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Murrayfield DAFS v Edinburgh South

Saturday 7th May 2022
Roseburn (Grass)

By Olly Pickard (or is it Pickford)

Murrayfield DAFS (6) – 114-9 off 45 overs
F Ross 25, S Rangaswamy 20, Hassan 3-22, Pani 3-22 

Edinburgh South (20) – 115-7 off 39 overs
Q Sheikh 33*, Ritch 3-32, Tyagi 2-22

Edinburgh South won by 3 wickets

‘Twas the hour before cricket, when all across the ground. Not a grass clipping was moving, not even a blade’

Vivek, but two games into his leadership stint, continued to leave us wondering if Contactless Carl is correct and these outdated dinosaur dollars should be replaced with an electronic alternative, maybe then we will win a (virtual) toss. The holy grail of a first innings bowl on Roseburn was South’s today.

At the top of innings, runs were hard to come by. Some of the finest shots an early season wicket can offer found the fielders with alarming accuracy in the slow outfield. Lewis, guiding of the less fine shots to mid-wicket after half an hour of digging in, put us at 13-1. In strode your author, full of confidence from his two pre-season net sessions. Some say practice makes perfect, on this occasion, the less said the better. 16-2.

At four was a fan favourite from last week’s report, Finlay ‘Olympic Rings’ Ross. It would appear that last year he was simply playing up to the fact it was an Olympic Year, as he settled in to the run scoring for a second week in a row. Hard running between the wickets was the order of the day for Hawkins and Ross as the score progressed slowly. Their steady accumulation of runs ended at 42-3 with the wicket of Hawkins just after drinks, bowled after looking fairly untroubled prior to the stoppage.

Joined by Sutha, the rate picked up and Ross continued on his merry way to be DAFS top scorer with 25. Ross survived an LBW appeal that certainly had the Edinburgh South players excited before being bowled in the 35th over. Like buses etc. Sutha fell for a handy 20, also bowled, in the following over leaving the score at 83-5. Vivek, LV and the 10 overs remaining seemed like an exciting trio, threatening some quick fire runs to build on the earlier platform. As if anticipating this air of excitement, South’s fielders retreated to the boundary mostly restricting the pair to one’s and two’s like poorly equipped DJ’s.

As the noise around the bat increased, an appeal for a stumping heightened feeling amongst the fielding side. But they didn’t have to wait long for their next scalp as LV holed out to long on for 12 runs. In this period the umpires became increasingly frustrated with the pace at which the score board was being updated; it has to be said though rumours are that this paled into insignificance compared to our 2nd team colleagues.

An unsavoury send off from the fielder, for the departing batsman, threatened to see tensions spill over but tempers were quickly calmed. 104-6 after 40 overs bowled.  LV’s wicket began a wicket an over series through to the 43rd over with Tyagi, Hussey and Mitchell falling for just 1 run gained. 105-9. Two red inkers to follow, Tom Ritch choosing the hit ball option followed by running opposed to Yelland’s miss ball run alternative, both effective at this stage of the game taking us to a total of 114-9.

The author has written the score confidently above. However finding himself perched seemingly half scribbled score book in the latter overs meant any notion of a relaxing tea break was lost. The scorebook, scorebook, iPad combination seeming to send Murrayfield eyes square. Luckily the South’s scorer maintained a pristine scorebook to work from so a score could be gleamed from at least one book, thank you for your diligent scoring, Bill!

Now with ball in hand and stories of historic low run chase defences ringing in their ears, the DAFS stepped onto the field. 6ft 2 and a bit, Tom Ritch took the opening overs from the Water of Leith end with his usual brand of right arm rockets. Singh and Penrose came out with intent and some flashy footwear for the latter’s part (Author jealous he can’t pull them off). Together they looked to put the DAFS on the back foot. Singh found the boundary a couple of times in the third over but Ritch returned to the favour taking his wicket in the 5th, caught behind by Hawkins for 12. 16-1.

Penrose continued to build on his steady start joined by Pani the score progressing to 38 with a couple of boundaries each the highlight. Pani was next to succumb playing back to the bowler with surely the longest arms in the league for a caught and bowled. Ritch strikes in the 11th. A flurry of wickets followed this with two wickets for Tyagi and another for Ritch. 40-3, 43-4, 44-5 after 14 overs. Nothing quite gets the tail up at Roseburn quite like several batsmen trudging towards the dropping sun and spirits were high that a story was to be added the collection. South steadied the ship with some experienced heads succeeding in nurdling the ball around and keeping the scoreboard ticking as Ritch and Tyagi tried in vain to break the partnership. Approaching drinks, Mitchell and Yelland replaced the opening bowlers after a fruitful 9 over spell each.

Science has yet to fully confirm why the cricket ball swings as it does but one fact science cannot refute in our game is that drinks bring wickets. Drinks bring wickets. FACT. Yelland jumper off and full of strong cordial/diluting juice/squash (delete as appropriate) had the South captain caught behind 64-6. Kavati came to the crease and gave the impression that he wasn’t going to be hanging about. Similarly, to midweek, Mitchell hearing a rocket shot flying past him. Not Christopher Nkunku thundering in at his beloved Ibrox this time though but the ball he held seconds ago visiting the Murrayfield in-goal area. Mitchell relished the challenge and continue to create chances but unfortunately put down the best of them, a caught and bowled opportunity not long after.

Chances continued to present themselves but few were taken in the following overs as the score ticked along helped by a few longer overs from the Water of Leith end. DAFS players hopeful that the mohawk that terrified the league last year wasn’t solely responsible for line control. Finally, Mitchell got his man in the 30th over at the other end though with the batsman trying to emulate his earlier shot but finding LV at long on. 88-7.

Unfortunately, apart from a couple of tight overs from Hussey from the BT Murrayfield end providing hope of a tight finish, DAFS were unable to break the final partnership, even with some field settings that would make Brendan McCullum feel ultra-defensive. ‘Fidel’ Ross and Lewis ‘Mullinga’ at the other end to Hussey couldn’t build on his work tying up the opposite end and Sheikh finished the innings and guided his team through to victory with 33 not out with Kiran assisting on 8 not out.

A disappointing loss in the first home game of the year. The age-old story of needing a few more runs (the author finds himself guilty once again) and sticking chances in the field leading to a suboptimal result. Congratulations to Edinburgh South and we look forward to playing you later in the season.

Photo Credit: Dave Madine

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