Mr Giri & Gunbarul see M & B home after middle order collapse
Sunday XI v Fleet Street Strollers 3rd May 2015
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
M& B made it two wins out of two on Sunday at a dry and blustery Bray. In the end M & B won by 3 wickets with 4.3 overs to spare in chasing down what looked a daunting total. For the second week running skipper Armstrong lost the toss and was asked to field again. Although the Fleet Street Strollers(FSS) openers shaped well they were both back in the pavilion inside the first four overs with only 9 on the board. As always Arul Appavoo made the initial break through, pinning the opener lbw, and Callum Phillips induced a nick to the keeper off a ball which bounced and swung away. It could have been two in two for Phlips as number 4 Ferrick wafted at a wide one which keeper Brian Dixon couldn't quite grasp as we dived across first slip. Although it was by no means an easy chance it proved to be costly as Ferrick went on to bat for the next 35 overs, whilst compiling a mere 154 out of a FSS total of 234 - 65% of the team total, or 69% of runs actually scored or 74% of the runs scored whilst at the wicket ! Obviously an impressive knock, especially strong on the drive and pull.
As always Gunbarul finished with impressive figures of 8/2/28/1, bowling into a strong headwind. Phillips finished with figures of 5/1/21/1, only managing 5 overs due to the amount of energy put into his delivery stride, which resulted in him often tumbling over after delivery, with his glasses ending on the wicket. Senior spinner, Chris Butler, put in a solid spell of 8/1/41/1, helping out his skipper by bowling into the strong headwind. 5 runs an over was a fine achievement considering he was bowling at Ferrick. Old timer Atif(waffle)Amin eventually got Ferrick, caught in the deep going for yet another 6, he promptly followed up with an lbw next ball and only missed his hat trick by a whisker as his fin out swinger just missed the off stump. 234 for 5 off their 40 overs left M & B needed to score at virtually a run a ball.
M & B kept up with the run rate from ball one, mainly because the FSS bowlers didn't bowl a consistent line or length, often too short. Opener William Cunliffe took full advantage, getting plenty of practice on the hook as well as the drive through his favourite cover region. M & B's first wicket fell at 35 I nthe 6th over as William Western-Kaye turned a ball through leg and looked aghast as the fielder stuck out a hand to hail a cab, and caught it ! This brought Thomas Wilding to the wicket in what was to prove the decisive partnership. Cunliffe and Wilding adding 104 in 12 overs as they both indulged themselves on the juicy offerings served up by the FSS bowlers. Wilding was particularly strong on the drive but was given ample opportunity to pull and cut as well. The FSS bowlers made the task easier by delivering 23 wides. Cunliffe eventually fell in the 18th over for 69, as he tried to go over mid off and picked out the best fielder. In the end Cunliffe struck 13 4's and deep down he knew e had given away the chance of a century. Keeper Brian Dixon was obviously keen to watch the cricket on tv as he played a dab down to third man first ball and promptly steered it into the keeper's gloves and promptly strode back to the pavilion. 139 for 1 quickly became 145 for 5 as the middle order was blown way, with three ducks. The collapse coincided with the introduction of skipper Timperley, who was the only bowler to exert any pressure at all. When Wilding was eventually dismissed for58 in the 27th over, courtesy of stumping, s he seemed to get his legs tangled up and he lost his balance. Hi innings contained 8 4's. The dismissal of Phillips left M & B in dire straights at 184 for 7 in the 27th over. The run rate was not a problem but the lack of wickets was. Luckily for M& B Amit Giri as the man for a crisis as he batted sensibly, seeing off Timperley and dispatching the bad balls, which were still readily available. As always he was strong on the drive and through the leg side, although he did play one or two exquisite drives through the offside. Luckily for Mr Giri he found an ally in Gunbarul, as he used his reach to get down the wicket as well as play the odd good drive and sweep. In the end Mr Giri had the honour of hitting the winning runs as he finished with a fine 52no, which contained 7 4' and 2 6's. In all his innings lasted 13 overs and the 8th wicket add an unbroken partnership of 53 in 7 overs as Gunbarul finished on 17no.
In the end M & B's all round bowling strength brought victory as FSS only really had one bowler who could bowl a reasonable line and length. Despite achieving three ducks three M & B batsmen passed fifty to bring
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