While selection for Week 3 was straight forward again, I mean, the same four teams in three weeks is a minor miracle, a directive came out around restrictions on the use of net practice and we had to deal with a certain Colonel Jessep in order to comply with these guidelines.
This led to a rather a heated conversation.
ME: Colonel Jessep. Did you order the hand sanitizer?
JUDGE RANDOLPH: You don’t have to answer that question!
ME: Where did you pop up from?
JESSEP: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?
ME: I think I’m entitled to them.
JESSEP: You want answers?!
ME: I want the truth.
JESSEP: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has boundaries, and those boundaries have to be guarded by men with bats. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Ames? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for cricket, and you curse the situation. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that hand sanitiser, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that boundary – you need me on that boundary.
We use words like “honor”
ME: Seriously, honour is spelt with a “u” in it!
JESSEP: We use words like “honour”, “code,” “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.
I would rather that you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat and stand on the boundary. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you’re entitled to!
ME: Did you order the hand sanitiser?
JESSEP: I did the job
ME: Did you order the hand sanitiser?
JESSEP: YOU’RE GOD DAMN RIGHT I DID!!!
ME: Good, I just needed to know because the ECB recommend it in their guidelines. Thanks.
Despite the minor disruption to net practice and the strange Colonel Jessep, Week 3 continued as normal.
Royal Ascot 1 v Sonning 1
The 1s were at home to promoted Sonning 1. With good weather all around although with the possibilty of the odd sharp shower, Sonning won the toss and elected to bat first.
Peter Dean and Duncan Parr opened the innings. In the second over, Jack Kendall dropped a relatively simple chance from Dean off the bowling of Andy Murray. This turned out to be an expensive mistake, which was repeated several overs later, with Dean the batsman, Murray the bowler and skipper Mike Brown now responsible for the dropped catch.
Despite those scares, Sonning were 42 for 0 off the first 10 overs and reached the 50 partnership in the next over.
Progress continued apace for Sonning, as Peter Dean reached his 50 in the 19th over with a quick single off only 61 balls and in the next over the 100 partnership came up.
The following over, Duncan Parr ran 2 to make his 50 but then fell 2 balls later as Ascot finally made the breakthrough as Jerry Hare beat his defences to get him out lbw
D Parr lbw b J Hare 54
119 for 1 – 20.5 overs
Shabin Rana joined Dean at the crease, and the momentum of the innings continued. At 140 for 1 off 25 overs, Sonning looked set for a significant total. The first ball of the 26th over saw another missed opportunity as skipper Mike Brown was having a bad day in the field as he dropped a simple caught and bowled opportunity off Rana.
Fortunately for Ascot it was not too big a mistake as Rana fell to an excellent stumping off Jerry Hare.
S Rana st A King b J Hare 22
158 for 2 – 27.3 overs
Andrew Niblett, the Sonning captain was next in, but he would have been dismayed as two overs later Peter Dean snicked behind off Will Ellison for 75 to dent Sonning’s hopes of a big total.
P Dean c A King b W Ellison 75
171 for 3 – 29.3 overs
Three down then soon became four as Kevin May deceived Niblett and ended up chipping to Nick Wiggett at mid-off.
A Niblett c N Wiggett b K May 11
173 for 4 – 30.6 overs
Ascot then tightened the screw just as Sonning would have hoped to accelerate, but instead Aaron Crofts and Ghulam Abbas had to consolidate.
May, Jayasingh and Murray put the brakes on Sonning’s innings and Andy Murray took a superb caught and bowled to remove Crofts.
A Crofts c & b A Murray 10
207 for 5 – 38.6 overs
Abbas and Dan Bone then tried to up the run rate with a partnership of 28 off 27 deliveries before Abbas was the sixth batsmen to go as Brown’s luck finally changed and he was given an lbw.
G Abbas lbw b M Brown 38
235 for 6 – 43.3 overs
Hare bowled a fine last over only conceding 3 runs as Sonning fell short of what they would’ve expected at the half-way mark.
239 for 6 – 45 overs
Peter Dean 75 (off 83 balls, 5 fours, 1 six), Duncan Parr 54 (off 64 balls, 4 fours, 1 six)
Jerry Hare 7-1-42-2
Jayasingh and Gamble took 17 off the first over of the innings but a mix-up between the two then saw Jayasingh run out for 3.
