Cricket Week

Cricket week at Cockfosters takes place during the second full week in August (2020 – Monday 10th to 14th August). This is where we have guest teams turning up for 5 full days of cricket… It is a time where our community really comes together and gets in full celebration of Cockfosters Cricket Club. For our playing members, there is normally a game for everyone who makes themselves available.

Whether you’re a potential new member, local worker or resident you are all welcome to come along to the social and cricketing highlight of the year. Games start in the morning from 11-30am with lunch, tea and plenty of evening refreshments.

Keep checking here for fixture information…

MONDAY – PRESIDENT’S DAY

President’s day is the opening event of Cricket Week. It is the most formal day of the five and players are asked to turn up for the game wearing a collar and tie. Traditionally dress in the evening is smarter than usual.

The President chooses an Invitation XI often made up of old players as well as prominent players from local clubs and further afield.

2020 match report

Due to some miscommunications, both teams ended up being a player short at start time so credit to Alex Carter and Yasir Khan who filled both spots at short notice. Despite the lack of team photographs due to social distancing measures, most people maintained tradition and showed up in smart clothing which was good to see. Unfortunately, due to the club being entirely cashless this season, fines also didn’t happen meaning anyone who didn’t show up in smart clothing got to do it for free. 

Unlike in previous years, due to some of the recent results there was a traditional toss rather than a negotiated toss, which led to Cockfosters batting first. On form Adam Pigden opened up the batting with Dan Stead with Moss and Pumpkin opening up, both batsmen found scoring opportunities really hard to come by. Adam was dismissed by a lightning quick stumping from Rocky in which Adam “forgot he was standing up” and just stayed outside his crease. Dan followed shortly after getting impatient due to the low scoring rate and got caught at point by uncle James Stead who was in the president’s XI due to being runner up to colt of the year 2007. James was asked to bowl at his own team mates for 11 overs creating pressure which meant that Russell Bennett Jones was able to pick up the wicket of Sam at the other end. Adam Parker was looking good for Fosters adding runs and batting fluently and had a good partnership with Chris Holmes before both batsmen were dismissed by Simon Westbury. Yasir came in and played some shots whilst also confirming there was no chance of rain before being caught off James’ bowling as he came back for his second spell. James Knowles had made the long trip across Chalk Lane for a game for the president’s XI and picked up the wicket of Tom Slevin as a reward. The tail didn’t offer much resistance as Cockfosters succumbed to 149 all out. 

Fortunately, the strength of the Cockfosters team was the fact that 3 of the 4 first team spinners were still playing for them. Due to it being a timed game, Sam was given the option of taking the new ball and took that option and gave Tommy and Dinesh the nod to open the bowling. Both openers were departing early on (James Stead being one of them being asked to open up after terrorising his normal teammates). Jacobs (with a conveniently placed brown spot on his whites) and Moss were the next men in. Moss fell quickly bowled by Tommy but Jacko and Alex carter started to do some damage with the bat. Sam came on and Jacko skied one off him to Ben Slevin who took a very good catch in a high pressure moment. Jacko got 34 and was replaced by Rocky and he and Carter put pressure on the fielders with some good shots and quick running between the wickets. When Rocky was bowled by Dinesh, it very quickly became the Dinesh show with him taking the next 5 wickets too ending on 7-20. At times it looked a bit in doubt, but in the end it was a fairly comfortable victory for Cockfosters on what was a low scoring affair. Thank you to the Pres and his guests for supporting the club in what will always be the most prestigious fixture of the week. 

TUESDAY – OLD MINCHENDENIANS

The former Cockfosters 4th XI, now playing under their own banner in the Herts League, earned their invite to Cricket Week for the first time in 2012. We expect our opponents to keep up the tradition of this being a heavy after game night in the bar.

2020 match report

Minch were welcomed for their normal spot on tuesday and unlike on monday, recent tradition was followed and Cockfosters were batting first. Yasir Khan and Alex Callan opened up the batting against Alex Goodwin and Rowlands. Both bowlers barely conceded a run as they bowled in very good areas which were hard to get away. Yasir played surprisingly sensibly not trying to go after the bowlers even after a few dot balls. Loaf was finally caught off of young Goodwin for 1 (off of 24 balls!) in which Will Edwards was brought to the crease and had similar issues as the openers with scoring quickly. A bit of a partnership developed between Yasir and Will before Yasir finally was caught for 34 in what was a very good innings from him. Will and Ethan were both dismissed in similar ways shortly after with Fosters 64-4 in the 25th over. Dan Stead and Gary Corken came together in the middle and got the team towards the 3 figure mark, both playing some good shots (in particular Gary’s shot of the day through cover for 4) with Gary finally being bowled in Alex’s second spell. Captain Neil came to the crease with him and Dan getting the team past the 3 figure mark. Neil got injured which forced him to show determination to tough it out reaching 21 before being caught. Nathan Edwards came to the crease and was batting like he was playing on a different pitch to his teammates, batting fluently and scoring frequent boundaries. Dan was dismissed so Nathan was joined by Alfie who both added runs as the total was ticking up towards the 200 mark. Juckesy was dismissed with a few overs remaining which meant Ben Slevin was brought in, mainly as a runner with Nathan trying to farm the strike and pushing Ben hard with running in order to help Nathan secure 50* (30 balls) and getting the team to 216 after their 53 overs.

