CtC’s season started the 2019 season in fine style, recording a dominant victory over The Moose XI, the only game that managed to garner its own match report.
This sent CtC into The Summer Solstice Cup against Dominii in confident mood. Winning the toss and batting first CtC that confidence appeared well placed, as openers Pearson and Rudkin got us off to a fast start. Pearson cruised to 66 before deciding to walk past one, and Rudkin, after so long out the game, made 54, much to the delight of the CtC dug out. With the two falling in quick succession it was left to Ben Cassels (21) and Nick Waller (15), on a very welcome debut, to build on this platform. Perhaps inevitably the scoring rate slowed, but both contributed usefully. From there however, CtC collapsed in spectacular style, as is their occasionally want in T20 cricket. The middle order offered Baggo (2, run out); Shaw (0); Sherwin (1, run out). The lower order therefore needed to contribute… but could only muster Gimson (2*); Fishpool (0); Dean (0, run out) and Hammo – Nil (did not show up – we played with 10).
A total of  whilst good we knew was not as many as we perhaps should have had, and probably below par on a wicket famous for it’s high scores. We were however in confident mood, confident Tom Sherwin could atone for his shambolic performance in the fixture last year [0-40] and bowl us to victory. Sadly it was not the case. Gimson bowled well, including a nice catch at gully by Pearson to dismiss one opener, but without luck, three separate fours from Chinese cuts, leading to a small disagreement between the burly opening bowler and the skipper, who refused to set a filed for such a shot.
Defeat to Dominii in the summer solstice cup, and a heavy defeat in the in 2018 of this fixture, left somewhat nervous about the Dominii Sunday fixture, particularly as the opposition counted both Tom Sherwin and the dangerous Baggo in their line-up. Things were not looking promising when, in a moment of pure theatre, Sherwin clean bowled Skinner first ball of the game. This bought Leary in at 3, who, as Leary does, immediately began to stoke the ball around, ‘to the manor born’; as Blowers would say. Having made it totally untroubled to 25 Leary departed and was soon followed by Dillon (0) and Conway also (0) first ball leaving CtC 40-4 and in some trouble. Hammond, trying to watch the England vs. India world cup semi-final on his laptop in the shade of the pavilion, was now required at the crease, and only just padded up in time to make it to the wicket before he was timed out. He now joined the DoC and together they set about rebuilding the CtC innings. And rebuild they did, putting on a huge partnership. Rudkin was the first to depart, but not before he had scored 106. It was good to have him back. There was no century for Hammo, left on 87* when the 40th over was completed, Shaw having added a useful 23 against a tiring fielding side to propel CtC to an imposing 273.
CtC had a big score on the board, but were conscious they didn’t have the strongest bowling line-up (no Rutt, Davidson, Fairbank or Sherwin) and that the track was good for batting. Worry they needn’t, what followed was probably the best bowling performance this correspondence has witnessed from the club. Rupert opened up with Gimson, but with the ball immediately showing signs of swing, was replaced by Conway. Together they ran through the top-order of Dominii, Gimson bowling delightful away swing, that belonged and a much higher level, his figures of 8-1-4-16 not flattering his performance in the slightest. Conway was almost as effective with 5-1-2-17. There was no let up from the change bowlers either, Rob Hazleton, a bustling medium pacer showing great promise in taking 1-11 from his 5 overs, and Rupert picking up 2-29. There was even the chance for Skinner (0-7) and Leary (0-0.3) to have a bowl before Skinner took the final wicket with a run out, giving CtC a 192 run victory, and, an early finish in time to see England secure their spot in the world cup final.
Next up for CtC was The Optimists who had beaten us the previous year in a rain-affected unofficial farce. This year arguably should also be declared an unofficial game, such was the low standard of cricket on display. We batted first and somehow, one by one, meekly surrendered our wickets to some very mediocre bowling. Cass jnr, drunk, Nunez, Carew and Cassels E all hit the ball straight to fielders, and Hammond was cleaned bowled. Rutt (52), as ever, was the only one to show much application, showing the bowling for what it was, and putting a partnership of X with Dean (16); to eventually get CtC to a very scrappy 175 (thanks largely to extras counting for 3). In reply The Optimists were never in it. CtC used 9 bowlers with one wicket each for Carew, Mclellan, The Cat and Hammo and two for Dean and Stephens. Champagne moment undoubtedly went to Ryan for taking a miraculous one handed diving catch whilst holding, and not spilling, a drop of beer. CtC won by 110 runs and hopefully this will never be spoken of again.
