Monday, April 30, 2007

Maddogs Vs Yale - 4/28 by JPM

The skipper, Tom Haydon, adopted a different attitude to the toss in the rematch with Yale, doing precisely nothing and winning passively. It mattered little, as the Dogs were going to bat either way. Prasanna and Trappler opened the innings, in rather contrasting styles. Prasanna was the first to depart, a characteristically aggressive knock of 16 ending to an excellent low catch by Jimmy at mid-off (13 balls, 3 x 4).

Trappler was out soon thereafter, slicing a high catch that was, to mass amazement on both sides, held one-handed by a back-diving fielder out at third man, the fielder in question being an irregular player in jeans (5, 20 balls). Lawrence and Bannerjee then assembled a stand of 64 in 12 overs, Bannerjee looking a bit rusty with his timing but hanging in there gamely while Lawrence went about his usual business in his usual way, albeit a bit more aggressively than usual. Bannerjee drove a return catch with the score on 98, out for 10 (35 balls), bringing Sood to the crease. By dint of highly aggressive batting, 63 runs were added in the next 6 overs. Sood mowing merrily and running hard in a highly effective innings of 40 from only 29 balls with 3 fours, more than matching Lawrence's own run rate as the great man accelerated, smashing boundaries and picking up singles, seemingly at will. But with a century in his sights, Lawrence swept and missed to depart LBW for an outstanding 76 (49 balls, 3 x 6, 9 x 4). Sood's own terrific knock came to an end with the score on 176 for 5 in the 25th over, as he nicked one to the keeper.

Wilson came and went, mowing a mighty sweep off Jimmy that went very high but not very far to plop back into the keeper's gloves (2, 3 balls). Haydon and Moore settled the innings a little, as there were still 10 overs left, Moore surviving when a ball from Jimmy passed between his middle and off stumps without disturbing a bail - the veteran batsman showing excellent, millimetrically perfect judgment of line in what to leave alone. Haydon was less fortunate, however, feathering the faintest of edges from the same bowler to the keeper (7, from 13 balls). Pratt, on debut, drove a return catch to Jimmy off what was almost a double bouncer (2, 7 balls). Moore and Smith then tried to use the overs up, batting calmly for a few overs until Moore pushed a low catch to cover, Jimmy taking his third excellent catch of the innings, out for 10 (19 balls). Smith then departed LBW for 8 (9 balls, 1 x 4) almost immediately afterwards, leaving Thompson on 3 not out (4 balls) as the innings closed on 218 all out from 33.2 overs.

Wilson bowled Mahan, a sacrificial non-batsman, with the first legitimate ball of the innings and picked up a second wicket soon after when Makani mistimed a drive straight to Smith at cover for 1.Haydon bowled just as well, but with less luck, as the two seamers kept the early run rate way down in nice, tight spells. Smith and Thompson took over, a much younger pair of seamers. Smith was steady but luckless, bowling a 7 over spell in one go and doing well.

Thompson had some significant radar problems, spraying the ball down the leg-side and keeping keeper Pratt busy, but taking a wicket with a rare straight one when Assad (26), no doubt frustrated, drove a high catch out to Simon at long-on where the sub fielder (on for the relaxing Lawrence) judged it beautifully. Moore replaced Thompson and settled into a nice spell of varied pace but tight line, pinning Suyog LBW for 12 as the batsman misjudged the length when sweeping at a flighted ball. Karan (20) also fell to Moore, Simon holding another well judged catch at deep mid-on. Bannerjee had replaced Pratt by this time, and the erstwhile keeper turned his arm over, delivering capable medium pace and taking 2 wickets, Jimmy lofting a catch first ball to Haydon at mid off and Jayson, later in the innings, bowled.

Thompson and Banerjee combined on the run out of top scorer Usman for 43 (after assorted players had botched at least 4 earlier run outs). Simon, officially twelfth man, was allowed an over as the Yale innings ground down and took two wickets, one bowled, the other LBW as he found the old ball didn't swing but went through nice and straight - a useful lesson for the futureŠ.. So, the Yale innings ended on 149 all out from 30 overs, the Dogs comfortable winners by 69 runs. Another pleasant game, a good early season warm up handled very well by Haydon who again got everyone involved.

Wilson 4-0-9-2
Haydon 4-1-16-0
Smith 7-0-35-0
Thompson 3-0-33-1
Moore 7-1-24-2
Pratt 4-0-22-2
Simon 1-0-1-2

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mad Dogs vs Yale Bulldogs 4/21/07

