Halverstown 2 v Sandyford 3 - Sun 8th May 2022

Halverstown 2 win by 10 Runs

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HALVERSTOWN 2: 129 off 40 overs

Batting: L.Joseph 31 Ajesh 27 B.McAllister 21 A.Syed 15 S.Conroy 6 D.Drumm 6

 Bowling: A.Syed 8-15-3 A.Barber 8-19-2 L.Joseph 7-25-2 Ajesh 8-26-2

B.McAllister 4-9-0 D.Drumm 4-12-0

SANDYFORD 3: 119 All out off 39.1 overs

Batting: Lingasan  43 Velappan 17 Gupta 17

Bowling: Lingasan 8-14-2 S.Gupta 8-16-2 A.Shah 8-35-2 E.Robson 4-4-1 Singh 3-16-1

There can be an epic quality to some cricket games. Games where the advantage swings from one side to the other and back again and where the final denouement is dramatic. The Sandyford match was such a game, where the eruption of joy at the ultimately unexpected win more than made up for the anxious hours in the field. But first a brief tribute to the win the previous week first when, captained by Cecil, H2 beat Wexford 3. Including last season this makes 4 matches undefeated under Cecil’s leadership: time for me to worry! With only the scorecard to hand I can just pick out the highlights: Wexford all out for 72 thanks to some superb bowling by Lijo (3wickets for 11 off 7 overs), Brian McAllister (2 for 6 off 5) and Ahsan (2 for 12 off 6), with a wicket apiece for Anoop and Kevin Hodson. The 73 runs needed were knocked off in 19 overs with Brian in a starring role, scoring 19 not out, and Ajesh 12 to win by 4 wickets, despite Nasser’s impressive 4 for 19.

Against Sandyford we were put in to bat after they won the toss. The Achilles heel of Halverstown is consistency in batting. Lijo opened with a fine 31 which included 5 boundaries, but only Ajesh managed to stay with him. What saved us was his extraordinarily gritty performance, his patient 27 off 68 balls holding us together until Brian McAllister and Ahsan put up some late resistance which helped us to the modestly defendable 129. Sandyford’s bowlers were accurate and fast and scoring was not easy against any of them.

If their bowling was good, ours was devastating. Andy Barber, Ahsan, Lijo and Ajesh pinned down their openers and after 13 overs they were 25 for 6 and we were all thinking about being home early for dinner. Then it changed, slowly and steadily. In the next 23 overs they lost only 2 wickets with Lingesan putting on 4 before Andy bowled him. Velappa and Gupta in the mid order dug in and they inched ever closer to the target. With 18 balls left they needed just 17 runs to win. Despite some terrific fielding and astonishing catches by Lijo and Ajesh, the game had drifted away from us. Then Velappan was caught by Ajesh off Ahsan and we dared hope! However it was wonder catch by David Braithwaite to dismiss Gupta for 17 in the 38th over which made us believe and really won us the game. An injured Sankara then struggled at no.10 and was run out with Sandyford still needing 10 in the final over. The death bowling by Andy and Lijo was key but every single bowler had impressive figures in terms of economy. Ultimately it was fielding, though, and especially the great catches: two each for Lijo and Ajesh and David’s amazing effort at long on which won us the game. This was a superb and complete team effort with every player playing his part as the drama slowly unfolded on the field. Epic!

Written by Des Drumm

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