The final game of the domestic season was against Trinity Old Boys a new fixture that had been several years in the planning. Unfortunately CtC struggled with availability, and it was a minor miracle we managed to get an XI on the field. XI we got though, including a very welcome return for John McNaught, and debuts for Gunn, Calvert and Thompson. Comically, for a club with a surfeit of keepers, Dean was pressed into emergency duties, which would have been costly had a long outfield and popgun attack not combined to limit byes to a maximum of one at a time. In a defensive move CtC selected to bowl, and worked hard to keep TOB to 173-5. In total CtC used 8 bowlers to varying degrees of effectiveness, Hammond’s 2-24 from 7 the stand out, but debutant Thompson (0-47) also bowled well.
In reply CtC never quite looked like chasing the total down. Davidson had a chance up the order but, his mind perhaps addled by a summer in Silicom Valley, was out leaving one and only McNaught, a fine 20, and Hammond, 46, made it to double figures, in a pretty insipid total of 119 all out. Most disappointingly Rutty was not even called upon to bowl. A proper champing.
And so season 2019 (domestic, non-LMS) ended with a somewhat mixed bag of three wins, two losses, a wash-out against ATL and questions asked about the quality of match reporting.
CtCCCC met at Barn Elms Sports Centre for the 5th renewal of the domestic season opener vs The Moose writes Nat Gimson. After an iffy start to their white ball season the cricketing cyclists where hopeful of a victory to get the red ball season underway. Though fielding a team without stalwart allrounders Rutt and Davidson, hamstrung and incubating respectively, CtC were full of confidence under the guidance of the New Regime and brains trust of Rudkin, H and Pearson, E.
Batting first, the New Regime sent out Cassels, B and Skinner to open up. What followed was one of the ugliest opening partnerships this correspondent has ever seen. It was an embarrassment. Made worse by some appalling fielding from the Moose, dropping both Cassels, B and Skinner at least twice each. The runs kept coming however, as Cassels, B burgled his way with pitching wedges and outside edges, to his (very welcome) first red ball half century for the club. Pearson made a classy 15 odd, while Wright a well-made 40. The Bagmen did not trouble the scorers, probably no bad thing as the electronic scoring system was in disarray. Dillon, hot off the train from his umpteenth wedding, played the shot of the day, melting one through wide mid-off. He was out next ball however; he’d got his money’s worth. And so it was left to Conway, the club’s finisher, and Sherwin to finish the innings. Conway’s fast hands and unerring consistency at crunching boundaries lower down the order and Sherwin’s 6s meant CtC were able to post a very defendable 247-7. Parallels with the powerful England batting line-up were obvious – no-one went on to make a big score but everyone contributed. The New Regime has instilled a confident calm on their men, all playing cricket with a smile on their faces. They’d also seemingly managed to persuade The Moose to drop around 8 catches.
During tea, which was shared with a 6-year old’s birthday party, the heavens opened. The Moose felt it sensible to leave the wicket uncovered for at least half an hour, which would prove to be costly as the pitch definitely got spiced up a bit..
After the deluge Sherwin opened the bowling, and bowled heat. Gimson opened from the other end, definitely not bowling heat but managed to keep it tight. What followed was a fantastic display of swing bowling, from all bowlers, as well as holding of catches. CtC were quickly on top and never let The Moose get away, with the swing bowling stable of Sherwin, Conway, Reid and Gimson swinging it around corners. A number of highlights proceeded, Reid bowling left arm in-swing to 2 slips and 2 leg slips and a 3 way Race of the Heavies to the cover boundary amongst them.
The Moose stumbled their way to 74 all out, a crushing 173 run victory. A fantastic triumph for the New Regime, one this correspondent thoroughly enjoy running out for.
A beautiful late September day greeted CtC for their final domestic outing of a season that had begun in Rwanda over six months previously - with a rogue fixture in Sri Lanka still to come.
