Peebles County v Murrayfield DAFS III
Saturday 23rd July 2022
By Stevie Donald
Murrayfield DAFS 3 (10) – 110 all out off 34.1 overs
T Kumar 24, N Pujari 23, A Gallop 3-22, Z Gohar 3-25
Peebles County (10) – 110 all out off 39.4 overs
R Fitzgerald 20, Wilson-Barlow 4-6, K Rathod 2-22
Match is Tied
Murrayfield DAFS 3s travelled down to Peebles for an important relegation battle game for both teams on Saturday. Peebles sat bottom of ESCA Division 5, but not to be underestimated as they had beaten top of the league Bass Rock the previous week.
The start was slightly delayed due to rain, but the teams were entertained by some jazzy piano from Murrayfield’s Dave Woodhead in the pavilion.
Gutteridge lost the toss and Murrayfield were asked to bat under the grey overcast conditions. Pandit and Woodhead were tasked to lead the charge. Burns and Godfrey-Faucett opened the bowling for Peebles, and when a length ball kept low and knocked over the off-stump, Woodhead (0) was sent back to the dressing room and Godfrey-Faucett had his first of the afternoon.
In came Kumar and with some sensible batting saw off the two opening bowlers with Pandit. The change in bowlers brought another wicket for Peebles however, Pandit out caught for 3. Donald came in at 4 and began to push around some quick singles to build a score and put pressure back on the fielding side. Kumar seemed to be settled and on for a good score before an outside edge found Caddick at slip, out for 24.
In came Ullah, and despite pleas from Donald to take the low-risk quick singles on offer, Sullah wanted to play his shots. It was too many as he picked out Mid-On trying to clear the infield, out for 6. Murrayfield 5 down.
Hedge joined Donald at the crease, and without any danger the two managed to get Murrayfield to drinks without losing any more wickets. Shortly after Donald followed the same fate as Kumar, same bowler and clipped to the same fielder at slip, out for 15.
Pujari came in and joined Hedge at the crease, but after a few more runs Hedge was back in the pavillion, out caught for 15. Andrews came in but his stay was short lived as he was caught out for 1.
Wilson-Barlow and Gutteridge came in at 10 and 11, and whilst their scores were 0 and 0* respectively, they stayed at the crease long enough to put on meaningfull partnerships with Pujari, who took charge and got Murrayfield to 3 figures. Pujari (23) the final wicket to fall as they set their opposition 111 to win.
We’ll skip “the bad”, and just refer to Murrayfield’s fielding effort as “The very good, and the very ugly”. We’ll start with the very good (Overs 1-29)
Defending 110 Murrayfield knew they had to bowl accurately and give nothing away in the field. And for 30 overs they did just that, near flawlessly. Gutteridge and Andrews opened the bowling, and Gutteridge got opener Gallop (2) in the 3rd over, bowled. A couple of overs later Andrews dismissed Godfrey-Faucett (3), and superb catch from the safe hands of Pujari at short(ish) mid-wicket.
Caddick came in at 4 for Peebles and with opener Fitzgerland seemed to push the score along comfortably. Murrayfield desperately needed a breakthrough, and it came through the combination of Wilson-Barlow and Woodhead. Wilson-Barlow found the edge of Caddick’s bat, just for Woodhead to take a stunning one-handed diving catch at slip. Peebles 3 down and a massive wicket for Murrayfield.
Shortly after Wilson-Barlow dismissed Fitzgerald (20) bowled and Pujari got Burns lbw (12). Murrayfield went into drinks having clawed back and had the opposition 59-5.
After drinks Murrayfield came out firing. Kumar taking a wonderful catch running backwards off the bowling off Rathod at covers, S Gohar out for 3.
Z Gohar came to the crease, and then returned to the pavillion without facing a ball a he was brilliantly run-out by Ullah. Peebles 7 down.
Barlow then took took the wicket of Burns,
caught by wicket keeper Hedge. 8 down.
Whitehead came to the crease for Peebles, and after initally been given out LBW off the bowling of Ullah, Murrayfield withdrew their appeal and called the batsman back to the crease as a few had a spotted an inside edge that the on field umpire had missed. However Wilson-Barlow dismissed him shortly after and picked up his 4th wicket, caught again by keeper Hedge.
Peebles 74-9. Wilson-Barlow bowled out his remaining overs looking for his 5-For, but finished with two consecutive maidens. Glistening figures of 8-4-6-4.
Murrayfield had been electric in the field all afternoon, and had put themselves in such a commanding positon as a result.
Now here comes ‘The Very Ugly’ (Overs 30-39.4)
The phrase “took the foot off the gas” springs to mind, however that wouldn’t do it justice. Murrayfield took the foot off the gas, stuck the car in neutral, forgot to put the handbrake on and watched as the car rolled down a hill, crashed, and burst into flames.
Sloppy and incompetent fielding over after over allowed Peebles to slowly approach the Murrayfield total. There were mix ups in the field, dropped catches, and having worked so hard to have the game almost in the bag, they had all but let it slip. Three 4s from a loose Rathod over brought them within touching distance of a miraculous comeback, and when scores were level going into the final over, it seemed Murrayfield had well and truely fumbled the bag. After three tense dot balls, Brophy swung hard and edged the ball. It would have undoubtably been the winning runs, had keeper Hedge not stuck out a glove and the ball stuck. His third catch of the afternoon, and the game finished 110-110.
Thanks to Peebles for fine hospitality, and a game played in the best spirits.