Smoking Gunbarul hits career best and adds 191 for 4th wicket with Aussie Jim
MBCC Sunday XI v The Jesters 30th August 2015
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
M & B had a convincing 128 run win on Sunday against The Jesters, despite making an inauspicious start. Upon winning the toss skipper Armstrong had no hesitation in batting, although the overcast conditions and damp wicket might have said otherwise. As it was Sunday it's all about batting first and with another overcast day taking advantage of the better light. Early on though the only side taking advantage were the visitors as opening bowlers Bridcut & Berman swung the ball and moved it off the seam as they bowled a full length. The fielders backed up their bowlers with athletic stops coupled with the batsmen continually hitting the fielders. Cameron Jacobsen hit one or two pleasing leg side strokes. Opener Brian Dixon was put out of his misery in the 8th over as he was lbw, attempting to slog sweep. No.3 Yusuf Qureshi didn't trouble the scorers as he was castled 4th ball by a good one. M&B were really in trouble when Jacobsen attempted to hit over the top but only found mid on, who caught the catch despite injuring his figure in the process, to leave M &B at 34 for 3 in the 12th over. Gunbarul arrived at no.5 to partner James Billington, he announced his arrival in spectacular fashion by pumping the reliable Berman over mid off third ball for 6. Billington and Gunbarul thereafter played out the remaining overs of the opening pair to leave M & B 51 for 3 after 16 overs. Jesters' opening bowlers Bridcut and Berman both bowled tidy spells of medium pace seam bowling in helpful conditions. A major turning point occurred when Billington was dropped at slip, albeit off a difficult chance, off off-spinner Numby, whereupon Billington made The Jesters pay, as he started to pierce the field with his drives all round the wicket, as he used his feet to get down the wicket to the pitch of the ball as well as reach it on the full toss. Drinks were taken in the 20th over with M & B at 79 for 3, when skipper Armstrong advised the batsmen that 180 would be a good score. Upon the resumption the flood gates seemed to open as Gunbarul had played himself in and was beginning to use his reach to telling effect and start hitting the ball through and over the V and over cow as well as through the covers. Billington was more text book though. Gunbarul gave his first real chance as he reached 50 as his lofted drive to mid-off went through the fielder's out stretched hands for 6. Shortly after Billington reached 50 as the partnership passed 100 in 14 overs. Thereafter both batsmen scored at will as the total reached 200 and the prospect of a 200 partnership loomed. Alas Billington was eventually castled for 91 as he was yorked by the spinner's quicker ball for 91, which included 13 4's, to end the partnership at 191 in 24 overs. Gunbarul reached his maiden century with a delightful cover drive to the long church boundary for 3 and it was fitting that he carried his bat for a marvellous 120, which included 6 6's and 8 4's. M & B's final total of 261 for 5 well exceeded Armstrong's expectation of around 180 at the drinks interval. The Jesters dropped a number of crucial catches, especially in the out field, as none of their bowlers could exert the pressure that their opening bowlers had.
Opening bowler Jamie Odell made early inroads into the Jesters batting order, as he castled opener Sameen with a pearler hitting the top of off stump in the first over and bowling left hander Willis off stump in his third over. Armstrong removed Odell from the attack after 5 overs to prevent any further harm being caused, his analysis 5/1/18/2. The bowling from the River End was entrusted to Sunday regular Atif Amin, bowling only his second spell of the season. Aided by some earlier net practice he immediately found his length aided by his trademark away swing. Indeed in this third over he bowled opener Locke off stump as The Jesters slipped to 26 for 3. No.4 Nirban played some aggressive leg side shots to take The Jesters beyond 50 but Amin struck again to have Numby brilliantly caught behind, by Dixon standing up to the wicket. Nirban hit a few more leg side boundaries before he began to get cocky, trying to ramp Amin and almost getting caught at point. In the next over he tried to reverse sweep spinner, Chris Butler, and missed and was given lbw by Pete Meade, much to the batsman's dismay. At 71 for 5 the match as a contest was over. Amin manfully completed his 8 overs for worthy figures of 8/2/39/2. Whereupon the spin twins, Thomas Allen and Butler took over. The next wicket to fall though was that of skipper, Mohammed, run out courtesy of a direct hit from mid wicket by colt, Jai Chopra. Butler finished with figures of 7/1/27/1 which flattered him somewhat , but he did get the key wicket of Niban though. He was replaced by Chopra who bowled an excellent spell of accurate leg spin. Allen bowled his full allocation fro figures of 8/2/28/2 and it was left to Chopra to deservedly pick up the last wicket by clean bowling Berman to finish with figures of 6//1/17/1. This was Chopra's last game for the season, as he returned to Charterhouse School, where no doubt he will again improve under the cricket tutelage of Martin Bicknell and return an even better cricketer for 2016.
M & B lost for the third time this season by 5 wickets at the hands…
Mat Armstrong - May 18, 2018
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