A fresh-heavy 4’s team cruised to victory over their DMU 2’s counterparts in the first BUCS game to grace Cryfield in the 2019 season. The action began at 10AM when a leadership group consisting of new skipper Calum Harris, Ben Harrison and Essex Sam were scoping around Canley looking for adequate tea provisions. 14 baguettes, 36 packs of crisps and gallons of water were supplied, but this didn’t seem to be enough to impress the East-Midlands outfit (@DMUCricket).
The 4s squad, which had 4 BUCS caps between them, were greeted by overcast conditions when they arrived at the hallowed turf. Cal did the first thing wrong, and lost the toss, but made up for it by delivering a highly inspirational team talk – “I’ve left SJ out and don’t want to pick him next week, so let’s win”. Harsh. The poly read the pitch about as well as they could read a book and bemused all present by batting first in perfect conditions for bowling. A tight opening spell from Aman Agrawal and Rohan Bahl went unrewarded, even though the edge of the bat was beaten multiple times, and a wagon wheel only worrying the men behind the bat meant that after 10 overs, DMU were at 17-0. The wickets began to fall when the change bowlers came on, with Saurav Parmar, the most experienced player in the team and rumoured to be delighted with the number of youngsters surrounding him, came on to pin the tidy looking opening bat for a questionable LBW with his first ball. Number 3 came in for a brief but devastating cameo, hitting Bal for a big six with a tennis serve over long on before being caught at point a few overs later by a smart catch from Akash. Some tight bowling in the middle overs by Shiv (10-1-32-2), Rav (7-0-28-1) and Akash (9-2-31-4), combined with elite level shithousing from the cordon and Muncy at mid-off, really restricted DMU, and a big score was never looking likely with regular wickets falling. The other opener was finally dismissed swiping Akash straight up after taking up 13848 balls. #youfours fielded superbly, highlights being a superb running catch from lil Ravi and a smart run out off of his own bowling by Akash. The tail never looked like wagging, and the innings came to a tame conclusion when Aman returned to the attack to clean up the number 7, who had started to offer some resistance, to finish the day with frankly ridiculous figures of 6.3-3-6-1. A combination of superb bowling and fielding led to DMU getting a just below par score of 150 all out off of 43.3 overs.
Fraser ‘F-Dog’ Nicholson did a superb job of providing teas, although the covers had to go on to protect the wicket as light rain began to fall (it wasn’t really “lashing it down” was it – again @DMUCricket). After much persuasion from Splash Abbasi, a motivator for the day, the umpires decided that the rain was negligible and the boys could start their innings. Opening up was Bal and Ben Harrison, and they got off to a flyer, sitting on 20-0 off of just 3 overs, even if Ben insisted on never using the middle of his bat. The 50 stand was brought up, but shortly after Ben strangled down the leg side by the handy left hand bowler. At the other end, Bal looked assured going to a maiden UWMCC 50, reaching the landmark with a nice tickle to fine leg. Ben was adamant on the sidelines that one of the bowlers swung it miles both ways, but the boys saw through this and realised Ben just struggled against any form of bowling above 14MPH. Bal was finally dismissed for 60 missing a straight one, but not before treating the capacity crowd of 4 to some exquisite shots through the covers resembling Ian Bell (Ian Bal?!). Dylan stabilised the innings coming in at 3, taking up the mantle of Northern Jono and having a strike rate of 12.25 before snicking off to a handy off spinner. Essex Sam came and went for an extremely scratchy 8, which involved missing a length ball that hit him in the schlong. A collapse looked on the cards after F-Dog got a rough decision from the umpire – the F Dog just can’t catch a break with those LBW shouts. However, the skipper led the boys home with some assured defensive strokes and some serious boomtown at the end, carting a ball over deep square after the short ball trap was sprung (weird flex on a spongey deck and at 40 clicks, but okay) for a YESBANK maximum to win the game. A great start to the season from the 4s, delivering a convincing win and sending out a message to the rest of the league. DMU were gracious in defeat, tweeting that the rain that fell during the second innings made it easier to bat. Speechless