MBCC Sunday XI v Fiddlers 28th June 2015

M & B fiddled despite the all-round efforts of Gunbarul and Ward's runs.

MBCC Sunday XI v Fiddlers 28th June 2015
30 Jun
MBCC Sunday XI v Fiddlers 28th June 2015
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2015

M & B contrived to lose an enjoyable game versus Fiddlers at Bray from a seemingly impregnable position by 8 runs on Sunday. Despite a surprising rain shower prior to play the game started near enough on time and with no overs lost. Opposing captain and local club cricketing stalwart, Mike Salmon, won the toss and elected to bat first. Short of seam bowling skipper Armstrong had to open the bowling with Sunday regular, Gunbarul. As always Gunbarul was on the money from ball one and wrapped opener Jim Nunn's knuckles twice in the first over. Armstrong on the other hand was rather wayward early, delivering a lot of full tosses and short pitched deliveries, which were duly dispatched. Armstrong did though deliver the first breakthrough by castling Nunn middle peg with a well pitched up delivery. Gunbarul responded in the next over by getting Jessup caught behind off a brute of a delivery, leaving the game well balanced once more. Armstrong thought he had another breakthrough but alas Atif Amin spilled a regulation chance at mid on as Bhachu tried to force Armstrong through leg. To rub salt into the wound Bhachu then deposited Armstrong twice over mid-on for six in his last over to further damage his figures. In the end Matt Armstrong had to settle for a final analysis of 8/2/42/1, leaving him playing second fiddle to Gubarul's figures of 8/0/25/1. The first change bowlers meant the introduction of Sunday spin twins Butler & Allen(aka racoon & squirrel).Both started tidily forcing the batsmen to take chances and put pace on the ball. Armstrong managed to exact a certain amount of revenge as he caught Bhachu at shortish cow as he not surprisingly tried to hit the ball to leg. In the meantime Matt Baglow began to play his shots after having played himself in. He was strong through the off side and was quick to pick length, pulling a number of shortish balls to the boundary. In general the slower bowlers managed to stem the flow of runs, senior pro Chris Butler again recording respectable figures of 8/0/43/2. The death bowling was left to Sachin Moudgil(returning to the Sunday fold after his exams) and Sunday stalwart Amin. Moudgil captured the prize wicket of Baglow as he bowled him through the gate, going for an expansive drive, for 65. Amin bowled a brilliant late spell of 4/0/17/1 with straight full length deliveries which the batsmen struggled to dispatch. In the end the Fiddlers finished on 198 for 7 off their 40 overs which represented a good recovery by M & B.

M & B started strongly against the Fiddlers opening attack of the no 1 &3 batsmen, Nunn & Baglow. Brian Dixon stroked the first ball of the innings through the off side and got his cut / steer going early through the gully region. Thomas Wilding dealt almost exclusively in boundaries, mainly through the leg side. The openers posted 45 for the first wicket before Wilding rather surprisingly steering a short wide delivery into point's hands to depart for 26 in the 8th over. This brought to the wicket 3rd X1 run machine Benjamin Ward, and for the second time over the weekend Dixon and Ward put on a substantial partnership. After a slow start and a number of swishes Ward eventually managed to locate the centre of his bat with his trademark cuts, slogsweeps and drives, albeit too many slogs and not enough drives. With a 50 seemingly for the taking Dixon was beaten in the flight by the wily Salmon and was stumped for a well compiled 48 in the 26th over with the score on 137 after a partnership of 92. Rather crucially in the very next over Ward took one swish too many when circumspection may have been the order of the day, and was caught off the deserving Mohindru, for a well struck 56, which contained 9 4's and a 6. As skipper Armstrong thought M & B's lack of batting and lack of pace on the ball may prove decisive, and so it proved as M & B slipped from the giddy heights of 137 for 1 in 26overs to the depths of 156 for 7 in 34 as the middle and lower order were unable to cope with the Fiddlers slow bowlers. Only Arun Nibar(16) and Gunbarul(25) were able find the boundary with any regularity as M& B were finally dismissed off the 3rd ball of the final over for 190.

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