Grammar fielded 9 players for this Development League game and were grateful to Mannofield who loaned two fielders for much of their bowling stint. After a mutual captain’s decision for Mannofield to bowl we kicked off a 40 over game.
At drinks Mannofield were 66-3 and at close they kicked on to 146-7. All of our younger players fielded exceptionally well especially when we dropped to 10 fielders after about 20 overs.
Ranald Wilkie was the pick of the bowlers with 8-1-34-3. Qasim bowled an excellent spell and was unlucky not to get a wicket with his probing lines finishing with 8-2-15-0 & Sean Harrower bowled a tidy 8 over spell straight through in the middle of 8-0-21-0. Arif Ali picked up 1-11 off 7, Faraj Monnapillai 1-27 off 5 and Paul Norwood 1-8 off 4.
Arif and Aman were asked to open and they saw us through the first 6 overs before Arif was pinned in front of all three stumps. Ranald Wilkie, aka Mr Wilkie to much of the opposition, was in next as we looked to rebuild. Not wanting to give his pupils any ammunition for cheap jibes at school he went on the attack hitting some beautiful boundaries.
Wilkie and Sood grew into the game and before we knew it we were at 87-1 off 15 overs. After a brief consultation with the scorers in the 18th over it was established Mr Wilkie was 7 away from his 50. He nailed a sweet maximum and then nurdled a single tp bring up a well-deserved half century at which point both batsmen retired.
To the crease came Faraj and Sean Harrower. One tucked up Faraj and he was caught behind bringing Winstanley to the crease. There were a few there to be hit, but in traditional IPL style it was often a swing and a miss. With 40 still to win Simon decided to settle his self and dealt mainly in singles or twos and blocking the good ball for the next couple of overs realising he needed to build a partnership and lead from the front.
Sean then looked to cash in and picked out a fielder. To the crease came Paul Norwood, looking to get among the runs and steady the ship. Not so as he left a ball which straightened on him and bowled him. Apparently it was a ball to rival ball of the century.
Gavin Hunter was next up and he stuck around with Simon who was now cashing in with the occasional boundary. Gavin too was caught behind by a lovely ball from Mannofield’s young spinner.
Qasim, so accurate with the ball earlier, came to the crease to support Simon and try to see us home. He played the bowlers well and observed a beautiful cover drive by Winstanley for 4 – one which Roland would have been proud of.
The runs required came down slowly but surely each over. Qasim called well, ran well and supported Winstanley in the chase. Unfortunately the change of bowler did for Qasim and he edged onto his stumps leaving AGSFP’s still around 30 short.
One of Mannofield’s young players had to go off with suspected sunstroke and the call went out to Grammar for a spare fielder. Qasim duly obliged and was straight into into the fray cutting off a certain boundary
Back came the retired Mr Wilkie who prayed he was still seeing it like a beachball. The partnership between Mr. Wilkie and Simon kept the scoreboard ticking along. Both knew they had to bat sensibly to see the game home as this was the last wicket.
Two balls into what turned out to be the final over umpire Norwood advised Mannofield’s bowler that he was coming right in front of him in his follow through so LBW decisions would be impossible to give. In the very next ball a strong appeal had to be turned down in just those circumstances – a lesson to all of our youngsters as instead of a possible wicket a leg bye had tied the scores.
Fittingly it was Mr Wilkie who completed the win with a boundary to conclude a great game of cricket. Played in good spirit, both sides could have won the game with plenty of opportunities for batting, bowling and extra fielding.
Man of the Match
Mr Wilkie bowled well, fielded superbly and batted FPs to victory over two spells.
Faraj wins it this week with a stunning caught and bowled, followed up by running out Mannofield’s top scorer with only one stump to aim at.