After a week of beautiful sunshine … in South Africa, not Scotland where it was smashing it down all week as per … the sun came out on the Saturday and we finally got a game in.
The game got off to an indifferent start with Kyle Macpherson forgetting that the pre-match game of football had finished and kicking the first one, absolute screamer in the top left corner. Unfortunately the umpire gave him out and was sent to the sheds.
In stepped Arun, along with the debutant infiltrator from Arbroath which he would have certainly told you about before. Fraser Burnett has been sent from Arbroath to oversee what is happening at Carlton and upset the season for the Sky Blues. He nicked off after guiding one to slip and as he walked off, started smiling and saying to himself well done Fraz, job done.
Arun was looking in fantastic form, but decided he has had enough of batting and very unfortunately smashed one straight into his own stumps. The good bloke he is, he fixed the stumps for the umpires and apologized for disturbing the timber and walked off.
Corne Dry came in, and like all good pros, decided to give somebody else a shot with the bat, he guided one straight off his legs to the very agile keeper.
Things were looking good for the Sky Blues and the platform had been set well by the top order with the score on 21 for 4.
The patrons started pulling into the ground quite quickly at this stage with messages on the group chats being sent out reading “If you want to see some cricket, best hurry up”.
Tom Simpson stepped up with a swashbuckling 22 off 58 balls, all in singles with every shot accompanied with the call of yes mate, no mate, maybe mate, have a look mate, mate, mate, mate, mate. He was partnered well by Ali Shah who played with his natural flair, often referred to as the left handed Virat Kohli, scored a well worked 30 before taking Dry’s advice of giving someone else a chance and guided it to the ever illusive guy at the back of the wickets.
The time had now come for the pounding Will Hardy. His name just says it all. If I had a pound for every time Will pounds one out the middle, I would be a rich man.
With a slow start and using all his angles, Will got himself in. Batting till the last few overs, Will worked it all around the ground and even pounded a few over the wall ending on a well played 52.
He was well supported by big Ali Evans who guided his team to the last few overs and scored a handy 26.
Cheeky gracefully gave up his batting position to the big hitting ‘Ravi Rampaul’ prodigy – Shiv Gupta. Big Ravi knew he wasn’t going to be taking any quick singles so he cleared the front leg and scored a quick fire 25 with a few lusty blows, taking the score near the 200 mark.
Cheeky followed by Raza (who had his pads on all innings and abused the coaches arm for 2 hours before he batted but only managed to hit air in the last over) got the team to a well fought 194.
All jokes aside, the middle order stepped up really well, showed a lot of maturity and guided the team in combination with the lower order to a very decent total.
Going into the break and looking forward to the wonderful teas, the boys in sky blue were happy with the fight back and positive going into the bowling. While we’re on the teas, could I please have a batch of those Rice Krispie cakes and Oreo brownies!! Absolutely amazing!
Right, back to the cricket.
Corne Dry and big Ravi Gupta started the innings off well with very economical bowling in the first 10. Corne Dry went on with his generous ways and left all the wickets to be taken by other bowlers.
With the pressure being piled on in the first 10, the hosts had their work cut out chasing the score.
Adil Rashid, sorry I mean Raza, stepped up taking the first wicket ripping one from half way down and deceiving the batsman into playing a massive cut and nicking it into Tom’s gloves.
Big Ali running down the hill bowled a fantastic spell, always giving an extra 5% , and got the wicket he richly deserved, nicked off Hislop straight to Tom with the mits on behind.
With a bit of momentum Raza found his length, got Place chipping it straight back at him but wasn’t done playing with his food so he decided to spit it out and spilled the catch. Nevertheless he got him playing another chip shot, this time to Arun at mid-wicket. Arun, very David de Gea like, just palmed it over the cross bar with a full stretch dive.. Place got another chance.
In the same over, (I know, what an over) Cheeky with a bit of clever thinking, threw one straight into his foot after diving for the ball to give the batters an easy single to get Carson on strike. Raza tossed it up, Carson obliged, and tried to hit over the top, only to find the safe hands of big Ravi Gupta at Mid-off.
Raza was however not done. Bowling mystery balls and the batsmen under pressure at 51 for 3. Tom and Corne behind the stumps decided to give a bit of advice to the batter, telling Bowness to go down and smash one over the top to relieve pressure.
He did listen to the first part to be fair, but danced past it and Raza now had 3! 51 for 4
The Watsons pro stepped in and Place still hanging on, they built a bit of a partnership to get to 84 for 4. Arun tossed one up outside off stump and the pro went on the slog sweep only to hit it straight up. Corne Dry underneath it to take a great catch. Yes it was a great catch, believe me, I promise you. 84 for 5.
Wickets then fell at regular intervals with Cheeky bowling well with big Ravi to take 2 a piece.
The last wicket had to go to man who had started it all, Raza once again deceived the batsman with one of those rippers that pitch half way down, Cullen on the big pull hit it straight to big Ali Evans on the square leg boundary. Raza ends with 4 for 20.
A fantastic win by the Arrows who claim the victory by 57 runs.
Great fight back from the boys to bring this one home!