Castleknock 4 v Halverstown 2 - Sun 28th May 2023

Castleknock 2 win by 95 Runs

CASTLEKNOCK 4: 217 FOR 9 off 40 overs

Batting: Sajid 63 Chandor 42 Saddiqui 41 Azgar 21*

Bowling: Nadeen 8-1-16-2 Azgar 6-0-16-2 Umer 8-0-24-2 Riahan 7-1-27-2

                Siddiqui 1-0-1-1 Sajid 2-0-14-0 Nubeen 2-0-17-0

HALVERSTOWN 2: 122 All out off 34 overs

Batting: D.Drumm 25 M.Hodgson 22* S.Hayes 18

 Bowling: S.Hayes 3-0-17-2 M.Hodgson 6-0-25-2 S.Conroy 2-0-18-1 A.Syed 4-0-24 -1 K.Hodson 4-0-27-1 J.Hodgson 8-0-35-1 D.Drumm 6-0-37-1

A.Barber 7-0-31-0

As I wrote last week, you just never know with cricket. This was a stronger Castleknock team than we lost by one wicket to at home recently, so when we took two early wickets for 5 we were if not jubilant then at least very optimistic. But Sajid, who looked an unlikely hero early on, took control and fairly bludgeoned us for his 63 until Cecil took the second of his two catches behind to dismiss him. By now they were 111 for 3 and Chandor and Siddiqui took over in the middle order. Sadly their tail wagged too and we failed to dismiss captain Azgar to get them all out. Their score of 217 looked- and indeed was- formidable. It was not as if we bowled poorly and we certainly conceded many less extras than they did in more overs. But we could not get the wickets when we needed them. Cecil was outstanding behind the stumps, adding a stumping from me to his two catches. Sam Hubert took two excellent catches and Mathew one, Stuart Hayes bowled very tidily indeed for his two wickets and everyone took one wicket at least, except the unlucky Andy Barber, who definitely deserved better for his toil. The Hodgsons were notably good with 3 wickets between them, bowling the most economically of us all.

Our innings saw controversy. We lost Sean very early to a Mankad by Nadeem. I offered Castleknock the option of withdrawing the appeal and giving a warning but there were no takers. Sean had to go. Tempers ran high after that, which did not help our batting and as usual for our higher order- wickets tumbled fast, this despite a shake up in the batting order which saw Kevin and Ahsan moved up. Their bowling was very fast, though distinctly more erratic than ours. At 33 for 6 it looked bleak and 50 might be the tops we could expect. However the late order did its job (yet again!). I top scored with 25 but was very ably helped by some great running from Stuart Hayes who added 18. He was bowled by Siddiqui , who was clearly throwing the ball. I asked their captain to take him off, which- after much discussion was finally agreed after one over. Stuart had grounds to feel hard done by. Two dangerous beamers saw Riahan taken off. Then came an outstanding innings from Mathew, who had his best day ever with a bat for Halverstown with 22 not out, including his first ever boundaries. It was a heartening late effort than took us well over the 100 mark before two LBWs saw Cecil and Andy out, leaving Mathew on 22 not out. We restored a bit of faith and hope in the team. We just need less charity.

Des Drumm 3/6/22

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