Sunday XI v Royal Challengers 24th June 2018

Ambar ambushes abysmal Challengers

Sunday XI v Royal Challengers 24th June 2018
28 Jun
Sunday XI v Royal Challengers 24th June 2018
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2018

M&B inflicted a 9wicket defeat against the Royal Challengers on Sunday as the visitors were unable to post a challenging total. With a thronging clubhouse courtesy of the England match the captains walked to the wicket for an important toss on a gloriously warm afternoon. Alas Armstrong loss the toss and after a slight hesitation the Challengers captain elected to bat condemning M & B to hard labour in thefield. M & B were welcoming back club stalwart, Jim symbols Sidders, who kindly stepped in due to the shortage of keepers. Ambar Moorthy opened the bowling for Bray from his usual River End whilst Gunbarul was back opening the bowling, probably due to his freshness, after being made redundant in the league match for Wargrave the previous day. The Challengers got off to a solid start posting 25 off the first five overs, courtesy of a number of extras and a couple of good drives. Using a used pitch from an earlier midweek game the ball kept low after pitching making it difficult for Sidders behind the stumps. Moorthy though made the initial breakthrough having opener Vinay caught and bowled, as the batsman appeared to pat back a delivery to the grateful bowler. Moorthy quickly followed this up by dismissing the no.3 courtesy of a soundly taken catch in the gully by Monsieur Le Clerq. Three consecutive maidens built pressure, which was too much for Herman as he swung wildly across the line and was bowled middle stump by Moorthy, he swung so violently he may have suffered whiplash. The Challengers then scored a few runs before Abdul tried to hit Moorthy's final ball over mid-on only to be well caught by Ben Ward junior. This was the icing on the cake for Moorthy, who finished with fine figures of 8/1/24/4. In the following over Gunbarul completed his spell by finally dismissing opener Jai, who had faced most of his deliveries. Seeing a bit of width he tried to hit it over extra cover only to get under it and give Ward his second catch, after a clear call and sound catch. A pity for Jai who may as well have seen off Gunbarul but perished with only one ball of his spell left. Gunbarul finished with economical figures of 8/5/13/1. First change from the River End was Krish Waqar Vaja, who as always bowled his full yorker length. M & B welcomed back senior Sunday spinner Chris Butler from his usual Road End. Despite being away for a number of weeks he managed to hit a length immediately and got an early wicket as the batsmen tried to hit over extra cover, in the end only finding the ubiquitous Ward, who gobbled up his third catch. This wicket brought Shakir Khan to the wicket, who displayed a solid technique and made Armstrong enquire why he was batting so low. Vaja got two wickets with his usual modus operandi, hitting the timbers and indeed knocking out the middle stump on one occasion. With Khan running out of overs he hit a number of straight drives off a tiring Vaja as well as clipping him through square leg. The remaining Challengers batsmen didn't show the same application as Khan and gave their wickets away, both off Butler. Again a batsmen tried to hit him over mid-off only to spoon it in the air, where Armstrong eventually took the catch after hesitation, as he assumed Ward at extra cover would gobble it up. The no.11 played a mindless swing across the line to leave Butler with scarcely believable figures of 5.5/4/2/3. Vaja finished with figures of 5/2/19/2 leaving the only bowler going wicket less as Monsieur Le Clerq, who admittedly only bowled one over, which was a maiden. The innings was over in the 28th over with Challengers posting an inadequate 85, leaving Khan undefeated on 17. M & B put in a generally good fielding performance with Ben Ward starring, ably supporting by Rich Lawrence and Sean Phillips-Williams.

There followed a very leisurely tea before Sean Phillips-Williams and Rich Lawrence opened proceedings for Bray. Lawrence started in 3rd gear instead of reverse as he steered a high no ball through gully for 4 and then hooked a short delivery to the square leg boundary, much to most people's surprise. Aussie Sean cut a ball through the covers in the second over to get his boundary count up and running. After repeating the dose off the same bowler in his next over, Sean over reached on a drive which led to him scooping the ball to extra cover where the fielder took a very good catch. This left M & B 27for 1 in the 4th over with Sean out for a quick 11. Lawrence was joined at the wicket by Ben Ward, who was reacquainting himself with the crease after a period away, doing his exams. As always Ward was quick on the drive and pull and quick between the wickets. With Lawrence being quick between the wickets this led to a lot of quick singles and an all run four. Lawrence helped himself to consecutive clips for 4 to fine leg as the bowler strayed down leg. Ward hit his first boundary with a delightful extra cover drive. With 58 on the board after 9 overs, the Challengers turned to spin but Ward countered this by pull sweeping two boundaries to the leg side boundary. In the end a bye of the first ball of the 15th over brought M & B victory by 9 wickets with Lawrence not out for a well compiled 38no, which included 7 boundaries, courtesy of drives, flicks, a steer and a pull. Ward finished on 28no with 4 boundaries, courtesy of drives and pulls as they ended with an undefeated partnership of 59 in 10.3 overs. The Challengers packed their bags and left disconsolately, without disappointingly visiting the bar for refreshments.

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