M&B romped to a ten wicket victory on Sunday despite losing the toss and being forced into the Bray desert for an energy sapping three hours on Sunday. Skipper Armstrong walked back to the pavilion after the toss head bowed to give his teammates the soul destroying message "we're bowling!" Despite this M & B's opening pair of Ambar Moorthy & Gunbarul attacked the crease with great gusto as they managed to render the Incogniti batsmen strokeless for the first couple of overs with the scoreboard just about ticking over, courtesy of extras. After a few futile swishes opener Bala saw his middle stump uprooted as he went for a violent drive and missed, as Gunbarul's left arm in drift caused problems. Poor number 3 Bell got pearler first up from Gunbarul as the ball slanted in through the gate clipping the leg stump bail leaving the batsman perplexed and wandering back to the pavilion. This left Incogs gun bat, Sunny Bowry facing up to the hat trick delivery, which he navigated successfully. Opener Mason eventually found his range and struck a few boundaries through the offside. Bowry made his intentions know by playing a lofted extra cover drive for 6 to get off the mark. Opening bowler Moorthy had been probing away on a disciplined off stump line, having been initially too wide earlier on as the Church side wicket sloped in that direction. Moorthy eventually gained his due rewards by castling Mason as the ball clipped the wickets and went down to third man. At least the third wicket pair had got the incogs to 39 on the board. Still with Bowry there a large score loomed. Not wanting to give Bowry anything to drive on the offside the bowlers tended to err of the legside and were pulled for a couple of legside boundaries. Sharp fielding off Bowry, especially by Aussie Sean kept Bowry in check. In his last over Moorthy got one through Bowry's defences to leave him castled for 24, to the great relief of the M & B team. Both seam bowlers were removed from the attack after bowling eight over spells, Moorthy's analysis being 8 2/25/2 and Gunbarul's 8/ 2/37/2. The seamers very much putting M & B in pole position on a batsmen friendly day. The upper hand enabled spinners Chris Butler and Swapnil Manchanda the opportunity to ease into their spells with no real pressure as the new batters looked to consolidate rather than attack. Butler hit a length immediately as did Manchanda, albeit with a few full tosses thrown in. Bale & Sehmi put on 71 and to take incogs to 121 before left hander Sehmi looked to loft Manchanda over extra cover only to pick out Moorthy. Shortly after the second drinks break Butler got the important wicket of Bala as he played across the line whilst sweeping and was bowled for 45. An aggressive onslaught by Khan damaged Manchanda's figures as he was hit for three 6's in his latter overs, he did though gain revenge having him stumped by Ball for a rapid 36. Armstrong called time on his spinners spells after each bowled ten over spells at around 5 runs per over. Manchanda gaining two scalps to Butler's one. Armstrong brought himself on to finish along with Ben Howard as the incogs batsmen looked to wield the willow. After a number of near misses Howard picked up Saeed with a smart catch in the gully off Ben Ward jnr. Howard should have had a second but Armstrong made a mess of a skier at backward square leg as he lost the ball under his wide brimmed hat and ended up looking like a drunk as he swayed from side to side as the ball landed out of his reach. Skipper Arnauld and Whyte played a number of lusty blows as Incogniti eventually called time at 228 for 8 after 43 overs as the ball went sailing over the net for 6. On that pitch and outfield 228 at just over 5 an over was only a par score at best, as M & B benefitted from the earlier inroads made by their seamers and the number of runs saved by their ground fielding, mainly as the result of messrs Phillips- Williams, Lawrence and Ward.
After a leisurely tea break Richard Lawrence and Sean Phillips-Williams opened up proceeding for M & B. The incogs bowlers both started with a maiden each and much like the incos innings extras were the main scorers early on. Sean stroked a loose delivery from Whyte to the short extra cover boundary in the 4th over to break shackles. 15 runs came from the 5th over as three boundaries were scored one dropping just short of slips and going to the third man boundary and the other two with more authentic shots. Khan again found the batsmen's edge in his next over but the ball burst through second slip hands again to the third man boundary. Spinner Whyte was surprisingly taken off after bowling four overs for 5 runs and replaced with Y Bala, his two overs of attempted legspin were dispatched for 22, the first of which garnered Lawrence 13 runs courtesy of an extra cover drive and two pulls of full tosses. Seamer Khan was taken off after 5 overs having rather unluckily conceding 29 runs. Skipper Arnauld replaced him at the Road End with flighted spin and after a couple of tight overs the batsmen got to grips with him and manage to rotate the strike and score the odd boundary. From this point onwards the M & B batsmen never lost the initiative again. With both Lawrence & Sean quick between the wickets singles were scampered and twos taken to boundary fielders. Both batsmen played all round the wicket as they pierced the field with regularity as the ball raced across the parched outfield. The incogs only had a plethora of spinners of varying ability and no other seamer. After 22 overs the final 20 overs were called with M & B on 118 and needing another 111. Already the writing looked on the wall as the spinners lacked any control and the fielders looked tired. The third over of the last 20 really signalled the end for the incogs as Lawrence struck four successive boundaries through the offside off Bale in an over which yielded 19. Full tosses and poor balls were too numerous to mention as the batters scored at will. Sean reached his second century for Bray and second career century with a push into the legside. There then followed his first 6 with a push for initially one, to give Lawrence the strike for his century but Lawrence was happy to take two which left Sean scampering to make his ground which he did as the throw missed the target and led to four over throws making 6 in total. Lawrence's century eventually came with the last ball of the 32 over and the game was over in the next over as Sean deposited a full toss into the Church side hedge as the incogs fielders couldn't be bothered to look for their ball, as they left the field dejectedly. Whilst the two batsmen walked off to rapturous applause ringing in their ears, having just knocked off their target of 228 with over 9 overs to spare. In the end Sean Phillips-Williams finished undefeated on 114, which consisted of 13 4's and two 6's whilst Richard Lawrence finished on 105 no which contained 16 4's. This meant in three knocks Lawrence has scored 238 runs at an average of 238, the only way is down Richard, hopefully we'll still see you in a few more Sunday games this year! Spare a thought for poor Ben Ward jnr who sat there padded up for 33 overs, hopefully he got a good tan! You can't legislate for these sort of victories Ben.
M&B inflicted a 9wicket defeat against the Royal Challengers on Sunday…
Mat Armstrong - Jun 28, 2018
About Maidenhead & Bray Cricket Club
The Cricket Club is situated in the beautiful village of Bray, Berkshire, on the banks of the Thames, overlooked by the Church of St Michael. The main ground is widely acknowledged as one of the most picturesque in the country.
Est. in 1798 and a member of the Morrant Thames Valley League, with three senior teams and a thriving colts section both boys and girls
Address: The Pavilion, The High Street, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2AA
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