J Jayasingh run out (A Gurung) 3
18 for 1 – 2.2 overs
But this didn’t stop the runs flowing as Jack Kendall and Gamble reached the 50 partnership and 68 for 1 by the end of the tenth over.
Kendall was scoring at a run a ball when he was given lbw off the bowling of Ghulam Abbas.
J Kendall lbw b G Abbas 43
89 for 2 – 13.2 overs
And the old saying one brings two was proved correct yet again as Gamble fell next over as Dan Bone took a great catch off Laxman Gurung.
J Gamble c D Bone b L Gurung 40
91 for 3 – 14.3 overs
So Ascot needed a big partnership between Nick Sweetman and Jerry Hare – and they did not disappoint.
Sweetman initially took charge including a six into the reservoir off Kennealy. Hare provided a good supporting role as the 50 partnership came in the 25th over and the partnership was only ended by an amazing caught and bowled from Abbas that would have gone for four as it was smashed right back at him.
J Hare c & b G Abbas 34
162 for 4 – 28.6 overs
Tony King then joined Nick Sweetman at the crease and King drove his first ball to the long off boundary to settle any nerves. Sweetman reached his 50 off 61 deliveries in the 35th over and the partnership saw some superb running between the wickets from the pair as the Sonning fielding became ragged.
The 200 came in the 37th over, an expensive one for Sonning as Laxman Gurung conceded 16 runs, leaving Ascot only needing 27 off 8 overs.
The end came shortly after as Nick Sweetman struck another boundary to finish the run chase off the first ball of the 42nd over and the 1s continue their fine start to the season.
241 for 4 – 41.1 overs
Nick Sweetman 87 (off 83 balls, 8 fours, 3 sixes), Jack Kendall 43 (off 42 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), James Gamble 40 (off 37 balls, 3 fours, 1 six)
Ghulam Abbas 9-0-57-2
Nick Sweetman was named man of the match.
Bradfield 1 v Royal Ascot 2
The 2s made the trip to Bradfield to play their 1s. Rob Handley won the toss and Ascot elected to bat first. Handley and Baker opened the innings and started well but last week’s centurion fell in the 7th over as he play all around one from Byrne to be given lbw.
R Handley lbw b J Byrne 21
32 for 1 – 6.4 overs
Gareth Baker joined Billy Baker at the crease but was unable to impose himself on the Bradfield attack and fell for 13 in the 12th over to a good catch in the slips by Tim Smith off Ben Hardy.
G Baker c T Smith b B Hardy 13
49 for 2 – 11.4 overs
Jason Carr came to the crease and immediately turned the momentum Ascot’s way. Some say that if Carr had been selected for England in the 1990s, then the Ashes would have remained on these shores.
Someone said he bowls like a right handed Derek Underwood and bats like a right handed Graham Thorpe (we assume that they meant the comparison was if Underwood was forced to bowl with his right hand and Thorpe was forced to bat right handed).
However, by the end of the 21st over, Carr and Billy Baker had made a 50 partnership and also posted the 100.
In the 29th over, Billy Baker reached a well composed 50 off 73 balls and later in that over Jason Carr reached his 50 off just 55 balls including 3 sixes.
The pair then accelerated raising the 100 partnership in the 31st over and Baker was unlucky when he eventually got out strangled down the leg side to give Stansfield a catch off the bowling of David North.
B Baker c J Stansfield b D North 74
174 for 3 – 34.4 overs
Jez Wing was in next, but what happened next was absolute CARRnage. The 200 came up in the 38th over following Carr’s fourth six.
Wing was out shortly afterwards lbw to become North’ second victim.
J Wing lbw b D North 9
208 for 4 – 39.2 overs
But Samm Daniel joined Carr to help Ascot to a big finish. In the 43rd over Carr went from 91 to 101 in two deliveries. The first a massive six, his 6th of the innings and then a fine pull brought up his 100 off just 96 balls.