Three Sunday fixtures had preceded this one, a disappointing defeat in our traditional season opener against the Moose, a fantastic marque fixture at Whitgift where we were second best to a masterclass from their West Indian U19 player, and an enjoyable 8 wicket win against Highgate Wood. Midweek we also had a record four fixtures, sadly, in a summer that will remembered how hot and dry it was, two fell foul of the rain, against The Optimists and also the long awaited T20 against Zapoi. Of the two that were played, we lost to a Hesketh inspired ATL in another enjoyable encounter against our north London friends, and had a straightforward victory against a James Lester led Commons Old Boys XI. Until today then, the domestic scorecard read played 7, won 2, lost 3, no result 3. A win against London Fields then was therefore needed to come away with an even season.
Back to London fields and a nice looking pitch just behind “The Pub on The Park”. The wicket looked good and overall it seemed a brilliant set up for a council pitch. CtC won the toss, and eyeing the friendly conditions and with a stupidly strong batting line up, chose to bat. With a line up featuring Coe, Hesketh, Skinner, Gill and Dave Fagan, borrowed from Foxton, it was felt a big score could be on if the guns delivered. And deliver they did...
Lomas, making a long awaited debut, opened and got a quick 16, before Coe took charge. His hundred was inevitable and came up in just the 17th over - leaving CtC on 146-2 at drinks. Sadly for London Fields, Hesketh picked up where Coe left off, clobbering 83 before being caught on the fence, when a century looked certain. The eponymous London fielders kept working hard, and, taking the wickets f the dangerous Gill, and Baggo, cheaply, they might have had ambitions of keeping CtC close to 300. Sadly for them, Dave Fagan had other ideas, and raced to 50 in no time. Going into the last over, he was on 74, a 100 in reach with a perfect 36... he finished on 98*, a one bounce four the only thing that prevented him bringing up a ton in the most outrageous fashion.
With such a large total on the board, the London Fields innings was somewhat of a low key affair, a shame for a CtC attack with two debutantes looking to impress - both did as much as they could in the circumstances, Jelly taking 2-42 from 7, and Lomas bowling 5 tight overs for just 15. Elsewhere, Davidson was the pick of the rest, taking 1-29 from his seven. The game meandered along with London Fields eventually finishing on 238-7, giving CtC victory by 127 runs.
Despite our anti-social batting performance London Fields seemed to enjoy the day out, and with nothing more to say on the game myself, I'll copy and paste from their website:
"To conclude, the game was played in an excellent spirit, in the lat summer sun. We hope that CtCCCC enjoyed their fixture at London Fields, and look forward to the possibility of future games. All in all, this was a fitting way to end the 2018 cricketing season at London Fields."
CtC ended an unprecedented year of travel with a defeat in Sri Lanka against Vidyaloka College in what was a first non-touring overseas fixture for the club (this, in the unlikely events anyone is interested, was because it lacked any of the other trappings of tour such as court or roles, and rather than being an organised tour was more a group of independent travelling clubm’n and associates assembling in Sri Lanka).
The XI independent travellers compromised club members Dean, Davidson, Dillon, Shaw, Fairbank and Skinner (Rudkin senior remained unavailable due to injury, Cassels senior pulled out, presumably due to dating clashes, and Pemberton, for once, resisted goading and didn’t travel). In addition we were joined by three lads from Dulwich (Ben, AJ and Quaife), a mate of Simon’s, George Delemain, and the Philanderers’ Paul Leary. With very limited knowledge of our own team, and less of the opposition it was hard to know how the game would go...
A note first on the setting, a delightful ground, surrounded on three sides by thick jungle vegetation, and a striking rock on the midwicket boundary from at the pavilion end. The ground is officially named Lords’ Hikaduwa as it was funded by the MCC in the wake of the 2004 tsunami and also featured wicket that had been rolled to within an inch of its life, an electronic scoreboard and a pavilion complex complete with indoor nets.
After many, many hours of debate over what to do first, Dean lost the toss and CtC were put into the field on a pretty stinking fucking hot day (side note, as we limbered up Mike Gatting ambled over to inspect the facilities on behalf of the MCC and wished us luck). The Lankan batsmen came out, sadly not in their sparkling blue uniforms, but I was pretty aroused anyway. Davidson bowled the first over, and immediately had a big lbw shout turned down. Undoubtably the Sri Lankan schoolboys were roughed up by a global businessmen steaming in, and sure enough there was a mixup with the batsmen, one opener desperate to be off strike was sent back halfway down the pitch, with the ball already in the fielders hand. Sadly the fielder in question was Dean, whose pathetically weak and inaccurate arm proved to be nowhere near up to the relatively easy chance.
