16th June 2019: Hengelo 1 won by 53 runs, by Rhett Bridgens
Hengelo 1, 174-10 in 40 overs (Duraisingam 48, Bridgens 27)
Almere 1, 121-10 in 34 overs (Sridhar 5-20, Biradar 2-28)
The first XI boys found themselves at home for a second consecutive weekend, this time welcoming Almere to Slangenbeek on another sunny Sunday. Having won the toss, Hengelo decided to bat first with the aim of setting a target for Almere on a field that has proven difficult to chase on during the season.
A steady start by openers Prit Duraisingam and Peter Peperkamp saw the score to 30-0 after the first 10, with some attacking cricket by Duraisingam (including a massive six over cow-corner), ably supported by some solid Peperkamp defence & hard running. Peperkamp would unfortunately be the first to fall, bowled by Gondal for 4, the score still on 30. This would bring Abhishek Talele to the crease, and he and Duraisingam began rebuilding the innings with a handy partnership that included good running and a few boundaries – which at Slangenbeek is no mean feat. The score would move into the 70’s before the next wicket fell, that of Duraisingam, caught at point off the leading edge looking to work the ball in to the leg side for a couple to bring up his maiden 50 for the season. Nevertheless, an excellent 48 in tough batting conditions for Hengelo’s keeper-batsman!
The score would creep towards three-figures before the next wicket arrived, Talele out for 19, with an unfortunate inside-edge off the Almere off-spinner Naeem onto the thigh pad which then spooned high enough in the air for the keeper to run and complete the catch. Hengelo now 92-3 and the game back in the balance. A brief partnership of 27 between Vinny Venkatraman and player-coach Rhett Bridgens saw the score move onto a 119 before a mini-collapse ensured, drastically swinging the match in favour of Almere. First, Venkatraman was caught for a brisk 14, before Jawad Bawar, sent up the order as a pinch-hitter to try inject more momentum into the innings, was also caught, unfortunately not troubling the scorers at all. Disaster then struck when confusion between Bridgens and new man Satheesh Muthusamy saw the latter run out for 2, before Bridgens followed soon after giving a return catch to off-spinner Naeem. Hengelo now on an abysmal 129-7, having been 74-1!
Nevertheless, the tail wagged brilliantly and captain Adi Sridhar (18), Akshay Patil (10) & Vikas Gadoo (11) contributed a vital 39 runs to the score, pushing the total to a more than competitive 174 with the last wicket falling on the final ball of the innings.
The Hengelo boys knew that a tight start in the field could produce some early pressure and wickets, which turned out to be exactly the case. Opening bowler Vikas Gadoo struck with the score just on 2, after a wild swing across the line resulted in Almere opener Bajwa losing his off and middle stump. A brilliant run out with great composure and calmness by Venkatraman and keeper Duraisingam, a retired out due to a torn webbing in the hand, as well as a catch at cover by Bridgens off the bowling of Hengelo’s Jimmy Anderson (Kiran Biradar), left the Almere innings in a mess at 16-3 (16-4 when considering the retired-out) , which truthfully they never recovered from.
Another two wickets fell, a catch by our man-mountain Muthusamy, as well as an LBW, both to the bowling of captain Sridhar, before a partnership of some substance began to grow between the Almere number 7 & 8. Some quick singles, slogs finding the gaps, as well as a few decent cricket shots began to frustrate the Hengelo boys, until eventually the partnership of exactly 50, was broken with the score on 103. Bridgens taking a running catch at long-on off the bowling of Sridhar once again. With that, the last few wickets fell for just an additional 18 runs, the tight bowling of the Hengelo boys proving too much pressure for the Almere lower-order. Captain Sridhar with another two wickets to complete a very good 5fer, and Biradar the other bowler to also pick up another wicket.
A solid performance by the first XI boys and a very welcome 2 points!