Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Maddogs Vs Yale at MDP on 9/24 by John Moore

Mad Dogs vs Yale September 24

In a battle of the Ivy League, Cornell's Moore beat Yale's Jayson in the initial battle of the coin toss, Jayson's losing call, Quirky, being, for the record, tails (just so that you don't have a clue what to do next time). The Dogs elected to bat in what was initially a 35 over game that became shortened to 30 overs when rain threatened (but mostly held off). Kimberley and Banerjee put on a rapid 25 for the first wicket against some initially wayward bowling, wides being nobly supported by a couple of powerful pulls behind square from Kimberley.

Banerjee was the first to go, for 3 (10 balls) when a ball deflected off his pads towards his stumps; the batsman's frantic efforts to knock the ball away with the bat proved successful, but only at the expense of the bat itself breaking the wicket - a tough dismissal. Taiwo then came in, and promptly received a succession of full tosses that he mowed away to leg with glee and gusto, in great baseball style. Anything that pitched was missed or blocked, according to whether or not the ball might have hit the stumps, anything that didn't was hammered to the fence. Kimberley fell with the score on 49, bowled by a nice slower ball (14, 23 balls, 1 x 4). Yale's best bowlers were now on, various combinations having been tested in what was a group of players unfamiliar to each other, for the most part, but Sachin and Khattak now bowled fast and straight, well enough to mow through the Dogs' middle order.

The score had reached 69 when Herno Smith was trapped LBW for 2 (13 balls), then one run later, Taiwo's bold knock came to an end with a catch to the deep, out for an incredibly valuable 30 (26 balls, 1 x 6, 5 x 4). Johnson's attempt to reach 1000 runs by the end of May had unfortunately petered out several months earlier, but he did achieve his secondary ambition of scoring one run by the end of September when he got off the mark first ball. Emboldened by success, he immediately added a second but, flushed with ambition, he then drove a catch to mid-off (2, 5 balls). Chavan was yorked by Sachin (1 from 6 balls) and much the same happened to Kojima (1, 5 balls). Moore and Wolf then settled for defense, picking off the occasional run and aiming to see off the more dangerous bowlers, which they did with some success, taking the score from 81 for 7 to 102 when Wolf was bowled for 8 (19 balls, 1 x 4).

Moore then farmed the strike for a while with young Thomson at the crease, reaching double figures for the first time in about 2 months and even hitting a four (must be the new batÅ ..), before receiving a totally useless waist-high full toss from slow left-armer Jimmy, a delivery that should have been Prasanned into the dumpster but which was instead carefully Sanjayed straight to deep square leg (12, 23 balls, 1 x 4). Thomson and Oosthuizen represented the Dogs' last hope, and boy, did they bat sensibly, adding a really useful 18 for the last wicket in 5 overs, taking singles and drawing a few extras (nice job, lads). Oosthuizen was the last man out, hitting a catch off Jayson for 9 (11 balls), with Thomson on 9 not out (18 balls). The final total of 127 all out from 25.3 overs looked a little low for comfort, but was considered to be defendable if we bowled well.

Wolf and Oosthuizen opened the bowling for the Dogs, the youngster flattening Yosh's off stump with a lovely ball with the score on 5. Both bowlers did well initially, but Sachin and Imran proved themselves to be pretty good players, and played some powerful shots, enough to cause both bowlers some grief and necessitate their replacement by Chavan and Kojima after 7 overs, with the score on 39 for 1. The new pair did very well, bowling steadily to some carefully constructed fields. Various ploys were attempted, particularly by Chavan, who was prepared to gamble to take a key wicket, or even double bluff a bit.

One such bluff even worked, a long-off being sent back, a nice full bung bowled at just the right height, and a catch being driven out by Imran to long-on; no matter, as Oosthuizen judged the catch beautifully right on the fence to get rid of a good looking player for 13. Soon after, Kojima bowled the other danger man, Sachin, for 23, and did the same to Sachib for 1, while Chavan chipped in with two wickets, bowling Khattik for 6 and pinning Arjun for 4. Another wicket then fell to Kojima, who bowled Geordie for 4, with another ball that dipped in flight, forcing the batsman to play back and not forward, the consequence being to miss a ball that squatted a little, good bowling and not just a bad bounce, Hide! By virtue of really good bowling, Chavan and Kojima had whittled gradually and economically through the Yale middle order in 12 really good overs.

With the Yale score on 79 for 7, the Dogs were on top. But Jimmy and Syog proved themselves to be two useful batsmen who had probably come in a little late in the order, by accident or design. They scored fairly fluently off Chavan's and Kojima's last few overs, and played well enough to cause some flutters in the Dogs' psyches, particularly with bowling changes now due. With the score approaching 100, the Dogs did not have much margin for error. Johnson relieved Chavan and bowled a steady enough over. Moore was more or less forced to bring himself on in place of Kojima. Jimmy immediately slogged a four just out of the reach of a couple of fielders, so Moore floated another one up, a little fuller and a little wider, and the mis-timed off drive ended right in the hands of Thomson, who judged the catch really well, Jimmy gone for 22. Suyog then mishit a pull that dropped agonizingly between three converging fielders.

Johnson was gracious enough to cede his bowling spot to young Smith, who conceded a four to Suyog but then swung another beauty through Jayson's rudimentary defense to take out the leg stump, nice ball son! By agreement, since Yale had only 10 men, the last man was allowed to continue batting with a runner, so with the score on 109 and Suyog batting well, the game was not over. But Moore drifted an outswinger onto Suyog's pads, plumb LBW, but not given. Avoiding a Harrison moment, Moore knuckled down and flicked an off-cutter into the same pads next ball, and this time the right decision was made, Suyog out for 16, game over, Yale all out for 109 from 22.3 overs. The Dogs were winners by 18 runs, the exact margin of Thomson's and Oosthuizen's last wicket stand. This was a really good game, enjoyed by all 21 players, good memories.

Wolf 4-0-23-0
Oosthuizen 3-0-16-1
Chavan 6-0-25-3
Kojima 6-1-27-3
Johnson 1-0-6-0
Moore 1.3-0-6-2
Smith 1-0-6-1


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