Hoping to bounce back from last week’s defeat, the 4ths turned out the usual mix of seniors and juniors for our game v Stew-Mel 3rds at Craiglockhart on Sat 11th – a rare home game for some players this season, given a couple of cancellations in the last few weeks. Our oppo had beaten us by one wicket on the last ball of the game 9 weeks ago, so we hoped to avenge that defeat. Little did we know that we’d have another game going almost to the very last ball!
Our losing the toss as usual meant that Stew-Mel batted first – we might well have bowled first if we’d won the toss, as our bowling was a little stronger than our batting. Ross and Kevin opened the bowling, and we began to take wickets steadily through the first half of the oppo innings, as both openers then Farhan, Daniel and Matthew all bowled good spells. The only hint of a problem to come happened when Julian dislocated a finger, and had to surrender his keeper’s gloves to Ewan Rhodes while he sought medical help. Thankfully he was only absent for a few overs, though he later pulled a calf muscle badly while fielding at slip! At drinks Stew-Mel were 67 for 5. Some good batting thereafter saw Stew-Mel’s scoring rate increase, but thankfully for us wickets kept falling at important points, and they ended up with 149 all out after the full 40 overs. Ross had the best bowling figures with 3 for 13; Farhan and Mathew both deserved their two wickets apiece.
With Julian crocked and Craig hoping to leave early, we rejigged our batting order a bit. Alan and Daniel opened, facing a testing spell in the first few overs. Unfortunately Daniel was bowled early on, and Ewan also didn’t last long, so Alan and Charlie had to concentrate on squeezing out a few runs here and there till some change bowlers came on. By taking few chances and cashing in on any wayward bowling, we reached 66 for 2 at drinks: still a bit to do, but wickets in hand. Charlie, having scored 44, was out to a good catch at slip to leave us at 95 for 3 after 27 overs. Fresh from a good innings last week, Craig joined Alan, and seized every opportunity that came his way and found the boundary regularly. Alan (also on 44) was out early in the 37th over, with 15 still needed; Ross alas fell first ball, which gave Stew-Mel hope that they might have enough runs in the bank to defeat us. But Craig had other ideas, and a 6 off the first ball of the 38th overturned the tide our way. Losing Jono at the end of the 39th over, with 5 still needed, didn’t stop Craig, who belted two of the next three balls for 4, handing us a 4-wicket victory; Craig finished on 46 no.
Another good game against Stew-Mel meant honours even over the season, and just as in the first game it was encouraging to see the juniors on each side taking a fair share through the afternoon.