Monday, May 14, 2007

Maddogs Vs BigCricket Kangaroos 5/12 by JPM

The skipper, Tom Haydon, reverted to normality by losing the toss and the Dogs were asked to bat by the visitors, a motley collection of Australians. Greeted by much sledging, backchat, banter and mild abuse, Thornton and Kimberley opened the Dog's innings. A steady start against decent bowling saw the score reach 26 after 6 overs before Thornton hoisted a high catch to leave with 15 (22 balls, 1 x 6, 1 x 4).

Kimberley fell soon afterwards, bounced out and popping up a catch to the inner ring (8, from 23 balls). Trappler than hung in with Haydon while 29 runs were added in 7 overs; Haydon gradually playing himself into form and batting sensibly against continued decent bowling. Trappler fell LBW for 8 (18 balls, 1 x 4), sweeping and missing as a full toss landed on his leg. Anil, making his debut, joined Haydon and got off to a very cautious start, playing second fiddle in a stand of 38 in 9 overs as Haydon, batting woith increasing confidence and timing, opened up and get the scoreboard ticking over satisfactorily. Unfortunately, with a well-deserved 50 in sight, Haydon played across the line to Wolf and missed, bowled for 46 (63 balls, 6 x 4). Parag immediately ran himself out (0, 2 balls), leaving the Dogs in a spot of bother on 101 for 5 in the 25th over. Anil was still playing himself in, reaching 2 not out from 27 balls, but joined by Wilson, he blossomed, starting to play shots all round the wicket in nice style.

Wilson batted really well, making the effort to settle in before opening up as a very important stand of 73 was assembled in only 8 overs, a stand ended when Wilson fell LBW to Wolf for a very fine 38 (31 balls, 5 x 4). With the innings in its last few overs, Moore fell first ball, lofting a catch off Wolf, and Sood lasted little longer, bowled slogging at Wolf a few balls later (3, 4 balls). But an increasingly confident Anil was still in, scoring 37 more runs off the last 22 balls he faced, ending with 39 not out from 49 balls (2 x 6, 2 x 4), a very good effort indeed. Bannerjee hit hard to score 4 not out from 3 balls, and Smith did not bat as the Dogs' innings closed on a highly creditable 194 for 8 from 35 overs. Wolf, playing against the Dogs, had figures of 6-0-39-4, picking up wickets and being hit in turn, in the last few overs' slog-a-thon.

Wilson struck immediately for the Dogs, the somewhat fluffy-looking Stym gloving to 'keeper Parag for 1, and Haydon also struck in his first over, plucking out Brown's off stump for 3. Blomfield also fell to Haydon for 7, a slash to Kimberley at slip being juggled at least 3 times as the fielder fell backwards and used assorted body bits to keep the ball in the air while supine, culminating in throwing the ball away allegedly in control of its final motion (yeah, a fair catch, it just looked a bit hard to distinguish between the juggle and the discard phaseŠ..). At this stage, the Kangaroos were in trouble at 14 for 3, particularly as Haydon and Wilson were bowling very well in opening spells that put their team right on top. A curious, and potentially important incident then occurred: Thornton had departed injured, having bruised his hand dropping a slip catch off Wilson, to be replaced by Herman Smith who was, not unreasonably, wearing black shorts (and showing very shapely legs underneath them). Whelan played the ball towards him at square cover and hared off down the pitch, to be sent back, very reasonably, by his partner and run out easily. The gruntled batsman claimed, however, that he had thought Herman was the square leg umpire (at square cover???), and after some "discussions", Haydon did a very honorable thing by allowing him to continue batting. This act of courtesy looked to be costly, as Whelan, accompanied by Nicol, put on 62 in good style, both players showing they good bat. Smith (junior) and Moore were in the attack at this stage, the youngster starting very well but perhaps tiring a little as his skipper abusing all sorts of international regulations designed to protect youth by bowling him straight through for 7 overs. A few too many wides ensued, and some boundaries slogged off his last over gave Smith worse figures than he deserved; he did his job well in a numerically thin bowling line-up. At the other end, Moore delivered a highly economical spell, landing both his slower and quicker balls consistently on the right line and length and giving nothing away, to keep the scoring rate in the Dogs' favor. Wilson had traded the keeper's job with Parag, and took a stumping when Whelan (21) charged Moore, was beaten in flight and missed, to have all three stumps smashed flat by the enthusiastic, but scarcely stylish, new keeper.

Bell was soon pinned LBW by Moore's quicker ball, which kept a bit low, to leave for 4. Nicol reached his 50 but then mowed a rank full toss from Parag out to the running Haydon who took an excellent catch at midwicket. Hart smashed another Parag full bung hard at Anil at square leg, the fielder sticking a hand out and finding the ball lodged in it, to his seeming surprise. Just to prove he could get a wicket with one that bounced, Parag then bowled Thompson with what may have been a googly; he bowled some sharply turning deliveries and looked menacing when he got the ball to land in the right places.

By this stage, the Kangaroos' batting involved Wolf and rabbits, and with the scoring rate mounting, Haydon thought it safe to bring Kimberley onto bowl. Wolf hit well, giving raise to some momentary alarms for a couple of overs, but there was too much to do and Wolf perished for 24 when he mowed Kimberley to backward square leg, where Trappler held onto a hard hit, over his head, toppling backwards quite spectacularly.

Kimberley then put on a highly passable Harrison impression, by having a spat with an umpire over what constituted a wide. The Harrison-impersonation continued when Kimberley noticed the umpire instructing last man Celardi what end of the bat to hold and where to place the rest of it; scenting blood, Kimberley eschewed his characteristically high-flighted filth for the simple expedient of the straight one - very ruthless, utterly a la HarrisonŠŠ The Kangaroos' final score of 160 all out from 31.4 overs left the Dogs deserved winners by 34 runs. Haydon once again handled the side well, balancing the need to get most people into the game with the desire to win. The Kangaroos were decent, enthusiastic, and rather noisy opponents who ended up being out-sledged by the wit of the Dogs.

Wilson 4-1-10-1
Haydon 5-0-17-2
Smith 7-0-52-0
Moore 7-1-18-2
Parag 5-0-33-3
Kimberley 3.4-0-25-2

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