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Murrayfield DAFS 3s v Morton 2s

Saturday 25th June 2022
Roseburn Park (Arti)

By Rob Mann

Murrayfield DAFS 3 (5) – 52 all out off 19.1 overs
C. Banks 23 , N Lekha 5-3, Parhar 3-3, K Nagpal 2-16

Morton 2 (20) – 181 all out off 38 overs
P Verma 53 , K Nagpal 26, S Donald 5-34, S Allah 3-20

Morton 2s win by 129 runs

Seven fine strapping young chaps, added to the creaking limbs of Towns, Banks, Cummings and Mann, arrived at a sunny yet windswept Roseburn Park (artificial) for their clash with Morton. Disappointingly, none of the opposition players had though to arrive in a striped shirt with “Millions” emblazoned over the front.

Skipper Gutteridge, leading in the manner of Napoleon (Bonaparte/Dynamite/Pig – please delete as appropriate) lost the toss and, having already decided that he was going to stick the opposition in, was not disappointed to find that we were fielding first anyway.

Sakib Ullah took the new ball from the Egg Chasing End, and was immediately hostile, dismissing both openers cheaply; the first nicking behind to an excellent catch by the ageless Cummings, the second holing out to the ever safe hands of Towns at mid off.

Morton began to recover, with Ajmal and Verma putting on a gritty yet effective stand, notable for their ability to keep out the good balls, rotate the strike and punish the one rank four ball per over the Murrayfield attack continuously supplied them with. Verma managed to overcome a dizzy spell to reach 50, although as he was batting whilst wearing a beanie hat and more layers than Scott took to the Antarctic in 1912, it wasn’t a surprise he felt exhausted.  Eventually both were dismissed thanks to the irrepressible young Ullah; taking a catch off Roogi to dismiss Ajmal, and then a superb caught and bowled to finally get rid of Verma.

There followed a period which will be recorded in the annals of cricketing history as the Stevie Donald Show. A man so nice he probably rescues stray kittens for old ladies in his spare time, he proceeded to cut a swathe through the Morton middle order. Lekha, Small, Parhar and D Singh all fell to him, mostly leaving with the overwhelming sense of shame that they’d managed to get out to a rank long hop. But still. The Greenock rejects were 8 down.

Their skipper Nagpal, no longer serving overpriced schooners in the Hanging Bat, and Sharma built a recovery, before Nagpal holed out to Ullah (that man again) off Kumar and last man SD Sing (sporting a Bjorn Borg style headband) was cleaned up by Stevie for the first 5 for of his career. Morton closed 181 all out off 38 overs. A word too on Aussie Haylock, who bowled extremely well and tightly and deserved at least a wicket for his efforts.

Still, with the outfield behaving in a manner leaving fielders considering wearing helmets on the boundary, it was considered a reasonable target. The consensus. If we batted 40 overs, we’d probably win. The veteran Banks and the more youthful Pandit opened up, and after 10 overs had proceeded to 40 for 0 with few scares.

At this point, in the manner of a Greek economic minister, it’s entirely tempting to make up the figures for the rest of the day, and highlight a glorious run chase to inspire young hopefuls around the world. But unfortunately, that’s not possible.

After Nagpal had dismissed both openers (Banks lbw to the slower ball, Pandit caught behind on the hook) Morton introduced their change bowlers Lekha and Parhar. The effect on the Mufs batting order was as follows;

Kumar – bowled by straight one
Donald – bowled by straight one
Mann – chipped one up
Towns – chipped one up
Roogi – bowled by straight one
Ullah – chipped one up
Cummings – chipped one up
Haylock – actually got a decent one and gloved it behind.

Skipper Gutteridge remained undefeated amongst the carnage, which ended with Murrayfield bowled out for 52 in 19.1 overs and Lekha going home with the figures of 5.1-2-3-5 as Morton won by 129 runs.

Murrayfield meanwhile, merely questioned their life choices.

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