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Broomhall v Murrayfield DAFS 2

Saturday 7th May 2022
The Cairns (Arti)

By Saurabh Raman

Murrayfield DAFS 2 (20) – 208-5 all out off 40 overs
G Ramapriya 56, M “Bathtub” Barclay 46*, R McAuliffe 34*, Lucas 2-36

Broomhall (8) – 180 all out off 39 overs
S Lucas 79, I Ward 43, Reddy 5-16, R Mohammed 2-35

Murrayfield DAFS 2 win by 28 runs

Disappointed with the first game of the season being rained off, 2s were off to the Kingdom of Fife with a hope for a full game this time.

First sight of the Broomhall Cricket ground reminded me of the ongoing wildlife support campaign of ‘No Mow May’. Dense foliage around the ground was plenty to support enough wildlife and needed a brave enough soul to venture into another dimension should any ball needed to be retrieved.
After a few customary stretches and typical jaunt to the ‘pitch’ it was evident that the artificial surface had seen better days. One side of the ground was encroached by the garden sheds at nearly 30 yards which reminded us of the fact that this ground has seen high scores which are unthinkable at Roseburn.

Ram won the toss second time in a row and this time opted to bat first. Norm and I opened the proceedings with the BCC left arm seamer (Ward) bowling downhill from the Bus Stand end. First two balls were bowled well swinging in which Norm negotiated properly before furiously cutting the wide one to shorter square boundary. As the ball trickled to fence, we realised that this ground will either allow singles or boundaries alone. Next over was taken by BCC skipper (Hoefling) bowling uphill from the Narnia end. He was mixing up his pace as well as moving the ball in both directions. I had to be watchful whilst reminding myself to play late as playing early has been my archnemesis.

Both the opening bowlers got into their rhythm and kept us tight as we resolved to see out the new ball threat along with plenty of variable bounce to contend with too.
Eventually in the 7th over with our team score of 17, an in-swinging delivery cleaned up Norm for a well compiled 8 runs. Roshan joined me in the middle and got a juicy full toss as the first ball which he duly dispatched to the short boundary.

Roshan and I remained at crease to see off the opening bowling pair as they bowled 6 probing overs each. Having cautiously played the first set of overs, BCC introduced their spinner (Lucas) for the 13th over from the Bus Stand end. Having spent some time on the pitch I decided to take on the spinner to the longer boundary. Having smacked one to the cow corner which I thought would go for a boundary, it allowed us only 2 runs. Little did we know that we will have only 9 occurrences of 2s throughout our innings. Next ball I played inch perfect down the throat of the fielder at long on who gobbled it up instantly with the team score on 35.

Ravi joined Roshan at the crease and the urgency picked up. Plenty of singles were picked up in the process as the duo played into the gaps. Eventually Roshan went after the wily slow bowling of P Ward as he got caught by I Ward (2nd of his 3 catches). MDAFS 45 for 3 in 16 overs.

Garuda now joined Ravi at the middle and the two set on punishing the BCC bowlers as the balls regularly started disappearing into Narnia across the boundary. Every time we thought that the ball was lost the guys brought it back and if points were due to be awarded for the tenacity of finding the balls out of thick undergrowth, then I am sure they would have got plenty.

Ravi’s fluent innings was cut short in a similar fashion to mine as Lucas got him caught by I Ward at long on with the MDAFS now motoring along at 87 for 4 in 23 overs.

Mike ‘Bathtub’ Barclay now joined Garuda in the middle. From the boundary Mike was seething at every opportunity for a single being refused. However when he played his first ball, that urgency of taking a single went up in thin air.

In the meantime, Garuda kept punishing the bad balls and BCC kept on retrieving the balls from the foliage however it was evident that a lot of time was lost in retrieving the ball and all the advantage of starting the match 1 hour earlier was lost. We didn’t have much to complain however as we were enjoying the sight of the ball regularly disappearing into the shadows. Garuda hoicked another one into the trees bringing up his 50 in the process.

BCC made another bowling change, this time it was their original keeper (Hynd) who swapped his pads with another to come on to bowl. With a rank long hop, Garuda’s eyes lit up as he wanted to hit it into the Firth of Forth only for him to hit it straight to lone short fine leg. The catch was more of a self preservation than an attempt to catch the ball however a very well set and dangerous looking innings was eventually cut short with MDAFS now 131 off 29 overs.

Still 11 overs to go and decent batting yet to come, we wanted to target minimum 200 runs for our innings. Ram held himself back in the batting order as we had the luxury of sending out batsmen at will, a luxury not very usual for MDAFS 😉

Next to join Mike in the middle was our hedonistic boy racer Rob, who was on a bender celebrating freedom from his other half for a precious few days over the weekend. There was a visible spring in his step as he combined with Mike to take quick singles along with dispatching bad balls to boundary. Remembering his hockey tournament for the subsequent weekend, Rob flicked the ball straight down the Bus Stop end for a huge maximum.

BCC realised that they needed to stem the flow of runs and the last 4 overs saw the opening bowlers Ward and Hoefling come back to finish the innings. Hruday and Ram were still stranded at the boundary as they watched the opening bowlers containing our score to an extent. Garuda needed no encouragement to remind our batsmen the score and overs remaining. Ram need not have worried as Mike and Rob continued to plunder more runs by hitting another few 6s between them.

Eventually we managed to surpass our target by compiling a very hefty 208 for 5 wickets out of our allotted 40 overs. Mike was very candidly reminded of his jug avoidance as he finished the innings with 46 not out whilst Rob punished the land of his in-laws with a rapid 34 runs. Other key contributions coming from Garuda for his 56 and Ravi for 23.

