M & B lost by 7 wickets to a supposedly powerful Nomads line up on Sunday. Although the victory sounds comprehensive with the 40 overs format the winning runs were only struck off the fourth ball of the final over. Upon winning the toss skipper Armstrong had no hesitation in batting despite the Nomads warning they were extremely strong. Armstrong was once again relying on his prolific run scorers at the top of the order, Sean Phillips-Williams and Richard Lawrence. Despite opening Nomads bowlers Shawl & Al-Darraj beating the bat regularly the openers managed to stay in and get the scoreboard moving after the first two quiet overs. Sean stroked two boundaries in the third over courtesy of effortless drives. Lawrence followed suit in the seventh over off the same bowler, this time via an authentic drive and an edge. After 10 over the openers had seen M & B through to 39, which was acceptable to Armstrong as no wickets were down. The eleventh over brought the introduction of spin in the form of Chris Page's flighted offerings. Sean was more fluent than Lawrence against the spin but both generally tried to hit singles and run the odd well taken two, interspersed with the odd boundary. The introduction of seamer De Roushan from the River End seemed to light the blue touch paper for Sean as he began to tee off, possibly owing to the bowlers favourable line and length, as he hit through the line with great regularity. De Roushan's third over disappeared for 20 as Sean hit a massive straight 6 over the net as well as another 6 and a boundary, reaching his 50 in the process in the eighteenth over. Sean carried on the attack in Ormiston's first over taking 11 off the over before going for another straight six and being well caught on the net side boundary by skipper Brockton for a well made 75, which included 11 4's and 2 6's. Sean's dismissal was bang on the drinks break at the end of the 20th over and brought to an end another fine opening partnership of 106 with Lawrence. Sean's innings of 75 took his Sunday run tally to 381 in 8 innings at an average of 63.50. The drinks break had caused a bit of a disagreement between the sides with Armstrong not agreeing to the Nomads request of drinks after 15 and 30 overs. With it only being a 40 overs game Armstrong thought one would be sufficient. Lawrence was next to fall in the 24th over, stumped by Ellis off the bowling of Ormiston, but not given by the Nomads umpire. It looked out from the boundary and Lawrence eventually walked and was congratulated by the opposing skipper. Although not as fluent as in previous knocks it was still a very valuable 34, which had laid the foundation for a 200+ score. No.4 Mike Parkinson jnr didn't hang around smashing Ormiston for a boundary and 6 over mid-on early on before being castled by DeRoushan in the next over for 14 and quickly departing the scene to the latest Open Championship progress. Birthday boy(18) Kieran Grey stroked 4 boundaries before becoming the second stumping victim for Ellis off the same bowler Ormiston. There then followed a period of inertia as Tifler and chef Dan found it difficult to rotate the strike and both were eventually dismissed whilst attempting in vain to lift the scoring rate. It was left to Gunbarul in the closing overs to strike some lusty blows to get M & B to the 200 mark. Indeed one blow cleared the hedge on the Road Side. It was left to Thomas Allen to guide his first ball to third man for two and then two successive legside deflections for four off the final three balls of the innings to take M & B through to a below par score of 210, when 225-230 would have been the par score. In the end they were happy to get to 210 courtesy of Gunbarul's 27no and GT's 10no off three balls.
Nomads opened their batting with their prolific club captain Tom Brockton and ex-club pro Jemall Al-Darraji, which seemed strange considering Jemall had opened the bowling! M&B opened with their normal attack of Ambar Moorthy & Gunbarul. Moorthy bowled good offside channels early on and proved economical. Gunbarul didn't find his line and length on this occasion having been guided behind point for two boundaries early on and changed to over the wicket in his fourth over. Armstrong quickly turned to spin from the Road End as Swapnil Manchanda took over the Butler role for this week. Initially a bit short Manchanda did cause the batsmen problems when he found that right length. Armstrong bowled out Moorthy from the River End, as he tended to err too much to the legside in his latter overs. His figures were spoilt with two boundaries in his final over, leaving him with figures of 8/0//31/0. He was replaced by Thomas Allen who struggled with is line and length early all, although when he found the right spot he was able to gain purchase from the wicket. What the Nomads did appreciably better than the M & B batsmen(other than Sean and Lawrence) was their running between the wickets taking singles to all the close the wicket fielders other than Sean. This was probably why Al-Darraji had such a thirst and requested a drink from his teammates prior to the designated 20 over drink break, which caused an ongoing dialogue between the batsman and players for a few overs, until the official drinks break arrived, with Nomads 103 for 0, compared to M&B's 106 for 1. Obviously M & B required an equally good second half to their bowling as the Nomads had had. Manchanda managed to create a couple of chances with Dan Callieu spilling a difficult chance behind the wicket and Sean surprisingly dropping a well timed aerial cover drive off Brockton. Manchanda was unlucky not to pick up a wicket and finished with creditable figures of 8/0/33/0. Things looked bleak for M & B when the normally reliable Gunbarul spilled an absolute sitter at widish midwicket off the disbelieving GT. It looked for all the world that M & B would follow their 10 wicket drubbing of Incogniti with a 10 wicket drubbing by the Nomads. GT though took matters into his own hands by castling Brockton for 73 as he played back and tried to force through the offside. All the players were relieved to have at least taken one wicket, ending the opening partnership of 157. Scoring now came primarily from Al-Darraji's end although Somes did rotate the strike consistently. Al-Darraji struck Armstrong for two legside boundaries in an over to ease the scoring pressure. GT finished his spell with figures of 8/0/45/1 and was replaced by Grey. Grey bowled an immaculate line and length and proved hard to get away, other than singles. Armstrong managed to get Somes out as he hit a legside delivery to Grey at square-leg, who pouched the catch easily. This brought in Bradley who then played out Armstrong's next three deliveries. After taking an early single off Grey's next over Al-Darraji then called Bradley through for a quick single only for Bradley to decline leaving both batsmen at the same end, resulting in Bradley angrily trudging back to the pavilion exchanging words with his teammate. Grey's exemplary death spell of four overs for 19 left skipper defending 6 in the final over. Al-Darraji swept 2 off the first, which was then followed by a dot. A scampered single to point left new batsman Rajah facing his first ball with three required. No problems for Rajah as he smashed Armstrong's delivery over wide long on for 4, to leave the Nomads victors with two balls to spare. In the end the M & B bowlers managed to take it to the final over, which always means a good Sunday game. Al-Darraji didn't quite make his century finishing on 97no but certainly getting his money's worth for his match fee. The defeat meant M & B had now lost 5 five Sunday games compared to four victories.
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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Goyals is a family owned business that has been supplying school uniforms in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire area for more than 40 years, including Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough, Burnham, Taplow and Marlow.
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