Although nominally the same team as the one we played in the 20/20 some of the players were different. The name Adamstown conjures up an aura of invincibility based on the fact that we rarely beat them and according to them they are rarely beaten. However with the 20/20 victory under our belt we have started a new chapter in this relationship.
Two of our starting XI were grudgingly given permission to attend parties. In the past this would have resulted in the following conversation between the skipper and the committee:
“We’re down two players for Saturday. Does anybody know somebody who could fill in?”
“I’ve got a cousin who played cricket once. Or maybe it was hurling. He’s got a bad back and he limps a bit.”
“Sounds fine to me. Is he registered to play?”
“No but Joey Browne is.”
“Great. That’s 10 and maybe I could ask that man who turned up to nets 3 years ago………….”
Anyway such is the influx of talent since we started to rebuild the team last year that these conversations are a thing of the past. We are now in an era of squad rotation.
Adamstown won the toss and elected to bat. Neville (19 for 2) struck early and the openers were soon back in the pavilion. Ably supported by JT they turned the screw on Adamstown restricting the flow of runs. However after our initial success numbers 3,4 and 5 started to fight back. Without Moon as first change bowler it was left to Ahsan to continue the pace attack and Darren came on at the other end bowling his loopy spinners. The combination worked well and they both got wickets.
The fielding was particularly good with Ray and Darren getting spectacular run outs by direct hits. They throw the ball so hard that if it isn’t a direct hit the ball can sail on to the boundary for overthrows. Such is their accuracy this doesn’t usually happen. After Darren’s direct hit from the boundary the skipper jokingly admonished him for not throwing it into the wicketkeeper. The wicketkeeper it has to be said was very relieved that he was excluded from the possibility of bodily injury on this occasion.
Now that we are a happy team we are inclined to chatter a bit more than we should and the skipper was heard to remark that field placing is not on the basis of talent but separating the talkative from the mute. The senior players seem be the main culprits and the skipper told two of them to “save it for your memoirs!” This is tough love!
Ray (2 for 3) was brought in to finish off the tail. An excellent caught and bowled saw the back of Mughal (38). Adamstown’s wicket keeper, Sivanatham, played a ridiculous reverse sweep the like of which you would sack a player for and gave away an easy catch. The third of Ray’s wickets was caught by the ever reliable Darren.
It was a good bowling and fielding performance by Halverstown and this restricted Adamstown to 120. We retired to the pavilion for tea confident that we had the batsmen for the task.
In our openers, Richard and Ray, we have two classy batsmen. Richard’s technique is that of somebody who has been well coached and has a natural eye. He lures the fielding side into a false sense of security by playing several well executed forward defensives and just at the moment they decide to move in 10 yards he bangs the ball past or over them for 4 or 6. There is never any hurry. Ray on the other hand is a swashbuckler. He has all the shots and deploys them to great effect. He doesn’t hang around as though he has a train to catch. He has only one weakness and it has cost him dearly on 3 occasions ~he likes to stand in front of his stumps.
They strode to the crease and started as though they would ensure that nobody else would have to pad up. Unfortunately Ray was adjudged LBW after scoring 12 whereas Richard went on to get 50*. A case of the “old dog for the hard road”. Batsmen number 3 and 4 came and went and it was left to the newly christened ‘Boom Boom’ Bayer to help bring home the prize. Gunter (39*) aka BB has spent a lot of time in the nets rekindling the technique he had abandoned when he took up ice hockey at the age of 14. He is a muscular bottom handed hitter of the ball. He hits the ball hard and gets over the top of it to keep it on the ground. He is a momentum player and takes the game away from the opposition quickly. After 25 overs victory had been secured and we had won by 7 wickets.
This victory over a regular Adamstown 4 team shows how big an achievement our 20/20 victory was against a team packed with players who were presumably from higher divisions.
As we were basking in the glow of victory at home, with glass in hand, a text appeared from our leader congratulating us on our performance. I think I’ll put that in my memoirs as well……..
Our next Cup match is against AIB on 5th August.