Match report - photo gallery
Mercer were welcomed to Shepherds Bush for the curtain closer at the end of an up and down season for Investec. Having been on a the end of comprehensive defeat last season following a strong batting display by Investec, Mercer were looking forward to improving the record books.
After both teams had navigated a hot and humid central line, Mercer were put into bat on the dusty wicket which was struggling at the end of a dry spell of weather. Joel Cliffe and Martyn James open the batting with Cliffe providing an industrious knock on his way to a retired 26. Martyn James was controversially given out LBW by former colleague Atul Shinh. Alex Geere produced a good knock to up the run rate with a solid strike rate of 141.2 before being bowled middle stump by the pace of Investec’s Mike Procter. Alex’s total of 24 was helped when put down by Ethan “butter fingers” Allen back when he was still looking to get on the board and David “twinkle toes” Veal jumping over the ball on the boundary to allow another 4. After the fall of Geere the run rate slowed slightly as Investec tidied up their bowling and Stephen Small took a great catch off the bowling of Grant Macdonald to dismiss Ed Richardson. Unfortunately for Macdonald that proved to be his only positive contribution with the ball as his wayward style led to 5 wides being conceded, in what turned to be a change in form following his MOM display the previous week. A strong over with the ball from Ed Evers and Stephen Small helped minimise the early damage as Mercer closed out with a respectable but chase-able score of the 139 (37 extras!!).
The dynamic opening duo of Nigel Jacob and Ethan Allen were given the task of chasing down the total. Nigel went about business in a confident manner racing to retired 28. Ethan Allen had less success being caught and bowled off the pace of Kishen Ganatra for 7. David Veal didn’t show much improvement with the bat following his ropey display in the field taking the coveted award of lowest strike rate scoring 3 runs of 12 balls. To be fair to Dave he had the tricky task of facing the high order bowlers of Mercer, with Nimesh Patel, Kishen Ganatra and Neil Gujar all bowling extremely well. Frank “singles” Doyle got the Investec totalling flowing again although at a slightly slower pace than required as he found the spaces well nudging the ball to all corners of the park (see wagon wheel on page 11). Investec’s chase was ultimately halted following the fall of crucial wickets. Big hitters Mike Procter and Stephen Small failed to get into their normal groove with Procter falling cheaply for 5 and Stephen Small falling to the bowling of Nimesh Patel for 13. Even with Ian Murray being given an over with the ball it still wasn’t enough of a helping hand for Investec to get back in the game, sadly falling 15 runs short.
Ultimately the quality of the Mercer bowling and the excellent wicket keeping of Adrian Van Aswegen determined the outcome of the match (37 extras vs 20!). Mercer were deserved victors on another thoroughly enjoyable evening down at Shepherds Bush in the late afternoon sunshine. Until the next one…
Man of the match: Adrian Van Aswegen
Alex Geere ©
Adrian Van Aswegen
Varun Laijawalla ©