Quaife bowled the second over for 5 and CtC were on top. Davidson, sensing the fear in the opposition batsmen went for the jugular, and dug a couple of vicious looping bouncers which were deposited to the fence. Quaife however got a nice caught and bowled in his second over to leave the score at 30-1 after four overs.
The middle overs progressed with neither side getting on top. Fairbank bowled four on the bounce in the heat, with figures of 0-31 not really doing him justice. AJ similarly threatened but couldn’t make the breakthrough, though would’ve done had Dean held a simple chance, and Ben bowled two tight overs for 11.
After thirteen overs things looked ominous with the score 113-1 but Quaife returned to get the accelerating opener for a classy 60. AJ got the number three and suddenly 117-3 after fifteen overs looked much better for the cycling cricketers.
However a combination of a couple of “old boys” trying to hit every single ball for 6 and trademark terrible over from Dean which cost 16 swung momentum back towards the Sri Lankan’s. Once again CtC fought back and Davidson and Quaife bowled excellent final overs, Davidson taking one wicket and Quaife another two to finish with superb figures of 3-22 from four overs. The final total was an imposing but chaseable 167.
Skinner and Leary started in watchful style. The first over a maiden, they then scored exclusively in singles until the 30th ball of the innings, which Leary hit for 6. Skinner was the first to go, bowled for 11 (all in singles), in his defence he had little chance to defend the ball given his bat was sailing towards the square leg umpire at the moment the ball hit the stumps. Dillon joined Leary but sadly another mixup with the basemen, combined with some sharp fielding, which was to be a feature of the innings, ran him out for just 2.
Ben Lester (3) and George Delemain (2) failed to get going, but this didn’t deter Leary, who started to play some truly stunning shots. He hit seven sixes in an arc from wide long on to extra cover, each with a lazy swing of the bat. Suddenly CtC had hope. He hit the first three balls of the eleventh over for 6, and the fourth for 2, taking him to 54 out of the total of 80. Sadly he was out, stumped, next ball.
A.J. did his best with 31 but had no one to stay with him, Shaw run out and Davidson bowled both for ducks. Fairbank made 12 including a nice straight six but he game was up, CtC all out for 133, a loss by 34 runs.
As so often with T20 it was a case of should’ve, would’ve, could’ve... we bowled well with probably just two big overs costing us. Certainly they outperformed is in the field, where they were very strong, and perhaps because they were more used to playing in oppressive heat. With the bat we probably just needed one other player to go with Leary... but all in all the better side won.
So finally CtC’s epic ten month season came to an end in fine surrounds, albeit in defeat. Vidyaloka college were great hosts and it was hugely satisfying for CtC to sample another continent. When the cycling cricketers return to the sub-continent will now be in the hand of the future tours programme, who were rumoured to be booking flights to the next destination in September 2019, within days of the 2018 season ending.
After a dominant performance in the Kennington Wednesday final CtC felt they had a real chance of progressing in this years champions league, particularly after avoiding any big guns in the opening round. Unfortunately for the cricketing cyclists it wasn’t to be, with a poor performance in all facets of the game, they lost to pique blinders, despite Baggo’s best efforts.
On an unfamiliar pitch CtC were pleased to be asked to bowl first. Hammo and Sherwin opened up and the opposition batsmen looked out of their depth. Dean’s plan A has been to bowl Sherwin and Hammo hard at the start In search of wickets, thus saving his bits and pieces bowlers to the lower order. Sensing however these might not be there strongest batsmen, Dean switched to plan B after three overs - getting through the bits and pieces of Baggo, Dorgan and Cassels early and saving Hammo, Rutty and Shez. Ultimately the plan didn’t work... though PB never got away, they got far too many. Both openers retired with respectable but mor astonishing strike rates, but it turned out there were no better batsmen. The tail could thus swing from the hip, and kept the rate up, not helped by some very poor fielding, including an awful drop from Hammo and Cass tipping a catch over the ropes for 6. Shez battled taking a few wickets, but at this point it was dots we needed.
