food or drink all day which was remedied in time for him to open the batting with Mehfuz. The early wicket of Mehfuz made it look like the total required would be a far bigger struggle than expected, but Alex and Monjur but went a long way to easing some early concerns with a big partnership getting the side to 84 before Alex was caught for 25. Ethan came in and went cheaply with Monjur securing his 50 before following shortly after for 56 which left Fosters in a spot of bother at 105-4. Neil got 16 before chopping one onto his stumps and more wickets fell to put us in a really difficult situation. Fortunately, late call up Shag as well as Medders kept their nerve to add the extra runs needed to secure a good 30 points in what turned into a very tight game.

Man of the match went to Monjur after his 56 runs which gave the team a good platform to chasing down the score. Next up is a trip to Ickleford.

Cockfosters 111-7 beat Hertingfordbury II 110-10 by 3 wickets

The 3s continued their streak of having 11 players for every game which was a good sign for the club considering the struggles of yester year, as well as the fact this season is year of a more “friendly” nature. Neil won the toss and elected to bowl first looking to capitalise on a very strong bowling attack he had at his disposal. Bar Craig’s first over that went for double digits, both openers did a fantastic job of keeping it tight and really setting the tone for the rest of the innings. Bipin and Craig made runs very hard to come by, with Bipin taking 2 wickets in his spell as well. Prabha and Chandika then came on and did a fairly decent job of keeping the runs down, with some great support in the field with three run outs from Gary, Alex Carter and Bipin (two of which were direct hits as well) meaning wickets were tumbling as the pressure kept mounting. Pankaj came on for what he made into a short spell as he managed to complete a hat-trick over two overs with all his victims being clean bowled, finishing off the innings. The opposition captain (who had been playing cricket for 60+ years) awarded him the ball and said he had never seen that happen before.

In response, in true Cockfosters fashion, we made the chase a little more difficult than it probably should have been. This probably wasn’t aided with the fact the batting order didn’t really have much stability in it with forced changes happening every week. The top 5 batsmen were all dismissed with a total of 14 runs between them which would have been a huge issue if it wasn’t for the fact there were a few extras giving a helping hand, as well as the fact Craig was ready to come in. Craig really steadied the ship and managed to stear the side close to the required total with some support from Bipin (14) hitting a few boundaries as well. Craig unfortunately played on to his stumps trying to cut on 38 but Josh and Ethan were on hand to make sure that Cockfosters were celebrating a 90 point weekend.

Man of the match went to Pankaj for his hat-trick, but Craig really deserves credit for a good innings under pressure. Next up for the 3s is Stevenage V at Bramley Road.

Cockfosters 95-6 played Potters Bar IV (match abandoned)

The 3s were back at the glorious Bramley Road ground to host Potters Bar who said that they were a “strong fielding and bowling side” which would have been on our batsman’s minds when going out to bat. With the track being less than ideal for cricket, the side knew that if we could post a respectable score, it would definitely be defendable particularly with the strength of our bowling attack on the day.

A mixture of good bowling from Potters Bar and a really poor track made run scoring a serious challenge. Nate White opened the batting again with Mefhuz this week and found it hard going. They managed to build a 30 partnership (with help of extras) before Nate missed one and got bowled for 18. Textbook Dom Williams came to the crease and was joined by Neil when Mefhuz was given out LBW shortly after Nate’s departure. Dom and Neil batted carefully and steadily to try providing a platform for the team to kick on from in the later overs. Both reached double figures before departing, with Patrick and Alex both following not too long after leaving Gary and Bipin to add a few runs each before the rain ended the game abruptly with no chance of the sides getting back out there.

Next up for the 3s is a trip to Hertingfordbury II.

Cockfosters 173-9 lost to Tewin II 219-9 by 46 runs

The 3s were given an away trip to Tewin’s lovely main ground, welcoming debutants Chandika, Anu, Nate and Bipin to the club for their first league appearances. Despite having a lot of people away this weekend, it was a really good sign we could get 11 players particularly after some of the struggles over previous years.

Neil, on his return to captaincy, won the toss and chose to bowl first. Nate and Bipin opened up proceedings and kept it very tight, Nate picking up two wickets in the process. When both openers ended their first spells, it was 31-2 off 12 overs which was a very solid start to the side. Praba and Chandika came on and both bowled through (Chandika picking up his first 2 wickets for the club), however the run rate did start to accelerate. This was in no small part down to Tewin’s number 3 batting extremely well in order to get a big 73 with support of other batsmen around him. The rest of the innings were just short spells trying to get regular breakthroughs to stop runs flowing, which allowed Anu to have a first bowl for the club, as well as Ethan Pigden to pick up his first wicket in adult cricket after coming through our juniors set up. Nate also finished on 4-31 which is a very fine effort.

In reply, Nate and Yasir opened up the batting and Nate unfortunately couldn’t replicate his form with the ball and was out cheaply. Yasir and Alex built a solid partnership which ended with Yasir caught on 21. This meant the skipper joined Alex and together they put on 66 runs together trying to start make inroads on this hefty total. Alex batted well but succumbed to “50 and out” syndrome, and after that the team struggled a little bit to build partnerships. Neil batted through the rest of the innings with a captains knock of 57*, but we wound up short despite some bits and pieces being added by the lower order. 

Neil gave Nate man of the match after his excellent bowling figures, and also mentioned how it was a really positive atmosphere and was a fun team to play in, despite the result going against us. Next up for the 3s we are hosting Potters Bar IVs at Bramley Road.


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