Sunday 7th May 2017
Grange Loan (Grass)
MDAFS III 102-4 (S Modi 22*, L Towns 18*) beat Carlton IV 101ao (J Gutteridge 4 for 19, A Pabani 3 for 14, Y Hussain 3 for 26) by 6 wickets.
Sunday 7th saw Ali Malik’s Travelling Cricketing Exhibition AKA MDAFS 3s journey to the exotic locale of Grange Loan looking to bounce back from an opening day defeat. With Carlton 4s the opposition, Ali duly won the toss and decided to bowl, perhaps remembering last year’s spectacular 4s collapse against Carlton 5s at Peffermill.
Yawer and Ali shared the new ball and MUFS got off to a flying start with Yawer tempting the Carlton opener into a mistimed drive straight into the hands of skipper and partner-in-crime Ali within the first over. Meanwhile, Ali was struggling with his line and length and conceded a few quick runs on an absolutely lightning fast outfield.
With Yawer bowling a dangerous line and picking up another couple of important wickets with two cleverly bowled deliveries, Ali replaced himself with Vivek who immediately threatened with pace that was clearly troubling the Carlton batsmen and he could have had a couple of wickets if not for this correspondent’s geriatric attempt (see: “failure”) to take a low catch at point and an unlucky marginal LBW call.
Unfortunately for Vivek, with the outfield doing its best impression of the Murrayfield ice rink, edges were routinely flying for boundaries and Ali looked to switch things up with a double change introducing James and Asad.
After a few ‘looseners’ (see: “horrible wides” and/or “juicy full tosses”), James started to get into a bit of a rhythm, while at the other end Asad was causing the batsmen real problems with a mix of raw pace and well directed slower balls. After switching to bowling around the wicket to one of their lefties, James managed to bowl him with a ball that did just enough off a fairly docile pitch.
Asad then cleaned up their number six with a slower ball yorker/full toss, courtesy of Yawer’s sage advice and things were looking positive for Murrayfield, despite the cheap runs available on the ridiculously quick outfield.
Things only got better for the 3s when Asad had the Carlton number three caught, courtesy of an excellent take from Lindsay, trying to hit out after a very tight spell of bowling from both ends. Not letting up, Asad then had the new Carlton batsman out without another run being added, with Neil taking a sharp chance behind the stumps.
With James continuing to bowl a tidy line and length and limiting the scoring, the Carlton 9 and 10 succumbed to the pressure giving James his second and third wickets and leaving Carlton in a precarious position. Graham then produced a contender for catch of the season, taking a blinder at first slip to dismiss their number 7 and give James his fourth wicket for very tidy figures of 4-19 from 5.1 overs.
After an excellent tea, Graham and Sawgat walked out to open the batting. Despite the pace of the outfield, Carlton’s opening bowlers were bowling some excellent lines to really limit the scoring opportunities but Graham and Sawgat did well to blunt their attack, with Graham eventually falling for a gritty 12.
Ali came out at 3 and played a captain’s role, steadying the ship and adding some crucial runs courtesy of some sharp running and good calling.
With the introduction of their spinner, Sawgat played maybe the first overly-cautious shot of his cricketing career and fell LBW for 8 runs that did not reflect the importance of his contribution, as by this point the Carlton openers were almost bowled out and they were forced to bring on their less experienced bowlers.
Asad and Ali then set about pushing some quick runs, while mixing in some excellently struck boundaries from the bad balls on offer.
After hitting an excellently judged 14, Asad’s eyes then lit up roughly three times brighter than the Blackpool Illuminations at the sight of a flighted ball from the Carlton spinner and a ball that should have been dispatched instead resulted in the loss of a third wicket.
With Lindsay walking out to bat at five though, the Mufs on the boundary weren’t concerned and he and Captain Ali displayed great judgement and shot selection as well as pushing the singles and putting real pressure on the opposition fielders.
However, it wouldn’t be a 3s performance without some element of spectacular self-destruction and Ali duly obliged, calling for a quick single from a ball that Lindsay hammered straight along the ground into the safe hands of Carlton’s best fielder. Unsurprisingly, this novel and innovative bit of captaincy didn’t work out as planned and the skipper was trudging off for a very useful 10.
Sandeep then strode out looking more relaxed than the average coma patient and proceeded to knock off the remaining 41 runs with Lindsay in absolutely casual fashion. Lindsay continued to push the quick singles, Sandeep continued his fine batting form and Lindsay added a massive six before they nicked the final runs to secure the 3s maiden victory for the season, Sandeep finishing on 22 and top scoring for the 3s for the second consecutive game and Lindsay contributing a vital and assured 18.
All in all, a great performance from everyone involved. Special mentions to Ali for some inspired captaincy decisions, junior Tom Ritch for a tireless fielding performance and Yawer for delivering the sage wisdom that lead to Asad’s three excellent wickets.