Ascot finished on an imposing total of 261 for 4 helped by a great cameo by Samm Daniels with 23 not out but it was built on a superb 110 not out off 102 balls from Jason Carr
261 for 4 – 45 overs
Jason Carr 110 (off 102 balls, 6 fours, 6 sixes), Billy Baker 74 (off 93 balls, 7 fours, 1 six)
David North 9-0-33-2
Smith and Hardy opened the innings for Bradfield and Ascot struck early. Aarav’s first ball had Hardy caught behind by Dan Corsini.
B Hardy c D Corsini b A Radhakrishnan 3
4 for 1 – 1.1 overs
Will Nevill joined Smith at the crease. It was nearly two down but Aarav could not hold on to a difficult caught and bowled from Smith in his next over. However, after 10 overs, a 50 partnership and with the score at 56 for 1, Bradfield were back in touch with the run rate.
But Jason Carr hit back for Ascot as he had Tim Smith plumb lbw.
T Smith lbw b J Carr 35
72 for 1 – 14.3 overs
The introduction of Richard Moolman helped Bradfield keep the run rate at just over 5 an over but the required rate was now over 6. Despite another good 50 partnership with Will Nevill reaching his 50 off 69 balls and then Moolman looking to break the shackles with a hooked six off Aarav, Bradfield looked to take the initiative.
But two balls later Aarav had his man with one just straightening and hitting the pad to get the lbw decision.
R Moolman lbw b A Radhakrishnan 35
130 for 3 – 24.5 overs
This started a mini collapse. Jamie Stansfield lasted three deliveries when Samm Daniel took a great running catch off Andy Wiggett.
J Stansfield c S Daniel b A Wiggett 3
133 for 4 – 25.2 overs
The introduction of Ben Clark then paid dividends as second ball he got Nevill to edge behind to Corsini and end his resistance.
W Nevill c D Corsini b B Clark 51
135 for 5 – 26.2 overs
Farrow and Fox were now left to rebuild the innings but with a required run rate climbing towards 7 an over this was going to be a tall order. Although they reached a 50 partnership, the run rate was now near 10 an over with only 8 overs left.
In the end Fox holed out in the 40th over with Rob Handley taking a catch on the boundary off Myles Trainor.
J Fox c R Handley b M Trainor 32
194 for 6 – 39.1 overs
With overs running out, Farrow was next to go as Trainor took a second wicket lbw.
J Farrow lbw b M Trainor 30
207 for 7 – 42.6 overs
Ben Clark gained his second victim in the final over of the innings as he had Jim Wheeler out lbw.
J Wheeler lbw b B Clark 2
215 for 8 – 44.2 overs
The 2s won comfortably in the end by 44 runs.
217 for 8 – 45 overs
Will Nevill 51 (off 73 balls, 3 fours)
Ben Clark 8-1-26-2, Myles Trainor 8-0-35-2, Aarav Radhakrishnan 8-0-47-2
Not surprisingly, Jason Carr was named man of the match.
Wokingham 4 v Royal Ascot 3
The 3s made the trip to Sadlers End to visit Wokingham 4s. Marc Ames won the toss and elected to bowl first with Tim Howson and James Summers opening the bowling for Ascot and Chris Simmonds and Steve Bendall opening the batting for Wokingham.
Wokingham made solid progress at 23 for 0 off 6 overs but the introduction of Tom Dummigan soon changed the game.
First ball, Dummigan had Chris Simmonds out lbw.
C Simmonds lbw b T Dummigan 10
23 for 1 – 6.1 overs
Third ball, Dummigan repeats the trick against John Barker.
J Barker lbw b T Dummigan 0
23 for 2 – 6.3 overs
The Ascot bowlers were getting significant swing and Tim Howson was the next bowler to get in on the act as he got Steve Bendall to edge to Ames at first slip.
S Bendall c M Ames b T Howson 15
36 for 3 – 11.1 overs
Raj Acharya and Ranjeet Sidhu started to rebuild the Wokingham innings. Acharya was dropped on 23 by Weeks off Summers but despite that scare the Wokingham pair started to build a good partnership.
With a sumptuous four of Tom Dummigan, Sidhu brought up the 50 partnership in the 21st over and the pair brought up the 100 in the 24th over.
However, just as Wokingham looked to be building a good total, Acharya took a risky single to Mark Wiggett who threw the stumps down and Acharya was out by several yards.
R Acharya run out (M Wiggett) 41
100 for 4 – 24.1 overs
A couple of overs later Sidhu fell to a great catch by Mike Wyatt off the bowling of Ames.