For the stats gurus

  • Total of nine 2s in the MDAFS innings
  • Total of nine 6s in the MDAFS innings
  • Top 4 BCC bowlers ended with 8 overs for 36 runs each!

What followed next was something very unusual over the last couple of years – Tea!

BCC then welcomed us back into the pavilion with a scrumptious tea comprising of sweet treats, savoury nibbles and sandwiches along with sliced fruit.

After thanking BCC for the nice tea, we headed back into the field hoping to defend our respectable total albeit conscious that the small ground and home advantage could make this very interesting.

Our opening bowling pair Anand S(w)ingh and Norm kept the BCC openers Ward and Harper in check by a wonderful spell of swing bowling.

Anand ‘Swing King’ accounted for the first wicket as he trapped Harper plumb in front of the stumps leaving BCC at 5 for 1 at the 5th over of their innings. Little did we know at this stage that we will have to toil hard for our next wicket as Lucas joined Ward in the middle.

Norm and Anand had very close shouts for LBW on Ward who has a reputation of hitting big scores and definitely one of the key wickets for us. The colour of Norm’s face suggested that he wasn’t done with it despite his miserly spell coming to an end with both the BCC batsmen looking much more comfortable at the crease.

As Anand and Norm were replaced by Garuda and Tharun, the BCC duo went on the attack as we saw the first signs of wayward bowling and it was now our time to step into Narnia to fetch the balls back. Garuda seemingly still exhausted from his knock was off the attack after a couple of expensive overs.

The game carried on in the interim with Ward and Lucas continuing to punish our bowling as the score raced from 8 for 1 off 10 overs to 96 for 1 off 20 overs at the drinks break. The game was very evenly poised, in fact rather a bit more advantage for BCC having all the wickets in hand and two imposing batsmen in the middle.

We regrouped at the drinks as we knew that both the batsmen were getting tired and were bound to make a mistake. Unlike BCC, we still had decent bowling options up our sleeves as we attempted to mix things up. Mike’s ‘not intimidating but annoying’ chat continued to deploy belly laughs from the BCC batsmen however it still didn’t deter them from making much mistakes as they raced to 132 for 1 in 27 overs.

Unbeknownst to BCC, Hruday ‘Starboy’ Reddy was seemingly seething all this time. Firstly he was padded up during MDAFS innings from 20 overs onwards however Rob and Mike didn’t allow him to bat at all. In addition, he hadn’t had a chance to bowl yet despite the half innings drinks arrived and went. Finally when Ram threw the ball towards Hruday, he meant business. In Rob’s words ‘the gentle curls floating in air as he unleashed his furious spell’.

What followed next was best witnessed in person as words wouldn’t do justice. MDAFS who were seemingly a bit deflated at the drinks break were now moving purposefully on the field spurred on by Hruday’s palpable energy. Hruday cleaned up a well set as well as on the offensive Lucas and gave him a fiery send off, although he quickly apologised. But he clearly wasn’t done with his attacking bowling yet. BCC now 132 for 2 off their 28 overs. The dangerous looking Lucas departed after a very well compiled 79.

BCC skipper Hoefling now joined Ward in the middle and he wasted no time in showing his intentions as he dispatched a ball to the boundary. Hruday returning for his next over now clean bowled Hoefling and BCC were now 139 for 3 off their 30 overs.

At the other end a very capable Ward was playing a very measured innings and was keen to play a sheet anchor role. Partnering Hruday at the other end Tharun was into his rhythm as well and he was bowling with venom as the batsmen played and missed a number of times. With the flurry of wickets the pressure mounted and the runs dried up. The well set Ward now wanted to release the pressure and tried to go after Tharun only for him to hit it to Mike who accepted it gleefully. BCC now 143 for 4 off 31 overs.

Hruday continued to mount pressure at the other end and Roshan now returned for his second spell as Tharun completed his quota of overs. Southpaw Hynd saw a long hop from Roshan and wanted to dispatch it to the short boundary however it went straight to Norm at backward square leg who took a brilliant sharp catch. Next batsman (another southpaw) attempted to strike the very next ball from Roshan to the short midwicket boundary only for him to loft the ball in between Tharun and Ram. In a typical MDAFS fashion, no one called for it and both went for it. Repeat of Grange friendly seemed on cards as Ram planted a love bite onto Tharun’s chest, however more importantly for MDAFS Tharun held on. BCC were now languishing at 148 for 6 off 33 overs. It could have been 3 wickets had it not been for Bathtub Mike still regaling Hedonistic Rob about his pseudonym and dropping a sitter!

At this point we were feeling more confident however Gudgin (who Mike had dropped in Roshan’s previous over) had other ideas as he took on Roshan’s subsequent over and plundered 15 runs off it. BCC were now 168 for 6 off 35 overs as they now needed 41 runs off 30 balls which still seemed plausible.

Hruday returned for his next over and had Gudgin caught at fly slip by Norm who nonchalantly plucked out the ball off thin air behind himself by his left hand! Second and fourth ball of the over Hruday rearranged the timber of the incoming batsmen with searing yorkers. Hruday narrowly missed his hat-trick however got 3 wickets out of 4 balls and claim his first five-fer for MDAFS. BCC were now 168 for 9 off 36 overs and the game was very much in our hands.

It was now Garuda’s turn to come back into the attack and he duly closed out the game by castling BCC last batsman. BCC were all out for 180 which gave MDAFS 2s a 28 run win.

In the end a very competitive game won by the team collaborating together. There were few standout performances throughout the game however as a team we played brilliantly and deserved to win this game.

Next game now at home at Fortress Roseburn!

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