Finglas 1 v Halverstown 1 - Sat 31st Jul 2021

Halverstown 1 Win by 25 runs

A number of us have been looking forward to our first league match of the season. I think we feel that it is our metier but Finglas 1 didn’t make it easy for us to secure our first victory. I won the toss and opted to bat on the basis that whatever total we post we have a bowling/fielding unit that is capable of defending it.

Finglas bowled extremely fast and it was hard for our openers to get bat on ball. Fortunately accuracy was questionable and this provided some protection but didn’t make run scoring any easier. Their fielding and throwing were extremely good. At the break we were 52 for 2 and struggling but not panicking. In H1 the steel runs deep and Kevin (47) had played a meticulous innings seeing off the openers by pushing the ball around for numerous quick singles. He must have felt like the ‘boy on the burning deck’ but I think he relishes these pressure situations. Ahbi brought energy to the batting but was undone by one that went straight on. BarryE (69*) then joined Kevin and the tempo began to accelerate from 2.5 runs an over to 6. This was a masterful innings of poise and execution that has been waiting to happen. Once Kevin had gone Darren joined Barry. They rotated the strike and ran like hares. After 40 overs we had posted 172 hard won runs. Was it enough? They needed 4.3 runs an over. It was going to be tight.

As a bowling unit we have great self-belief and everybody stepped up. We opened with Vishnu (2-18) and JT (1-20) who controlled the game conceding only 3 runs an over. BarryE (3-28) has come ‘out of the closet’ as an off-break bowler and suddenly there was another option which turned into much needed wickets. Sahab (1-21; economy 2.5) bowled 8 straight overs and swung the ball away from the batsmen - they didn’t like it. Essentially, we bowled a spinner at one end and a quick at the other end. It was the old good cop/bad cop routine but they couldn’t work out who was who. The one batsman who could have undone us was their captain Deepu, an accomplished banger but the quickest ball of the day from Vish spreadeagled his stumps. It was game over when JT invited one of the tail enders to go for a six over long on. When you see David under the high ball you know they’re toast.

We took some excellent catches and the ones that didn’t stick weren’t easy. David took the first slip catch for several seasons which now qualifies him to stand in the ‘valley of death’. Des took a catch which had he missed it would have drilled a hole through him. There is no teaching an old dog new tricks! The fielding was very good and for a batsman the most terrifying sight was Darren and David hunting as a pack on the off side – no quick singles there. If they went over the top the catchers were there to gobble them up. Barry E and David took 2 apiece.

In conclusion this was a very satisfactory win by 25 runs. A team effort led by Kevin and Barry Elshove in the batting and the bowling unit applying relentless pressure.

I would also like to thank Jon for umpiring and Gerard for scoring. Without these 2 the game doesn’t function.

Our next match is against Leinster 5 in St Columba’s next Saturday.

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