R Sidhu c M Wyatt b M Ames 34
109 for 5 – 26.5 overs
Muhammad Usman came and went as Ames got one to bounce and give a simple chance to Tom Clarke at gully.
M Usman c T Clarke b M Ames 4
123 for 6 – 29.4 overs
Ascot then gave the initiative back to Wokingham with some poor fielding. Patel nearly went two overs later but Tom Clarke dropped a relatively simple chance off the bowling of Howson.
The same batsman was then dropped again this time by Calum Dougal off the bowling of Deep Mohain. Then several overs later Tom Clarke couldn’t hold on to a difficult chance from Bhat off the bowling of Summers.
Despite these reprieves, Arvind Bhat and Diptesh Patel were still scoring at less than 3 an over, when Howson eventually got Patel to edge one to Mohain at second slip.
D Patel c D Mohain b T Howson 12
151 for 7 – 39.3 overs
With overs running out Matthew McDonald perished in the same over as he edged to Dan Mallett.
M McDonald c D Mallett b T Howson 0
151 for 8 – 39.6 overs
Bhat eventually fell at the end of the 43rd over for a defiant 35 as Clarke took another catch at gully off the bowling of Ames.
A Bhat c T Clarke b M Ames 35
163 for 9 – 43.6 overs
With 3 deliveries left in the innings, the final wicket fell as Mark Wiggett took a decent catch off Summers from No.11 Duncan Atkins.
D Atkins c M Wiggett b J Summers 3
167 all out – 44.3 overs
Raj Acharya 41 (off 59 balls, 2 fours, 1 six)
Marc Ames 6-0-17-3, Tim Howson 9-2-32-3
The 3s needed less than 4 an over but were soon in trouble as Tom Clarke fell in the 3rd over as he edged behind to Patel off Usman.
T Clarke c D Patel b M Usman 4
10 for 1 – 2.4 overs
But the wicket seemed to galvanise Ascot more than Wokingham. Weeks and Mohain set after the bowling at more than a run a ball and soon made a 50 partnership in the 10th over with a massive six from Deep Mohain.
But Mohain was then lbw in the next over, although there did look to be some inside edge, but Deep showed his normal restraint and accepted the umpire’s decision gracefully.
D Mohain lbw b M McDonald 21
64 for 2 – 10.2 overs
McDonald and Maringanti put the pressure on the Ascot batsmen and restricted the run rate.
But Weeks still reached 50 with a leg glance off Usman in the 17th over. Slowly but surely the partnership continued to build and they soon made another 50 partnership in the 21st over.
It was a surprise then when Weeks, looking well set, fell for 70 as he feathered one to Patel off the bowling of Usman.
R Weeks c D Patel b M Usman 70
132 for 3 – 24.5 overs
Any doubts of a wobble soon disappeared as the next 13 deliveries went for 21 runs, and with a single off the last ball of the 30th over, Calum Dougal and Mark Wiggett saw Ascot home by 7 wickets.
168 for 3 – 30.0 overs
Ralph Weeks 70 (off 75 balls, 7 fours, 1 six), Calum Dougal 44 not out (off 59 balls, 4 fours)
Muhammad Usman 6-0-39-2
The 3s completed what was in the end a comprehensive win as Ralph Weeks was named man of the match.
Royal Ascot 4 v Slough 6
The 4s were back at Locks Ride with Slough 6 being the visitors. Ascot won the toss and elected to bowl first. Choudhry and Bindra opened the batting for Slough.
Jacob Parry and Dylan Baker opened the bowling and were soon getting the ball to cut off the wicket. Gary Abrams was quickly brought into the attack and in the 5th over took just 4 balls to remove Bindra as Pal took a catch at leg gully.
S Bindra c B Pal b G Abrams 9
25 for 1 – 4.4 overs
Basudev Pal was then introduced into the attack and also got a wicket in his first over as Sharma chipped the ball up to Dylan Baker.
G Sharma c D Baker b B Pal 7
34 for 2 – 7.3 overs
Mustafa Hussain came to the wicket but a lack of communication between him and Choudhry led to a smart run out by Dylan Baker.
