After getting gate crashed by GT's Facebook version, here is the
official Reaper report of Sunday's action. The Stage were the visitors
for the last Sunday game, and indeed the final game, of the season.
Skipper Armstrong had no hesitation in batting upon winning the toss.
M&B's openers were regular exponent, Willam Cunliffe, and make shift
partner, Ahmed Talal. Their modus operandi said as much, Cunliffe's
text book drives through extra cover compared to Talal's shovels and
scythes to leg, albeit one went for six over widish mid-on ! Talal got
the innings off to a brisk start with 34 on the board before his
departure in the sixth over. M&B were soon on the back foot again,
as once prolific batsman, Yusuf, now 30, Qureshi was dismissed 5th ball,
courtesy of a tumbling catch by the keeper(expertly photographed by Mr
Giri) for a duck, making a meagre 5 runs in his last 3 innings in the
SPL. A response was provided by keeper Brian Dixon and Cunliffe, who
then posted 76 for the 3rd wicket in 15 overs to bring M & B back
into the game. Dixon was fluent around the wicket and ran well with
Cunliffe. Just when thoughts of a maiden fifty for the club germinated,
they were nipped in the bud, as he missed a full toss whilst swinging
to leg. Cunliffe went on his merry way driving and pulling with gay
abandon. Alas a first ton for M&B was not to be as he edged behind
on 64, to finish his season on a bright note. The remainder of the
innings resulted in steady contributions of 15 from Mr Giri, 17 from GT,
19 from Gunbarul and a season's best of 27 from Waffle / Muffin. His 27
brought back memories of when he could actually bat, the highlight
being a flick over widish mid-wicket for 4. In the end Armstrong was
happy to take 208 for 7 off their 40 over allocation.
For the second week running Gunbarul and Chris Lowe took the new
prune as Armstrong looked for early inroads. The Stage's openers,
skipper Owen Oldroyd and Davis had other ideas as they blunted M &
B's attack. Oldroyd was the aggressor, playing shots all round the
wicket and taking the singles as the field was pushed back. Oldroyd used
Gunbarul's pace to pierce the offside boundary with cuts and drives,
which crashed to the boundary. The openers found Lowe's lessor pace
harder to get away. After a poor couple of early overs, Lowe found his
range and finished with tidy figures of 8/1/33/0. For once the usual
first change bowlers were unable to stem the flow of runs or make any
inroads. Although Waffle found away swing he was too short and was cut,
driven and guided through the off side. Senior spinner Butler was never
at the races, not finding a proper length and was cut and swept to
pieces, resulting in him being withdrawn from the attack to prevent
The Stage openers went on their merry way, Oldroyd playing a proper
innings and Davis riding his luck by just clearing the field on
numerous occasions, to be fair though he did play some good shots and
ran well with Oldroyd. Ginger Tom should have had Davis caught at extra
cover but Waffle put down a sitter, albeit he alleged he was Manfred
Manned(blinded by the light), but it was hit at such speed he
could have adjusted his position to take the catch. Oldroyd reached his
well deserved century with a drive to mid-on, which was misfielded and
went to the boundary. Upon reaching his century he returned to the
clubhouse retired hurt, apparently with an aching back, but more likely
to give someone else a go with the job almost done. Unfortunately none
of the other Stage batsmen were able to hit the ball off the square and
so ensued a nail biting finale, which coincided with the introduction of
Mr Giri to the attack, who in conjunction with skipper Armstrong put
the squeeze on. Mr Giri bowling a full length, allied to a skiddy
action, and fading light proved a real handful. He claimed the first
actual wicket on 178 as he castled the no. 3 who stepped away trying to
hit over the offside. Armstrong then struck in the next over to keep M
& B in the hunt. Mr Giri bowled out at the River End, gaining one
further wicket courtesy of a yorker, as the batsman looked to hit to
leg. Giri finished his mini spell with excellent figures of 4/1/13/2.
Armstrong bowled out at his beloved Road End with figures of 8/1/35/1,
to leave him with a final tally of 54 victims for the season. Armstrong
gave the final over to Gunbarul to try and defend 8 with undefeated
opener Davis on strike. A short wide ball was upper cut over point for 4
to seemingly finish the game, Davis though missed a full ball on leg
stump to leave a run a ball off the final four deliveries. Gunbarul then
found his range, bowling full balls wide of off stump, which Davis
swung at instead of placing, which resulted in three strikes and misses.
In the end a boundary was required off the last ball, whereupon all the
fielders descended upon the boundary rope, Davis managed to make
contact with the final delivery but could only reach deep extra cover to
leave M & B the victors by 2 runs ! Skipper Armstrong noticed
opposing skipper Oldroyd still padded up and waiting to return,
unfortunately for him another wicket never fell ! Opener Davis carried
his bat in the end for 85no but it was M & B who ended up the
victors by 2 runs in a strange ending to the game and season.
Spring is approaching us and the promise of summer…
Tameena Hussain - Mar 01, 2020
About Maidenhead & Bray Cricket Club
The Cricket Club is situated in the beautiful village of Bray, Berkshire, on the banks of the Thames, overlooked by the Church of St Michael. The main ground is widely acknowledged as one of the most picturesque in the country.
Est. in 1798 and a member of the Morrant Thames Valley League, with three senior teams and a thriving colts section both boys and girls
Address: The Pavilion, The High Street, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2AA
Coaching Cricket to build Competence, Confidence & Character
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phone. 01628 622669
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