VPCCL Round-up: Caledonian Conquered despite Khan heroics

LONDON FIELDS continued their march towards the top of Division One in the Victoria Park Community Cricket League thanks to a thrilling five-run victory over Caledonian Conquerors.

LONDON FIELDS continued their march towards the top of Division One in the Victoria Park Community Cricket League thanks to a thrilling five-run victory over Caledonian Conquerors.

Having won the toss, Fields, who were promoted from Division Two at the end of the last season, chose to take advantage of the favourable light conditions by batting first.

Their decision was vindicated when Warren Todd smashed an unbeaten 52 before having to retire, while Will Isaac (39) and Steve Fernbank (29) also made sizeable contributions to the eventual total of 163-2 from their 16 overs.

Nadeem Mohammed was the Caledonian bowler to earn the most rewards for his efforts with 1-28 from three overs, while Sajid Rehman took the other wicket.


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Facing the uphill task of chasing more than 10 runs per over in reply, the Conquerors began aggressively and kept up with the pace in the early stages.

Waqar Ali made a quick-fire 37, while Mohammed hit 32 and club newcomer Shahid Khan also impressed.

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When on course for an unlikely victory, Khan was forced to retire after reaching 52 not out, which lead to a collapse in the batting ranks.

With six balls to go, 10 runs were needed, but a quick flurry of wickets saw Conquerors score fail to score from the first four balls.

With all his team-mates dismissed, Khan returned to the crease needing to hit a four and a six from the final two deliveries, but the side only managed to score four runs and fell just short.

"It was a fantastic game," said Conquerors skipper Rehman.

"We needed nine runs in the final over to get something, but we crumbled.

"We did fantastically well to keep up with the rate for as long as we did, but when Shahid had to retire we had a collapse with the new batsmen.

"It was a really good game though and played in a good spirit. London Fields have just come up from Division Two and are definitely improving."

Elsewhere in Division One, Dynamite Ducks, who were coming off the back of two straight defeats, thumped London Wanderers by 10 wickets.

Having been asked to field first, Ducks restricted their opponents to 122-7 from 15 overs, with captain Zia Hussain starring with the ball by taking 3-18 from three overs.

Shimab Cheema was also efficient with the ball by taking 1-32 from his four over allotment.

Despite needing more than eight runs per over in pursuit of the total, the resurgent Ducks made short work of the task.

Zaid Hanif set the tone from the off with a rapid half-century and the pair of Hussain (32 not out) and Husnain Abbas (36 not out) saw them home in only eight overs.

"They were in a different class and a different league to us," said victorious skipper Hussain. "They bowled a lot of short deliveries and we just put them away.

"We were knocked out of the cup and lost a league game before this one, but we regrouped, got back a couple of the players we were missing and were back to full strength."

Sky also earned a comfortable victory in the top flight, beating Safe Skills by 48 runs.

They first made 172-2 from 16 overs with Aleem Hussain and Haris Ali Soomro both retiring after reaching 50. Nozmul Hussain also chipped in with a score of 40.

In reply, Skills lost two wickets quickly, but regrouped to find themselves at 80-2 after eight overs.

The Sky bowlers then came into their own however, with Hussain taking two wickets in as many balls and Shakeel Durrani dismantled the lower order to finish with figures of 3-8.

Contenders also kept up the pace at the top of Division One with a seven wicket win over East London Community.

In Division Two there was a comprehensive victory for Rose & Crown, who were 107 runs better off than Chats Palace

Paul Feeney hit 53 not out for the Crown and Pat Heaphy also contributed with 41.

In reply, bowler Dave Monaghan was typically accurate with the ball and his spell of 3-19 from four overs helped dismiss palace for just 80 in 13 overs.

Junoon beat Pacific by 11 runs thanks to impressive two-wicket spells from Nas Molvi and Sunny Freed.

Victoria Park Juniors also beat Tufnell Parkians by 114 runs with Soyfur Rahman hitting 67 not out.

In Division Three, there were victories for London Tigers, Stoke Newington and Martians against Old Fallopians, Old Ranwellians and Regents respectively.

Fixtures:

Monday: Division Two: Wring'uns v Tower Cavaliers, Tufnell Parkians v Pacific. Division Three: Bengal Tigers v Regents.

Tuesday: Division Two: Junoon v Rose & Crown. Division Three: Old Ranwellians v London Tigers, Old Fallopians v Best Nationals.

Wednesday: Division One: East London Community v London Fields. Division Two: Victoria Lounge v Victoria Park Juniors. Division Three: Tower Hamlets College v Stoke Newington.

Thursday: Division One: Sky v Contenders, Island Community v London Warriors, Dynamite Ducks v Safe Skills.

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