Chigwell & Hainault prevailed in nail-biting fashion against rivals Southgate in a highly competitive, yet low-scoring game in Chigwell.
Southgate captain Richard Mitchell lost the toss and stand-in Chigwell captain Matt Murray had little hesitation in bowling first on a pitch that played just as badly as it looked
The Southgate top order certainly didn’t enjoy the batting conditions as Chigwell’s openers extracted some real venom from inconsistent bounce and seam movement.
Alex Katseph, despite struggling with his line at times, bowled his best spell of the season, picking up both openers caught behind by Conrad Simon.
A flurry of Southgate batsmen came and went as Chigwell took almost all of the catching chances offered to them.
All of Southgate’s top six batsmen were out caught for less than 10 runs and Chigwell felt that it might be possible to dismiss Southgate for under 50 and finish the game before tea.
The Weinbaum brothers, however, had different ideas. After Alex Katseph (4-17) and Richie Jay (1-8) came out of the attack, S. Weinbaum decided that the best form of defence was attack and played with real aggression against Daniel Levy. Weinbaum responded to a succession of quick short-pitched balls with cleanly hit boundaries before being caught by Murray at a wide mid-on for 23.
Southgate’s number 10 and 11 D. Weinbaum and Norman Bean also chipped in with 19 runs between them to push Southgate’s score up to 78. The pitch was bad but surely 78 should be an easily chaseable target?
It certainly felt easy with the score at 23 without loss after five overs, but a Chigwell batting collapse brought the game right into the balance.
First to lose his wicket was Simon, run out for 10 attempting a suicidal second run. When Lloyd Duddridge charged down the wicket at Mymin and was caught by wicketkeeper Mitchell for 12, the game completely changed.
Nick James, on debut, fell for 0 to the same combination of Mymin and Mitchell. Nigel Katseph also fell for a duck to S. Weinbaum who bowled with some good pace. When Buggy fell for 2 bowled by Mymin Chigwell were now 30-5.
Sinclair became the fourth of Mymin’s victims, given LBW for 1, leaving Murray to bat with his bowlers and produce an inspirational captain’s innings. Levy fell to the bowling of Norman Bean, who was providing plenty of problems with his canny spin.
Murray tried to manipulate the strike where possible and take any runs available for him but disaster struck for Chigwell as with 63 on the board and a further 16 runs required, Murray was given out caught for a battling 21.
With plenty of overs to spare, it became a question of whether Chigwell can scrape the runs or can Southgate take the final wicket?
The Chigwell players on the pitch’s edge could barely watch as Alex Katseph and Richie Jay edged closer and closer to the required total of 79. With each play and miss, wide, well placed shot and edge, the tension became more and more intense.
The match ended when Mitchell failed to cleanly take a delivery from Taitz and Chigwell took two byes. Katseph and Jay left the field as heroes, pulling off a hard fought win against Southgate.
Friendly Match (35 overs-a-side)
Southgate Synagogue CC 78 Katseph (4-17), Levy (3-31)
Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue CC 79-9 Mymin (4-19)
CHYSCC won by 1 wicket