Victory at last, comes in an emphatic manner!
After a little heavy rain first thing in the morning, the smallish outfield at Dinting was slick, and well prepared, so batting first was the order of the day when Brian customarily won the toss.
Stuart Nock alongside Ravi Patel put on a 26 run opening partnership before Nock, not long after smacking a massive six over the score-hut I was stationed in, was caught at long-on for 15 despite the bowler’s front foot a good six inches over the line, a error not penalised on at least five other times by the umpire at the Southern end, whereas the Northern end umpire gave plenty of similar infractions, but couldn’t give a wide if his life had depended on it, but hey, who’d be an umpire, it’s easy being Judge, Jury and Executioner from my perch in the score box, which I have to say, that for it’s age, was bloody marvellous, gave a lovely elevated full view of the field.
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Ravi however, was not so unfortunate, he played a masterful innings joined by his middle-order compatriots Tony Mooney (12), Tilak Bhojani (13), and his son James (26) on his way to carry the bat with a maiden century for Stalybridge in just his second week with the club before Brian declared at the end of the 34th over with Stalybridge 223-6 and Ravi not-out with 132. In the words of Andy Gray, “take a bow son, take a bow!”.
If the batting in the first half was excellent, the bowling in the second can only be described as sublime, Madussar Bashir and James Patel bowled the opening twelve overs and absolutely annihilated the Dinting batting order, pegging the home side at just 32 runs for NINE WICKETS!!!
The final 3 balls of the 11th, Muddy’s 6th over claimed his 4th, 5th and 6th wicket of the day conceding just 11 runs for his six overs in the process, while James at the other end had an equally impressive 3 wickets for 11 in his first spell with the ball.
With that, my co-scorer, Dinting’s Billy Coleman, packed away his laptop power supply, and fully expected the game to be over moments later, and honestly, who could have blamed him?, however Charlie Clarke (14), who came in at no. 5, and Dinting’s no. 11 Paul Marsh (13*) hung on to build a 26 run partnership that lasted 12.3 overs; one more than the rest of Dinting put together, before Muddy picked up the final, and his 7th wicket of the day bowling Clarke with his figures a breath-taking 7-13, and the hosts all out for a more palatable (by comparison) score of 58.
I want to also emphasise that the fielding performance today was amazing also, not only did Ravi hit his century, his wicket-keeping was great, despite not putting on the gloves in a long while apparently, though I’m sure James will have something to say about a dropped catch, and the out-field chased down every ball heading to the boundary, preventing unnecessary runs, with very few of the silly mistakes seen previously this season, everyone should feel proud of the effort they put in today, well done lads!
Final result and scorecard: Stalybridge win by 165 runs.
Next week the 2s play host to Hollingworth, with just five games left in the season.