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30th June 2019: Hengelo 1 won by 4 wickets, by Rhett Bridgens

Summary:

Hercules 1, 231-4 in 40 overs (Venkatraman 1-20, Bawar 1-33)

Hengelo 1, 232-6 in 38.1 overs (Bridgens 82*, Talele 58*, Venkatraman 38)

The last match of June for the H1 boys saw them come up against league-leaders Hercules. With Hercules’ home ground unavailable, the match was held at Salland CC on a lovely turf wicket on a picturesque day for cricket! The toss was won by Hengelo and captain Sridhar put the Hercules boys into bat, the decision looking like it payed off straight away with both Hercules openers gone without scoring – Jawad Bawar picking up one with a catch of player/coach Bridgens at cover, and Vikas Gadoo picking up where he left off last match with an LBW to take the other wicket. A brisk third wicket partnership between B Appel and Dravitski saw the score race onto 82, before captain Sridhar picked up a crucial wicket at a crucial time, the main contributor Appel well held at cover by Vinny Venkatraman for a 39 that included some hefty blows to the boundary.

The fourth wicket of the innings would fall with the score on 94, Venkatraman finally getting through the defences of Dravitski, who never looked comfortable against Hengelo’s version of Suresh Raina! The game was evenly in the balance at this stage, but momentum would soon and quickly swing towards league-leaders Hercules. First, a massive moment as S Zwinkels was dropped on 0 in the gully, before a brilliant partnership between himself and M Appel seemingly took the game away from Hengelo. Their partnership would last right until the end of the innings, and included some lusty blows, great running, and smart cricket. Credit where credit is due.

S Zwinkels would finish on a superbly played 107 not out, well supported by a solid 43 not out by M Appel, for a mammoth partnership of 137 runs. Hengelo would need to chase down 232 in 40 overs at just under 6 an over, not an easy task!

The chase had a disastrous start for Hengelo, Peter Peperkamp bowled without scoring by that man S Zwinkels again. A brief partnership between Prit Duraisingam and Abhishek Talele would see the score move onto 31, before a well disguised slower ball by S Zwinkels saw Duraisingam play too early, resulting in a simple catch at cover. Duraisingam gone for 11 and unfortunately unable to continue his recent good form with the bat!

Next in was Bridgens, and along with Talele the scoring rate increased slightly, the target coming down steadily too. However, an untimely stomach illness saw Talele having to leave the field retired hurt (still allowed to come back and bat later on in the innings should he be better and required). That brought Vinny Venkatraman to the crease, and not for the first time this season, he and Bridgens managed to build a significant partnership in the middle of the innings. Venkatraman playing the role of aggressor, whilst Bridgens steadily rotated the strike. The score had moved onto 139, and less than 100 for victory, when the balance of the match swung again – Venkatraman disappointingly chipping to mid-on off Dravitski for a well-played 38. Ani Chandrasekaran came and went for 2, bowled by a decent ball that came back off the seam to knock-over his off stump.

This brought Adi Sridhar to the crease, 68 off 10 overs with 5 wickets remaining the equation! Sridhar and Bridgens combined well to rotate the strike well amongst a few fours and a six, with the H1 boys starting to believe they could cause a pretty big upset (standings-wise). Sridhar was then bowled by Dravitski for an important 15 looking to keep the scoring free-flowing.

Akshay Patil was the next man in, and credit must be given to him for running like a headless chicken with Bridgens, to get some vital singles, two’s & three’s (the game in the hands of Hengelo by this stage). Patil’s determination to win the game a real pleasure to see.

However, when Patil was bowled by a pretty decent yorker by S Zwinkels with the score on 208, the H1 boys still required a further 24 runs off 29 balls. That brought Talele out to bat, returning from his illness earlier in the day. Credit to him for making the brave decision to come back out. In the end, a couple of big blows and some excellent and hard running between Talele and Bridgens brought the required equation down to a relatively easy 8 runs off three overs, and when Talele hit a four of the final ball of the 37th over, just 4 was required for victory. Next ball, the start of the 38th over, Bridgens managed to clear the boundary with a pull shot off a short ball to seal a fantastic victory for the H1 boys!

A victory over the long-time leaders of the league something to be really proud of, and a good way to show how if luck and fairness had been on their side this season, things could’ve been a bit different for this H1 side! Well done all!