AIB arrived bursting with confidence. So far we have played 3 matches against them and lost 3, which might have been the reason for their exuberance. They won the toss and put us into bat hoping to be home in time for an early tea. You could see the glint in their eye as they contemplated skitling us out in 15 overs.
It was a great pleasure to welcome back David Brown to the fold. He is a fine cricketer with a good cricketing brain. Brian McAllister who joined the club this season made his first appearance in the league having played a number of Oaks games. Hugh Ronaldson, who had played with great enthusiasm at the BBQ was available. From a sporting dynasty that favours the oval ball we looked forward to his agility in the field. He and Terrence Case represent our youth policy. The latter has learnt his cricket in Castle Case at the foot of Lugnaquilla, the cricketing heartland of the Wicklow Mountains. It is the equivalent of Mallory teaching Irvine at Everest basecamp. We were one short due to a late cry off and so 10 men, strong and true, took to the pitch.
The farming community is at full throttle in August and we were without our usual openers Barry, Richard and Tim. JT and Gunther opened against some very accurate bowling. Dharmanna Kori (2-21) was the pick of these although his economy rate of 2.5 was the most expensive of the AIB bowlers! It wasn’t until Dave Brown (26) weighed anchor at number 4 that there was some stability and this was a remarkable innings, as he hadn’t played any cricket for a few years. Kevin Hodson (18) a devotee of Thursday evening nets came in at number 7 and took the game by the scruff of the neck. Running like a gazelle he took any singles that were on offer and scored a couple of boundaries. When he was out the score was 7-84 and whilst runs were hard to come by we intended to bat out our overs. The next batsman was Neville Case who has been practicing the pull for 6 over mid on at nets. His height gives him the levers for this shot and he had executed it with some aplomb in the previous game. Unfortunately the accuracy of their bowling didn’t give him the opportunity for a repeat but he did manage a 4.
After 40 overs we were 8-96 and Terrence and Des were unbeaten. A par score this season is probably 240 and so we were a little short of this.
Neville keeps a tidy book and we are very grateful to him for doing the majority of the work in this department. Kevin provided an excellent tea although the assumption that the adjoining farmer would hand a pail of milk over the fence at tea time was probably unwise.
So at tea we had successfully batted out 40 overs and our 2 main strike bowlers were pawing the ground. Neville’s first over was a maiden and in his second he got 2 wickets. The first of these pitched outside the off stump and the batsman left it only to see his leg stump demolished. The next ball was similar and the umpire had no problem giving LBW when it hit the pads. The hat trick ball was in the next over but the batsman conceded a maiden rather than give away his wicket. It was tense stuff and we were firmly in the game with JT controlling the other end.
After the loss of 2 quick wickets AIB’s wicketkeeper and senior player, Mark Kearney (49), came to the crease. He shepherded his colleague, Kaushik Reddy (37) and between them they chased down the total after 19 overs with 8 wickets standing. We used 7 bowlers and once again it was the opening pair who kept their economy rate below 3. In the end we didn’t have enough runs on the board to defend.
Our next match is against Leinster 5 away at St Columba’s on 11th August.