SMCA Div 15 Round 7: 4 August 2019 vs Malabar United A
Arthur Walker Reserve, Concord, was the site of a massacre at the hands Tim Bykov and Bryan Seymour this sunny Sunday, but even chasing a miserly total can’t be taken lightly…
The oval is a rather small ground with a hard and quick outfield, but otherwise picturesque – providing ample shade and a few nets to practice in as the day’s play unfolds.
We lost the toss and bowled first. A decision the opposition (Malabar) would rue.
It was immediately clear that anything short would be punished on the tiny ground. While the opening batsmen looked OK for the first two or three overs, it didn’t take long for cracks to appear.
First to strike was Tim, who took a sharp C&B to remove the captain. Bryan would take the next scalp, sending middle tumbling down towards the keeper. Bykov would strike again with an LBW, and then again in his fourth over courtesy of a reflex catch by Jeremy Holland at square leg. He’d go on to get another LBW in his fifth over and was therefore poised to take a five wicket haul.
In the meantime, Bryan was denied some big shouts for LBs of his own, eventually making up for it with another clean bowled. Bykov’s final over appeared destined for a 5/ when the first ball was hit to Will Sammuri at mid on, hard and low. It was a regulation catch regardless, but was unfortunately dropped to the team and Bykov’s disappointment. The second ball just missed John at first slip, and Tim, the world’s unluckiest bowler would finish on 4/45 when he really deserved a fifth wicket. Bryan would also end his spell on 2/14.
Smokey Hawkins was given some valuable time with the ball pre-finals, and tightened up after the first over to be 1/23 after three by dismissing the last man standing with a ball that took several ricochets onto the stumps. In the previous two overs, Sammuri had bowed one batsman, while another was caught at mid off by Nick Surman to finish on figures of 2/7.
We were chasing 89 for victory, and decided to rejig the batting order to ensure everyone made a day of coming to the cricket. As such, keeper and debutant Laurence Smith opened alongside Jeremy Holland. Laurence (4) looked superb before smashing a ball down the throat of long on. Surman played a customary cut shot for one before being bowled (1).
At this point, a few nervous laughs were running through the Apaches camp. Duncan Pryse-Jones went in at 4, consolidating nicely with Jeremy Holland to see off valuable balls from one of their fast openers. Dunc got impatient and was bowled slogging to mid wicket, and Jeremy was out LBW for 10.
Sammuri and Wright were therefore at the crease with about 50 runs to get and 4 wickets down against an opposition with their tails up. The two have steered the side home in the batting department a few times this year, and today was no exception. The roles, however, were reversed as Wright hit 6 4s on his way to 42* while Sammuri played the patient hand, picket-fencing his way to 17* bar one six late in the innings. The two never looked like getting out, however, they probably weren’t thrilling to watch. Simply noodling around until the total was reached.
While we were probably never in too much trouble with the likes of Bryan, Al, and Tim yet to come, it’s a valuable lesson that all totals can be a challenge if the opposition are bowling well enough.
Apaches chase 89 with 9 overs to spare.
1st inns. – Malabar United A won the toss and chose to bat
Malabar United A: 89
2nd inns. – Apaches 4/92