The first home game of the new season was played on a glorious spring day, warm, sunny, perfect cricketing weather. MDP was looking in excellent condition, with the pitch newly rolled (thanks James Cox and David Johnson!). With several of the team's superstars (and also Keith and Tony) missing in the West Indies, the social side came out en masse. The skipper, Tom Haydon, did what all Dogs' skippers do, and lost the toss. Bannerjee and Taiwo opened the Dog's innings and the first ball of the season was, predictably, a wideŠ.. With the help of many more of the same, the score had reached 23 in the 4th over when the ball flew off the top edge of Bannerjee's back, his pull therefore ending in the hands of third man, out for 2 (11 balls). Kojima helped Taiwo add another 18 before the former, after batting solidly, attempted a lavish off drive to be caught at mid-off for 7 (14 balls). Taiwo fell two runs later (43 for 3 in over 8), plumb LBW for 15 (20 balls, 1 x 4, 1 x 6), a characteristically inelegant but effective innings adorned by a couple of meatily mowed boundaries. Smith and Sood then assembled the inning's major stand, 49 in 10 overs, in contrasting styles, Smith all technique and elegance, Sood neither of the above, but by hustling and bustling, nurdling and hitting, he picked up runs by various ways, and rapidly. The stand was ended when Sood lofted a catch to leave with an excellent 35 to his credit (35 balls, 2 x 4, 1 x 6, the latter a clean hit over mid on). Prasanna hit his first two balls for 4, then was caught in the deep off the third (8, 3 balls, 2 x 4). Gee, seen that before! Haydon joined Smith, but at 115 for 6 off 21.3 overs, Smith's nice knock ended on 16 (37 balls, 1 x4) when he was stumped off the opening bowler as he dragged his back foot (see below for whether this was a legitimate dismissal). Haydon fell soon after, slapping a lousy long-hop straight to point, a ball he himself should bowl more often to get some wicketsŠ.. (2 from12 balls). This left the Dogs potentially in trouble, 124 for 7 in the 24th over. Moore, soon after coming in, survived a controversial stumping attempt when the 'keeper, who had been standing back to the opening bowler, suddenly ran up to the stumps in mid delivery and removed the bails when Moore missed a near wide on the off-side. Initially given out, the batsman correctly but firmly pointed out that the keeper's stunt was illegal under the Laws of Crickets. After some debate, Moore was recalled from the pavilion to play a nice knock as "closer", ensuring the overs were used up. Major focused on crease-occupancy while Moore pushed singles around more at less at will, and struck 3 fours as well. Major was bowled slogging off the last ball of the penultimate over (4, 16 balls), ending a highly useful stand of 28 in 5 overs. Simon contributed 2 not out (3 balls) in the last over, with Moore also undefeated on 27 (29 balls, 3 x 4) and Santosh not called on to bat. The final total of 160 for 8 off the 30 overs was deemed satisfactory by the more experienced players. The Yale bowling was generally good, and the pitch was playing well but with some irregular bounce, so scoring over 5 an over wasn't at all bad.

Simon and Santosh formed a lively opening attack, both bowling well to keep the early scoring in check. Simon bowled his 6 overs in one spell, taking 3 wickets, all bowled by rapid full length, swinging deliveries to crumble the Yale top order (Bashir for 7, Farooqui for 7 and Sandeep for 18). A few too many wides from each of the openers was the only down-side to excellent spells, Santosh being unlucky not to take a wicket. Major and Haydon then came into the attack, Haydon bowling really well, with excellent control and sharp pace to keep it very tight from one end. Unfortunately, at the other end, Major had a major attack of The Yips, the most dramatic demonstration of the bowlers' curse since the last time Thornton was seen anywhere near a ballŠŠ Alternate deliveries bounced three or four times or sailed over the batsmen's heads as the unfortunate bowler lost his usual control. But ahead the mayhem, opener Hunaiyan was so surprised to receive a nearly normal ball that he charge it, missed and was stumped by Bannerjee for 23, yards down the track. Strange game cricketŠŠ However, by this stage Yale, at 103 for 4 from 16 overs, were well ahead of the scoring rate, and seemed likely to win if enough of their players could stick around long enough. Haydon and Prasanna soon put the screws on, Haydon bowling Rabbani for 5 and Vadera for 12, and taking a return catch from Jimmy for 18, just when the latter was looking to slog his side to \victory. At the other end, Prasanna was almost unplayable, not taking a wicket but proving truly hard to score off, as the run rate was ratcheted right down. Prasanna also contributed to the run out of Khan for 0, with a throw that Bannerjee diverted cleverly back onto the stumps while in a full dive. Moore, on for Haydon, soon bowled Kaytes for 1, and with Kojima and Smith bowling an over each at the end, Haydon was using his resources wisely. Prasanna returned for the last over with Yale 12 short, to ensure that nothing silly happened at the death, and a desperation run-out ensued, Jia being dismissed for 2 by a thrown from Simon to Banerjee. The Yale score of 148 all out from 29.4 overs left the Dogs deserved winners by 12 runs. Haydon handled the game beautifully, getting everyone involved while still ensuring the game was won. Overall, an excellent day. In retrospect, it seemed likely that Smith's stumping dismissal was also illegal, but unlike a 50-year old veteran, a 14-year old wouldn't know the more arcane rules, and the older players didn't really understand what had happened until the second occurrence. Yale played the game in the right spirit, and simply didn't realize that what used once to be legal was outlawed several year's ago - handshakes all around.

Simon 6-0-29-3
Santosh 4-0-16-0
Major 4-0-54-1
Haydon 6-2-17-3
Prasanna 5.4-1-8-0
Moore 2-0-8-1
Kojima 1-0-11-0
Smith 1-0-3-0

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