Business Bashers vs Dogs match report
The Business side approached the game on this sweltering 38*C day in their usual manner as the bus waited for Sinbad at the Camel before making a late departure. Spirits were high however, and the Dogs had rued the day they last stepped onto the wicket against us.
“Captain-for-a(nother)-day” Filthy Mildenhall won the toss and elected to bat first, rejecting the Hot Dog’s offer for same-end bowling in the process. The hope was that shear heat stress would wear down the opposition with field changes adding pressure to the Doggies in the midday sun. With only three regular Business players due to take the field and the bulk of the rest made up of new players and Pleasure upgrades, the day was always going to be a bit of an unknown quantity.
Openers were Capt Filthy and new-comer Tiny, and the match was underway with high expectations of a long and disciplined partnership, which was reinforced with a surgical Filthy boundary in the first over. However, a catch off a mistimed stroke by Tiny in the following over robbed himself of the chance to contribute runs to the board, and allowed the Doggies JJ Lim to open his spell with a maiden-wicket over. Wicket to Doggies, first Duck to the Bashers.
Dazzler then entered the fray, with hopes that he could repeat his recent strong performances and make up the difference. Playing several cautious dot-ball defensive strokes over the next four overs and allowing Filthy to add another 8 to the total, the Dazzler hope was squashed as he was sent quacking back to the marquee by another wicket from JJ, this time C&B (which didn’t make the moment taste any better for any of us). Another gaping zero appeared in the Bashers batting column, which was now at 12/2 after 6 overs.
Next saw a moment of recovery with Conan and Filthy holding together over the next 13 overs for a 46 run partnership before our Captain realized that the dominance of his own scoring was under threat and promptly acted to put his teammate in his place by running him out. Problem solved. 58/3 off 19.1 overs.
Sir Dick then stepped up to the crease, and his proven high-run-rate capabilities had the team holding their breath with anticipation. However, after an uncharacteristic bout of discipline and patience (3 dot balls in a row) it all got the better of him and he lashed out a catch to provide the second wicket of Irfan’s spirit-breaking wicket-maiden over. Our third Duck in 4 wickets. The stunned silence was only momentarily interrupted by nervous local duck-farmers inquiring as to whether the Bashers were intending to go into competition with them.
Paps then approached the crease and held the fort for his first over, only to watch as it was followed by our intrepid Capt Filthy shafting himself in yet another wicket-maiden by Irfan. Despite Filthy’s 5 boundaries in a long stand of 38 runs from 65 balls, the score at 59/5 off 22 overs said it all.
Growler then came out to face the Doggy onslaught and added one boundary to several by Paps, adding another 32 runs in a lightning three-over partnership. However, the moment was short-lived with Growler clean bowled by JJ Lim, and Paps following him in the same way to Kabir Khan the very next over. 94/7 after 27 overs. It looked like the team might just scrape through for a collective century…
However, when all seemed lost The Korean and Tubby took it upon themselves to change the situation in a tail wagging partnership of face-saving proportions bringing in 61 off the next 10 overs. While both players played defensively for the first couple of overs to settle things down, Tubby soon felt primed and proceeded to knock several boundaries into the Doggies self-confidence, with an awestruck Korean conceding to simply support Tubby by offering back the strike whenever he could, scoring just 4 singles in a steadfast 20 balls, followed by very brief appearances by Sindbad and Leppa (who managed a boundary of his own before characteristically failing to survive the last ball of the innings). Nevertheless, Tubby’s aggressive and unbeaten frenzy with the bat had gained the team 76 runs from just 49 balls. Turning the situation from a potentially devastating 94/7 after 27 overs, into a final score of 184. Game on!!
After copius fluids consumed during the break as Filthy had the team out in 38 degree heat for catching practise, the Bashers felt well-primed (if not a little heatstruck) to take this match to a positive conclusion.
The Dazzler opened the bowling with some awkward wides down the leg of the left-handed Dog opener, Damon Paling, but soon adjusted the swing and delivered some blistering bail-rattling deliveries to complete the opening over without runs scored off the bat. Our Filthy Captain then opened his account with an over of sheer quality from the other end to reaffirm the attack and the Dogs were now very alert, and very nervous. Ghostly nick sounds seemed to be audible only to the wicket-keeper and slips as the opening batsman were beaten again and again under this onslaught. Surely the inevitable was just around the corner.
With some rather desperate shots from the Dogs and some generous non-standard wide interpretations by the Doggy umpire (soon put straight by a few stern words from their own embarrassed batsman, Damon) they were still able to climb to within a reasonable run-rate of 4.1 by the 10th over. But the high quality of fielding and bowling had also indicated that this was a very tentative hold they had. The wickets are coming… next ball!
Unselfishly Filthy replaced himself with Paps, but then felt left out and immediately took over from the other end to relieve The Dazzler in a brazen show of self-confidence. But with the heat at 38 degrees the Doggies frustratingly failed to give away opportunities while maintaining their run rate for several more overs. 51/0 at a rate of 4.25 from 12 overs. Still anyones game.
The next change saw Conan and Inquisition try to force the collapse that we so desperately needed with a mix of slower balls. After 4 uneventful overs the Inquisition finally broke through with a high top edge extracted from opener Damon, taken by replacement keeper the Korean, and Conan quickly followed the next over with the dismissal of the second opener, again with a catch to the Korean (who justified his selection with a solid game all round). But the run rate was still pressing forward and was now at 4.55 at the 18th over for 82/2.
Sadly the Bashers failed to capitalize from here and instead began to succumb to the heat. Leppa continued his session without further strike, meanwhile Sinbad took over from Conan, but the run rate creapt forward at a steady pace to 5.03 for the Doggies and the score climbed to 136/2 off 27 overs. Something needed to happen. In a last desperate attempt to upset the Doggies rhythm Tiny came on to replace Leppa and then Sameer came on to replace Sinbad for a single over. However, the move backfired, with the final 3 overs going without incident for 10, 13 and 20 runs respectively for a final score of 185/2, and giving the Doggies a well-earned 8 wicket win.
There were no notable failures by the team in either innings. An early batting collapse had successfully been recovered and a defendable score achieved under extremely harsh conditions. There were no dropped sitters or embarrassing misfields in the field and the couple which were dropped would have been absolute screamers if they had been held. The heat can’t be used as an excuse, as it was the Doggies who fielded during the hottest peak of the day. We were simply set a challenge, and failed to come up with that something extra to meet it. Probably a necessary wake-up call for our team which had reached the top of the ladder mid-season, a position which we are not entirely familiar with. Now we are mortal again, and reality has rejoined us. The Bashers will need to fight hard to regain top position, but know we have the ability to meet this challenge. Onwards!
2011 Division One
|DPR Hot Dogs||12||7||0||5||1927||2286||68.67|