Sunday XI v Kensington 30th MAY 2016

Brett bags the bounty

Brett bags the bounty

Sunday XI v Kensington 30th MAY 2016
02 Jun
Sunday XI v Kensington 30th MAY 2016
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2016

1st X1 captain Brett van Niekirk kindly provided his batting services to the Sunday X1 to enable the Sunday team to stem their run of defeats and beat old rivals Kensington by 48 runs. Skipper Armstrong won the toss for the first time this season and had no hesitation in batting. For a change the batting looked strong with Van Niekirk and Ben Ward playing. Brett opened with Sunday regular opener Brian Dixon. As always Dixon was off to a quick start and along with Brett took 23 off opening bowler Konson's first 2 overs. Both openers found Baweja rather frugal at the other end. It was Baweja who made the first break through yorking Dixon for 17 in the 6th over with the score on 32. This brought Ben Ward to the wicket, fresh from his match winning innings on Saturday for the 2's. Ward played himself in as Van Niekirk flayed the bowling, courtesy of mainly drives and the odd flick to leg and cut. That said Van Niekirk gave the bowlers two chances, a difficult caught and bowled and a much easier catch to mid-off, which the fielder spilled, much to Baweja's annoyance. Kensington were made to pay for their clumsiness as Van Niekirk plundered countless boundaries. Ward eventually got into his stride courtesy of Rishad, who liked to bowl short and quick, giving Ward the opportunity to play his favourite pull shot. In the end Ward was lbw, looking to pull across the line, and was dismissed for 22 in the 21st over after adding 68 for the second wicket. His demise brought the regular Sunday plunderer Gunbarul to the wicket. By now Van Niekirk was hitting the bowlers to all parts, one 6 clearing the wall and landing on Bray Road and disappearing into the yonder, never to be see again. Gubarul by know had hit a number of his own boundaries, mainly over mid on and to leg. Alas Gunbarul fell to Baweja, who returned to complete his allocation and castled Gunbarul, who attempted a defensive stroke, to leave M & B 173 for 3 after 29 overs. In truth this was the high point for M &B as, other than van Niekirk, there was no acceleration in the remaining 11 overs from any other batsmen. Van Niekirk went through to his century and did the gentlemanly thing of retiring for 120 not out after 35 overs to give his colleagues a chance to have a hit in the remaining five overs, his innings contained 16 4's and 3 6's. Van Niekirk's chivalry and Avi Gossain's decision not to bat meant the remaining batsmen had to quickly pad up and in the end the last five overs went into reverse as only 17 runs were scored, courtesy mainly of Faisal Aziz's 8 no, which included a legside boundary off the last ball of the innings. A few of the Kensington bowlers repaired their figures at the death. Baweja was easily the standout bowler bagging 2 for 9 in 8 overs. Courtesy of Van Niekirk's innings though Armstrong had a total of 223 to defend.

M&B opened the bowling with Avi Gossain and Callum Phillips. Phillips made the initial breakthrough trapping Behar lbw after a half hearted appeal, when most players had turned their back and were surprised to see the decision given. The wicket brought S Nayar to the wicket and along with opener Baweja this was to prove Kensington's most productive partnership, 71. Baweja excelled with the bat just had he had done with the ball, and was fluent in the drive and quick to dispatch the short ball. Phillips was particularly unlucky not to pick up a second wicket with a number of shots going through slip and gully, in the end a third man was posted. S Nayar was good through the offside. After 10 overs Kensington were on and M & B were desperate for a wicket. The wicket in the end came from Yusuf Qureshi, with the first ball he bowled, a floaty half volley, which was despatched into the hands of Ben Ward at cover. Faisal Aziz quickly got another wicket, after having what he thought was an lbw turned down, he dismissed the batsman later in the over with a pie, hit straight to Matt Armstrong at mid-off, who surprisingly caught it. At drinks the game was evenly balanced at 106 for 3. Aziz thought got the crucial breakthrough, bowling the dangerous Baweja for 55, with a ball which kept low, as the batsman went to cut. The first change bowlers of Aziz, 8/0/26/2 and Qureshi 8/0/25/3 proved decisive. gaining wickets and going at just over 3 an over. Qureshi, much slower in pace now, still managed to get the ball to swing at a slower pace and benefitted for putting the ball on the right line and length, mainly! Despite some late order flurries from Nasir and Yusuf, M & B dismissed Kensington for 175 with 4 overs remaining. Armstrong and Amin managed to grab a wicket a piece at the death and Tinman Amin even managed a run out as well ! Not for the first Sunday this season it was just as well the team was bowled out otherwise the game would have finished at around 8pm or beyond.

After the game the traditional drinks with Kensington were enjoyed courtesy of cobra beer and the man of the match Johnnie Walker Gold label Reserve whiskey was unsurprisingly won by 1st team captain Brett van Niekirk. Skipper Armstrong had an interesting conversation with Kensington stalwart San Gore after the game. San thought the art of drinking with the opposition after the game had died. Armstrong totally agreed and said on Sundays the lateness of the finishes doesn't help matters. For a 40 overs game stating at 1.45 and finishing at 7.30 ish, thats pretty slow, as commented upon by Brett, who mentioned 17 overs an hour in the league.

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