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Murrayfield DAFS v Heriots 2s

Saturday 27th April 2019
Roseburn (Grass)

By Phil Hawkins

Murrayfield DAFS v Heriots 2

Heriots 2 (5) : 122 for 9 in 50 overs.
C Jones 32, N Yelland 4 for 23, G Poole 2 for 30

Murrayfield DAFS (20) : 95 for 5 in 28.2 overs.
A Venkatesh 33, S Brett 2 for 14, S Robertson 2 for 17

Murrayfield DAFS beat Heriots 2 by 22 runs (ELC)

The new season was upon us for the Murrayfield DAFS 1st XI and after a glorious previous weekend basking in warm spring temperatures the inevitable rain and colder weather appeared. The covers had been on overnight and they had certainly done their job after some quite significant rain. With this being our second season in the Championship it was now a requirement to have 2 sightscreens so extra work before the match was also required by all involved.

Was all the pre match work done without Mr “Hot Nips” Fergusson the usual groundsman coordinator we just about managed to get everything done before the start. To my surprise I won the toss which caught me off guard after my abysmal losing record last season. After a bit of hesitation due to no other reason than shock I decided we would bowl first. Always a good option on an early season “Rosie” strip.

The decision proved a good one as Gavin managed to get their overseas amateur to snick a wide one to me with the score on only 2. Great start especially given the guy we got had scored a large number of runs in division 1 last season. The number 2 and 3 found it pretty heavy going in the next 10 overs and with the score at 16 Gavin slid one down the leg side which there number 3 followed and got a decent edge which I managed to collect behind the stumped. 13-2 after 8 overs was just the start we needed.

Then it began, the fall of player after player to injury. Nadeem who had been bowling well had twinged something his leg and was struggling to bowl so had to be replaced by Batman. Over the next 10 overs Batman kept it extremely tight at one end bowling 5 maidens in his first 6 overs helped by their number 2 who seemed to have as many attacking shots as one G. Boycott in his prime and the person writing this article. At the other end Willy G had come into his attack fresh from his rehabilitation in the winter on his injured shoulder and was looking dangerous. However towards the end of his 3rd over he pulled up clutching his side and had to be removed from the attack with a side strain. A real blow to lose 2 of my main bowling options with only 15 overs gone.

The score had moved onto only 36 after 18 overs and pressure was starting to build with the number 2 playing and missing so frequently we were starting to wonder whether he was doing it deliberately. However it was their number 4 who was next to fall trying to pull a shot into the leg side off Yelly and only succeeded in finding Lewis who took an outstanding catch diving to the left taking the catch one handed. The score continued to creep along slowly and then finally we had the number 2 who spooned a catch to Gav at Mid On off Yelly after making 10 in 63 balls. Yelly did his best to put Gav off by bellowing “catch it” but Gav clung on.

47-4 soon became 48-6 with the number 5 departing to an excellent caught and bowled by Ash which he grabbed with one hand and Yelly getting the number 6 to play on. The number 7 was soon sent packing as well driving to Willy G at mid off and Heriots were in danger of collapsing at 53-7. In between this mini collapse we also lost a 3rd player to injury but this was by far the worst. In attempting to take a diving one handed catch to his left at extra cover Maggy landed on his elbow which caused his shoulder to be dislocated. With a number of us clearly concerned and  Maggy being in alot of pain we helped him off the field where he waited to head to A&E to superstar wife Manisha. Some 7 hours later after lots of pain and a change of hospital Maggy’s shoulder had been put back in. Unfortunately this might well mean Maggy’s season is over before it even started. This is obviously a massive blow to lose one of the best batsmen in the club. Get well soon Maggy from all us.

We were confident of wrapping the innings up quickly but their number 8 and 9 had other ideas. Over the next 20 overs they batted very sensibly defending most balls and picking runs off when the opportunity was there. Yelly, Ash, Batman and Gav all did their best to get that breakthrough but both with both batsman riding their luck at times we couldn’t seem to get the breakthrough. It wasn’t until the 49th over that the number 8 was run out by Alex pushing for those extra runs for a well made 32 and the end of a key partnership which had taken the score up to 110-8. 12 more was added before the fall of their 9th wicket off the last ball with a rare “Stumped Hawkins Bowled Dow” in the scorebook which was Alex’s first ever Championship wicket so well done to “Millwall” for that.

After another superb Nadeem tea, oh how I missed those strawberry tarts over the winter, Lewis and debutant Joe Marlow walked out to the crease and made a steady start against some decent Heriots bowling. Joe in particular hit a couple of really nice shots and was definitely looking the part when he surprisingly edged to slip and that was the end of him in the 5 overs. Batman was next man in and both Lewis and himself kept ticking the scoreboard along nicely before Lewis became another victim at slip for the impressive Robertson.

Ash was next man in and both himself and Batman were playing nicely keeping the runs flowing not really looking in a great deal of trouble until Ash offered a simple catch which was easily taken departing for 9 with the score at 44-3. Gavin was next man in gaining a promotion to 5 after some good early season form in the nets and on the pitch.  He didn’t disappoint and along with Batman they really started to get on top of the bowlers with sensible cricket and both dispatching the ball for impressive sixes. The score had now raced along to 87-3 in 26 overs but the condition and light had started to deteriorate. We had already had a few showers but I was really starting to get a bit concerned by the light and the fact that Heriots brought back their quicks. It was in the next over that Batman fell for a well made 33, being bowled by one I don’t think he saw. After his departure the rain started falling. Definitely wasn’t a great time for Alex to be going out to bat and unfortunately after hitting a lovely 4 he too was bowled which was not surprising given the poor conditions. As he left the field everyone else followed him and the covers were brought on with the rain falling pretty heavily. Whether we should have been brought off earlier is another question altogether.

That was to be the last action of the match with the rain and light not improving despite threatening to at times. After waiting for an hour it was eventually agreed by captains and umpires to finish the match which we had won by 22 runs on the rain calculator.

So the first game had been an eventful one with the loss to injury of 3 key players, with Maggy’s injury being very serious. However it was great to get our first win under the belt and in general it was a really pleasing all round performance. The new sightscreen even seemed to do the job as well which was good news.

Next week sees us at home again to Freuchie where we will be looking for similar success.



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