Murrayfield DAFS 4 v Edinburgh South 4
Saturday 14th May 2022
By Arnab Bhattacharjee
Murrayfield DAFS 4 (20) – 107-6 off 26.5 overs
Williamsom 39, S Verma 18, Ilangovan 2-17, Bhatnagar 2-28
Edinburgh South 4 (7) – 106-10 off 30.3 overs
Hunt 30, Williamson 3-19, N Verma 2-9, Haylock 2-20
Murrayfield DAFS 4 win by 4 wickets
On a windy but dry afternoon in Fortress Murrayfield, the youth-experience combination of Murrayfield DAFS 4 overcame Edinburgh South 4 in superb style to clock a second successive home win. Batting first, Edinburgh South 4 sped off briskly towards the horizon with 36 for no loss in the first 3 overs. The outfield was lightning fast and the wind made controlling the line very challenging.
But Murrayfield DAFS 4 had a shining ace up their sleeve – their skipper Baskaran. Leading from the front, he introduced himself into the firing line, and together with debutant Neil slowly started weaving webs around the set opposition batsmen. The score only barely progressed to 40/0 in 5 overs, and further to 50/2 off 10 overs. It seems the pitch also magically started providing uneven bounce and scoring was largely limited to cross-batted heaves to square leg and cow corner. Neil had a glorious 2 wickets and 1 run out, with two moments of magic dad-son dual act (one a catch and the other a run out), and Baskaran turned in miserly figures of 4-2-3-0. In came two more debutants, Ben and Campbell to pile on more misery upon the opposition, Ben helping himself to 2 wickets for 20 and Campbell 3 for 19.
After the initial heroics mixed with some good luck, scoring turned really challenging for Edinburgh South 4, and by the midway stage they were reeling at 78 for 6 off 20 overs. This included a nice 30 by Rod Hunt, with his innings ended by a superb run-out by Neil. Graham Watson announced his return from semi-retirement with an astounding catch at slip, Raghuram also helped himself to 1 wicket and Shreyas had a nice bowling stint – wicketless but showing great energy. Edinburgh South 4 collapsed to 106 all out in just over 30 overs. Sunny had a superb spell behind the stumps giving away only 6 byes, taking several wickets and providing continuous encouragement to the young bowlers. Fielding overall was of a high order particularly led by Steve and Neil. There was also fierce but fair competition, with a bit and half of needle that was just part of the game and good education for the juniors.
When Murrayfield DAFS 4 emerged to bat, the uneven bounce had somehow vanished, and the outcome was never in doubt. Special mention must however be made of a young Ollie Henderson who consistently kept the ball on the off stump or just outside with movement into the batsman off the seam or swinging slightly out in the wind. His opening spell from the Water of Leith end was really a delight to watch. It was a bit of a grind for both Arnab and Gajanan, both making starts but not able to build on it. Sunny played a nice knock of 18 and built a good partnership with Gajanan, before debutant Campbell played a blinding innings of 39 to take Murrayfield DAFS over the line in good company, at the end with Neil and Shreyas.
All in all, a very satisfying afternoon’s work, rising to 5th in the league and all to play for. It was a competitive game played in good spirits and a mix of youth and experience expertly led by Baskaran. Special mention must be made of his leading from the front, with good bowling changes and giving everyone a fair chance to play, together with good diplomatic skills to negotiate a couple of tense moments. Onwards and upwards!
PS: A sad bit of news. We noted some spike marks on the artificial wicket towards the Water of Leith end. It was not from this game, but very unfortunate!