Home and Away
Despite being the guests the Saturday 11 took the home dressing room. The Sunday 11, being of the right stuff, refused to rise to this typical Saturday gamesmanship, but warned that they should not be riled and that the Saturdays should prepare to reap the whirlwind. At the end of the game the Saturdays rued their early aggression as they left the field vanquished, yet again, by the better day of the week. The Sundays were set a reasonable target of 132 and reached it quite comfortably for the loss of 5 wickets in 37 overs.
Cochrane, back to a more justifiable vice-captains spot following the emotional return of Asbo Zafar from the cricketing wilderness, won the toss and put the Saturdays in. The Sunday boys started well opening with Mandar and Matt Allan. Mandar (14 for 0 off 9) took a little time to get into the groove but soon settled and at the other end the slightly jaded (in bed at 6am following an extended pub crawl) Matt hit the straps straight away, clean bowling (off the boot anyway) John D in his second over and finishing with 2 for 20 off 9. Both him and Mandar kept the pressure on, supported by the ever sprightly Sunday fielders, and this pressure told as Jerry and Billy Hargan got confused with the result that Billy was run out. As Billy was too far away from the stumps to do them any damage he contented himself with a fierce look and some industrial swearing – at least it seemed to be swearing but was unidentifiable, covered up as it was by a thick Scottish accent – the accent that seems to get more pronounced with anger.
Charlie J, the bionic groundsman with the artificial knee, then came on for a tight spell (1 for 25 off 8) adding Ed Harman to his long list of victims compiled over the years. A couple of people on the field thought that a few mice were settled on the boundary due to the squeaking until it became clear that Charlie’s knee just needed a little oil. At the other end Smithy (0 for 25 off 4) ended up bowling a lot at Jerry Day who was now well into the groove and finding the boundary with regularity. He was well supported by Roger White and both looked to move the field around and slot the bad ball. From a nervy and slow start, the side were 25 for 2 after 10 overs and 46 for 3 after 20. Jerry and Roger took the score to 100 by the 29th over when the returning Tom Grafton (1 for 12 off 4) took Roger’s wicket using the law of the bad ball to have a catch off a long hop very well pouched by Naim. Cochrane then came on to replace squeaky Charlie. He was a little squeaky himself, bowling far too short to the now well set Jerry and getting rightly punished. His first half decent ball drew Jerry out again, he connected well but hit the ball a little straight – Cochrane plucked it from the sky. Jerry got 46 and was looking to take the game away from the Sundays, this breakthrough and the wicket of Roger were key for the boys who tightened things up from this point, taking the final 4 wickets for 20 runs. Cochrane sensed his moment against the tail enders and achieved his first 5 for, ending the innings with not bad figures of 5 for 17 off 6 and a half overs, bowling the last two in successive balls.
The Sundays then had a target of 132. Sal and Naim opened, Sal looking good for his 23, Naim though bowled by Saf (1for 21 off 7) for a duck. Next in was our own friendly student tramp Worgie who put together a great partnership with Sal, Tom (20) and Peter Smith (7). He also survived a top edge onto his cheek from a chest high full toss courtesy of the lively Tanzil (1for 23 off 7), batting on bravely with a seam mark to show for his brush with blindness. Tom played well and looked good, especially considering his time out of the game, before falling to John Dunbar (1for 14 off 3). Peter and Hamza, both playing up the order, did not look so good but both did good jobs. Hamza started very nervously but soon settled and took a liking to an increasingly annoyed Jerry Day (2 for 20 off 4) as the Hamster started to swing (possibly with his eyes shut but it did the job with 14 off 20 balls). Jerry did get revenge though as he bowled hamster. The still suffering Matt, supported by Hamsa and then Mandar put a steady innings together, treating Paul F (1 for 7 off 7) with particular respect and showing less of it to the up and coming Angus Hargan (0 for 33 off 6) who bowled bravely, keeping the ball pitched up and getting a good deal of turn. Despite these valiant efforts Matt and Mandar saw the Sunday boys home well within the allotted time for a hard fought and well earned victory. The club came together well after the game for a few well earned beers in the fading light, perhaps Saturday may learn one day