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Musselburgh II v Murrayfield DAFS III

Saturday 7th May 2022
Lewisvale Park

By James Gutteridge

Murrayfield DAFS 3 (20) – 88 all out off 34 overs
Pednekar 16, Jafry 4-15, Dingre 2-9

Musselburgh 2 (6) – 85 all out off 38.2 overs
Fox 17, Kumar 4-6, Wilson-Barlow 2-13

Murrayfield DAFS win by 3 runs

The 3s travelled to the less-than-sunny climes of Lewisvale Park looking to get back to winning ways against Musselburgh 2s after a heavy opening day defeat to division favourites Bass Rock.

Not helped by the unexpected rugby crowds at Murrayfield, skipper James managed to arrive 15 minutes later than planned, leaving Banksy to lose the toss on James’ behalf and see the 3s put in to bat on an outfield closely resembling a tourist brochure for the Amazon rainforest.

Banksy opened up with this week’s ringer of choice Maggy, and the two initially looked solid in the face of some useful bowling and an unpredictable track. Unfortunately, Maggy (3) perished not long after, falling to a sharp bit of bowling and an outstanding one-handed grab at midwicket from the Musselburgh skipper.

This brought Tarun (6) to the crease for a brief though spectacular innings, including a hit-it-or-wear-it pull for four from roughly two inches in front of his face. In true 3s fashion, this precipitated the inevitable batting collapse with Banksy (14) cleaned up by a jaffa that clipped the off bail, Tarun LBW to ex-MUF Matt Boyd and Kuldeep (1) falling victim to a disastrous run out.

Nagesh (16) and Stevie (7) did a magnificent job of arresting the slide and putting crucial runs on the board before holing out attempting to go over the top and bottom-edging a full-blooded sweep onto the stumps respectively. Rajesh was soon LBW for 0 and Murrayfield were in a real bit of trouble.

Fortunately, some lower order resistance from Vikas (12), James (4), Josh (3*) and Neil (8) bolstered our total to 88, below par but defendable on a difficult track given the depth of our bowling attack.

James (8-1-22-2) and Josh (8-4-13-2) opened up with a tight spell and, in the face of some aggressive strokeplay from openers Burnett and Dingre, picked up 4 wickets to leave Musselburgh four down after only 12 overs. This led to a period of seriously attritional cricket, with Musselburgh number three Fox and skipper Sharda digging in well.

Despite chances being created and some very tight bowling from Nagesh (4-1-8-0) and Stevie (6-1-11-0), with both unlucky to go wicketless, Musselburgh remained only four down at drinks with 30 odd runs required.

James looked to Maggy (7-1-15-2) who bowled with real hostility and accuracy to claim the key wicket of number three Fox and number nine Yusof.

Sometimes however, games as tight as these turn on an individual performance in a particular discipline. Some days it might be the batsman who smashes a match-winning 50. Other days, it’s the comeback bowling performance of the decade.

Having seen his medium pace dibbly-dobblers dispatched to all parts last week, James turned to Tarun’s offies. With Maggy’s experience helping to coordinate a tight field, Tarun proceeded to deliver a magnificent spell and picked up 3 quick wickets to leave the game in the balance.

With only 3 runs needed, one wicket remaining and the dangerous Boyd on the charge, Tarun made the brave call to switch to bowling round the wicket and delivered a beautifully angled delivery which disturbed Boyd’s stumps and sparked wild celebrations among the Murrayfield contingent (Rajesh especially, somebody note this for future Mufta purposes).

A genuine nailbiter of a finish, an excellent team performance with the bowling and fielding greatly improved from last week, and a brilliant team ethic on the day. A bit of magic from Tarun to finish with figures of 3.2-0-6-4 won the day for us, but everyone played their part and hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the season. Thanks to Musselburgh for a great game played in the right spirit.

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