The boys Dan well: Howard and Sherman make stand of 76 but it’s not enough to stop Road losing on first day
DAN Howard and Dan Sherman made a defiant stand against Antares but it wasn’t enough to stop The Road being brought back down to earth by a team named after a star.
The pair put on 76, with Howard hitting a career-best 46 and Sherman making 25 not out, to fight back after a familiar batting collapse left King’s Road teetering in the first match of the season.
In the corresponding fixture last season, the Orange Caps scored just 115 before Antares knocked off the runs to win by five wickets.
This year the match panned out in a remarkably similar fashion – but even worse for The Road.
After winning the toss and sending his side in to bat, The Road’s new skip Matt Cocken saw Raju Mazumder depart early, trapped lbw for 1, on a bouncy pitch freshened up by a shower just before the start of the match.
He was followed by Will Gledhill, who was bowled, and Matt Glover, edging behind, and then the captain himself, run out after a mix-up in the middle with Howard.
Only Lomas Prasad, making his debut, managed to hold on, hitting a handful of emphatic fours on his way to 23. But when he went the resistance wilted.
Guru Prasad fell for a duck and then Leon Watson played on for 1. By this time, with 7 down, The Road looked like they’d start the season by not even being able to put a hundred on the board.
So much for all that hard work in the nets over winter.
However, the two Dans remained at the crease and slowly but surely managed to get The Road back into the game and at least post a total.
As the sun came out the pitch appeared to dry off and the pair took the score to 127 before Howard was out in the penultimate over four short of a maiden half-century.
One more run was added to leave King’s Road on 128 – not a big enough score, but at least something to bowl at. Sherman finished not out with Amir Alipour at the crease.
That was about as good as it got for The Road. It took just 23 overs for Antares to knock off the runs in the evening sunshine as King’s Road tried, but failed to make in-roads.
Matt Small and Glover bowled well in the opening overs extracting pace and bounce from the pitch, but couldn’t make the breakthough.
Only Leon Watson, taking the wicket of Antares skip Joe Banks for his 49th scalp for the club, and Lomas, taking his first, managed to peg Antares back. But, again, it was no-where near enough to stop The Road crashing to an eight-wicket defeat.
As the soundtrack to Stars Wars blared out across Battersea Park from a nearby fairground ride, May 4th saw the Force firmly in favour of the team named after a star for the second year running.
Captain Matt will now have to show his star-quality by picking up his team for The Road’s first London Premier League outing of the season next Saturday against the London Itinerants.