CRICKET is not meant to be played on days like this.
On Saturday it was cold, wet, at times quite gloomy and very, very windy in Wimbledon.
And yet King’s Road and the London Itinerants still took to the field and completed a full game.
For The Road, while it didn’t feel like it at the time, it was well worth it: we got our defence of the London Premier League crown off to the perfect start with an 8-point victory.
But for the Ities, probably not, they spent the day getting rained on, and lost against us for the third time in a row in the LPL.
They now haven’t beaten us for two years.
The match began in a howling gale after skipper Mark Isham had lost the toss and The Road were put in to bat by the Ities.
The Ities started steadily, but it didn’t take long for conditions to get difficult.
Metaphorical lightning struck early on when a rare catch by Raju Mazumder stayed caught.
Freddy Walker played an uppish drive to mid off off a ball from Kevin Pittaway, and Raju clung on. Nobody expected that.
Soon after, Jon Tennison followed trapped lbw by that man Kev again for 8.
With the wind and rain swirling, and the sky an angry shade of gray, both sides were forced off.
When they returned, the Ities started to fight back. Big Chris Jeffreys, with Robbie Bradshaw offering solid support, started laying into the King’s Road attack.
With the openers Small and Pittaway off, and the fielders fingers’ beginning to freeze, Jeffreys clobbered the ball to all parts.
As the score mounted, Jeffreys hit nine boundaries to push the Ities past 100. Jeffreys – like the sky – was looking threatening.
Then a smart bit of fielding from The Road – who put in a tight shift throughout – put an end to it.
Jeffreys tickled one down leg off Lomas Persad and went for a run. But Jack Caesar was right on it and fired it into the bowler’s end.
Lomas, as ice cool as a Trinidadian forced to play cricket in England in May, whipped the bails off.
Actually, he didn’t: we weren’t using bails because the wind kept blowing them off.
Instead Lomas calmly received the ball and swiped the stumps. Jeffreys was gone and King’s Road had got a very important wicket.
Bradshaw remained, but the run-rate plummeted as Duncan Williamson came in and went for 11, caught by Kev off Lomas and then Ravi Ogale was dismissed, also by Kev, for four.
[pullquote]For the Ities, still without a win against King’s Road, it never rains but it pours.[/pullquote]
Kev also got Bradshaw when safe-hands Rossi pouched a fast edge that flew hard and high to him at slip.
Paul Davies tried to push the score on but finished not out on 13 with Matt Ward, 3.
For The Road, Kev, named man of the match, finished the innings with a career best 4 for 26 off his 7.
The Ities had scored 171 for 6 with, in the conditions, no guarantee The Road would get a chance to respond.
But The Road did.
Despite the customary wobble, this time at the start and near the end, a brilliant partnership between Dan Sherman and Jack saw the home side home.
Raju and Sham de Silva had started slowly on proverbial and literal, and by now very, sticky wicket before Sham went for 8 bowled by Ravi.
Raju followed, run out for 3, having survived 30 balls before Jack and Sherm came to the crease.
They hit 89 with Jack smacking 64 off 66 balls including nine 4s and hitting a run-a-ball 41 that included one 6.
Four of them were run off a single ball with Leon Watson at the other end.
This writer did not feel the need to mention that but his teammates insisted.
After Sherm went, bowled by Vipul Asher, Leon got 2 before being caught at square leg by Davies, also off Asher.
With the rain still teeming down, captain Mark was then run out for 7 before Lomas and Kev completed the win.
Pick of the Itie bowlers was Asher, who got a brimful of wickets for 45.
The day had brightened up for The Road, who now continue where they left off in the LPL last season and top the league.
But for the Ities, still without a win against King’s Road, it never rains but it pours.
Man of the match: Kev
Teasmaker award: Jo W
Champagne moment: Jack/Lomas run out
Embarrassing moment: James turning up at the wrong ground
— Raju Mazumder (@rajumazumder) May 10, 2014
— Rossi (@RealRossi) May 10, 2014
@krcsc win the first LPL match of the season by 4 wickets against London Itinerants
— LondonPremierLeague (@LPLcricket) May 10, 2014
— Smally (@Matt_Smally) May 10, 2014