Sunday XI v Braywood 8th May 2016

Sunday XI v Braywood 8th May 2016
31 May
Sunday XI v Braywood 8th May 2016
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2016

M & B succumbed to a disappointing 91 run defeat to a Braywood X1 on a glorious Sunday afternoon at Bray. For the third game in row Armstrong lost the toss and was predictably asked to bowl in the Bray furnace. Prijith was quick to show his hand as he unfurled his off side shots between point and mid off as Armstrong was quick to dispense with the second slip and reinforce the ring field. Throughout the innings all the M & B bowlers were inconsistent with length and line and suffered predominantly at the hands of Prijith, who wa also quick to dispatch the short length delivery. Moorthy got the first breakthrough courtesy of a nonchalant one handed catch by wicketkeeper Dixon to get rid of opener Harvey, who earlier was given a lifeline as Armstrong was unable to hold a chance as he back tracked from mid off. Really though the whole innings revolved around Prijith though as M & B set a deep field for him and in for all the other batsmen. Even with deep set fields it didn't make much difference as he either pierced the field or went over them ! Once he got his century he did try to get out but his towering shots always seem to fall short of the deep fielders or were lost in the sun! As the innings came to it's end and the possibility of batting through became distinctly possible Prijith batted for a red inker. In the end he finished on a colossal 160no out of a final total of 268, which after deducting the 14 extras meant Prijith scored 63% of the runs off the bat, with the next highest score being 23 ! A bit of speculation about Prijith's batting status as the Braywood players claim he is their normal opening bowler who normally bats 7, seemed better than, but it may have been his day and the M & B bowlers bowled badly en bloc. The M & B players trudged wearily of the pitch contemplating their innings and the upcoming tea.

If M & B were to get anywhere near this score the top four would need to score the lion's share of the runs. Despite a few boundaries in the first over opener Dixon unfortunately fell, playing an expansive drive and was to an extent unluckily caught out at mid off as he was unable to get over ball. Despite the early loss Tom Wilding was extremely fluent driving and cutting. He enjoyed the pace of opening bowler Kyal as he found the boundaries with great fluency, he was joined in a healthy second wicket partnership of 71 by Yusuf Qureshi. Wilding was confident enough to take the deep mid on on and deposit the bowler for 6 into the road end hedge. Wilding pulled the next ball for four to bring up his fifty in the 11th over. Alas for M & B Wilding departed in the next as spinner McDermott breached his defences to send Wilding packing for an excellent 53. All hopes then fell to the incoming Gunbarul and the not out Qureshi., unfortunately though for M & B after depositing one ball into the River End net Gunbarul was bowled off an excruciating inside edge, as Gunbarul seemed hesitant as the shot to play and in the end hanging his bat out, which directed the ball onto his stumps! The incoming batsman Atif Amin surprisingly started his innings in fourth gear and hit a couple of early leg side boundaries to support Qureshi in the quest for respectability . Despite the loss of wickets Braywood kept a ridiculously negative field, but that's their choice. Incredibly Amin smashed McDermott over log on into the net for six to leave his team mates thinking have they ever seen Tif hit a six before(according to him he smashed one into the road a decade ago!). In the meantime Qureshi moved fluently along to his fifty , as he hit 7 4's via his normal drives off both front and back foot along with pulls and cuts. The introduction of part time bowler Mohindru spelt the end for M & B and he snared Amin, as he tried to flick a straight ball to the leg side and got a leading edge back the bowler, to end his fluent innings of 34. Shortly after Qureshi was bowled for 55 and Mohindru ran through the M & B tail as they fell like a house of cards, despite Gossain's token resistance of a mighty six over the net, to leave Mohindru with the embarrassing figures, from M & B's point of view of 5 wickets for 9 runs in 3. 1 overs ! M & B toppled to 177 all out in the 34 th over. yet again if M & B had managed to bat the full 40 overs it would have been well past 8 o'clock, but I guess with the heat that is understandable.

A defeat is a defeat but it's sad that M & B can't put out one decent X1 on a Sunday to give local team Braywood a better game! We can get four teams out on a Saturday yet we struggle to get one on Sunday even though we play every game on one of the best grounds around. Although out fixtures are generally bracketed as club X1 games our mix is more 2's and mainly 3's players when the opposition have one of two first X1 ability players, pity M & B can't do that, c'est la vie !

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