Saturday 12th May 2018
MDAFS III 131-7 (V Kaveripatnam 52, S Verma 22, J Baikie 13*) beat Watsonian IV 130-9 (J Baikie 4 for 20, W Griffith 2 for 10) by 3 wickets.
Fresh off the back of last week’s hard-fought victory over Glenrothes 2s, the 3s travelled to Craiglockhart to take on Watsonians 4s on a day that seemed tailor made for cricket.
A lightning fast outfield and a wicket providing little by way of assistance to the bowlers seemed to cry out to bat first. Duly, skipper James, making his first appearance of the season, won the toss and elected to bowl.
While older, wiser heads might have questioned the captain’s decision making, the 3s well stocked bowling attack took to the task with gusto. Norm Baikie and debutant Will “Ki-Wheels” Griffith opened up with a dual spell that was a mix of accuracy, hostility and a cluster of early wickets.
Norm removed opener Dickinson with Sunny pouching an excellent catch at cover before Will had the other opener Borthwick caught, again by Sunny at cover off a ball that lifted sharply and caught the batsman off guard. Before long, Norm had number three Bryen caught, somehow yet again by Sunny, and Watsonians were teetering at 12-3 in the 7th over.
Things only got better for Murrayfield with Will removing the number four and Norm removing the number five, following a spectacular one-handed catch at full stretch by Dush at point, leaving Watsonians staring down the barrel at 21-5 on a very batsman friendly pitch.
However, Watsonians 6th and 7th batsmen dug in and formed a crucial partnership of 36 before Vivek snared the wicket of number seven Moore LBW. Some sloppy bowling and fielding allowed the number six E Robertson and number eight Tucker to accumulate steadily and the total had crept to a respectable 98 before some excellent work in the field from Sunny brought the run out of the increasingly dangerous Robertson.
The wicket of Tucker followed quickly after as Ram managed to sneak a crafty slower ball through his defences to bowl him for a well-made 26. Some adventurous hitting combined with some lax fielding allowed the Watsonian tail to wag and add a further 31 to the score, in spite of some excellent bowling from young leg-spinner Archie, before Norm claimed a deserved fourth wicket in the last over of the innings to finish with excellent figures of 6-2-20-4.
A slight disappointment to allow Watsonians to reach 130 after our excellent start, but certainly an achievable total on a pitch offering plenty to the batsman willing to play himself in, not to mention excellent bowling debuts for Will and Ram in addition to a customarily brilliant performance from Norm.
Following an all-too-brief tea break, play resumed with Muthu and Ram sent out to face the new ball with instructions to play themselves in and make the most of batsman-friendly conditions.
Without going in to too much detail, what followed was not entirely in keeping with the skipper’s instructions.
Muthu departed for 7, not quite getting hold of one and being caught. Dush smashed a magnificent 4 over mid on before attempting to repeat the trick and being clean bowled. Archie hit a beautiful pull shot for 4 before a short ball climbed on him and took a leading edge, in a few years time he will undoubtedly be smashing the same ball for easy runs.
Meanwhile, Sunny had raced to 22 with a series of well struck boundaries, before he attempted one shot too many, perhaps showing a touch of early season rust, and was bowled. The loss of so many cheap wickets had left a few Murrayfield nerves frayed but the appearance of Vivek at the crease was soon to soothe the concerns of the Murrayfield contingent on the boundary.
Tom was unfortunate to depart for a duck taking a swipe at a ball he might well have left alone on Roseburn and being caught at square leg but this only brought the experience and cool head of Norm to the crease to partner Vivek.
With Norm playing the anchor role, Vivek looked to free his arms and put the pressure back on the bowlers with highlights including consecutive sixes over midwicket as well as a sweetly struck straight drive for 4. Before long, Vivek had smashed a magnificent 52 in an awesome display of destructive hitting before his aggressive approach caught up with him and he was dismissed off the very useful bowling of O Robertson.
However, by this point Murrayfield were a mere 4 runs from victory and Will completed a fine debut by scampering a single to bring home the 20 points for the 3s.
All in all, a very promising performance on a day when the 3s were missing the majority of our experienced batsmen. Will showed
why he was brought over to the UK on a questionably legal contract why he was such a sought after player for the 3s, Norm bowled beautifully for his 4 wickets, Vivek’s power-hitting was incredible to watch and Archie showed genuine promise as a legspinner. The fielding standards were generally excellent (with a few notable exceptions) and we kept the winning streak going.
Onwards and upwards, UTM!