Senior seamers strangle Saints
By Steve Lyall
Steve and Shahrukh roll back the years after solid batting effort
Good news is, it's another win, as we managed to bowl 20.4 overs in the second innings before the rain (and hail) got too much and ended it all.
Unlike on our previous outings at MPB, the deck was soft (hardly surprising really) and similarly it was hardly surprising that St M's decision, upon winning the toss, was to bowl.
However the returning legal eaglet Eklavya and ever-present Ahsan quickly racked up an opening partnership of 62 in 13 overs, before the unpredictable young quickie removed Ahsan for a solid 23, and struck again next ball, with Bobbie the unfortunate victim. Neil consolidated and while Eklavya missed out on a 50 (he made 47 with 6x4 and 1x6) the strong middle order cashed in on and found the boundaries regularly. Neil, 18, Jake, 35 (5x4), Krunal, 27 (4x4, 1x6), Sathees, 27 (1x4, 1x6), and finally Shahrukh with a quick-fire 22 (2x6) took us up to a strong 234 for 9 in an innings abbreviated by 3 overs to 42.
Steve exercised his prerogative and enjoyed his choice of ends, for once, but had his fielders to thank 100% for his first wicket - a nothing shortish ball got the square cut treatment, but Anpan, in the gully, juggled once, twice, thrice before clinging on and going all Imran Tahir on us. It was a great catch, however! Sharky gave nothing away at the other end but did not get the breaks his accuracy deserved, though with the ball going aerial if anywhere catches were bound to follow.
No.3 skied a miscued pull and Ahsan left no doubt that the catch was his - no.4 holed out to Krunal at mid-on - and while one or two went down it ultimately did not matter. Neil wisely bowled the vets through, as two bowlers could bowl 9, and after their combined stint was completed, the men with 1000+ TCC/TMCC wickets between them had combined figures of 18-7-27-3.
Quickly getting the spinners on to hustle through the overs we had two more bonus wickets, a difficult catch made to look easy by Sathees, off Krunal, and a superb pick-up and direct hit run out effected by Jake in the covers.
Given that we got through more than 20 overs (20.4, to be precise) and were country miles ahead on run-rate, a welcome 30 points was recorded nice and early, allowing us time to have a quick pint at MPB, and then a catch-up back at HQ with the 4s guys. Life in the old dogs yet!