Mick won the toss and elected to field. If you want to know how this worked out for us read on……….
All sorts of records were broken at this match. Leinster batted and amassed a total of 354 for the loss of 3 wickets. Their first wicket partnership was 140 and the number 2 batsman, Abdul Saffar, scored 200* but claimed rather modestly that he was really a bowler. Also that he had never really played cricket at this level but had inadvertently scored 4 double hundreds prior to this.
It was extremely windy to start with, which made fielding and bowling difficult. Given the score the economy rates were high. Only 3 wickets were taken; Umer got 1 and Kevin Threadgold got 2. All catches and one of Kevin’s was taken by his father, John, on the long on boundary. This presumably provided material for a conversation on the journey home but also great memories for the future. One of the joys of cricket is that father can play with son or daughter and the list of families in this club who have done so is long and distinguished. Gray, Ruddock, Greene, Ronaldson, Threadgold, Drumm and Case spring to mind but are not exclusive.
We were kept busy in the field but despite the prodigious amount of runs being scored we remained upbeat and optimistic. Balls were chased relentlessly and boundaries cut off. Singles were not allowed to become 2’s and I can’t recall any 3’s. There are a couple of good arms in the club and JT, Neville and Umer can be relied upon to put the ball over the stumps. Tim was like a greyhound on the boundary and Barry recovered more balls from the bushes than a Labrador retriever. One ball made it as far as the M50 but not only was it retrieved but another was found too.
At tea we were tired but not disconsolate. Cricket players like seeing people play well and are generous with their praise. Also our batting line up was good and we were certainly going to give it a lash. Barry and Tim stepped off the combine to play this match and they opened the batting.
The most significant partnership was between Tim (97) and Umer (67). Two very different styles ~ the grace and languid ease of Umer contrasted against the strong muscular hitting of Tim. Both extremely correct and you could model yourself on either. By the time Tim was out the score was 3-179 off 26 overs. They had kept us in touch but 12.5 runs an over was going to be a big ask.
During this period their wicket keeper had an unfortunate accident and broke his wrist. In the spirit of the game we allowed them a specialist replacement. However it was probably not in the spirit of W.G. Grace that the replacement was from Division 2. However it was a treat to watch and we could only look on in admiration at a real keeper.
Another curious incident was that once Abdul Saffar (Mr 200) bowled 5 overs he then left the pitch in an exhausted state. They asked for a replacement, which we refused. Presumably through a misunderstanding they put on a man who had already played in a different division earlier in the day. The word bizarre wouldn’t cover these situations.
Dave Brown hit a glorious 6 into the pavilion, which we cheered loudly. During the last few overs the Captain and Vice Captain were digging in sensibly but praying for a biblical downpour. It never happened.
By the close we had scored 229. We had seen 583 runs scored in an afternoon; 200 scored by a single player; 97 scored by Tim and 67 by Umer; and some interesting substitutions. The difference between the 2 teams was Abdul Saffar and his 200. In all other respects we were competitive. Beaten but unbowed we plough on.
Our next fixture is against Merrion at home on 25th August.