Medders and Loaf were given the duties of the new ball, and Medders struck twice early dismissing both openers before Minch had even got to 10. Pranav came to the crease and started to counter attack after the rocky start, putting an Alex Callan over to the sword for 14. Ben Slevin replaced Medders after his opening spell of 2-13. After Pranav turned to keeper Dan Stead (filling in for Neil after his injury whilst batting) and said he thought Ben was a really good bowler, he then dispatched him to the penalty spot on the football pitch and over the club house roof. Him and Shahid looked like they were going to get the side close to the score on their own before Pranav was dismissed by an excellent ball from Ben for 45. Shahid took it upon himself to be the main source of runs for the rest of the innings, as well as team coach trying to give every batsman who came to the crease sufficient advice to help them out. As none of the rest of the batsmen even managed to reach double figures, it is probably worth it for him to put the coaching career on a back burner, but his batting was really outstanding as he managed to get to 81 not out before he unfortunately ran out of partners with Junior being the last wicket to fall for 8 (who had not been drinking as he was taking this game seriously). 

After the Game, Neil was awarded the Dipak Varsani Trophy after Junior said some very nice words about Dipak as we come up to the 5th anniversary of his passing. Gary hosted his Social distant quiz after which was good fun (despite the arguments that ensued from one team about Alan Titchmarsh’s biography).

WEDNESDAY – DUNCAN ELDER’S XI

Duncan Elder always used to bring an XI for the Wednesday match until he joined the club as a player in 2008! After being replaced by a team from Setanta Sports in 2008, a team from Buntingford took up this slot. Now, with Duncan having joined Letchworth CC he is back with an XI to once again fill the Wednesday game.

2020 match report

Duncan Elder returned for another year bringing his team back which was notably younger than in previous years with him welcoming a few of the current players from Letchworth Garden City (including a couple of first and second teamers). Captain Will Edwards won the toss and chose to bat first against the orange balls Duncan had provided which looked like a poor decision at 16-3 with Adam Pigden, Tom Slevin and Alex Carter all dismissed cheaply inside 8 overs. James Stead (playing for Cockfosters this time) and Alfie Juckes were given the task of fixing the slight issue that had come out of the early wickets and both batted steadily together keeping the scoreboard ticking along. Just before the lunch break, both players managed to get to the half century mark (Alfie’s first for the club)  and came off at lunch at 120-3. Alfie was given out LBW very shortly after lunch for 57 breaking the over 100 partnership posted by him and James and invited Gary Corken to the crease who managed to get 8 before getting out caught and bowled to spinner Denman. Chris Holmes was next up and his biggest contribution to the game was ending James’ innings running him out on 78 which was just as well because no bowler really looked like they were going to figure out a way of dismissing him. Chris and skipper Will added a useful partnership towards the end and Fosters ended up on 217-8 when their allocation of overs come to an end.

With the other scores earlier on in the week, this total looked really strong and the side backed themselves to really defend it. However, despite the early wicket of N. Sprittles for 5 (LBW from Loaf) the game started to drift away quite rapidly with Robinson and D. Sprittles really batting Fosters out of the game together. Constant bowling changes at one end whilst James bowled 14 overs from the other still couldn’t help us find a breakthrough which meant that by the time the second wicket went down (Sprittles for 83 bowled by Juckesy) Duncan’s side were already at 148. Another wicket by James shortly after felt like there was a small glimmer of a chance to get the wickets required, but at 5 Duncan had George Denman who has been a regular in this fixture since it returned and is now plying his trade in Letchworth first team and got an attractive and quick 46 not out to extinguish any chances of victory. 

THURSDAY – BOB COLE’S XI

Robert U. Cole is a former President of Southgate cricket club. He brings an invitation XI on the penultimate day of the week. Look out, this can be one of the toughest games of the week. 2012 was the 25th anniversary of this fixture.

