Sunday XI v The Stage 16th September 2018

Bally goes ballistic as actors get stage fright

Sunday XI v The Stage 16th September 2018
08 Oct
Sunday XI v The Stage 16th September 2018
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2018

M & B Sunday X1 completed their season with a 65 run victory against the The Stage on a glorious mid-September afternoon. As always skipper Armstrong had no hesitation in batting upon winning the toss. Ben Ward snr and Simon Ball opened up for M & B. Ward cut the first ball of the innings to the third man boundary off the pacy Sargant. This was to prove a common occurrence during the first wicket stand, as Ward seemed to face most of Sargant's deliveries whilst Ball faced the more friendly pace of McCann. Ball took advantage of McCann's fuller length by continually driving him, either over the top or on the deck, straight or through the covers. Ward tried to emulate Ball but struggled against the back of a length pace of Sargant, he did though flail a few lucky boundaries over the third man region. After four overs McCann was taken off, after conceding 34, virtually all off the Bally blade. Sargant got his deserved though as he had Ward well caught at slip by Bolton for 14 in the 9th over with the score on 51. One Ben replaced another as Howard appeared at 3. He was quickly off the mark as he struck a boundary 3rd ball. McCann was replaced by skipper Jeff Davis and Howard greeted him with nothing more than a stroked push through the covers which effortlessly reached the extra cover boundary. Next ball Howard seemed to move too far across and was bowled leg stump trying strangely to hit across the line. The wicket bought Sameer Manchanda to the wicket, making his Sunday debut. A full delivery from Davis brought a forward defensive from Mancahnda, an edge another good catch at slip from Bolton low down and that was the end of Sameer. Tin man Tifler was in at 5 to face the hat trick ball, which was met with a solid forward defensive. Tifler then defended his stumps for the next few overs as the scoring was left exclusively to Bally. Bally continued on his merry way, hitting Davis for two straight 6's into the Anstis' garden, one ball recovered the other now hibernating for the winter in the garden beds. The partnership reached the 40's with Tifler still on zero and a statistical oddity beckoned. Tifler though glanced a delivery to the fine leg boundary to get off the mark in his 9th over to contribute 4 to a 4th wicket partnership of 51. Alas after finding the scoring knack Tifler was castled two balls later leaving M & B at 112 for with Bally on 71 no. Bally was joined at the crease by Gunbarul, who rotated the strike early on giving Bally the strike. On 85 Bally saw the century post taking a 2 off the first ball of Davis' last over and then hitting the 3rd and 4th deliveries to the straight mid-on boundary to reach 95. With the ball pitched in the same area Bally tried to access the same straight mid-on boundary, this time via the aerial route, alas either not out of the middle or lack of strength, due to the sapping conditions he was well caught by Saeed. No century for Bally but a good last innings of the season to think about over the off season - batting for 24 overs and hitting 12 4's and 3 6's and scoring 95 out of a total score of 140 (68% of runs). After striking a couple of boundaries Gunbarul was castled albeit after some confusion as to whether it had come off the keeper's pads. This left skipper Matt Armstrong heading to the wicket at the lofty position of no.8, leaving Brian scurrying back into the kitchen to prepare the teas. Obviously Swapnil Manchanda didn't like the skipper's company as he advanced down the wicket to Sadler and missed the delivery and was easily stumped. 151 for 7 in the 29th over, a perilous position for M & B. 13 year old John Child, knee height to a grasshopper, joined the skipper at no. 9 and dispatched his third delivery to the fine leg boundary courtesy of a fine sweep. Armstrong got off the mark with sneaky 2 to the sluggish Stage fielder but managed to access the boundary with a shot over the bowler's head followed by a pull over the square leg fielder. The flight of Padhani accounted for Child as he looked to turn a flighted delivery only sending it back into the hands of the bowler. Still a handy 23 partnership had increased the M & B total to 174 with still 6 overs left. The quickish offspin of Saeed was introduced and Armstrong took an immediate liking to him. His full length played straight into Armstrong's hands, as he pushed a delivery to the extra cover boundary. A couple of streaky 2's off cuts followed by a skilfully glided sweep to a full delivery down the leg to the square leg boundary meant a healthy return for the over. Good rotation and running between Armstrong and Chris Butler moved the scoreboard along quickly. Another full length delivery from Saeed was driven over the straightish mid-off boundary and net for 6 by Armstrong. In the next over Armstrong at last got Padhani to the boundary sweeping a full length delivery to the square leg boundary. He tried to emulate the shot next ball and evidently raised his foot from the crease and was stumped as the keeper quickly whipped the bails off. Out for 47 with his maiden fifty beckoning, probably never get a better chance - the innings lasting 11 overs hitting 6 4's and a 6, Armstrong highest score since 43no in 2002(courtesy of stato Wilding). The 9th wicket partnership yielded 39 in 6 overs. Butler reached doubled figures before he was castled in the final over leaving M & B 220 all out.

After a delightful Brain tea, which consisted of the remainder of the Big Bash desserts, M & B took the field for the final time in the never to be forgotten sun drenched summer of 2018, on another fittingly sunny day. Ambar Moorthy and Gunbarul had first use of the new cherry. A peach of a delivery by Gunbarul, clipped the top of the off bail and dismissed Currie for a duck. Accurate partnership bowling rendered The Stage scoreless early on as only 10 were scored off the first 8 overs. Saeed peeled off three on driven boundaries in the 9th over to make up for lost time. Saeed though played on in Gunbarul's 7th over dismissing him for 20 in the 14th over. Moorthy deservedly got a wicket in his final over, courtesy of an lbw decision leaving him with an analysis of 8/1/34/1. Gunbarul's final over only lasted one delivery as he was struck down by a back spasm and was pulled from the attack with excellent figures of 7.1/2/13/2. Spinner Chris Butler finished the over and struck immediately castling Bolton. The stage had lost three wickets in successive overs and plummeted from 48 for 1 to 50 for 4. John Child replaced Moorthy from the River End and bowled in tandem with Butler. The Stage were behind the clock at drinks with only 61 on the board after 20 overs. No 3 Moore eventually began to find the boundaries, albeit too late. Butler proved to be as frugal as Gunbarul, only going for 13 in his spell(7.5/1/13/1). Although not bowling at this best Child picked up two wickets and finished with figures of 8/0/33/2. Swapnil Manchanda and Ben Howard finished of the bowling for the season with Manchanda getting two scalps. Sargant's finished with an aggressive cameo of 36 no as The Stage finished at 155 for 8 of their 40 overs to bring the curtain down on another M & B season.

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