Sunday XI v Headstone St George 12th August 2012
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
M&B in the end had a comfortable victory against Headstone St George by 48 runs in a slow game, eventually finishing at 7.50 on Sunday. After winning the toss skipper Armstrong had no hesitation in batting due to the hot weather. He gave the previous day's batting hero, Simon Ball, the opportunity to open with Brad Upton. As is so often the case, another day a different game, and so it proved for Bally as he tried to cut a wide one and was out first ball ! The experienced Saquib Qureshi batted sensibly with Upton to build a platform for his team until his demise in the 16th over with the total at 48. Upton at the time was very solid in defence and placed the ball well. The tempo increased slightly as Simon Wykes came to the wicket, albeit benefiting from a poor dropped catch early on. The Headstone bowlers kept Bray in check and at drinks at 20 overs the game was delicately poised at 63 for 2. What was eventually the turning point was a change of bowler, straight after drinks, who leaked 39 in 3 overs to release the shackles. Both Upton and Wykes benefited from short wide bowling to catapult M&B to 130 after 30 overs before Wykes fell for a well made 39. Upton took advantage of the loose bowling to increase his boundary count to 11 before he was caught for 78 with a century in sight in the 32nd over. The lower middle order of Cameron Jacobsen and Atif Amin pushed the scoring along in the remaining overs to eventually reach a total of 207 for 5 after 40 overs. Jacobsen was extremely aggressive from the off, especially strong pulling / slogging the ball through cow, a la Baz Wykes. Jacobsen was eventually dismissed for 39 whilst Amin carried his bat for 22.
Due to a last minute drop out skipper Matt Armstrong was able to take the new cherry for a change with regular Sunday opener, Chris Lowe. Armstrong tried to bowl quick and managed to top 50mph on the speed gun, forcing Sidders to stand back. He was rewarded for his accuracy by castling the Headstone opener in his first over to increase his remarkable % of cleaned bowled dismissals this season. Headstone responded well though to reach 50 without the loss of another wicket. Whereupon Atif Amin turned back the years to show he is still a fine away swing bowler by hitting the top of off to dismiss the dangerous Hart. Amin was swiftly in the act again, albeit courtesy of a blinding slip catch by Si Ball, via his ample gut. In the end Amin probably won M & B the game with his spell of 7/0/33/3. Sunday debutant, Thomas"Ginger" Allen took advantage of the opportunity to bowl a prolonged spell to finish with tidy figures of 8/1/31/1 with his off spin. With M&B on top skipper Armstrong was able to allow his other purveyors of flighted filth the opportunity to bowl, in the form of Jacobsen and Wykes, albeit Jacobsen was more Wasim Akram than Bishan Bedi. In fact he seemed to be bowling quicker off three paces than Armstrong did off eleven ! Jacobsen dismissed the last recognisable batsmen in Konson, courtesy of a much easier catch by Bally, without the aid of his gut, to leave the game to peter out in a comfortably victory for M & B in the fading light.
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