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Edinburgh South v Murrayfield DAFS

Saturday 9th July 2022
Inch Park (Grass)

By Sam Fergusson

Murrayfield DAFS 2 (20) – 172-7 off 42.2 overs
P Hawkins 36*, M Buchan 23, LV Chinni 22, R Wadekar 22
M Hassan 2-25, N Pani 2-40

Edinburgh South (8) – 169 all out off 44.2 overs
Q Sheikh 49, N Kumar 41, C Singh 26,
V Tyagi 6-21, N Yelland 2-28

Murrayfield DAFS win by 3 Wickets

It was hot, sunny, dry – the perfect mix for an afternoon of enjoyable posh-rounders.

The team, led by skipper extraordinaire, Mr Miyagi, arrived on time and were warming up appropriately as the skippers were searching for a coin to flip… unfortunately the toss was lost and Mr Miyagi was asked to field, another coin not to use for future tosses. Team speeches deduced that going at 4’s on this wicket is entirely acceptable, so as long as we can keep to that – should be a good day out!

McVities took 9 off the first over – long day ahead? Some lusty blows from Singh and some fairly decent singles followed over the course of the next few overs, but on the 6th ball of the 4th Miyagi deployed the age old tactic of bowling at the stumps… the motto of “you miss I hit” rings in my ears to this day. Bowling Padhiary out for 6 and opening the oppo up… 27/1 off 4. The RR was probably a touch too high still, but we didn’t have to wait much longer for Singh to fall after that, with Mohawk replacing McVities at the Forest end – his 4th ball taking the edge and Lord Porkington, trusty as ever behind the woodwork, snaffling a great 1 hander. 2/37 off 6, get a glimpse of the catch below:

https://escalive.com/match/137112-6111117/ballbyball?period=1562145&video=267754

Another short wait for wickets as Miyagi using a winning formula to castle N Pani for nought on the first ball of the following over, had South in trouble at 3/37. Enter Q Sheikh (7 ODI’s, 16 First Class, 13 List A for Scotland) who set about rebuilding the innings for South. A slow and steady build phase was gaining momentum for South over the course of the next 14 overs, only 5 boundaries were hit, but they set about running and using the lightening outfield to their advantage. It was hot, dusty and the MDAFs squad could have dropped their heads, but we persisted, Jay-Rod bowling some tight spin with Mohawk sending them in at the other end until he was replaced by McVities – where, into his 2nd over of his 2nd spell he took the wicket of I Akhtar with a beauty of delivery taking the top of off stump… 82/4 off 21. 4 an over – “acceptable”.

The next 16 overs were superb for both sides in all honesty. The batting side patiently building without losing wickets, but us – ever knowing that a wicket can change the game – pressing on without a doubtful thought in our heads. The only slight concern during this period was the fact that Lord Porkington did have to reduce his finger back into the joint after dislocating – the battle hardened keeper, pressed on though (Westy would be proud). The Rosh replaced Jay-Rod at the River End, with McVities at the other, 7 x 4s, 1 x 6 and a smattering of singles/2s bought up a change in the bowling with Nips (Forest End) and Miyagi (River End) coming into the fray and it only took 3 overs for captain fantastic to take his 3rd, the prize wicket of Q Sheikh, caught by Lord Porkington for 49. Well batted, but, like the temperature, MUFs spirits were rising with the sight of him departing and a mere 3 balls later, Miyagi taking out the other scoring batsmen, N Kumar for 41 – South were now facing an up hill battle to get to what most considered a good score, 200. End of the 38th, South: 147/6

With a quick switch of ends and a couple of overs of not really much other than tight bowling, Mohawk took over the Forest end and Nips “swung” round to the River End and managed to extract a lot of movement from the ball and luring SV Kiran into a swoosh outside the off stump – big edge out to the Rosh standing at Point who took a magnificent diving catch. That was to be Nips final act in the innings with Mr Miyagi and Mohawk to bowl the remainder. In the 44th, 2 in 2 for el Capitan with catches to McVities and Jay-Rod of the first 2 balls of the over… and it only took Mohawk 2 deliveries to knock over the tail finishing it in the final over, South were done for 169. 20 or 30 short, as we thought wandering off.

