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Week One Report: After the rain, came the wins


After what seemed like an unending spell of bad weather, the first weekend of the MCCL season brought sunshine, warm temperatures, and plenty of wins for Brentham.

 

Looking for a fast start following relegation last season, Tomek Tsang took his 1s to Kay Plus and ground out a hard-fought victory.


Winning the toss on a lively pitch with a very lush outfield, Brentham seemed to negate conditions well, reaching 65-2 in the 13th over. On debut, overseas Cody Pyne took the long outfield out of play, hitting four 6s in his 21-ball 30.


However, his departure sparked a collapse which saw the Trees lose 7-29 to fall to 94-9. That brought the two Jack’s, Ellis (23*) and Solomon (19), together and they went on to combine for a match-winning 48-run 10th wicket partnership.


Facing 134 balls between them, and hitting only two boundaries, they kept Kay Plus in the field for an extra 20 overs and got Brentham up to a respectable, given the conditions, 142 all-out.


That score looked even better when Jack Solomon (2-21) pinned their opener LBW first ball and Cody ran out their number 3 without facing second-ball.


On debut, 16-year-old George Allen finished with 1-9 off four as the seamers did the early damage, reducing the hosts to 33-5.


A 39-run partnership for the 7th wicket briefly brought Kay Plus back into it but the introduction of Harry Marsden (4-30) proved the match-changing moment.


Getting plenty of purchase from the surface, he removed both set bats and then wrapped up the tail as Brentham completed a 22-run victory.


The victory was notable as well for the Trees team including three current Under-17s in Jack Ellis, George Allen, and Lucas Smith. (above)


Next up on Saturday is a visit from Friends United to Meadvale Road.


2nd XI (James Hitchcock)

 

Some cricket was finally played at Meadvale Road, with all of the home pre-season fixtures falling victim to the weather, as the 2s hosted Highgate.


Skipper Saad Rehman lost the toss and was put into bat.


Wickets fell early and often, leaving the score at 67-6 when Dhiraj Khullar and Atif Shah came together. The pair managed to take the Trees past 100 before Atif fell.


With DK anchoring the innings, he put on partnerships with Faizullah Khan, Ayaz Khan and Yogi Prabhu, allowing the side to reach 201 from our allotted 45 overs. DK finishing with a chanceless 81 not out.


The second innings started with Yogi bowling back-to-back beamers at the Highgate opener, who then played all round one to be bowled - and from there Highgate capitulated.


Excellent opening spells from Yogi (4-26) and Faiz (1-13) had Highgate 66-7 at drinks. Returning overseas player Jayrajsinh Jadeja (3-13) wrapped up the tail to bowl Highgate out for 83, in just 23 overs, which meant an early start in the bar.


In the end a comfortable victory, which could easily have gone the other way without some really sensible batting from the lower order.


Onwards to Eastcote next weekend to build on a good first outing of the year for the majority of the side.

 

3rd XI (Matthew Plews)


The 3rd XI, fresh from back-to-back promotions, went into their opening match with a much changed team from previous seasons, missing a number of key players who were either unavailable or had been selected in the 2’s.


Christoper Jones led the way as newly appointed skipper as they travelled away to Harrow St Marys CC 3rd XI.


After winning the toss and electing to bat first on what looked a very green wicket with a grassy, slow outfield, Brentham found themselves in a precarious position at 22-2 from 7 overs. Thankfully a monstrous 120 run partnership between Jon Mays (67) and Matt Plews (55) along with cameos from Mohsin Hassan and Chris Jones took Brentham to 200/6 from their 45 overs.


The highlight of which had to be skipper, Chris Jones, reverse sweeping in the final over and diving in for the third run to retain that precious red inker. This was a total which felt at least 20 runs above par at the halfway mark.


A much-changed seam attack saw Mohsin Hassan and Yogesh Solanki open the bowling. After an incredibly precise and tight start from our opening pair, Harrow St Marys hopes were well and truly shattered. With none of their top 5 making it into double figures they slumped to a score of 119 all out in 40.3 overs.


Yogesh was the pick of the bowlers picking up 3 for 22 from his 7 overs. Jamie Mansi wasn’t far behind with his 2-14 from 7. Spin twin colts Damiru Wijesinghe and Raghav Jain impressed in the field and, on a pitch which was more suited to seamers. Damiru finished with final figures of 2 for 25 from 9.3 overs.


It was a professional performance from Brentham’s 3rd XI, epitomized by Tom Barry and Vijay Pamu combining not once but twice for two spectacular run outs.


All in all, one couldn’t ask for a better start to the season for newly promoted 3’s, looking for an unprecedented third promotion in as many years.


Next up is a home game against Finchley at WP.

 

4th XI (Ciaran Brett)


On another day the 4s would have completed a league clean sweep but it wasn’t to be as they began life back in Division 5 B for the 4s began with defeat to Chiswick.


Batting-first, Krushna Kerai’s charges posted an around-par score of 196 all-out at William Perkin.


The standout innings was opener Ankit Hirani’s 61 off 66 but the rest of the batting line-up struggled to stay with him. It wasn’t until Amandeep Singh (25) and Vinay Khetia (17) batting at eight and ten that anyone else managed to get past 11 in the team.


With the pitch at Perkin as true as ever, early wickets were needed and that was exactly what the Trees got.


Richard Taper (3-39) ran through the top order with help from Errol Vales (1-38) and a run-out to leave Chiswick 6-down with well over half their chase still to go.


However, 75* from Chiswick’s number eight and 48 from their number nine saw the game swing decisively in the visitors’ favour. In the end, Chiswick reached their target with three wickets and ten overs to spare.


The 4s have a chance to get their first win of the season at Teddington this weekend.

 

5th XI (Ciaran Brett)


It was great on the opening weekend to be able to get a 5th XI out, Baz’s side heading to Sheen Park’s 3s for a friendly.


Bowling-first, the Trees restricted the hosts to 222-7 off 40. Usman Mustafa (1-28) and a run-out was the pick of the bowlers as the four bowling wickets and three run-outs were shared around.


With the bat, Brentham laid a solid foundation through openers Ali (21) and Asad Choudhry (38) but struggled through the rest of the order. Aside from Usman (59) nobody else got past ten as Brentham ended on 161 all-out in 31.2 overs.

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