Sunday XI v The Fiddlers - 29th June 2014

Sunday XI v The Fiddlers - 29th June 2014

Sunday XI v The Fiddlers - 29th June 2014
01 Jul
Sunday XI v The Fiddlers - 29th June 2014
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2014

M & B Sunday X1 gained their best win of the season so far by managing to defend what initially looked a below par score of 178 off their 40 overs, against one of their stronger rivals, The Fiddlers. Upon winning the toss skipper Armstrong had elected to bat, even though his batting line up had been weakened by last minute cry offs. As always he was relying on Sunday lynchpin, Raoul Cheema, shoring up the batting, this week partnered by colt, Sachin Moudgil, making his first appearance of the season, after completing his school exams. As always Cheema was solid, albeit he was almost out in the second over top edging a sweep, just over gully. That aside the openers made a steady start, as 22 were accumulated in the first 7 overs. Cheema took advantage of a couple of tired overs from Baglow as 20 were scored, the majority with pulls. Moudgil, after a slow start, came to the party showing his penchant for wristy flicks and drives. Youngster Moudgil kept the older slower Cheema honest calling him through for quick singles, albeit a few on the risky side to the wrong fielders. Cheema went on his merry way with another half century their for the taking as he pulled a short of a length delivery from leg spinner Long to the boundary, his team mates were puzzled though as he started walking back to the pavilion, initially they though he was changing his bat, but alas no, he had stepped back in his crease too far and trod on his stumps ! So one of those rare dismissals" hit wicket" claimed Cheema for a well made 48 and ending an opening partnership of 90 in 22 overs. White Waltham player Cloudsley Long got his second wicket in his next over as Thomas Wilding hit a full toss to the man at short fine leg, saving the one. As so often happens once you break a long partnership a second wicket inevitably falls. Moudgil fell 3 overs later, for 43, again whipping a ball through the leg side but unfortunately taking a leading edge, resulting in a well taken catch by Baglow. Keeper Brian Dixon hung in there, using his feet a couple of times to get down the wicket to the spinner and drive through the covers for 4. Alas his foot work brought about his undoing, as he missed one and was stumped by M & B chairman, John Hewitt, off the deserving Long, in his final over. Long finished with fine figures of 8/3/21/3. At 117 for 4 after 32 overs, the original target of 200 had become 150-160 at best.

Luckily for M & B a surprise fifth wicket partnership of 55 between promising colt Benjamin Ward(37no)and social player Jamie " Big Bird " Kiddell(17). Ward scored through the off side with drives and cuts but showed a particular liking to the slog sweep in the final overs off the spinners, notably cracking one of the sweet spot to crash to the scoreboard boundary as well as almost cleaning out club groundsman, Charles Jacobsen, as he drove into the ground, he ducked as he was driving but luckily the ball just cleared his roof, as it disappeared for six. Kiddell worked the cow corner region for this boundaries and the odd pushed single. In the end M & B finished on 178 off their 40 overs, which although seemed a workable total, still looked under par.

M & B needed to bowl and field well against a Fiddlers batting line up of Boyne Hill captain Tom Mellor, White Waltham and former M & B opener, Andrew Parham, former Braywood star James Nunn, M & B Chairman John Hewitt, White Waltham opener Matthew Baglow, and former Berkshire player Simon Jessop. This though is exactly what M & B did as opener Arul Appavoo immediately struck a brilliant line an length, beating Mellor outside off, getting one to lift, hitting his gloves and then bowling him on the left arm round angle, as he shouldered arms, all in the first over. Avinash Gossain was just as effective from the other end, although tending to pitch too short of a good length he continually beat the batsman with away swing. New batsman Nunn could hardly lay a bat on Appavoo as he was continually beaten by seam and swing. The Fiddlers batsmen just hung in their and attempted to play out the opening bowlers, That they did but not before opening bowlers Appavoo and Gossain had inflicted figures of 8/2/28/1 and 8/2/15/0 on the Fiddlers. Appavoo's figures could have been better but Armstrong posted 3 slips and a fly slip for a large part of his spell, giving the batmen acres in which to score. Gossain's figures probably flattered him slightly as he was on the whole too short albeit he got appreciable movement away from the bat.

As a result of a build up of pressure, senior spinner Chris Butler snared a batsman in his first over, getting Nunn out cutting at a short ball, with Kiddell doing the honours at point. Again pressure resulted in the wicket of Parham, who was well taken by Appavoo at mid on, as Parham tried to hit over the top, resulting in his demise for 20 in as many overs. Next to go for Fiddlers was Hewitt, well pouched by Armstrong running in from deep extra cover, to give Amin his second scalp. In the end Atif Amin ended up with figures of 8/0/27/2. At 69 for 4 The Fiddlers were behind the eight ball but opposing skipper Jessup batted well with Baglow to post 58 for the 5th wicket with some aggressive drives and pulls. With eight overs left the bowling changes brought Moudgil and Armstrong to the crease. Armstrong took a punt on Moudgil as this was his first bowl of the season. In the end he needn't have worried as Moudgil hit his line and length immediately and Fiddlers had no answer. Baglow played out a maiden over and then Moudgil had the dangerous Jessup nonchalantly caught for 38 by Appavoo at deep mid on. It must have been Moudgil's day as he managed to gain another wicket courtesy of a tumbling catch by Amin ! In the end his incredible spell of 4/1/9/3 gained him the man of the match award and led M & B to victory. Armstrong picked up two wickets at the death to finish with 4/0/20/2 and bring M & B victory by 29 runs. Perhaps the wicket was slower than first thought and 180 was more a par score but either way a brilliant bowling and fielding performance by M & B brought them their best victory of the season. Ward fielded well taking two catches and a number of good stops to cap a fine performance. Keeper Dixon also put in a neat and tidy performance

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