Maddogs Tour of Rhode Island
Mad Dogs vs St. Columba's (Game 1): Sept 9
St Columba's won the toss and batted, the Dogs opening up with Boyke and Coates. The batsman ran very aggressively to pick up short singles, but this tactic cost them the first wicket, as Moore ran in from cover, dived to pick the ball up and threw down the stumps at the bowler's end, while supine, to nail Summit short of his ground. That merely initiated the major stand of the innings, Mayur and Imran putting on 98 in fine style against an array of decent bowling but, unfortunately, some sub-par fielding. Harrison finally removed Imran LBW for 31, celebrating in his usual demented dervish style by running around further and faster than anyone else did all day during the actual game. Wickets then fell gradually as Mayur continued to dominate the innings. Boyke, returning for a second spell, trapped Sandeep LBW for 1, then a nice piece of fielding by Rian Oosthuizen and Banerjee ran out Bhanu for 17 (Banerjee had taken over as when Palmer was incapacitated by a ball in the right shoulder from Prasanna). Coates, also back for a second spell, flattened Khalid's stumps, then Mayur's fine innings of 80 ended via a superb running catch by Prasanna out at long on, off Boyke. Smith took two well-deserved wickets in the closing overs, one clean bowled, the other courtesy of a good catch by Ossthuizen off a low drive to mid-off. Langston, with 22 not out, shepherded the final total to a challenging 208 for 8 off 35 overs.
Lawrence and Coates responded with an excellent opening stand of 48 in 6 overs, with some powerful shots, particularly from Coates. Lawrence had had the lion's share of the strike, and was just settling into his best form when he popped a leading edge back to bowler Bhanu to leave with 22 (29 balls, 2 x 4). Unfortunately, the wheels then fell off the innings: Prasanna smashed his first ball like a rocket, but right at midwicket who somehow clung on; Moore was pinned LBW for 1 (4 balls); Smith was run-out in a mix-up over a single (1, 11 balls); Kimberley hit a return catch (0, 2 balls), then Coates was yorked for 19 (29 balls, 4 x 4). This flurry of wickets left the innings wrecked at 59 for 6. Banerjee and Harrison then repaired some of the damage with an excellent, feisty stand of 72 in 14 overs, as St. Columba's rotated the bowling attack. Banerjee pulled with power, hitting several meaty leg-side fours, and Harrison drove a couple of his own through extra cover. Both played very well. The stand was ended when Harrison was bowled for a season's high 17 (40 balls, 2 x 4). Another flurry of wickets followed: Boyke LBW for 1 (4 balls); Banerjee bowled for a Dog's best knock of 48 (57 balls, 1 x 6, 5 x 4), a really good knock. With Palmer still incapacitated, Andreas Oosthuizen joined his son to add 13 for the last wicket, the elder statesman rolling back time with one big hit for 6 before lobbing a catch to cover (6, 8 balls), leaving his son on 4 not out (9 balls). The final total of 154 all out from 31.5 overs left the Dogs losers by 54 runs.
Mad Dogs vs St. Columba's (Game 2): Sept 10
In the second game, the Dogs batted first, with Coates and a now-fit Palmer putting on 32 for the first wicket. Palmer was not at his most fluent, but hung in there against good quality new ball bowling for nearly 9 overs before being bowled for a rather lengthy duck, perhaps setting a new Dogs' record for consecutive dot-balls faced (25, to be precise). Prasanna came in meaning business after Saturday's disappointment, and he and Coates went after the bowling with a vengeance, putting in 46 in 7 overs with their trademark boundary shots to the fore. Prasanna was eventually bowled for 22 (24 balls, 1 x 6, 3 x 4). Kimberley replaced him to play a feisty knock, lit up by several meaty leg-side shots in a really good stand of 40 with Coates, whose good form continued. Kimberley's excellent innings of 22 (23 balls, 1 x 6, 2 x 4) ended when he lobbed a catch. Coates fell soon thereafter, LBW for a thoroughly impressive 57 (63 balls, 2 x 6, 7 x 4) that glued the early part of the innings together. Kojima wasn't at his most aggressive in his innings of 2 (12 balls) which ended with a flying stump. Chavan and Banerjee then added 41 in good style in the closing overs, hitting hard and running well to drag the total towards competitive heights. Both players did very well, Banerjee carrying on from his previous day's heroics. Chavan eventually drove a boundary catch (19, 28 balls, 2 x 4); Banerjee was bowled for 24 (27 balls, 1 x 6, 1 x 4). Harrison felt supremely confident with his new-found batting skills and promoted himself up the order - but was bowled first ballŠŠ.. In the last couple of overs, Trappler was run out for 1 (3 balls), a victim of the circumstances. Moore added 2 not out (3 balls), Rian Oosthuizen 1 not out (3 balls), smith did not bat. The total was 176 for 9 in 35 overs (we had agreed to bat 12).
Prasanna and Chavan opened the bowling for the Dogs, the former in his faster style, the latter in his slower. Prasanna splattered Langston's stumps in his first over, and another nice piece of fielding by Oosthuizen, with a return to Prasanna, did for Pawan as the short-singles' policy created another victim. Mayur, as on the previous day, dominated the innings, hitting very powerfully and, in general, running very well (he at least managed to preserve himselfŠŠ). An important stand with Imran was ended when Harrison took a nice low return catch, but Mayur then smashed Harrison out of the attack with a sequence of leg-side sixes. Coates, in a vigorous and effective spell, bowled Harsh and should have had Mayur to a snick that Palmer held well but the umpire turned down. When Mayur survived a line-call for a stumping that all but the umpire knew was out, we had a feeling we'd need to take quite a few wickets to win this oneŠŠ The runs mounted steadily, but we were still just about in the game, if only we could get Mayur out. Prasanna came back on and induced a snick from mayur, which Palmer couldn't cling onto (mind you it was traveling, and going up). Heads fell, but they rose next ball when there was an almost exact repeat, and this time Palmer held on to get rid of Mayur for 91. Kojima then bowled Buana with a nice little nip-backer, giving renewed help. With Mayur gone, Harrison felt it safe to re-introduce himself into the attack, immediately being rewarded with the wicket of Videt, thanks to a very sharp stumping by Palmer as the batsman's foot dragged. Moore also chipped in, bowling little floaters and causing Sandeep to top-edge a leg-side shot that was beautifully held by Kojima on the run. Unfortunately, that was that, and two veterans, Paresh and Khalid, batted very sensibly to knock off the last 20 runs needed, taking the score to 177 for 8, from 33.4 overs. St Columba's just about deserved to win, but Mayur's two "lives" and another blatant snick off Prasanna in the closing overs that also was not given did mean the Dogs always had an uphill task; these decisions, in effect, determined the outcome.