Sunday XI versus Incogniti - 7th July 2013

Sunday XI versus Incogniti - 7th July 2013

Sunday XI versus Incogniti - 7th July 2013
07 Jul
Sunday XI versus Incogniti - 7th July 2013
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2013

M & B came third on Sunday as they were demolished by the batting strength of Incogniti to the tune of 10 wickets. Skipper Armstrong was both delighted and perplexed as he was asked to bat first after losing the toss on a scorching day. Things did not look bright as Raoul Cheema was dismissed in the fourth over with only 7 on the board. Yusuf Qureshi though completely changed the complexion of the game coming in at number three, for his first bat for a month, to smash a belligerent 55 off only 36 balls, which included 12 4's. He was immediately strong cutting / guiding the ball through the gully point region as well as hitting the ball over the top. By the time he departed, deceived by a slower ball, the total had rocketed to 81 in only 13 overs, resulting in a partnership of 74 in 9 overs with Simon Ball, who contributed 17. Qureshi's departure seemed to galvanise Ball, who then deposited the next 2 overs for 32, smashing 3 6's over the top, to bring up a 50 in 41 balls. He was helped in a third wicket partnership of 63 with Umesh Moudgil, who contributed 19. The real turning point in the game came when Ball was run out, for 63, courtesy of a mix up with Atif Amin, which was the catalyst to trigger a collapse of six wickets for a paltry 17 runs in the space of 5 overs. As a whole M& B had plummeted from 144-2 to 163-9 in the space of 7 overs. Only a last wicket stand of 37 between the unlikely duo of Matt Armstrong and the heroic Andy Aranaz, managed to scrape M & B to 200. Andy, stump cam man, Aranaz was playing his first game for the club in around eight years, and was distraught when he ricked his back whilst practicing his bowling in the nets. He was though able to bat one handed and score 18no, bringing back memories of Malcolm Marshall in 1984. Of all things a run out ended the stand to bring an end to Armstrong's season's best of 19.

Skipper Armstrong knew 200 was a woefully inadequate total but it was at least something to bowl at and if early inroads could be made a positive result was still possible. Alas the Incogniti batsmen did not play ball, in particular Bowry, who was belligerent from the off whether it be a good or bad ball. One pulled six off a short ball and a lofted extra cover drive for six off a reasonable length delivery were early cases in point. After 10 overs of seam Armstrong tried the spinners to get a break through, but they had no luck either as the game began to get away from M & B, even though the fields were defensive. The spinners from the River End bowled too many full tosses, which were gleefully dispatched by Bowry. To be fair to Cheema, who hadn't bowled for awhile, he created a number of stumping chances which were not taken, but by then the game was up for M & B , and it was only a case of actually taking a few wickets for respectability. In the end Incogniti cruised to their target with 14/15 overs left of the final 20 overs left , to give M & B a real thrashing by 10 wickets.

The result left skipper Armstrong even more gloomy than normal, if that was possible. For a couple of the main Sunday fixtures, Fiddlers & Incogniti, M & B have not competed, leaving Armstrong to contemplate the meaning of Sunday cricket. With three of the players turning up around 10 minutes before the off and another crying off at 1.30, complaining he was throwing up after self-inflicted alcohol abuse, thank you Richard Parsons for stepping in at the last moment ! Armstrong's mood was not much better when he and Aranaz returned from their valiant last wicket stand to be greeted by virtually nobody, nor were the visitors, as most of the M & B players couldn't be bothered to step out of the pavilion, as they were either watching the tennis or in pole position to demolish Tony & Max's lovely tea. Armstrong reminded his players of the common courtesies of English Sunday cricket at the tea tables, let's hope they listened!

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