Superb bowling and fielding effort on a day where heat/exhaustion/boring batting could’ve got the better of us, but we stuck with it and never lost concentration. Ultimately though – all credit has to go to the skipper who ended with figures of 9/2/21/6 – his best figures ever, I believe.

I fairly standard BYO tea, some much need hydration & we were back at it with Tom Grey’s Replacement TGR & Spin Academy taking up 1 & 2. Off to a good start they were too, we were up with the run rate going at roughly 4 an over with Spin Academy showing his power and placement for a few boundaries and TGR playing nicely with a few great shots against a good South attack. However, in the 10th over, Spin Academy was skittled 4th ball of the over, falling for 19. 39/1 off 10. Having spoken to Skin tight about what to do in this situation explaining how yours truly would go about his innings, enter Nips. The less said about his innings of 2 runs the better… attempting a wild swing at a ball that was straight and missing, sent back to the sheds in quick succession the following over. Moral of the story, don’t listen to me. Radkar in at 4 and set about a nice steady partnership with TGR to settle the nerves. It was a great session watching these two bat – putting the bad balls away (not that many) and keeping the good ones out. It is worth mentioning at this point there were a few extras from (19 in the innings) which assisted in keeping the RR up during some tight bowling – this session (10 – 20) was the oppo’s best set of bowling, but we still managed to get to 79/2 at the 20th – well in the hunt!

In the 21st however, TGR fell, bowled for 23 after a solid 21 overs at the crease from opening – something this team desperately needed! A good innings, that now bought Skin-Tight to the crease with Radkar. Unfortunately, the following over Radkar was stumped (sharp work from the stand-in south keeper), out for a solid 22. 82/4 off 22 – was this the inevitable MUFs collapse? Was Willy Richie walking left for wickets or right for runs? Not on your life – enter Lord Porkington to join Skin-tight at the crease. For the next 8 overs, these 2 batted in mixed styles – Skin-tight losing a ball in the river with a huge six, some big wallops and swings and misses, with Lord Porkington at the other end playing a more sedate, orthodox innings that include some superb placement and good running (we won’t mention the suicidal run-out chance, that saw them both short no matter what end the oppo threw too – only for the bowler to drop the ball and take the stumps out without ball in hand!). We went from 82/4 off 22 to 122/4 off 30 (5’s) which, as the following graph will show, bought us right back into the game and on track:

In the 31st however, Skin-tight went for one too many and was caught out, leaving Lord Porkington pondering the next phase of the game. The Rosh came on to bat and with yours truly out at the wicket umpiring, demonstrated poise, patience and some superb shot selection to support LP at the other end, who was going about his business in an orderly and steady fashion. These two, put on 31 for their partnership of just 6 overs, maintaining the winning RR and keeping us on track until the Rosh missed a straight one and was clean bowled. 144/6 off 39.

Mr Miyagi, fresh after a rest on the side-lines from his superb bowling spell was keen to impress with the bat also, and the 2 batsmen really took the game away from South at this point – there were not that many runs and plenty of balls to face. Obviously this didn’t stop some of the more superstitious (well, more experienced MUFs) from fretting, biting nails and swearing profusely. Some brilliant 4s (Lord Porkington patented cut shot racing away to the boundary) taking the score to 167 before the skipper was caught trying to win the game in one. McVities came to the crease only to watch Lord Porkington despatch the bowling over midwicket for a 4 to end the game.

A game of two halves, both dominated by 2 key players in this instance: Vivek with the ball and Hawkins with the bat. A superb demonstration of how, if you keep your cool (even when it’s a scorcher), you can take a team down by sheer persistence… not only beat them, but Topple the Toppers.

Nickname Key

Carl, Spin Academy
Michael, Tom Grey’s Replacement
Sam, Nips
Ravi, RadKar
LV, Skin-tight
Phil, Lord Porkington
Roshan, The Rosh
Vivek, Mr Miyagi
Tom, McVities
Jarod, Jay Rod
Neil, Mohawk

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