With May arriving and summer just round the corner it was time for the sixth HFG Cricket League to get underway.
On a beautiful Tuesday evening in Regent’s Park, the HFG Trojans who propped up the table last year faced LCP Lightning in their first game of 2016.
Led by their captain Arfan Akhtar, HFG won the toss and chose to bat with Carl Azzoo and Ahad Shadab opening the order.
Disaster struck though on only the second ball as Ahad nicked an impressive delivery onto the stumps, 0 for 1.
At the other end however, Carl was finding his feet and finding the boundary with some powerful strokes around the ground. Ably supported by Ahad’s replacement Tong Yu, the partnership grew steadily.
Just as HFG thought they were gaining a foothold in the game however, a fantastic sequence of bowling saw both Tong and Carl making their way back to the pavilion, bails scattered.
Next in line were Mark Dainty and Stephen Farquhar who kept the total rising. With some lusty blows by Mark and fine deft touches by Stephen the Trojans were in fine spirits on the boundary edge. Dainty quickly retiring on 25 having launched another ball deep into Regent’s Park!
Captain Arfan then took to the field and produced some imposing shots before both he and Stephen also were bowled in quick succession.
Over the remaining overs Will Gallimore, Tom Anderson and Joel Westley notched up what proved to be some essential runs before the last over was bowled. The Trojans finished their innings with a score of 100 – 7.
Feeling confident they could defend their total, HFG looked sharp in the field. Arfan bowled a mean first spell alongside the outstanding all-rounder Mark Dainty. Nonetheless, shortly after LCP began to find their form and were scoring consistently as HFG searched for a chink in the armour.
This arrived in the form of a full toss as Ahad came into the attack and found the middle stump with only his third ball! A beautifully floated delivery deceived the batsman and made the all-important breakthrough. With Paul brown and Ade Ayorinde throwing their bodies on the line in the outfield the runs were becoming hard to come by for LCP.
As the overs passed by it became clear this was going down to the wire. Pressure grew but some tidy bowling by Stephen, Mark and Ahad left LCP needing 7 from the last over for victory. Up stepped debutant Carl Azzoo who with a cool head under pressure conceded just 3 runs with his first 5 balls.
With HFG’s entire field manning the boundaries the last ball produced only 2 runs meaning HFG Trojans had won (by 2 runs)! (Result: HFG 100 runs/ LCP 98 runs).
This was a brilliant game contested in the right spirit by both sides. Thank you to LCP and we look forward to an enjoyable season throughout summer.
– HFG –