Played at Woodford Green
Report by Hassan Khan
This was the second fixture against Woodford, who had a
particularly strong side packed with Essex League 2nd and 3rd XI
players due to a cancelled fixture.
Woodford won the toss
and put us in on a bone dry spinner's paradise. Openers Vishnu and
Mohit took advantage of the dead surface, cracking 50 inside seven
overs before Vishnu was brilliantly caught at mid off.
veteran Dalip was taken off, Woodford skipper and off spinner
Hussein bowled a superb spell and took a couple of quick wickets,
including Mohit for a classy 55.
Daryl Christie held the
innings together and we looked vulnerable until new star Waseem
Furqan exploded. His sixes flew over the boundary into Woodford High
Road. It was clean striking which sounded like gunshots. Eventually
he was bowled and, although wickets tumbled regularly, we posted a
competitive 226-8 from 35 overs, thanks to a pugnacious 47 from the
Woodford's reply was belligerent, as Waseem
took some hammer from Hussein, who was threatening to take the game
away from us inside 10 overs. However, the highly skilful Syed
pitched the ball up and one shot too many killed off the Woodford
danger man for a quickfire 31.
The game was now deadlocked
but I remained confident due to our extraordinary combination of two
leg spinners: orthodox and 'Chinaman'. I don't think I have ever
seen such a unique combination at international, first class or club
Woodford were cruising and perhaps overconfident.
Six dropped catches from us, 90 from 18 overs and nine wickets
intact. No wonder they saw victory as a formality.
Mohit, orthodox leggie, and mystery Chinaman Vishal. Suffice to say
the pair were unplayable. Artistry personified as googlies, leg
breaks and subtle changes of pace. Bewildered and bamboozled,
Woodford were at a loss. Aided by two spectacular catches from live
wire Waseem, we were now on top.
The game was now on a knife
edge. Steve Hamilton, suffering from a shoulder injury, arrived and
introduced Vishal's proud father to the English drinking culture! 28
from 4 overs became 21 off 3. The brave Woodford batsmen scampered
singles at every opportunity and eight was required from the last
A debate now ensued. The irrepressible Waseem, who had
appointed himself captain, insisted on pace for the finale. Even
Ebrahim thought Waseem was the new captain.
However, I felt
left arm leg spin was so rare and backed debutant Vishal. He was
completely unplayable. OFCC won by four runs.
victory over a top side. Well played Fallopians.
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