Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mad Dogs vs Merion (PICF) (5/4/07) by JPM

A beautiful morning at Merion saw a team of stiff Dogs, or Dogs' stiffs, turn up for game 2 of the PICF. Quirk, to universal amazement, won the toss, breaking a monstrous losing streak. The Dogs fielded, Boyke and Santosh opened up against Niv and Parnell, who batted in very different styles in an opening stand of 77, Niv batting powerfully, Parnell nudging and nurdling. Santosh had some wides' trouble, and Niv struck a few fours. Boyke was extremely steady, but luckless against both openers. Harrison and Quirk replaced the seamers, and also bowled well, Quirk taking the first wicket by going for the old Merion-roof ploy, lobbing as nice juicy full bung at Niv who, somehow, failed to connect fully and succeeded only in lobbing a catch to Harrison on the deep midwicket boundary, where the fielder judged a tough catch with aplomb to dismiss the key batsman for 32. Parnell fell soon after, advancing to Quirk and missing to be stumped by Bannerjee for 31. Connell and Joss put on another 26 before Moore replaced Quirk and saw his first ball struck hard and high by Joss, but right down Prasanna's throat at deep mid-wicket to leave for 15. Harrison had bowled cannily but without luck and was replaced by Prasanna, who bowled Connell for a hard-hit 23, and then persuaded Khan (6) to slog him into the pavilion, to be out under ground rules (caught "Roof") and with a 10-run penalty to boot. Moore then got rid of Hounsell, caught and bowled off a high-skied top-edge for 3. Nuttal and Witchell then batted through the closing overs carefully and steadily against some tight bowling by Prasanna and Moore, before Moore had Nuttal stumped on the charge off the last ball of the innings. The final total of 148 for 7 off 25 overs was a lot better for the Dogs than it might have been.

Boyke 3-2-2-0
Santosh 2-0-23-0
Harrison 5-0-31-0
Quirk 5-0-38-2
Prasanna 5-0-32-2
Moore 5-0-24-3

Still, that kind of total would take some getting, and a good start was important. Lawrence and Trappler put on 24 in the first 5 overs before Lawrence unaccountably mowed a catch off Parnell to midwicket to leave for only 6 (12 balls). Santosh joined Trappler, and an excellent partnership of 34 was assembled in the next 5 overs, as Trappler pulled and pushed his way to a Dogs highest score of 30 in great style (well, maybe not great style, but with great effect!). Santosh too batted very well, driving and chipping runs with good skill, in an important stand that was ended when Trappler was marginally stumped off Long (30, 38 balls, 1 x 4). Prasanna came in at 58 for 2 to play what looked to be a critical anchor innings as he took the trouble to settle in. But for some strange reason, Prasanna chipped a comfortable catch to mid-off off Joss, to depart for 6 (9 balls). Quirk was the last front-line batsmen, but he too fell cheaply, run out for 5 (10 balls) off a sharp single, with the score on 91 in the 16th over. Santosh then fell, bowled on the drive for a thoroughly good 27 (32 balls). Moore joined Harrison at 103 for 5 off 18.3 overs, 46 wanted from 6.3 overs, achievable, but not if many mistakes were made. The two batsmen were, fortunately, pretty experienced in this kind of run chase and were also used to batting with each other, which helps when the chips are down. Mostly ignoring all sorts of rather dubious advice from their watching team-mates, and from each other, they whittled away at the total, steadily and consistently, and without too many scares. Singles were pushed, wides claimed, a few 2's were scampered, the opening bowlers rebuffed. Moore drove a powerful 4 to relieve some late pressure, Harrison ran some ultra-sharp singles, to bring the requirement down to 4 from the last over. A push from Moore to gully, a wide, but a couple of dot balls, left the Dogs still needing 2 from 3 balls. But with field brought in, Harrrison smashed a low full toss back past the bowler for 4 to take the Dogs home with 2 balls to spare. 151 for 5 from 24.4 overs, with Harrison 20 not out (30 balls, 1 x 4), Moore 19 not out (19 balls, 1 x 4). A nice, deserved win.

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