2020 match report

Bob Cole brought his team over for what was the 33rd (or 34th? They couldn’t decide) edition of this fixture. Due to the fact no clubs have an overseas this year, Bob’s side was primarily just Southgate players and left them a little weaker than they have been in recent times. Despite this fact, it didn’t stop him from bringing 3 umpires and a scorer! 

Will Herbert and Alfie Juckes opened up (Juckesy playing the 5 days previous to this as well) but struggled to create opportunities for wickets in their spells. Despite the batsmen struggling to get in on the track, chances were at a premium. Opener McLoughlin finally gave a hard chance to Chris Holmes but he was unable to cling on whilst jumping in the air for it. With a couple of bowling changes to Tom Slevin and James Stead, the side still couldn’t make a breakthrough so Sam brought himself of and managed to dismiss both openers stumped by Dan Stead as well as a run out shortly after with the batsmen taking a bizarre run to Stokesy and James taking a wicket next ball bowled meant that 86-0 became 94-4 very quickly. James Dangerfield managed to get the team back on the way to a decent score despite a couple of wickets at the other end for Nate and Ben Slevin before he was also dismissed in the end for 49 by Alfie. Alfie then took a wicket next ball to put him on a hattrick. However, in typical Alfie Juckes fashion, he ruined his chances by bowling a no ball (and bowling a short ball outside off stump). After a few more overs, Bob’s captain pulled the team in with them on 206 after 50 overs. 

Unfortunately, the Foster’s innings was a struggle. Whilst Bob’s side bowled well taking regular wickets (including 4 for H. Thompson), none of the batsmen got an incredible ball and most batsmen just got themselves out. Will Herbert was the only batsman that managed to get any sort of credit from the innings by managing to bat well for his 30 with his higher than normal batting position of 8, but the side fell very short of the target and were all out at 114-10. A disappointing effort considering this is a fixture we rarely win and this was a real chance to add another to our tally, however, there will be a bit of sympathy as a few of the players have had a lot of cricket lately!

FRIDAY – ROVING REPORTERS

Roving Reporters are the traditional end of the week fixture. They are a local touring side and provide a good end to the week. Friday is traditionally a big day at the club with a good crowd of spectators and is a great day to get the family along. What better time to finish work early! The week closes with a BBQ and usually a disco, players of course being mindful of Saturday league games.

2020 match report

After having a full week of 30+ degrees heat, the Roving Reporters match was the first one which got hit by rain. Both sides (and the groundsman) were very keen to get a game on as long as it was safe so there were long periods of waiting in order to get a game on. After 4 hours of waiting, the captains agreed to having a 20 over game in which Fosters won the toss and fielded first. 

After waiting 4 hours to start, opener D. Simmons had a nightmare start as he was out caught behind off Nate in the first over for 0. Fosters did a good job of stopping regular run scoring and kept the rate below a run per ball the whole time. Wickets also fell frequently with 8 bowling options being used by captain Ben Howell with wickets for Nate, Ben Slevin, Prabha, Tom Simmons, Harry White and Xav. At 20 overs, Roving Reporters posted 119-9 leaving Fosters needing 6 an over to win. Special mention to Nate who did some boundary riding and did a good slide in an attempt to stop a boundary on the car park side. Unfortunately, he slid waaaay too far and missed the ball and the ball crashed into the boundary. 

In response, Gary Webster and Xav opened the batting. Gary was disappointed the test match had been called off and decided to play himself in, getting off the mark after 17 balls. In constrast, Xav came and went in 3 balls. Harry and Gary had a slight issue when they took off for a run with Gary slipping over as he took off and was too busy trying to find his glasses to try getting in so Harry sacrificed himself and went to sit down. Gary soldiered on to get 3 off 24 balls in the end and Fosters looked in serious danger of getting all out without getting close to the score. The side were 46-6 when Adam Parker and Ben Howell came together and both played the innings well and ended up with Adam getting his first 50 for the club off the last ball and also securing the win. Adam ended on 53 off 36 balls, and Ben getting 38 off 26 balls with Fosters ending on 123-6 off 20 overs. 

Cricket week ended as a resounding success despite the fears it may not happen due to Covid-19. Huge thanks need to go to the committee for managing to sort out all the health and safety guidelines as well as the one way systems to maintain social distancing. Special thanks do need to go to Tommy Hutton for confirming all the matches would be going ahead and sorting all the teams out, Chris Stead for his hard work on the ground AND in the kitchen daily serving food, Lindsay for also running the kitchen daily and making sure the bar was running well and lastly to Madison and Jasmyn for serving on the bar daily to make sure everyone had beverages in the heat. Looking forward to seeing you all next year!

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