This Sunday game had a lot of excitement around a pitch looking promising for batsmen, showcasing fantastic bowling from Ashford Hill and series of gambles from Welford Park.
Fifteen minutes before toss, Mark (our beloved skipper) delegated captaincy to Dushy, shall we call it gamble number one. Mark did note how sluggish the over-rate was last time Dushy was captain (thanks Mark for the motivational speech). We had 4 players on their debut at Park - Sagar, Uzair, Shahbaz and Bhushan.
Having lost the toss; As Skelly says, "We send out our best tosser and he lost the toss"; Park were put to bat first. Mikey stepped up for the challenge to open the innings with a slow player like Dushy and thus we changed our opening pair again. Contrary to popular belief, Dushy was not slow this time - golden duck - back in pavilion before you could blink. Mikey braved on while wickets fell on the other side, Park losing Uzair(2) and Brooksie (1). Then stepped in our hero of many games this season and last season (many previous ones) and many ones to come, Herro, steering the game on path for Park. Soon after Mikey was bowled over, bringing in Sagar, who played a brilliant 100.00 strike rate on his debut. But Park's predicament continued, losing Shahbaz, Mark and Emily and Bhushan within a span of 5 runs. It was only Kiran who went for the last stand, while Herro went on to his 50. Unfortunately they missed the last wicket partnership record by 1 run! We could put up only 132.
After amazing teas by Kiran, Park needed disciplined bowling and superman fielding and that is exactly what the whole team went on to deliver. Kiran opened the bowling and bowled over one of the openers and he kept coming back in his following overs to get more wickets finishing at 4 wickets and only 1 extra. Opening from the other end was Sagar, and his tight bowling kept the pressure on. First change Mikey came in to claim 2 wickets and Shahbaz kept the run rate down. All these happening with brilliant support from fielders, dives by Uzair, Mark's quick reactions keeping batsmen in their crease, Brookise being a wall at midwicket and Emily kept chasing and converting 2s to 1s at gully. Bhushan claimed one important lbw. Herro bowled a brilliant spell to get one lbw. Finally Ashford Hill needed 22 of 12 overs with 2 wickets to spare and they kept getting 2s. Now the final gamble, having not bowled the whole season till now, Dushy was supported by vice captain Mark and he came on. All went well, thanks to Mikey for a brilliant catch, which was followed by a clean bowled. Park wins by 16 runs in 32.5 overs. phew!