Saturday 06th May 2017
MDAFS II 215-4 (Russell Beretta 48, Suthakar Rangaswamy 38, Lewis Mulholland 37) beat Glenrothes II 213-7 (Lewis Mulholland 2-34, Imran Ullah 2-42, Finlay Ross 0-20) by 6 wickets.
Grey clouds Blue sky
Toss won Toss lost
Sharp fielding Sloppy fielding
Low scoring High scoring
Four ducks Three 50 partnerships
With a record (presumably?) run of uncannily dry Scottish weather, the Glens curator served up the Fife delicacy of a batsmen’s wicket, for our only trip across the bridge this season. With both teams folding cheaply with the bat in the opening week, it soon became apparent that each skipper had sights on enjoying the first use of the track, racking up a score and banishing the demons of seven days earlier. Sadly, the Queen looked down at the ground in the Kingdom and we were welcomed to enjoy the sunshine, whilst Glens got their pads on.
The opening ball was an ominous sign of what was to come. Little more than a push, at an over-pitched delivery, raced off the bat for four runs without any opportunity for chase. The outfield was harder than a crude metaphor and it was clear that runs could be accumulated quickly.
After 11 overs, we had made no inroads into a line-up showing little signs of the frailty from the previous week. We had however generously offered lives, courtesy of dropped catches and missed run-out opportunities before Lewis had opener Lucas clean bowled… off a front-foot no-ball. An unfortunate experiment in taking the pace off the ball, grievously resulted in the scoreboard moving from 51 to 71 in the 12th over.
However, Imran and Lewis’s pace and length suggested that the wicket was not totally in favour of the batsman. Inspired (or scarred) by the incidents in the 12th, Lewis found his rhythm and had the opener caught by Imran off the final ball of his subsequent wicket maiden. Imran immediately followed that up with a loosener, to open his spell, which was gratefully accepted by Kannan on debut, at square leg. With both openers back in the dressing room, we were back in the hunt.
Imran took another wicket, caught by Saurabh at mid-on but number 4, Dodds, set himself well to build a profitable innings and drive Glens towards a competitive score. Kannan bowling well on debut, was able to tie up one end against a set batsmen and was unfortunate to see chances missed – including a dropped catch off the final ball of his spell. He had however earned a run-out by frustrating the batsmen with a series of dots which helped stem the flow of runs. Adi (The Eagle) returned for a mini-spell taking a deserved wicket before Lewis and Neil both picked up wickets, clean-bowled, with good deliveries.
It was a disappointing fielding performances in which half-chances didn’t go to hand and whole chances went to ground. Chris ‘Cumbersome Nickname Executive Saloon‘ Owens put in a credible performance behind the stumps but there was lots of room for improvement from the rest of us. A surprise after such a good turnout against W&R.
Glens had racked up an imposing 213 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Regardless of the conditions, victory demanded partnerships but the stage was set for us to find our feet for the season as a batting unit.
A calamitous first over saw Russell Beretta dropped twice in the slips and Glens were buoyed by the chances generated despite the missed opportunities, blissfully unaware of what was to come. Saurabh scored positively around the ground whilst Russell made the most of the outfield allowing elegantly-timed cricket shots to run away to the boundary. Within 10 overs, Russell and Saurabh had surpassed last week’s team total and reached 51 without loss. In the 11th, Russell greeted a full toss from the first change with a characteristically brutish maximum over mid-wicket.
Saurabh fell for 28, bringing Finlay Ross to the crease. After a 32-run partnership, including some the most exquisite dot balls Finlay has ever played out (his words, proudly announced in the pub), Fin fell for 15. Suthakar Rangaswamy joined Russell and after a little luck was immediately positive. Almost every over saw a boundary ease the pressure of the chase and we had achieved a second 50-partnership of the day in the 29th over with score at 150-2. Russell was caught and bowled just before reaching a well-deserved half-century on 48 and Sutha played on in extraordinary fashion off the toe-end of his bat.
With the score at 160-4, athletically-named duo, Carl Lewis were at the crease with 54 runs required from 8 overs. Sharp running between the wickets shifted the pressure onto the fielding side and Lewis profited from a single; hopping to 2, with quick running; and subsequently skipping and jumping, with overthrows, to see the scorers award him 6 from his second scoring shot.
We were able to find the boundary at least once in each of the next 6 overs. Other than a minor blip, which saw Lewis lapped whilst watching a diving attempt at a catch on the long-on boundary, we raced home scoring 55 off 32 balls to win with 3 overs and 6 wickets to spare.
A stunning turnaround from last week with plenty of mettle shown by our top order, to make amends at the first opportunity, after a frustrating afternoon in the field. We had to improve our batting and there was no better stage to do it than chasing over 200 under blue skies. Our batting confidence can be carried forward into next week, knowing we have the resilience to set a target and firepower to gun down competitive totals.
A victory made all the more satisfying with the exploits of 1s, 3s and Mighty Devs sealing the Mufslam. Congratulations to all players on the achievement.
Onto Fortress Roseburn against Tranent, who comfortably beat Boroughmuir this week, in a low scoring game, to continue their 100% record.