Sunday XI v Braywood 13th May 2018

Feeble batting floors Bray

Sunday XI v Braywood 13th May 2018
18 May
Sunday XI v Braywood 13th May 2018
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2018

M & B lost for the third time this season by 5 wickets at the hands of Braywood, the catalyst been the batting. With Matt Armstrong back leading, normal service resumed - win the toss and bat. This week Tush Dhaliwal and Monsieur Le Clerq(with a silent Q) opened up. Le Clerq feeling a bit worse for wear, after the previous night's excursions played an upper cut for two over point before falling next ball, to useful seamer Prijit. This left M& B 7/1 in the third over, there followed a mini revival under Dhaliwal and Aussie Sean, with Dhaliwal taking most of the strike and scoring the majority of the runs. He edged Prijit for four and was eager to get on the front foot and drive. This brought his downfall(17) as he played too early and got under a delivery hitting it high into the air, where the fielder made no mistake. Ben Ward came to the wicket at no. 4 and scored freely from the off. As always two hammer blows left M & B in dire straits(or money for nothing) as Aussie Sean hit a pie straight to square leg, with the whole of the leg side at his mercy, with the fielder unfortunately holding on. Shortly after Tifler, keen to get off the mark hit a firm shot to the right of cover and ran, Ward initially hesitating responded but was unable to make his ground, leaving Ward run out for 9 and M & B 32 for 4 in the 10th over with their top four gone. With M &B in trouble yet again and probably the run out the result of his poor call, Atif Amin, took root at the crease to try and rectify the situation. Over the next 24 overs his stability rather than his fluency and mobility enabled him to wear down the bowling and eek out runs. Other than Prijit the other bowlers were none too threatening but M & B's batsmen were unable to score freely. Only the arrival of Thomas Allen at no 8 brought any fluency as he was able to rotate the strike and run quickly between the wickets. His partnership with Amin totalled 34 in 10 overs, before Tifler seized up and was stumped having accumulate 27 in 24 overs to help M &B have a total, no matter how inadequate it was. Allen followed shortly after trying to force the issue, for a well made 22. Skipper Armstrong tried to add some urgency at the death before an ugly swipe across the line brought his and M & B's downfall for a round pitiful 100 in the 37th over. A total which was 60-80 short on a blameless pitch against a none too threatening all round attack. Lack of 1st / 2nd batsmen the root cause, with 4 of the top 5 here 3rd/4th X1 league batsmen.

M & B's bowlers tried to save face by making Braywood work for their runs. Despite a poor first over Ambar Moorthy bowled a good opening spell and was unlucky not to get a wicket, often beating the batsmen with his away swing 6/1/12/0. Skipper Armstrong opened up, for a change, to have his first bowl of the season. Despite a head high first ball full toss no ball, Armstrong found his length and managed to keep the scoring quiet. He was able to prise out the first wicket as Sarat looked to drive of the up and was caught, courtesy of well timed catch above his head from Moorthy. Alas Thomas Allen was unable to do the same next ball as Haroon looked to cut his first ball and GT could only parry it over the bar at point. Haroon made Armstrong suffer in his fourth over, as he struck him for four boundaries. Armstrong immediately withdrew himself from the attack and brought on the senior Sunday spinner, Chris Butler. Butler was able to slow the scoring in conjunction with Gunbarul. Gunbarul was tight and threatening from the off, bringing the ball back from around the wicket and seaming a few away from the bat. Indeed he managed to get the second breakthrough in the 17th over as he forced Ismail into a prod to leg, which GT gobbled up at square leg. Haroon eventually got the better of Butler with number of well timed sweeps, with Armstrong taking him off at the drinks break. Gunbarul got the dangerous Haroon caught at short third man by Ben Ward for well made 41, giving Gunbarul a deserved second wicket in his excellent spell of 7/0/14/2. Butler was replaced by Swapnil Manchanda who bowled quicker than normal but to a consistent length, his consistency yielded two wickets in his spell of 6/0/16/2, as Braywood eventually reached their target in the 31st over. As always the bowling was M & B's strong suit and they at least made Braywood fight for their victory dismissing half their team.

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