The 3s headed over to Inch Park to find the usual surroundings. Long, but surprisingly fast, outfield, aesthetically challenged containers and a hole in the pitch where a BBQ had been used. Brad lost the toss and Carlton were inserted.
Gav Murray and Zaki opened up rather wary of the infamous Inch Arti. Zaki was bamboozled by the lack of side screens and lost sight of the ball in the dark trees and was bowled in the third over. Gav was joined by Ben who was alerted that this would be a front-foot pitch. Ben started his innings off by going dot 4 dot 4 dot 4, a few classy on drives and an off drive gapped between short extra and mid off. These lovely strokes couldn’t have possibly made it to the boundary with the state of the outfield without the boundary being mercifully short. Gav patiently stayed at the crease biding his time trying to memorise what each part of the very variable Arti did. Having watched Ben hit 5 straight boundaries Gav joined in.
After 10 overs the 3s were 40 for 1. Ben was bowled by Crawford in the 12th over for 25 and in stepped Anish. Despite them pitch Anish still managed to despatch anything short, pulling nearly every hittable ball to the fence. Gav kept ticking over as drinks approached and the 3s were poised well at 80 for 1. After drinks spin came on and Gav started to hit over the top. He hit 3 clean boundaries off the off-spinner and brought up his half-century picking up a full toss over square leg for 4 from the returning opening bowler. Anish was out L.B.W for 40 in the 27th over to one that didn’t bounce with the score on 128. This would prove to be an important moment in the game.
Gav then fell next over being bowled by the off-spinner through the gate for 54. The flood gates had opened as the 3s crumbled from 128 for 3 to 140 for 9. David was bowled by the returning opening bowler for 1, Murray smashed former Knights team-mate Pickin for 4 but then was bowled by that same man for 6. Joe Flynn was bowled first ball and Ru found the hands of the man in the deep for 1. Andrew then ran himself out, miss judging a single. It was left to Brad and Charles to try put up a score with just 7 overs to go due to the top/middle order crumbling to pieces. Brad and Charles stayed patient ticking over before Brad was caught in the final over with the score on 160.
Tea was up to its usual unbelievable standard, and the 3s got back out there full of energy looking to defend 160. Ru and Charles opened up and beat the bat on regular occasions. Charles bowled Charleson in his 3rd over with a middle stump yorker. The Davidson brothers attacked both opening bowlers hitting over the top on regular occasions and after 8 overs Penicuik were 47 for 1.
Joe Flynn replaced Ru from the container end and was punished for the one short ball he bowled. Charles got his second wicket in the form of G Davidson, providing Ben with his first catch of the season (no drops in there albeit). New man Foulds and Davidson hit continuous boundaries, Davidson clearing the rope 6 times in his innings of 68. Brad Replaced Flynn and Andrew Lang replaced Stronach and the latter picked up the wicket of Davidson who holed out to Ben Thurman at deep square. 4 overs later Lang got another breakthrough dead in front but it was little too late. Despite Ben Thurman’s three overs for just 7 Penicuik eased home in the 28th over with 6 wickets intact.
The batting collapse was ultimately what cost the Threes but they remain at the high end of mid-table in ESCA Division 2. Next week the side will play Edinburgh Accies 2s at another challenging artificial wicket at Newfield.