Business headed into their first match with Pudong for the season feeling good with a 4-1 record. Pudong at 2-1 were the only other side yet to feel defeat tiwce in the season. The Business named a strong side and were confident of getting their fifth win of the season.
It was a scorching hot early afternoon start and as such Filthy lost the toss and Pudong chose to bat first. Despite pleas to the contrary pudong elected a Andy “Drunken Muppet” Baggott to scoring duties so the Pudong innings is all a little vague. The faced 39-40 overs and scored somwhere between 153-170 runs depending on which set of hieroglyphics you attempt to interpret. Anyway it went something a little like this…….
Paps and Dazzler started off as per usual with impeccable line and length and kept the Pudong openers under wraps. Both openers played some fairly agricultural hoicks, most of which were not on Shandy’s “Posh side”. In the 5th over A. Dartnell edged one through to A Tois and the first wicket was down with 15 on the board. A. Kawatra joined C. Aldous and the tedium continued. To his credit Aldous kept the scoredboard ticking over and at drinks Puding were 53-1. Shortly after Dazzler picked up his second, hitting Kawatra in front for a painstaking 10 off 49 deliveries.
The second drinks break was taked with Pudong 96-2 after 26 overs. That quickly became three as M. Wyatt was run out after great work between Shrek and Shandy. In the 29th over Aldous’ luck finally ran out as he was bowled by Filthy. Aldous had survived three regulation dropped catches by Shandy, Filthy and Paps in making his 57 off 73 balls. D. Nautiyal joined B. Hughes as the Pudong tried to finish their innings off strongly. 40 off 35 for Hughes (bowled Filthy), 15 off 20 for Nautiyal (lbw Smurfy) and 1 off 2 for S. Abichandani (bowled Paps0 saw Pudong through to whatever score Andy felt like giving them. It ended up as 170-7 somehow.
Dazzler 2 wickets, Filthy 2 wickets and economical spells from Smurfy and Shrek the pick of the bowling efforts.
The chase of 171 started off well with Shandy and Statsre-igniting their shared passion for time at the crease. Shandy pulled out his patented loft cover drive on the up early in his innings trademark and as oftens happens the chance was shelled. In a display of true generosity Shandy offered himself to Pudong again and again his advances were rejected. Business then were safely through to drinks at 42-0 without loss with Stats on 5 (incl. a bye not signalled by the umpire). The next 13 overs were a pleasure to watch as Shandy gave all a lesson in how to dismantle a bowling line up with regulation cricket shots. Stats was involved in the partnership also from memory. 109-0 after 26 overs at the second drinks break. The chat was see it through yourselves.
First ball after drinks, heave , bowled 65 off 80 for Shandy and a second consecutive personal half century and likewsie second consecutive century opening stand with Stats. As is the Bashers way 1 very quickly become 3 as Dazzler was run out ball watching a dropped catch fro Stats bat and Tubby, promoted up the order after his drunken boxing efforts, got a peach and was gone for a golden duck. 122-3 after 29 overs. 49 required off 11 overs with 7 in hand. No worries. A tois at 5 was in two minds about how to play his innings and ended up squirting a catch to slip with a half hearted push. 10 runs later Stats’ vigil ended as he was caught off S. Yadav’s bowling for 38 (off 90 balls).
With the run rate required hovering between 4.5 and 5 an over the cahse needed cool heads but didn’t get any. Filthy (4), Fruitbox (15), Lunchcutter (3) and Shrek (golden duck) all fell quickly and unnecessarily chasing big shots (although Shrek can feel aggrieved at his lbw decision). The middle and lower order left too much for the tail to do and the Business fell six runs short when their 40 overs were up. 165-9 after the start provided by Shandy and Stats was a bitter pill to swallow.
The bowling figures from the match are tbc and other than Shandy and Stats the batting wasn’t noteworthy. Bring on a run of 4 games in 4 weeks in July!