Sunday XI v Thames Valley Ramblers - 7th September 2014

Sunday XI v Thames Valley Ramblers - 7th September 2014

Sunday XI v Thames Valley Ramblers - 7th September 2014
09 Sep
Sunday XI v Thames Valley Ramblers - 7th September 2014
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2014

M&B lost to Thames Valley Ramblers(TVR) on Sunday by 21 runs despite a fight back masterminded by GT(Thomas Allen). It was a very much Asianised TVR side from the side which M & B used to play on the August Bank holiday Monday. Like most nomadic sides players get old and players are recruited from whatever source. There were a few of the oldies still in existence though, Dave Boxall and Wayne Lester.

Skipper Armstrong lost the toss and opposition elected to bat. Opening bowler Arul "Gunbarul" Appavoo was given a rude awakening by opposing skipper Yunis, as he was deposited over mid-on for two consecutive 4's in his second over, Gunbarul exacted immediate revenge though as he disturbed the timbers next ball with a peach - swinging in pitching and moving away to hit the top of off - to the utter disbelief of the batsman! Gunbarul also dismissed the dangerous Alam shortly after, courtesy of a juggling catch by Amit Giri, to leave M & B in the ascendency. Senior pro, Chris Lowe, playing his first Sunday game of the year was his normal steady self from the Road End, bowling his allocation straight through, with the reward of a wicket in his final over. First change bowlers were Sunday stalwarts Chris Butler and Atif Amin(with his Duracell dogs in tow), who both bowled their allocation going at around 5 per over, garnering three wickets between them. During their spells TVR batsman D Singh manfully held the innings together scoring 74, mainly through straight drives and pulls to leg. Skipper Armstrong finished off proceedings from his normal Road End with GT finishing off the innings from the River End. GT aided, by his headband, claimed two wickets in a tight spell. Armstrong also chipped in with two wickets, one courtesy of an expertly taken catch by Gunbarul to dismiss top scorers Singh. This was one of three catches taken by Gunbarul, two of which were high steepling catches, which he made look distinctly easy. In the end TVR ended up with 173 all out in their final over. Skipper Armstrong was happy with M&B's bowling effort as 173 was short of the par score, which was probably around 200.

Gubarul -6/1/23/2

Lowe - 8/1/27/1

Waffle - 8/1/42/2

Butler - 8/0/40/1

GT - 6/0/23/2

Reaper - 3.2/0/15/2

In response M&B got off to their normal shambolic start, despite Will Cunliffe hitting two boundaries in the first over. First ball of the second over, a full toss, was deflected onto his stumps by Thomas Wilding, to bring a golden duck in his final innings of the season, leaving him walking back to the pavilion staring at his bat totally perplexed. Next over a rasping straight drive was flicked onto the stumps by Boxall to leave Cunliffe stranded at the non-striker's end. In the 7th over Boxall castled Yusuf Qureshi, whilst playing a forward defensive shot. Worse was to follow in the 8th over as Brian Dixon was expertly poached by Lester in the slips off an intentional guide to leave M&B starring down the barrel at 36 for 4 and then 40 for 5, as Gunbarul was caught behind, to leave him run less for the weekend in two attempts. As was the case the previous week all hopes seem to rest with Amit Giri at number 5, and he appeared up to the task as he batted with supreme confidence. driving confidently through the off side as well as flicking and pulling confidently on the leg side. Alas on 32 Mr Giri had a brain fade as he played a ghastly swipe across the line at spinner Yunis and saw his timbers rattled. Luckily no one was on hand to photograph the moment. That said Armstrong played a similar stroke later in the innings, his excuse being he can't bat anymore and he needed to up the ante with only 3 overs left! From 70 for 6 though an unlikely rescue act was untaken messers GT & Waffle, who used up the overs and tried to score off the bad balls, these two put on 55 for the 7th wicket in 15 overs to give M&B a chance. GT was the more aggressive to top score with 40, which included 6 4's and a 6 over mid off, to cap a fine all round performance from this vastly improved individual, possibly headband power(or is that McEnroe power). Although Lowe batted gamely for 14 in the end M&B were dismissed in the 38th over 21 shy of the target. From 70 for 6 the lower order batted splendidly to in the end make the score respectable, albeit never really threatening to reach the TVR total.

Player of the day - William Cunliffe

1. Turning up at the ground with all his kit;

2. Being banished from the bar for having the temerity to start eating his McDonalds in view of head chef and bar steward, Big Tony!

3. With a run out on and the batsman at his mercy a thunderbolt throw, when a crown green delivery would have done, way wide and at the base of the stumps meant the batsman easily made his ground;

4. Smashing 3 4's in 10 deliveries, probably still running off the fumes of the Cuban cigars the previous night, before being unluckily run out at the non-strikers end;

5. Threatening to go early but happy to do his stint of umpiring(in the end staying to the end and doing a second stint).

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