Former colt Carter inflicts punishment, despite the red squirrel's efforts
Sunday XI v Braywood 10th May 2015
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
M & B lost on Sunday for the first time this season to neighbours Braywood, courtesy of a fine innings by old colt Brett Carter. Upon winning the toss for the first time this season, skipper Armstrong, had no hesitation in electing to bat. Braywood lulled M & B into a false sense of security by bowling a number of wides early on, before their bowlers hit their lines. First to go was hired hand Raoul Cheema, now plying his TVL cricket for Burnham. Cheema nicked off to the keeper after dispatching the previous ball sumptuously to the boundary courtesy of a cover drive. Next to go was opener William Cunliffe who was bowled yet again. Yusuf Qureshi followed shortly after playing a casual lofted drive, albeit courtesy of a fine catch at mid-on. 37 for 3 after 12 overs meant a repair job was on the cards and keeper Brian Dixon and William Western-Kaye were both up for the job, as both needed time at the crease. The pair kept out the good balls and looked for the singles and dispatched the bad ball when it came along. The pair added a sensible partnership of 57 in 14 overs before F Shavi breached the defence between bat and pad of Western-Kaye for 29 to castle yet another top order batsmen. Armstrong hoped for support from the lower middle order and tail for Dixon so that M & B could bat out their allocated overs and reach 150+, to give the bowlers something to bowl at. In the end this was what was achieved as Callum Phillips, Thomas Allen and Gunbarul all playing attacking cameos, especially Gunbarul, who fired off a volley of shots, included a picked up 6 over cow corner. Dixon finished on 44no off 31 overs of toil in an innings which seemed to lose impetus, albeit he may have been starved of the strike at time , that said it took him three balls to score in the last over. William Ahmed 8/2/24/2 and F Shavi 8/0/35/4 were the standout bowlers for Braywood, although all their bowlers were steady.
As always Armstrong was looking for his Sunday ace Gunbarul to make the early inroads. This though was not to be Gunbarul's day as opener Brett Carter was dropped in the first over by butter fingered Western-Kaye at first slip, which proved to be a very costly slip. Former M & B colt went onto to play the pivotal innings for Braywood, in his normal aggressive style, strong on the drive and turning the ball to leg, along with the odd swipe to leg. He was ably supported by colt Craig in an opening partnership of 75. Indeed even Craig tucked into the normal frugal Gunbarul, by striking him for three 4's in an over. Callum Phillips delivered a steady opening spell from the Road End, occasionally beating the bat with his away swing. For the first time in a while skipper had to cut short Gunbarul's spell after five overs to prevent him taking further punishment. Armstrong turned to junior spinner Thomas Allen, as senior spinner Butler expressed a preference for the Road End. Armstrong had to endure two overs of sheer unadulterated half tracker filth from Allen, which luckily was not severely punished and inexplicably accounted for Craig - obviously bamboozled by the volume of dross bowled at him - leaving Allen looking like a constipated red squirrel rather than a jubilant bowler ! Luckily the wicket instilled confidence for Allen, who then found a testing length and line. He was ably assisted by a telling spell of miserly seam bowling at the other end from Mr Giri. The pressure at either end brought it's rewards as the Braywood batsman tried to loft Allen over the infield, but found the octopus that is Gunbarul, who reeled the ball in.
M & B took drinks with Braywood at 97 for 2 and eyeing a severe thrashing with a century looming for former player Carter. As occasionally happens though the drinks did not bring the desired sustenance for the batsmen as Allen snared two lbw victims, including that of danger man Carter, who departed for a well crafted 72. 97 for 2 quickly became 103 for 6 as Mr Giri castled batsmen numbers 4 and 6 in successive balls to bring M & B a sniff of victory. Regrettably for M & B both Allen and Mr Giri finished their spells in quick succession. Allen finished with standout figures of 8/1/27/4 and must wish he could play Brawood every week, he may even be able to force his way into Brett's not so allstar team, if he could ! Mr Giri finished with exceptional figures of 8/2/14/2 bowling a number of unplayable away swinging deliveries. Senior Sunday pros Butler and Armstrong were tasked with maintaining the pressure but unfortunately Braywood batsmen Nikel Jathavedan and F Shavi had other ideas and finished proceeding with a 7th wicket stand of 57 to leave Braywood victory by 4 wickets with 4 overs to spare. Mr Shavi took a liking to Butler's airy fairy offering hitting him into and over the River End netting for three 6's. Armstong again had problems with his run up and gave a good impression of the original Bray shuffler, Matt Woodvine. F Shavi finished on 34no to give him the star performance award.
In the end M & B's total was around 25 too short, principally due to the inability of their much vaunted top three of messrs Cunliffe, Cheema and Qureshi to score any runs !
M & B ended their Sunday season with a win to bring the curtain down…
Mat Armstrong - Sep 27, 2017
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