All that said... we only had 181 chase, which we felt we had a good chance to, but would be reliant on Hammond or Cassels going big. Hammo sadly went early, but with Cass firing we had a chance. Sadly he went for 39 and without either “gun” in the hutch we were struggling.
Shez got 30 from 20 to keep us in the game and Will Wright, and absolute legend for helping us out, for 20 from 13. Rutty meanwhile was lacking his usual fluency but was hanging in there. The rate however seemed to have got away from us, many felt we were dead and buried. Not the bagman though... he doesn’t know the meaning of the words “lost cause”. Joining Rutty he hoisted three big sixes over the legside and suddenly, it was back on, 11 off the last. The game in the balance. Pique Blinders keeper took off the lads. This was drama. One more big shot from Baggo would do it. keeps Bowled well. Just four off the first three balls, but crucially bagman on strike. Could he write another chapter in his book of memorable moments. This would surely top them all. We knew where Baggo was going, over the leg side. Keeps charged in and bowled straight, Baggo heaved... stumps everywhere, Bowled’im, CtC crash out.
To be fair to Pique blinders they batted and fielded very well, but had we bagged, fielded or bowled to our potential, or got he tactics right, we’d have gone through.
So all over for another year, perhaps CtC need to look to Manchester City and spend big in the off season to move from domestic success to champions league pedigree. Lots for the chairman and DoC to consider.
Having lost to The Jiminy Crickets earlier in the season, CtC were somewhat nervous about the prospect of a late season shoot out at Kennington Park to decide the league.
Even despite the absence of player of the season Will Hammond, CtC were able to name an extremely strong side (link), skippered by Davidson on a rare week off from his globetrotting business adventures. Davidson proved why he’s in such demand across the globe from the get go, managing to win the toss and bat first, and then negotiate a twenty over a side game, meaning TJC would be batting in the dark.
Still, CtC needed a score and the top order fired in style. Cass races to 37 off 14, Pearso for back to the hutch with 52 from 28, Skinner joined him, of course he did, with gear unbeaten 50, his off 26 balls. Sherwin however was the standout, bludgeoning 49 from a mere 15 balls. At this stage 250 might’ve been on, but the usually dependable Rutt and Davidson couldn’t keep the rate going, and it took a trademark blast from
Conway 21 from 9 to see CtC up to 220. A good score sure, but anything’s possible at KP...
TJC indeed started well, with their top openers scoring freely. However two wickets from Gimson, introduced at a key time by the skipper, and 8 overs for just 51 from the Rutt / Davo axis meant TJC were out the running from the mid point of the innings. They finished 191-5 giving CtC victory by 29 runs and a second successive league victory.
Chairman George Dean commented “It’s been another good season from the boys, and I think we’re old value for that win. Fair play to TJC, they’re a good side and had they batted first it could easily have been a different game.
There’s been a few standout performances this year, led by Hammond who has been relentless with the bat, and the ever reliable Rutt who has been brilliant in all three disciplines. It’s also great to see Cass back as an asset to the side. Most pleasing though is that it’s been a squad effort, we’ve had better availability this year, and a great spirit - as shown by so many the lads down to watch the final”
Member of the committee for touring Hugh Pemberton added simply “we go again”
CtC today announced a very strong squad of nine for the LMS London South FInal on Wednesday 29th August.
Chairman of selectors George Dean commented "As ever it was very tough to pick a squad for the final and we've left out some serious players who can consider themselves very unfortunate. Ed Cassels for example has scored 100 runs this season without dismissal at a healthy rate, and we haven;t managed to squeeze in either of our middle-order cannons Dillon or Pemberton. Behind the stumps Shaw is unlucky to miss out to Skinner, and would surely find himself walking into most sides"
Director of Cricket Henry Rudkin said "Make no mistake this is a strong side. Five of the team are averaging over 50 in this format, and Davidson is almost there at 47. Cass and Hammo have been in unreal form this season with the bat and I back them to get us off to a flier. With the ball it looks a balanced attack with Pearso and Conway providing slow bowling options, Rutty bowling tight, and of course Shez - he bowls rockets and clears the ropes"
The Last Man Stands South Wednesday Final vs. The Jiminy Crickets, 18.20, Kennington Park
Twenty CtC members enjoyed a fantastic evening at The Oval watching Glamorgan chase down 194 against Surrey in the Natwest Blast. CtC would like to thank Surrey for the tickets given to the club as part of the affiliation scheme.
