The first sunny warm Sunday of 2012 was the perfect backdrop for this titanic Div 1 clash.
The Daredevils are chasing an elusive consecutive title and were keen to stamp their mark on the 2012 season early.
The Business team arrived at sparrow’s fart to SRFC for no particular reason and the first taunts of a mutiny seemed on the cards. Filthy looking to divert attention put Sir Dick in charge of a nice relaxing yoga class in the sun to try and get everyone more focused. Filthy took the reigns of leadership back just in time to lose the toss but managed to get what he wanted anyway.
The reigning Sante Fe champions won the toss and backed themselves by opting to bat first.Â The Devils had obviously not paid attention to the Bashers fielding warm-up which by all accounts was one of the sharpest on record.
With Cranky temporarily unavailable due to the HK 7s Filthy looked for the next oldest guy to help Dazzler open the innings. As the bowlers blew out a few cobwebs in the opening overs so did the batsmen and we found ourselves on the backfoot 50-0. Dazzler was the first to break through when he clean bowled their opening batsman and shortly afterwards Paps got his bunny. The Devils then unveiled one of their new signings. It was hard to tell initially if they were short or if this was actually one of the SRFC guys that usually drives the tractor being asked to make-up numbers. Either way it was pretty weird to have a Chinese guy playing in Div 1. What was even weirder was he was actually really good and starting to smash us around the park. It took a solid catch from Dazzler to finally dismiss him for 41. At the other end Nike Newtown was doing his usually hit and miss and catching practice on the way to 89. Without mentioning any names a party loving, taste tester who looks a bit like a fictional adventurer did give him a huge reprieve at the beginning of his innings. But hey, Dave dropped him twice as well.
In general we were a bit quiet in the field and were mostly fetching the ball from behind the ropes for much of the day. In spite of that Dazzler was particularly tidy only conceding 22 off his 8 overs and was by far the most economically bowler of the day. Needless to say we found ourselves staring down the barrel of 242 for victory.
Filthy asked Oscar and Sir Dick to get things underway. And they were steady in seeing some off the shine of new ball before both leaving on 9 a piece – Dick played a shot befitting of his name and Oscar found out the hard way that we were playing the LBW rule that day. Growler and Stats looked good and chipped away at the total until Growler was caught for a solid 24. Dazzler hung out with stats for a bit but was cut down before he got into his zone. That brought in Tubby with the Bashers chase in tatters at 90 for 4 in the 24th over; meaning we needed about 150 off the next 14 overs. What followed was a brutal onslaught from Tubby as he belted 70 runs off 39 balls, smashing their â€œspinnersâ€ out of the attack with some blunt force plundering. The Devils became dejected as there seemed to be no way though as Mike started to break SRFC chairs and their will to live. Tubby was eventually bowled and departed but now the Bashers were in a good place. Cassius came to the crease and wasted no time in keeping the momentum going.
Ollie hit an uncharacteristic near run-a-ball 46 before he was caught behind. Bringing in Filthy with Bashers needing about 35 off 31 deliveries with 4 wickets in hand. The pair enjoyed a couple of productive overs. With the Bashers needing 12 off 14, Cassius skied one to mid wicket. Then Filthy got a few runs before edging to the deep third man, bringing Sinbad and Paps to the crease with 6 runs being required of the last 6 balls. Sinbad hit 2, then played and missed, then hit a shot to long off. They made two safely and he was run out at the non strikers end attempting the 3rd. So two needed off 3 balls. Sameer faced the first and got bat on ball for a single to tie the scores. Leaving Leppa to face the last two deliveries and needing bat on ball. So the game ended in a tie after some sensational big hitting from both teams.
It was a shame to be in such a great position to win and then let it slip again. But not a bad result first up to get 240 on the board with the bat. A bit more life in the field and every catch taken and we should be all over them next time. Bring on 2012!
Dazzler 22 for 1 off 8
Tubby 70 off 39
Stats 46 off 49
Man of the Match: