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Broughton Gifford Vs Venturers, Sunday August 6th

Broughton Gifford 171-7, Venturers 158

Mushtaque wasn’t where he was supposed to be and that was one of several things that led to a slightly delayed start. Half the team were arriving in one car and they had to go back and pick him up. We were fielding, obviously. Simon always does, and Mark, the Broughton Gifford captain, always bats, so the toss was not strictly necessary. We knew this because of the substantial overlap between the teams. Chris M, Richard Guy, Duncan and Abdul were playing for them but have played for us this year. Kapil, Gregory and Bruce were playing for us but have played for them this year. So we also knew quite a lot about the style of individual players, and could set fields accordingly, a level of subtlety we don’t usually reach.

That also meant that Gregory interfered a lot with Simon’s captaincy because he knows the Broughton Gifford players better. His doubts about his own ability to take slip catches were also fully justified, but the disappointed bowler (Ian) ensured that Richard didn’t profit too much by catching him soon after himself, off Mushtaque. He had been a bit below his usual high standards as a bowler, though, getting pulled several times. This was expensive with a short leg-side boundary. Imran hadn’t been quite up to his best either, and two indifferent overs from Gregory pointed at a possible problem. In the end, though, we had if anything too much bowling and Venkat and Faisal were unused. Faisal by this time had already made a difference by running out Abdul with a direct hit from side on. Now Gregory found line and length and reeled off half a dozen accurate overs, without looking like getting anybody out. Mushtaque did much the same, but he did damage Gregory’s figures a bit by, again, not being where was supposed to be. He walked across to backward square leg and caused a rare no-ball, as there was a deep backward square and a short fine leg already.

Bruce was the real success. He can be very expensive or very difficult to hit, and today he was definitely the latter. So much so that Chris M couldn’t believe that he had got bat on the ball that dismissed him, though everybody else heard the edge.

Sajid found substantial turn and it was Imran who unexpectedly leaked runs at the end, not at all what usually happens.

Charlie got a good ball but everybody else in the top few got to double figures. Kapil reduced another bowler to chuntering impotence, not so much by his outrageous controlled edges this time as simply by not being given out LBW by Imran. Even Chris M heard the edge. Nobody got much more than double figures, nor did they score fast. Simon, always a good prospect on a slow pitch, gave Chris a catch. Mushtaque batted with a runner for a bit, which meant being run out if he wandered away for a third time or if his runner panicked. He didn’t wander, and his runner was Kapil, who doesn’t panic, but he got bowled fairly soon.

It was brought back to life by Ian, assisted by Imran. Chris M produced the second rare no-ball, a Finn’ Law one. Ian hit it high into the grass and the umpires were dissuaded from calling dead ball instead. We were still nearly forty runs adrift when Imran was out. Gregory helped Ian add a few but missed when he tried to do something himself. That left Ian with only Bruce for company, and not much time, but they managed a considerable scare. Perhaps in the end Bruce had slightly too much of the strike, but he made eleven from the fifteen or so balls that he faced so we were only a couple of blows away from an improbable win. Ian was run out off the last ball attempting Bruce’s twelfth.

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