Sunday XI v Braywood - 1st June 2014

Sunday XI v Braywood - 1st June 2014

Sunday XI v Braywood - 1st June 2014
03 Jun
Sunday XI v Braywood - 1st June 2014
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2014

Upon winning the toss skipper Armstrong had no hesitation in choosing to bat, with his much vaunted opening pair of Raoul Cheema and Thomas Wilding up his sleeve. Braywood bowlers though bowled on the whole extremely tight line and lengths giving M & B batsmen nothing to hit. Indeed opening bowler A. Kumar bowled 3 maidens in his first four overs. M & B's first wicket fell in the 13th over with Wilding lbw to the impressive Kumar, who finished with figures of 8/3/15/1. The usually prolific Cheema played on to the first change bowler Yassa Ahmed, after having appeared to do the hard work having seen off the opening bowlers. His wicket brought to the wicket former star colt Jamie O'Dell, who was making a guest appearance as a batsmen, having turned out in his normal guise as an attacking opening bowler for Brondesbury against Finchley the previous day in the Middlesex County league. Looking for batting practice O'Dell grafted for 19 overs to shepherd M & B to a workable total, his patience being rewarded to the tune of 31. As always with his reach, O'Dell was fluent driving and pushing off the front foot. He was given able assistance by lower order batsmen Amit Giri, making his Sunday debut and Joe Blackett, who struck a mighty six over the long on boundary. The game also saw the return to duty of the "silver fox", Barry Wykes, who as always was caught on the leg side hitting across the line ! In the end M & B managed to bat through their 40 overs scoring 140 for 9, which was around 20 short of a par score, albeit the clubhouse boundary was at it's longest, courtesy of the girl's festival in the morning. In the end M & B were grateful of the 16 extras which boosted their total. Jeyarajah proved to be the most successful Braywood bowler, recording figures of 8/3/23/3 with his spinners.

In reply Braywood got off to a swift start with openers Brett Carter and J Singh posting 21 for the first wicket before Blackett claimed the first wicket, courtesy of astute field placing by skipper Armstrong, posting Wilding at short third man. A fine gather and breaking of the wicket from keeper Brian Dixon, off a wild throw by Cheema, accounted for the no 3 via a run out. Carter became more aggressive the longer he stayed at the wicket and M & B were glad to see the back of him for 27 when he was pinned lbw by Arul Appavoo. Appavoo went on to castle two more Braywood batsmen courtesy of his left arm round angle, spearing into the batsmen. In the end Appavoo finished with figures of 8/2/33/3, which were impressive but could have been better if he can eliminate his tendency to bowl full tosses on a regular basis. His opening partner Blackett was rewarded with a wicket in his final over to give him figures of 8/0/28/2. Blackett bowled with better rhythm and consistency off his shorter run, than he had done the previous day. Yassa Ahmed though was keeping Braywood afloat scoring fluently through the off side. First changed bowlers Giri and Sunday stalwart, Chris Butler, bowled with contrasting fortunes. Giri threw his hat into ring for 2nd team selection by bowling an immaculate line and length which the Braywood batsmen could not score off . His 8 over spell yielded only 18 runs but alas no wickets although he beat the bat consistently and had an edge dropped in the slip cordon. Butler on the whole bowled too short and was consistently cut. That said for the second week running he garnered a wicket courtesy of a stumping due to swift reactions from Dixon. With 20 runs required it was down to the second change bowlers Armstrong and Thomas Noakes, to see if they could prise out the three remaining wickets. Armstrong didn't take long in putting M & B's noses in front, by castling Ahmed second ball, to bring his innings to an end after scoring an even 50. Armstrong repeated the feat in his third over to leave Braywood requiring 12 from their last pair. Alas for M & B A. Kumar and Jeyarajah were up to the task as they reached their total with 2 balls to spare, with Kumar capping a fine performance scoring 20no to go with his fine bowling. M & B were left to reflect on another defeat albeit a narrow one and another fine game of Sunday cricket.

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