Sunday XI v Frogs 18th August 2019
With M & B requiring 41 off 7.5 overs and with 5 wickets in hand an unexpected shower left the players scurrying to the sanctuary of the pavilion. After a ten minute break, skipper Matt Armstrong, decided to call a halt to proceedings as there seemed no imminent break in the rain. Rather than wait for the rain to stop and the wicket to dry Armstrong felt an 8-8.30 finish would not appropriate.
A disappointing end to a game which had resulted in a tight finish after the early skirmishes. Armstrong lost the toss with the Frogs skipper (Bray’#s long lost Thomas Wilding) correctly electing to bat. The usual suspect,Ambar Moorthy, opened proceedings from the Road End, rather inauspiciously it has to be said, delivering the first delivery over the head of the startled opener and into the keeper’s gloves, receiving a warning from the umpire for his efforts. He managed to get back on track for the remainder of the over, albeit the last delivery was wide and cut to the vacant third man boundary, as tin man Amin was still getting changed! Gunbarul hit his length straight away albeit one or two ended up wide. Pascal was the more aggressive opener keen to cut anything short and drive the over pitched delivery. The scoreboard ticked along at around four an over in the first ten overs aided by a number of extras, particularly wides, some much to the consternation of Gunbarul. Lascelles attempted to up the scoring rate but was unable to hit over mid-on, where Ben Ward sir made good ground back tracking to take the catch over his shoulder off Moorthy. In his last over Moorthy also collected the scalp of Pascal, as he looked to loft over extra cover only for the ball to tamely lob into the Ethan Walker’s hands. In at four was. Wilding, playing only his second game of the year. He was given a starter for ten by Moorthy, who seemed to bowl an attempted slower ball which came out as a loopy full toss and was gleefully dispatched to square leg for four. Moorthy finished with commendable figures of 8/2/33/2 backed up by his sidekick Gunbarul, 8/0/27/0. As is traditional on Sundays after the opening salvo of seam the spinners take centre stage, the performers this week being leading Sunday purveyor Chris Butler and the apprentice John Child, albeit Child was given the hardest task of bowling into the wind from the River End. Butler delivered a tidy first over whereas Child struggled initially with his length. Wilding looked to hit anything marginally leg or even middle over wide mid-on, once almost succumbing to a valiant effort of a catch running round from Walker. At drinks Frogs were 84 for 2, which was around even Stevens. M & B quickly took the advantage as Wilding looked to pull to the leg side but cut across it and steered it into Gunbarul’s hands at mid-off, another victim of the drinks break. Thereafter a period consolidation occurred as new man Malloy and Lawton looked to build a partnership. Lawton looked to sweep Child whilst Malloy played straight, often coming down the wicket to the spinners. Malloy tried this once too often against Butler as he missed a ball which drifted down leg as keeper Grey had the bails off in a flash as Malloy departed for 17 ending a partnership of 41. Butler finished with excellent figures of 8/1/20/2 whilst Child was a little more expensive at 8/0/37/0. Skipper Armstrong bowled out from the Road End and asked master Vaja to do the honours from the River End. Armstrong looked to bowl full and straight as did Vaja although Krish struggled with his radar, often down the leg side. The Frogs batsmen looked to scamper singles, which they did successfully until Chalk failed to make his ground, beaten by an excellent throw from Ed Denman into the keeper’s gloves, whereupon Grey did the rest. The well set Lawton looked to turn Armstrong’s full delivery to leg but missed and was sent on his way plumb lbw. Only a lone straight six from Sam Murray, over the net , allowed Frogs to hit any boundaries at the death, apart from five wides from Vaja, as he struggled with the left / right combination at the death. In the end Frogs finished at 176 for 7 off their forty overs, which Armstrong considered to be satisfactory. Extras was joint top scorer for Frogs alongside Lawton, with 37, with wides contributing 23 to the total, which was poor.
M & B got off to a fast start with Walker taking ten off Trevedi’s first over. The home team were knocked back on their heels though by the first ball of the second over as Ben Ward jnr left a ball from Sam Murray which jagged back and was given out lbw. His namesake snr replaced him at three and supported Walker, who was playing solidly in defence and strongly on the drive, especially through mid-on. Sunday man Benny Ward snr played on to Trevedi for 5, seeing his Sunday average come tumbling down and leave M & B on 31 for 2 in the 9th over. Walker was joined by Kieran Grey as Walker punished some loose deliveries from youngster Ellis. Like M & B Frogs reverted to a twin spin attack, M & B’s own Thomas Allen and Malloy. After a couple of loose deliveries GT got into a decent line and length. Malloy settled quickly and generally bowled at a quicker speed. He managed to get the key breakthrough in his second over as Walker hit a full toss straight to mid-on as he trudged off the field for 35, knowing he had left a big score out there. Krish Vaja came and went in a couple of overs as he played across a straight delivery from Malloy, to leave M & B on 82 for 4 in the 18th over. Sunday stalwart Atif Amin dug in for a couple of overs before the inevitable lbw curtailed his stay, with M & B now 92 for 5 with Kieran Grey still there on 32. Gunbarul came to the wicket and played sensibly, blocking and trying to rotate the strike with the odd single. In four overs the score had moved to 108 for 5 after 28 overs, meaning 69 required off twelve overs. Gunbarul managed to find the boundary a couple of times as did Grey, through his strong driving. With the game beautifully poised at 135 for 5 after 32.1 overs the heavens opened and with it the end of what was to be an intriguing Sunday finish, leaving Grey and Gunbarul marooned on 51 & 15 respectively and an unbroken stand of 43.