vs Harris Park E, Saturday 4th June 2022 @Vale of Ah Reserve

by El Presidente

Round 4
A shortened game, 28 overs a side and a 0900h start, and because of a shortage of grounds, at Vale Of Ah Reserve. It was ridiculously early and bloody cold, and one of those days where the first team to take their hands out of their pockets should have been declared the winner so everyone could go back to a warm bed. Ignoring the cold the Harris Park captain correctly called HEADS and asked us to bat first. Isaac and Bryan opened, and immediately took on the bowling, although Bryan ( 8 ) was bowled in the third over with the score 1/19. Isaac, Gazi, and Arjun sent the ball to all corners of the park, with a number of 10 run overs, and more than a few minutes lost while the opposition searched the long grass for the ball. Arjun hit one of the most remarkable shots of the day with a flick over fine leg for six from a full toss. Isaac and Gazi both retired, and Arjun was unlucky not to join them, caught on 38. We lost a couple of quick wickets on 124 and Dinesh survived the hat-trick ball with ease, but a good partnership between Arjun and Dinesh (14) got us to 160 after 20 overs. Vipul added 13, Gazi was unable to add much to his score and was given out LBW for 43, and Isaac took 17 from the last 4 balls of the innings, ending on 70 not out, with a total of 210. (7.5 runs / over)

Dinesh’s (1/15) first ball of the innings would have smashed into the stumps, but the batter cleverly put his pad in the way, which didn’t save him as the umpire raised the finger of doom. With one wicket down and scoreboard pressure already an issue, the Harris Park batters attacked our openers and made it to 31 after the first six overs. A change of bowling brought the experience of Bryan (2/22) and Smokey (4/24) to weave their magic. Despite a couple of shocking drag downs, Smokey was 2-8 (also missing the hat trick) after getting one right and trapping another Harris Park batter using his pads instead of his bat, and Vipul took an excellent catch at mid-on from another smashed drag-down.

The attacking batting continued, and while Bryan tangled them up at one end, Smoke claimed a third with an edge to Isaac behind the stumps. In their 4th overs, both Smoke and Bryan claimed two wickets each. Smokey’s wickets thanks to Bryan taking a sharp catch at slip after a deflection off the keepers glove, and a wild crossbat swipe hit straight up for Isaac to pouch, while Bryan’s accuracy brought about an LBW, and the following batter saw his stumps scattered after he’d chosen to keep his pads out of the way. Unfortunately, Bryan missed what would have been his 12th(?) hat-trick.

However, there was some controversy. Of course. At the end of Bryan’s over the Harris Park captain ambled out to the pitch with the score at 8/92, to discuss Smoke’s 5th wicket as the batter had returned to his team mates presumably complaining about his “unfair” dismissal. His claim was that he heard a call of “no ball” which he said was the reason for his terrible crossbat swipe. There was some discussion among the players and umpire, with varying recollections of exactly what had happened and when. It turned out that one of the fielders had complimented the delivery, around the time the poor shot was played. Despite it being his first 5/ since 2014, and because he *never* learns that doing the right and sporting thing is very rarely reciprocated, Captain Smokey relinquished his long awaited 5/ and called the batter back.

On his return the young batter assured us he “was shit” then proceeded to slog three boundaries, before a fielding change brought zero change in his plan (or shot selection), and he was well caught by Abhijeet on the mid-wicket boundary for Chinmaya’s (2-10) first wicket. A beautifully timed catch by Arjun moving forward at mid-on ended the innings on 104 in the 19th over, with Chinmays second wicket.

An excellent batting performance in the chilly morning, backed up by some good bowling and some excellent catching. No game this weekend. Next match Saturday 18th June v Harris Park F, venue TBA. Someone else can have the joy of writing the match report. Any volunteers?

Some comments:
Govind: Match report can’t be better than this!
Declan: Outstanding match report and bad luck on the Fivefor
– Smokey: story of my life…. never been called back to the crease in 30+ years of cricket. Maybe the A-team captain will now finally recognise the strike power hidden in this right arm
Ed: So it seems that contrary to his own claims of it being and I quote “f*cking ridiculous”, Smokey really is a morning cricket specialist looking at his performance from this game !