Sunday XI v Twigworth Travellers 24th July 2016

Fielding proves costly for Sunday side

Sunday XI v Twigworth Travellers 24th July 2016
31 Jul
Sunday XI v Twigworth Travellers 24th July 2016
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2016

M & B went down by 5 wickets on Sunday in the 39th having fought back at the end from what appeared to be a convincing hammering. It all looked totally different initially after skipper Armstrong won the toss and had no hesitation in batting. Openers Brian Dixon and George Parsons managed to see off the early overs of top bowler Will Hodson(Reigate Priory 1st X1 and MCC), scoring a few streaky boundaries in the process. The batsmen feasted on the other seam of Harris and first change Owen. Despite a close call for lbw early on Parsons continued his good form from the previous day and was strong on the drive and flick to leg. Dixon was dismissed for 27 in Harris' final over caught at mid off having put on 105 for the first wicket in 16 overs. At this stage, based upon the bowling seen, a score of 250+ looked well within reach. This all changed though when Sharp was introduced in the 18th over, his spin snaring Parsons second ball, sweeping across a straight one and skying it straight up in the air. His innings of 61 in 18 overs contained 11 4's and took his weekend tally to 147 runs. From this point on spin severely curtailed M & B's scoring rate, indeed only two other batsmen scored fluently thereafter and contributed a worthwhile score. Spinner House accounted for Gunbarul with his 4th ball, getting the edge and first slip doing the rest. Two balls later, the first ball of Sharp's over, the set batman, Blair King, played an identical shot to Parsons and was caught for a fluent innings of 38 , which contained 7 4's. M & B had now crashed to 152 for 5 in the 25th over with 200 a long way off. Atif Amin and Joe Blackett both tried to stay with Kieron Grey and stabilise the situation but both perished for 7 to leave M & B precariously placed at 183 for 7 in the 33 rd over. Luckily for M & B Grey stepped up to the plate and with his straight driving and pulling put on 43 with Tom Noakes(who contributed 4) in 6 overs. The highlight of which was the 38th over when Grey went 222444 off the main bowler Hodson, to take M & B sailing past 200. Grey was sadly run out in the final over for 51, his maiden senior fifty , which contained 8 4's. In the end Armstrong was happy to take the 226 for 8, something to defend, although initially 250+ was on the cards.

In response the Travellers got off to a fine start with Hughes quick to dispatch short balls either side of the wicket and List good on the drive and rotating the strike. The Travellers batsman were aided by poor fielding from the home side. Skipper Armstrong not leading by example, having difficulty getting down to the ball. In one Grey over both Armstrong and Tom Noakes let balls through, which resulted in boundaries. After ten overs Armstrong went for the pace off the ball option as Noakes immediately got into a good line and length. For the first time this year senior Sunday spinner Chris Butler could not stem the flow of runs and was cut after three overs, as he dropped a number of balls too short. Butler was replaced by tin man at the road end. At drinks M & B were looking at a severe hammering with the Travellers just needing over 100 with all ten wickets in hand.. Noakes wheeled away with great control and was unlucky to not take a wicket, having a good chance grassed at slip by the normally safe Dixon. In the end Noakes went for only 19 runs of his eight overs. M & B at last made a breakthrough as Parsons took a good catch low down at mid-on off Amin to dismiss the dangerous Hughes for 76. Amin bowled a better line and length but the gimme four byes delivery signalled the end of his spell and Gubarul was brought on at the Road End. He immediately hit a line and length and dried up the scoring rate. The Travellers lost a second wicket courtesy of a run out, as a result of a fine throw by Grey and take by King. Armstrong gave Jai Chopra a few overs at a crucial stage, despite a better first over his length wasn't there and was replaced by the skipper, bowling from the River End, for the first time in many years. Armstrong found his length immediately although his line was a bit wide, albeit to the protected off side boundary. Armstrong managed to nip two Travellers batsmen out, one which kept low for an lbw and another which moved away to hit off. At the end of the 37 over though Armstrong had List dropped on 93on the deep mid off boundary. With the equation becoming harder another run out resulted as Armstrong chased the ball to the extra cover boundary and his return managed to run the batsman out going for the third. A pull shot off the penultimate ball of the 38th over pushed The Travellers back in front. List pushed a single to go through to his well deserved century in the next over and a couple boundaries by Sharp brought The Travellers victory with 8 balls remaining. M & B fought back well to make it a closer result in the end.

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