Reborn Tif Amin and smoking Gunbarul see Maidenhead & Bray home
MBCC Sunday XI v Inconiti 5th July 2015
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
M & B made up for last week's disappointing collapse to record an unexpected victory over long standing friendly opponents, Incogniti, on Sunday. Indeed Incogniti are by far the longest standing friendly opponents M & B have in their fixture list having played have in their fixture list having played them since the 60's/70's, when M & B's fixture list was second to none. The fixture also meant the only "time" game M & B now play on a Sunday, reverting to the old style format of 20 overs from 6.30.
Skipper Armstrong lost the toss and was happy to bowl, looking at this batting order other than the top 3 the rest looked rather frail. With Callum Phillips back the opening attacking reverted to the normal pair of Gunbarul and Phillips. As always Gunbarul was on the spot from ball one and had left hander Razvi in two minds almost every ball. Phillips bowled his normal away swing line, unplayable balls, coupled with wide ones and half volleys. Either way the Incogs openers built the foundations, whilst never getting away from the M & B bowlers. Although Razvi scored 33 he never looked that comfortable. On the other hand Lewis looked was very solid and was very strong driving through the covers and in the V. The openers saw off the opening bowlers only to be confronted with the Sunday spin twins, Chris Butler and Thomas Allen(racoon & squirrel). Butler hit his lengths from ball one, bowling with a lot more flight and trying a new round the wicket attack. Allen also hit his length from the outset. Butler got the initial breakthrough having Razvi stumped by yards by Dixon in the over before drinks with the score on 85. Allen eventually bowled the dangerous Lewis for a well compiled 67. Again the old style Sunday cricket as racoon and squirrel bowled in tandem for 20+ overs. The spinners analysis didn't really reflect how well they bowled, butler 11/0/50/1 & Allen 10/1/46/1. As the Incogs had wickets in hand they attempted to go after the second change bowlers, Sachin(frog in a blender) Moudgil and Matt Armstrong. Moudgil cleaned up the dangerous Henderson for 32 and from that moment on Incogs were never going to get a huge total in the remaining over left. Skipper Armstrong, despite his hideous run up(how can you lose your run up after 32 years!), clean bowled two victims in his 5 over spell whilst Moudgil captured three. The modes of dismissals made interested reading, five bowled and two stumped as the M & B fielders never looked like catching one, spilling at least three catches, two being simple. Armstrong & Moudgil finished with figures of 5/0/18/2 & 5/1/31/3 as Incogniti eventually declared on 209 for 7 in 44 overs.
In Armstrong's eyes the bowling was M & B's strong suit and he worried about M & B's chances if the top 3 didn't make the bulk of the runs. The first delivery was a telling outcome for the innings, 4 byes ! Opening bowl Khan was pretty quick off a slingy action which caused their keeper problems. In deed when M & B's main batsmen Cunliffe was out in the 4th over with the score on 19 only 5 had come off the bat ! Opener Brian Dixon and William Western-Kaye managed to keep the bowlers at bay for the next 10 overs as they built up useful partnership of 47. Alas just as Western-Kaye was beginning to motor, hitting the spinner for 6 over long-on, he out the very next ball, spoon feeding square leg with a nothing shot. In the very next over Dixon found deep extra cover to leave M & B 67 for 3 with all their main inform batters gone. Skipper Armstrong was then just thinking damage limitation , possibly get 125 - 150 maybe bat out overs for a draw? At drinks and the final 20 overs M & B were 79 for 4, needing a token 131. At 88 for 5 a draw was the height of Armstrong's ambitions. That's the beauty of cricket though, when you think you have a dream batting line up you often get bowled out for a low total and when think you have a paucity of batsmen you somehow cobble together a score, and so it happened in the unlikely guise of lower order batsmen Callum Phillips, who reinvigorated the M & B innings. To be fair to the Incogs skipper Dugdale, he had two spinners bowling to reasonably attacking fields. Phillips hit his 2nd ball for 4 and then along with the previously dormant Atif Amin then took 10 off the other spinners next over. From then on the strike was rotated and the boundaries found with regularity. In the end quickie Khan was re-introduced and accounted for Phillips first ball for 19, LBW much to Phillips dismay! The partnership of 48 in 6 overs had given M & B the much needed impetus to get a respectable score at least. However much to Armstrong's disbelief apart from a few quiet overs from Khan the run rate started to increase, especially against the spinners. Amin appeared to be set having managed to stay at the crease for 10 overs and obviously get his eye in. He at last was beginning to play like the Tif of old, strong on the drive, flick to leg and the off cut. No 8 Gunbarul has proved an increasingly dangerous batsmen this season once in, but today he was in from ball one. His first boundary was a sweep for 4 but there after he reverted to type strong over mid on and cow! In the end the M & B players began to believe as the score was slowly whittled down after each over. Gunbarul began to dispatch the bowlers with regularity as he began to catch Amin's score, despite giving him a 13 over head start! Gunbarul dispatched spinner Dugdale over the net at mid-on and then did likewise to the quickie Khan as it clattered against the club sign at the Road End. The decisive over was the 37th(3rd last) which was despatched for 17, mainly courtesy of Gunbarul, including another over the net at mid-on. This meant only 2 where then required form the last two overs. Gunbarul hit a single first ball to leave the scores level at it was fitting that Amin then struck an off drive off the next ball for 4 to bring victory and also leave himself undefeated on 50no. An innings which lasted 23 overs and included 5 4's. Whilst the explosive innings was provided by Gunbarul, 49no in 10 overs, which included 3 6's and 4 4's. The 7th wicket partnership added 77 in 10 overs to leave M & B the victors at 312 for 7 in 37.2 overs with 10 balls to spare. A great victory which makes it worth playing the great game of Sunday cricket, even with it being a time game !
M & B lost for the third time this season by 5 wickets at the hands…
Mat Armstrong - May 18, 2018
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