Sunday 15 September 2019: 35 over game
Kensington CC: 241-7
Sunday XI: 173 all out
The Sunday XI played their final fixture of the 2019 season on a stunning mid-September afternoon up on Headley Heath. Kensington were, as ever, charming visitors and a big crowd of supporters came up for the early evening session to see Headley ultimately fall some way short of the visitors challenging 241 in what was a high-class game throughout.
Earlier in the day Headley had chosen to bowl first on a pitch that looked an absolute belter. Tight opening spells from Grant Waller and the pacey Taylor Young created a high-class hour of cricket against visiting opener Stefanos Nayar (62) who hit some cracking shots. Nick Tunnell (2-45) then came on to take two key wickets in his first spell; first Nayar and then visitors’ run machine Tim Keleher second ball. Some tight bowling then applied the brakes on Kensington and the visitors looked set to be below par but Wajid Tahir (61*) embarked on some savage hitting which powered the visitors to 241-7.
Whilst an intimidating score the wicket remained very good and Headley set about the chase with enthusiasm. James Midmer departed early but Andy Pickering (49) settled into the anchor role whilst the classy Conor Young (31) hit some massive blows to take Headley to 80-1 at 8 an over. The introduction of Neeraj Nayar proved crucial; he gradually reeled in the run rate and had Young stumped. Steve Barton (20) and Steve Winslet (16) entered the fray but, despite promising starts for both, neither could go on. Pickering was now the sole hope but when he holed out at long off the game was up with 8 an over needed and the bowling remaining strong (fast leg-spinner and Tahir just fast). Taylor Young (21), Waller and Tunnell all combined to make Headley’s score respectable but Kensington brought up a deserved 70 run win.
A large crowd had gathered to see in the Autumn and a few speeches on the outfield followed. Kensington awarded Headley’s man of the match to Andy Pickering with Headley awarding Kensington’s to Neeraj Nayar for another strong spell of spin bowling which applied the brakes at a crucial time. Despite a few late-season losses Headley have nonetheless enjoyed a strong season with a large squad of core players always able to be supplemented by some decent ringers who all enjoy the unique vagaries of friendly village cricket on the Heath, roll on 2020!