Carlton 317 for 3 (Amin 106, Yusaf 101, H Simpson 43*) bt Holy Cross 97 ao (Simpson 2-8, Keatinge 2-13)
The 3s departed Grange Loan headed towards a ground they knew all too much about. The dreaded Peffermill. The windiest ground in all of Edinburgh and one of the coldest. Last season Peffermill had no covers, the outfield was rarely cut and the artificial was normally preferred to the grass wickets. However, the 3s were pleasantly surprised. The pitch was beaming in the sun with the wicket being a nice beige colour and the outfield looked like going aeriel might not be the only option.
Brad won the toss and opted to bat first, to Mo’s delight. The dangerous opening pair of Zaki and George strode to the crease. Zaki was remarkably wearing spikes despite his constant previous claims that he ‘did not like batting with them’. Play got underway and both batsman instantly looked comfortably. Zaki cut nicely to get underway, gapping it between gully and point frequently. George flicked a few off his legs and ran well with Zaki. George was bowled by a good ball from the Holy Cross opener Chinta. Anish joined Zaki and both batters looked to just rotate the strike as the opening bowlers gave very little away. Once both batsmen got their eye’s in there was no going back. The first changed bowlers came on and instantly were on the back foot. Anything too full or too short was sent to the boundary. Anish took on the sizeable straight boundary and planted the ball just short of the Peffermill burn. Despite this onslaught, the slip and gully remained firmly in place.
Zaki brought up his 50 not long after the first change bowling came on. Anish joined him on 50 soon after. The second change bowlers also received a bit of tap from the pair of brutal batsmen. The pair was still going strong as the 25th over passed by. This marker was discussed on the boundary as the point where the score should be doubled at the end of the innings. The score was 153 for 1 after 25, so the provisional total was looking rather handy. After multiple recounts, Zaki was into the 90s and Anish was in the 70s. Zaki inched closer and was on strike with his personal tally adding up to 99. He then received a head high full toss and did the natural thing, ramp it over the keeper for 2 to bring up his century. The humongous Peffermill crowd of roughly 15 went mental, mainly at the fact that Zaki failed to remove his helmet. The 200 partnership was just 11 runs away when Zaki decided enough was enough and walked past one. Zaki walked off having hit his second ever Carlton century, maybe he should consider wearing spikes more often.
Anish hurtled along to the 90s ably joined by Harry Simpson. Anish ran many threes along the way. However, Harry ended up running most of the 3 and Anish Ericed* the last one. (*Ericed – to walk a run to the non-danger end in an extremely astute Eric Edwards fashion). Anish used a more classical shot to bring up his well deserved century, the on-drive. With Zaki having set the trend, again the helmet was not removed, to the major disappointment of the 3rd XI junior contingent. Anish conjured up a new idea to Zaki’s astonishment. Hanging around for more than a ball after bringing up a century. Anish hit another 6 before being bowled by Parker.
Mo and Harry looked to use the few remaining overs well. Harry pushed around a few singles before unloading a few boundaries either side of the wicket. Mo surprisingly left a ball, but then returned to normal and hit a huge six that may have gone higher than it did far. Harry sneakily made his way to a very good 43 not out as Mo ended on an unbeaten 19. The 3s final total was 317 for 3 off their 40 overs which I’m sure broke at least a few records.
The tea on show was as high quality as ever as there was a variety of sandwiches, sweet and savoury snacks, and of course a couple of packets of empire biscuits.
Ru opened up the bowling, with a massive total behind him, however started as if he was defending 20, bowling the Holy Cross opener second ball, top of off stump. Cam steamed in from the other end and after just 2 balls had two slips and a gully in place. Both bowlers kept it very tight up top bowling good lines and lengths. Brad and Harry replaced the pair and Harry got the breakthrough with a smart caught and bowled diving to his left to remove the dangerous Holy Cross skipper. Brad got the 3rd wicket next over, bowling the patient opener as he tried to relieve some of the pressure. At the halfway stage Holy Cross were 44 for 3. Straight after the break Cam caused the 4th wicket, taking a simple run out as the runner ran out his batsman, who had, unfortunately, pulled his hamstring earlier in the game. Simpson grabbed his second of the game trapping the batsman dead in front. He finished his 6 over spell with exceptional figures of 6-3-8-2. Mo replaced him and Brad bowled out his 8 overs returning home with figures of 8-2-17-1. Mo bowled well turning it both ways and Ru came back on and claimed a second, Gav taking a comfortable catch at mid-on. Mo got his reward by bowling the Holy Cross number 8.
Never in an ESCA league match has there been so many variations of fields behind square on the off side. Cam came back on and after taking two in two balls, an exceptional catch at slip from George and a ball that cleaned out middle stump, had the most remarkable field. The field was as follows: three slips, George, Brad and Ru; two gullies, Zaki and Anish; close-ish point, Harry; two catching covers, Mo and Gav; a catching mid on, David Simpson, and of course Clement was keeping tidily as ever. With the hatrick ball being prodded away to a short cover the field was kept the same to the teams delight. David had a few lovely stops keeping the new man on strike and allowing Mo to come in and claim the final wicket, restricting Holy Cross to 97 ao off 35.2 overs.
An excellent batting display was backed up by a very good bowling performance to claim the full 20 points and move the 3s up to 5th in the league at the halfway stage.
Next game is again at Peffermill but this time the 3s will face 4th place Boroughmuir.