St George’s never were able to accelerate and put on big runs, yet they never got completely bogged down either, scoring at around 4-5 runs an over for most of their innings. Spin twins Sujanani and Wooden restricted them in the middle overs, and Chris McAnulty (cruelly underused, according to him) came on for an explosive three-over three-wicket burst late in the day. St George’s posted 171 all out in 33 overs.
This was an eminently gettable target, and all the more so after Peter Wooden and Matt Collins put on a classy partnership to leave us more than half-way there at drinks, for the loss of just one wicket. The run chase should have been simple - requiring sensible accumulative batting - given that magnificent platform and so it is with regret that I have to report we fell short on this occasion. Although the bowling was tight, there were opportunities aplenty to nudge and nurdle, and suicidal run-outs like the captain’s did not help. As the required run rate climbed, so the shot-making and decision-making became more ragged, and eventually we were all out for 135 in 33 overs. Credit must go to young debutant Hugh Longbottom, batting at eleven, who bravely defended his wicket from the St George’s onslaught.
This was a disappointing loss, but one from which we will bounce back. The Saracens season has been non-linear: great victories (over Tartars, Crusaders for example) have been followed by slumps like this one. The quality of a man is shown when facing disappointment, however, so we will regroup and come back firing for our last three games as we look to qualify for the play-offs.
A few days before this game, Saracens old and new gathered at Sha Tin racecourse for a fantastic afternoon of racing, reminiscing, and relaxation. Shiroy Vachha (who brilliantly coordinated the event) and Superkeeper Robin Gill provided the living link between the old and new Saracens outfits, and here’s hoping that the Saracens flame will continue to burn brightly long into the future.
Saracens were: Peter Wooden, Ravi Sujanani, Matt Collins, Zubair Nizami, Tim Parkinson, Roshan Dadlani, Rob Gill, Aditya Kanthan, Chris McAnulty, Shiroy Vachha, Hugh Longbottom.