Monkey off back in spectacular style
By Steve Lyall
96* last time, 125 this – skipper is 221 for 1 at CC
From inauspicious beginnings great outcomes can be forged – and boy were our beginnings inauspicious when we visited basement team Chipperfield Clarendon 2s on Saturday.
With a strong side in place, it might have been a case of everyone leaving it to everyone else, but one man who shouldered the burden like a true leader was Captain Outrageous himself, Neil Dennison.
Obviously the new ball can do damage and as we learned to our cost, it did, with 18 for 4 the parlous state we found ourselves in before the rebuilding work began. Arjun reined in his attacking instincts successfully while Neil peppered the short boundary with that short-arm pull – 67 was the partnership, taking us up to 85 for 5. A series of partnerships then righted the ship and while Neil led the way in all of them, a series of lower-middle order bats chipped in – Neil and Bobby put on 27 (112 for 6), Neil and Anpan put on 36 (up to 148 for 7), Neil and Steve 34 (182 for 8).
The senior pro had the honour of marshalling the skipper to his maiden ton, which came with another trademark pull to mid-wicket. After being cruelly denied the chance last year (96*) there was no doubt that he would get there this time, and there was no let-up after reaching the landmark, as the singles were milked and the bad balls put away along the ground … no fripperies, no 6s, just 13 x 4 and a massive amount of concentration. Falling c&b to the persevering Mahmood for 125 the applause rang round the ground and when genuine no.11 Nikeal was bowled for 2 we had amassed 187 – an excellent recovery.
The fun did not stop there, no sir, as early wicket specialist Steve got in on the act yet again taking out the two openers at no personal cost – right hander sized up and nicked off to Ahsan, left hander cleaned up with a big inswinger. Rudra soon got going, bowling with real pace, and he castled nos. 4 and 5 to leave CC 22 for 4. Though some big hits gave the temporary impression that CC could make a fight of it, order was restored when Neil took a fine running catch off Charles – Eklavya took his two, one b, one a fine catch by Charles at slip - and the no.3 was pretty much playing a lone hand. On 60 however he steered a wide yorker into Nikeal’s hands at point and the game was up.
Neil may have gone for 10 in his first over but then got on a hot streak and voila, the tail was gone, with the young no.11 not nearly good enough to get near a beauty that took the top of off. 3 for 14 were his final figures, icing on the cake.
So 5 wins on the bounce, 6 in total and a close second to the Rs … big game next week 1st v 2nd! Be there!