Whilst most of the country had its eyes on Lords, The Home of Cricket, as Joe Root and Ben Foakes knocked off the remaining 60 runs to take England into a 1-0 series lead, there was a far more important affair taking place south of the river.
Ploughmans CC travelled down the road to Streatham and Marlborough, in a fixture that many have already dubbed the ‘Giordy Diangienda Derby’.
We’d entertained S&M a few weeks prior, resulting in a convincing 33-run win where bat had dominated ball, a certain Max Gumpert bringing up his maiden century of the season.
With a new skipper in Olli Lonsdale and a strong group of players, Plough were confident of a similar result. Less so when we arrived at the ground to find an U13s match still being played on our pitch and no sign of any opposition. It seems this is a regular occurrence for S&M, however, as 1pm came around, a smattering of oppo arrived, Olli won the toss and we were to bowl.
Olli Lonsdale and Tom Lonnen to open up for us then. Phwoar. Don’t mind it. And they were into their work almost immediately, both picking up 2 wickets early on to leave S&M 40-4. A special mention to Captain Lonsdale here, who delivered two of the most sublime Sunday ‘send-offs’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Those poor batters will have nightmares for weeks.
S&M were able to recover, largely due to a phenomenal innings from their young no.3, who made a fine 84 and deserved a ton on the day. The run rate was controlled though, with Giordy Diangienda, Duray Pretorius, Adam Barraclough and debutant Sai Reddy all bowling economically on the day, albeit without returning anything in their wickets column.
Lonnen and Lonsdale, which sounds like the title to an 80s cop movie, returned to the fray and quickly cleaned up the remaining S&M batters. This included Sai Reddy’s best friend (who had originally come to support Sai from the sidelines on his debut) coming in at no.11 for S&M as they were a player short. With the greatest respect to Sai’s friend, he probably isn’t the next Don Bradman, so we all felt rather sorry for him as he faced up for his first ball to see Olli Lonsdale steaming in on his long run, hunting for his 5th wicket.
Lonnen and Lonsdale both deservedly took 5fers, including Tom Lonnen’s 19th for the Plough, a club record, not a bad effort! S&M were 164 all out.
It was pizza and squash for tea before Cake Jullienne and Suri Poleboina opened up for Plough. An emphatic start ensued, runs scored quickly across all parts of the ground, and it took a phenomenal caught and bowled effort from the opening bowler to dismiss Suri on 17. Adam Bazza was in first drop and played a scintillating hand with the bat, hitting 33 very nice cricketing runs off just 27 balls before being caught in the deep.
Cake continued to knock the ball around nicely, bringing up a chance-less 50 as Will Curtis and Rohin Maini both came and went at the other end. Shot of the day came from Cake as he launched an outrageous slog sweep over midwicket off (supposed) former Pakistan A seamer Bobby Iftikhar. This was met with wild excitement and cheers from the boundary, alongside a 5 minute lecture from Giordy about one particular ball during his spell that he managed to get to swing in. Bowlers, eh…
Cake eventually departed, ending on 61, allowing AJ Prasad and Duray to knock off the winning runs in swashbuckling style. Plough had won by 5 wickets and completed the double over their local rivals.
A few pints of the local S&M beer in the clubhouse, ‘Streatham and Marl-lager’ (which sadly shares a taste with something else warm) and then we were back to the DSG, in the safety and comfort of cheap Fosters, to dissect and chew the fat with the other Plough team that played on the day. A great win – Plough On!!