Dunnikier v Murrayfield DAFS
Saturday 11th May 2019
By Sam Fergusson
Dunnikier (2) : 71 all out in 34.5 overs.
A Venkatesh 3 for 11, G Poole 2 for 7
Murrayfield DAFS (20) : 72 for 3 in 19.4 overs.
L Mulholland 40, S Rowley 2 for 12
Murrayfield DAFS beat Dunnikier by 7 wkts
With shock and anger at the weather gods, the 1st XI watched the heavens open with an unexpected downpour on the Friday night before the game, hoping that the oppo had seen a forecast we weren’t privy to and put the covers on to salvage a game. We trekked out to Fife, much to N Yelland’s delight, and our fears had been realised when we arrived at 11am to NO opposition, NO covers, NO prepared wicket and a gloriously sunny and, dare-I-say-it, warm day!
A decidedly green, pudding like substance that COULD have been described as a pitch was visible to the naked eye, but all 11 professional groundskeepers in the 1st XI were confident, we were NOT playing cricket on it…
P Hawkins, aka Skip, made a quick call to the oppo captain who assured us, they were on their way and that the ground would be prepared for the game in time…. Over the hour various hustling and bustling from the opposition did, in fact manage to prepare a wicket – see above description, but now with official ESCA Championship paint markings. After a short inspection, both umpires were confident we could get a game on it and the toss was held out in the middle, while both teams, sans-captains, sunned themselves on the delightful Dunnikier balcony. The toss, won by Skip, allowed us to choose to bowl – a decision us on the side-line knew was made by the body language of the opposition captain, clearly resigned to the fact that the next hour or so was going to be a difficult time in his cricketing career.
S Saeed & old foe S Rowley opened up the batting for the oppo with Blondie and the Bat opening up the bowling for MDAFs. “Struggle Street” is probably the best way to describe Dunnikier’s batting with Blondie AND the Bat restricting runs with targeted bowling & utilising the freshly prepared pudding… pitch to full advantage (praising Jebus between each ball that Hawkins won the toss). 14 overs passed without much joy with bat OR ball, a total of 19 on the board for Dunnikier before The Beast had Rowley caught off the Batman. A mere two overs later (one a maiden), T Aziz the no. 3 was caught by “Classy Joe” off the Batman not bothering to trouble the scorers in any way. Time for a bowling change, with Coach coming on for a spell to see if he couldn’t utilise the pitch to ensure more carnage on the oppo batsmen. Credit must go to Blondie here, bowling an opening spell of 6 overs, 2 maidens, 0 – 5 – bolstering his econ rate and building pressure at one end.
Coach struck in his first over, Shafiq (no.4) gone for quack and bowled tight lines to build pressure, which paid off for the Batman at the other end, taking the remaining opener in his last (the 20th over), caught by Nips at mid off… I’d get flack if I didn’t mention a dropped catch here, by yours truly – it wasn’t great, it should have stuck, it didn’t… Sorry Batman.
In all honesty, I could write about individual wickets here, but at 28/4 after 20 overs, Dunnikier were in trouble. The run rate from the 20th over to the 35th went at 3’s due to some fairly average bowling (nothing to do with the batsmen I am afraid) – 20 runs of the opposition total (71) came in extras… a horrendous stat to look at as I write this down, but wickets fell at regular intervals with no batsman really getting a hold of the ball – their top scorer: J Singh, scoring 15.
With a total of 71 to chase, the sun shining and hardening the wicket, it was fair to say we went to the sheds fairly confident.
After a nice lunch, sitting in the sun having a great conversation with the opposition … oh wait, no we didn’t… J Marlow (Classy Joe) & L Mulholland (Lulu) padded up and strode out to the middle with instructions from Skip to “take it easy, we have plenty of time”.
After 2 watchful overs and 7 on the board thanks to some well run singles and 2s (the ground isn’t that big, so it really was good running) the run rate was spot on. Lulu clearly had a party to get to early and in the 3rd over, took Hamidullah for 10 (2 x 4s a couple of runs and an extra) – taking us beyond the required run rate with some great shots over the top. However, in the 4th, after a couple more deliveries being crunched to the rope by Lulu, Classy Joe chased a wider delivery and was caught in the slips contributing only 3 towards the total. 28/1 of 4 – run rate well and truly under control. Most experienced MUF campaigners would now be thinking “here comes the inevitable collapse – the one we see when chasing totals such as these) … however, cometh the hour, cometh the Batman, who, with Lulu steadied the ship with a watchful 5 overs adding just 6 to the total taking us into the 10th over. Credit to the opposition bowlers for pegging back their length and targeting the stumps.
Within the next 4 overs, both Lulu and The Bat increased the rate, going at 3’s, then 4’s until the Bat had had enough – carting their no.4 bowler for 2 consecutive 6’s to loud applause and calls of “MOOOOOO” from the sidelines. With the score at 57/1 in the 14th, we were on the home stretch – Lulu putting through a few boundaries and getting into his stride between the wickets, until the 15th over, where the Batman decided he’d attempt to smack a Rowley full toss back to whence it came… but missed it… bowled for 22 off 30 deliveries… pedestrian by his standards. 61/2 off 15.
This bought Skip to the crease to support Lulu in chasing down the remaining 10 runs to get victory, which took a total of 4 overs – runs between the wickets, no boundaries… easy. However with 3 runs to get, Lulu, on track for an “Average Helping” N.O, spooned one back to Rowley, C&B, 40… falling at the final hurdle – a great innings from him. Enter “It’s too cold in Scotland” (A Rhode) to knock off the final 3 runs with Skip, taking home 20 points for the club.
It’s always nice travelling to Fife and coming away with 20 points…