M Hussain run out (D Baker) 6
44 for 3 – 9.6 overs
Gandotra and Choudhry needed to put on a partnership. Just as they looked set to get Slough back on course, Rob Major bowled an absolute gem of a ball to have Choudhry out plumb lbw.
S Choudhry lbw b R Major 31
63 for 4 – 13.5 overs
Again just as Slough looked like they were building a partnership another wicket fell. Dylan Baker was back on and had Gandotra out lbw.
A Gandotra lbw b D Baker 14
86 for 5 – 18.2 overs
Gopesh Pandey and Karan Kaul decided to dig in, and looked at getting Slough to a reasonable total. For the first several overs they defended stoutly and looked to keep the scoreboard ticking over with quick singles.
After 30 overs, Slough were 130 for 5 off 30 overs. The next over, they then decided to go after the bowling and Abrams was the bowler to take the punishment as he conceded three boundaries and 14 runs in total.
In the next over a well run three saw Gopesh Pandey reach a well-fought 50 off 59 deliveries. But just as Slough looked set for a big total, the partnership was broken by Rob Major as he again managed to hit the pads and Kaul was the batsman to go.
K Kaul lbw b R Major 24
159 for 6 – 34.6 overs
Atul Sharma was next in but went for a golden duck as Pal joined in the act with another lbw.
A Sharma lbw b B Pal 0
161 for 7 – 35.3 overs
Pandey’s innings was eventually ended when Richard Wyatt got one to take the edge for Nino Trapani to smartly take.
G Pandey c A Trapani b R Wyatt 58
170 for 8 – 37.5 overs
Udit Khanna was next in but found the bowling tight and his innings was ended with Baker taking another lbw.
U Khanna lbw b D Baker 3
185 for 9 – 42.6 overs
Jahangir Khan and Amaan Ikhlaq hit a rapid 24 runs in 3 overs to help Slough reach 200+ but as the 6th wicket partnership proved, there looked to still be a lot of runs in the wicket, so did Slough fall short?
209 for 9 – 45.0 overs
Gopesh Pandey 58 (off 79 balls, 5 fours)
Basudev Pal 3-0-17-2, Rob Major 7-0-22-2, Dylan Baker 8-0-40-2
Bennett and Dunnet opened the batting for Ascot, and got them off to a great start with the 50 coming up in the 10th over. At that point John Dunnet had been circumspect but in the 11th over, he hit Pandey for three sixes including one into the ice cream hut.
But just as this pair looked to be taking the game away from Slough, Rob Bennett chipped one to Gandotra at mid-off and Khanna had the first wicket
R Bennett c A Gandotra b U Khanna 45
80 for 1 – 13.2 overs
One became two as Nino Trapani was stumped next over off the bowling Ikhlaq.
A Trapani st S Bindra b A Ikhlaq 3
83 for 2 – 14.2 overs
Paul Ames came to the wicket and looked to rebuild the innings with John Dunnet. With Ascot still ahead of the run rate, no risks were needed but Slough struck again to get Dunnet lbw from a good ball by Karan Kaul.
J Dunnet lbw b K Kaul 39
103 for 3 – 18.3 overs
Richard Wyatt now joined Ames at the wicket. Wyatt just looked to push the odd single around while Ames punished any poor deliveries to the boundary. Slough missed the chance to make further in-roads as a simple chance from Ames on 23 was dropped by Guronnoor Sharma.
They continued to tick over between 4 – 5 runs per over, as Ames and Wyatt ran quick singles. The 50 partnership came in the 31st over and the 4s now had the required run rate below 4 an over.
Slough continued to rotate the bowlers but no chances came their way and in his second innings for the club, Paul Ames reached 50 in the 37th over.
The 200 and 100 partnership came at the end of the 40th over, and a single by Ames in the next over sealed the win for the 4s by 7 wickets and 25 deliveries.
210 for 3 – 40.5 overs
Paul Ames 54 not out (off 87 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), Richard Wyatt 49 not out (off 70 balls, 4 fours), Rob Bennett 45 (off 44 balls, 5 fours), John Dunnet 39 (off 47 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes)
A great win for the 4s after last week’s exciting tie. Richard Wyatt was named man of the match.
Find out the latest Fantasy League standings at https://royal-ascot.fantasyclubcricket.co.uk/
Keep safe and keep well.