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Murrayfield DAFS 2 v Grange 3

Saturday 11th May 2019
Roseburn (Grass)

By William Griffith

Murrayfield DAFS 2 v Grange 3

Grange 3 (20) : 92 all out in 39 overs.
A Docherty 22, D Chatt 20, W Griffith 4-10, D Choudhury 3-16.

Murrayfield DAFS 2 (6) : 85 all out in 35.5 overs.
F Ross 19, L Towns 13, H Gibbs 3-12, C Pretty 2-1.

Grange 3 beat Murrayfield DAFS 2 by 7 runs

The sun broke through the clouds on Saturday the 11th of May at Roseburn. A soggy Friday had threatened to further hinder the 2s attempts to open their account for the season, but some warm sun put the plans back on track. 2 disappointing results had left the 2s languishing in the 3rd division, and a strong Grange 3s side promised a challenging game.  A nice, green, slightly moist track awaited a new-look 2s side, with a strong bowling contingent relishing the thought of rolling the arm over.

Captain Saurabh (standing in for regular Carl – out with split webbing) duly won the toss and elected to bowl on the greenest of seamers. Some afternoon sun had allowed the pitch to harden a little, leaving a tricky but competitive surface.

Phil ‘Milk in the Fridge’ Hook and Nadeem ‘I swear I’m not fit to play 1s’ Anjum took the new ball and instigated a period of supreme attrition. The Grange openers took grinding to a whole new level as they navigated the first period of play. No early inroads for season debutant Hook saw a swift change of bowling to introduce Adi ‘Front Foot’ Choudhury. All three bowlers bowled tight lines, giving nothing away, Adi being particularly threatening. The penultimate ball of Adi’s spell induced a nick from the batsman… only to be reprieved by the dreaded front-foot no ball.

Several overs and three bowling changes in, the Grange openers had grafted a painstaking 26. Graeme ‘Definitely NOT Scott Brown’ Mitchell had immediately found grip and bounce with his first over, replacing Nadeem. From the other end Willy ‘Chris Martin’s Protégé’ Griffith made a cautious start, returning from a side strain. 2nd ball however, he achieved the breakthrough, with opener Bray getting a thick outside edge which ballooned to Nadeem at first slip. This brought Avellaneda to the crease, who immediately marked his positive intent with a couple of crisp drives toward cover.

Graeme meanwhile continued to bamboozle the batsmen with flight and turn, aided in the field by some excellent saves at square leg from Ram ‘The Wall II’ Ketinedi. Eventually, opener Chatt went for one sweep too many and was pinned in front. Despite some doubt as to whether bat was involved, Graeme cemented his spot at the top of the 2s wicket leaderboard with his 6th of the season. Avellaneda followed soon after, clean bowled by Willy with one that wobbled past his defences.

Grange had gone from 26-0 to 38-3 and were looking to rebuild. A Docherty and Meynell put their heads down and again began to grind on a surface that was proving difficult to navigate. Willy and Graeme bowled on, and despite some LBW shouts and a number of plays, misses and edges, the batsmen pushed the score to 80-3. Tom ‘Put me in, Coach!’ Ritch and Vivek ‘Almost got Arrested’ Tyagi came and went from the bowling attack, both looking threatening, but unable to make inroads. Tom in particular tried to wake the batsmen up with a bit of chin music – a promising sign for the season to come!

Cue the return of Adi and Hooky, who put the pressure firmly back on the batsmen with some nippy, accurate bowling. Edges were flying through slips from Hooky’s bowling – “Sometimes it’s just not your day.” Adi, who had been threatening with movement off the pitch and through the air, burst one through the defences of Meynell, splaying the stumps. From there, the floodgates were well and truly open. Shortly after Meynell’s departure, Adi put in an early entry for catch of the year with a sublime return take. A Docherty, who had been looking good through the legside, had to go.

