Batting: PD 45 Mahesh 23 John Egan 10
Bowling: Sham 4-0-10-3 J.Egan 3-0-15-2 Hari 3-0-8-1 Ross 3-0-8-1 W.Barr 5-1-12-1 PD 6-1-10-0 AP 4-0-12-0 Mahesh 3-0-16-0
Batting: K.Hodson 37 Ahsan 16 M.Coyle 7 B.Hobbs 6.
Bowling: D.Drumm 3-0-18-2 B.Hobbs 5-0-20-2 S.Hankin 5-0-28-2 B.McAllister 4-1-5-1 Ahsan 7-0-20-1 K.Hodson 5-1-6-0 J.Kirby 5-0-16-0
When we played Chapelizod in June I felt as undermanned as the tiny Rorke's Drift garrison in the film “Zulu”. Indeed the 11 Victoria crosses won by the garrison were nearly deserved by our gallant losing team- if we had had eleven men that is. In the return fixture it was Chapelizod who were one short and we felt a victory could be in the offing as we fielded first in a timed game. Timed games are not common these days at our level: old-fashioned cricket with no limits on overs or bowling, the sort of game that historically could have gone on for weeks before spoilsports limited matches to just 5 days. We normally only play them with Leprechauns, who keep this tradition alive, and White City. Last year Chapelizod asked to play one and we earned a famous draw, frustrating what should have been a comfortable win for them. They wanted the same again and we were pleased to oblige, the game being timed to finish at 20 overs after 4.45 pm, whatever the scores.
Chapelizod won the toss and elected to bat. And slow batting it was. Our opening bowlers, Ahsan and Kevin Hodson conceded a miserly 21 runs in their spell of 11 overs as John Egan and captain Ross struggled against their accuracy. First change didn't help them with Brian McAllister taking 1 for 5 off his 4 overs and Jon Kirby not a lot more generous. It was Mahesh and PD who did the mid-order damage before Michael Coyle took an amazing catch from Bill Hobbs and PD fell to me LBW, the ball after hitting a huge, huge six at the river end! Their innings' stood out in a difficult 120 all out for the visitors as the Oaks turned in both an excellent bowling and fielding performance, with 5 catches taken- 2 by Michael. No need for a declaration, all out in 34 overs!
Our initial warm feeling ebbed as we then struggled against their opening attack with PD, Willie Barr and AP conceding just 14 runs off 8 overs. The pace picked up with Ahsan's arrival and Kevin put in an excellent innings of 37 before being run out, partially due to pulling a muscle. After that there was total collapse with 6 batsmen scoring 15 runs between them. It was hard for the scorer to keep up with the falling wickets! With 5 overs remaining of play and 24 runs to get there was just myself and Brian batting. Did we look to bat out for a draw or go for the win? We didn't really get much chance to think about it, with Brian caught off Ross with 20 runs still to get and 4 overs left.
New recruit Sham finished with great figures of 3 for 10 off his 4 overs, though I am not sure whether it was his bowling or our batting at the root of it. John Egan also took a couple of wickets though it their man of the match PD whose economy gave us most problem overall. It was an excellent game that could have swung either- or indeed neither- way before Chapelizod edged it. It was defintely a tribute to the old-fashioned joys of timed games of cricket!