CtC ended the season top of the London South Wednesday league despite a tricky run-in which saw a loss to HCS wanderers and a rained off game against second placed side The Jiminy Crickets.
Going into the final game of the season against Platinum Ducks CtC knew they needed at least 4 points to qualify for the final which they did in some style, racking up 239 from 18 overs thanks to 69 from Rory Davidson promoted to open the batting, 67 from in form Ben Cassels and a typically classy 51 from Ed Pearson. Platinum ducks were limited to 157 in reply to give CtC a 10 point victory and seal first place.
Due to some fairly sloppy admin from Ross at LMS HQ CtC had been forced to play their last two games on various south london 'outgrounds' which proved to be absolutely tiny, and with the games reduced to 15 overs, became somewhat of a lottery. In the first in Brockwell Park CtC racked up an enormous 211 from 15 overs against The Jiminy Crickets, thanks to quick fiftes from Hammond and brothers' Cassels. However for much of the chase TJC were ahead of the rate (despite some unbelievable fielding efforts from Rutty) and it took a phenomenal spell of bowling from in form Ben Cassels to secure victory. In the second game CtC came off worse in another high scoring game, this time HCS wanderers batted first and racked up170-3 from just 12 overs. Cassels, in the form of his life and now ranked in the top 100 batsmen worldwide, smashed 54 from just 14 balls, but it wasn't enough and CtC finished well short on 134-4.
CtCCCC were playing their first ever match at Highgate Wood and were intrigued to know what the opposition had to offer as the quality of the ground raised expectations. The opposition in question were The Strongroom CC, a friendly side with a 34 year old history, who had nearly felled the Chairman with excitement when sending an unsolicited email requesting a fixture over the winter. Not only was this new opposition for CtC, but also a first domestic Saturday fixture, a detail which had made raising an XI quite tricky, with most of the team engaged in weddings, stags, yoga-brunches or other cappuccino-swilling millennial urban nonsense. As such CtC were forced to borrow friends from old-friends and north London dwellers And That's Lunch to form something of a hybrid team, which became known as the "Prius XI", much to the mirth of your correspondent Rupert Rudkin.
The majority of the team were in fact still fuelled off fumes from an ATL social at Rowans bowling alley the night field in somewhat cautious fashion. However, a slightly overcast day had the seamers licking their lips and an attack led by wise old head Davoe (5-1-18-1) and debutant May (5-0-10-2) made no mistake by putting the batsman under a lot of early pressure. This pressure gave way to wickets and after getting the top few batsmen out quite easily it soon became apparent that this may not be CtC's toughest opponents of the season. That said the opposition managed to scramble together a few runs, despite strong bowling from Eric Heath, and some unorthodox hitting by their lower order got them to 124ao, which they declared to be only just under par for their home ground. (Ed - your correspondent Rupert Rudkin finishing with 2-17 which he modestly forgets to mention)
The hosts put on a more than satisfactory picnic for lunch which was thoroughly enjoyed by all, before CtC openers and debutantes Powell and Wright went out to open the batting. The physically mismatched pair got the team off to a solid start, albeit in contrasting styles. Whilst Wright was watchful on a tricky pitch Powell raced to a quickfire 20 before being caught. Wright was joined at the crease by Nunez who both in true test match style punished the bad ball and slowly edged the team towards a victory.
The oppositions bowling wasn't overly dangerous but nonetheless it still took some proper application from Wright and Nunez to put CtC into a commanding position, and soon it looked like the two would guide CtC home unbeaten. However with the end in sight Wright fell on 38 and in came "Hammmmo" who stated that he was keen to try and catch the end of the England South Africa rugby match in the pub and wasn't looking to hang around in the middle.
Seeing the self-styled big show stride to the middle the opposition captain cunningly called for substitute fielder Davidson to enter the attack. This brought strong attention from all members of the team as they were keen to see who would win the duel. After some testing first balls from Davoe, his attempts to bounce Hammond were to prove as predictable as they were easy to play, and Hammo played some lusty blows to take CtC over the line for the loss of two wickets. Hammond finished on 18* and Nunez 30*.
All in all a very enjoyable trip to the charming Highgate Wood for a well spirited fixture which we hope to repeat next year.
Cambridge to Casablanca Cycling Cricket Club