Hooky was next to get amongst the wickets, knocking the off stump of Pretty. Wemyss was the next to go, also getting castled, this time by Adi. Adi was on a hot streak, but the wind was taken out of his sails by another couple of no-ball wickets. One bowled spectacularly, one caught behind. Meanwhile, Nadeem, Hooky and Saurabh ‘El Capitan’ Raman combined for the comical runout of Gibbs – Hooky was potentially close enough to dislodge the bails without moving at one end, but opted to throw to Saurabh. All’s well that ends well!

With that, Willy came back for the penultimate over and claimed his 3rd with the help of the surprise stumping of Kidd, effected by Saurabh. Watch your back foot, lads! A couple of balls later, he notched number four, pinning Akhtar in front to wrap up Grange’s innings. Grange’s last 7 wickets had fallen for 12 runs, underlining the difficulty of the pitch and sending a clear warning to batsmen.

There followed a particularly exciting tea break, which included the transformation of the gazebo into an oversized kite (thanks to some ‘loose’ pegs – read: non-existent pegs). Hooky played the hero, wrangling the feral gazebo into submission. Much obliged, Hooky. After that action, Finn “The Situation” Ross and Nadeem walked out to the middle to pursue a modest, but defendable total. Nadeem began positively, striking the ball hard, while Finn looked a little more circumspect, doing his best to get his eye in. Nadeem popped one to midwicket early on, but a slow-motion drop saw Grange denied their first scalp.

A Docherty and Kidd were on the prowl though, with tight lines and deceptive pace, and it wasn’t long before Nadeem popped another one up, this time into the hands of Bray. Murrayfield 2s were 8-1, an early wicket just what they didn’t need. Ram came to join Finn at the crease, and together they crafted a slow, but valuable partnership. They were just beginning to find some fluency when Ram was rapped on the pads from the bowling of Kidd. Finn, who had looked good against the bowling of Akhtar found himself spooning one to Wemyss, having not got ahold of the ball. The 2s had slipped to 40-3.

Next in were Lindsay “Nimble” Towns and Vivek, who dug in and attempted to get the chase back on track. A few well struck twos saw the score creep up, with Lindsay hitting well over midwicket against the short ball. The 2s were halfway to the total, and gaining momentum before Vivek was caught behind by G Docherty off the bowling of Gibbs. Saurabh joined Lindsay and looked to accelerate the scoring before being pinned in front, once more by Gibbs. Murrayfield were again in deep water at 66-5.

Lindsay was the next to go shortly after, caught by Avellaneda off the slippery left-arm bowling of A Docherty. Hooky and Adi did their best to hold down the fort, but A Docherty soon had his second: Hooky bowled off a corker. Things were beginning to look well and truly dire at 74-7, and Graeme was the next to fall, bowled by Gibbs. With Tom and Adi at the crease, the 32nd over came to an end. Grange had bowled out their 4 frontline bowlers, offering a glimmer of hope to Murrayfield, with only part-timers to come.

No runs came off the bat throughout the next partnership, with Adi and Tom managing 8 for the ninth wicket – all from wides. Tom was then bowled through the gate off the bowling of Pretty, bringing Willy to the crease. By this point, the 2s were 83-9, just 10 needed to win with almost 7 overs in hand. Alas, a match-saving 10th wicket partnership was not to be, Adi also getting castled by the deceptive slow pace of Pretty. Murrayfield DAFS 2s had crumpled to 85 all out – a disappointing end to a match which they had led most of.

Grange 3s left as winners on the day, but there were promising signs for Murrayfield. A re-invigorated performance in the field helped restrict the opposition to a very defendable total, and just four wides were conceded by the bowlers. There were hints of batting form for the top 4 as well, with Finn’s 19 pushing him further ahead at the top of the 2s runs leaderboard. The loss left the 2s second from bottom in the 3rd division, leading into next weeks fixture against Marchmont 2s on Sunday. They will hope to chalk up their first win of the season and continue to improve. UTM!

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