MSCC v Islip 2022

MSCC v Islip 2022

Three memorable deliveries.

After the last second washout of Wednesday’s twenty over game against NOC it was a delight to see blue skies over Middleton Park for the fixture with Islip. Eliot Barton, a late draftee, was to be seen mowing the outfield while the teams meandered into the ground in good time for a prompt start. MSCC won the toss and had little hesitation in choosing first innings.

Harry Way in prime form this season was accompanied by Tim Riley in opening the batting. A spell of orthordox cricket commenced, Way watchful as always was able to leave his first 8 balls as Adams, the liveliest of Islip's attack probed a line outside the off stump. It took half a dozen overs for Middleton to reach double figures. It was not until the ninth over that the first boundary was scored, when Way unveiled a sumptuous cover drive.

Islip changed the bowling with medium pacers, Price and Crawford taking over. Last season Crawford had ripped through Middleton’s batting, this season the batters ripped into Crawford. Lots of runs accumulated in ones and twos as Riley and Way exploited gaps in the field. At the drinks interval the score stood at 90 for no wicket and Middleton were in great position to forge ahead and make and early declaration.

Riley was somehow first to 50 when it seemed that Way must get there first, but Way soon passed his milestone. Way survived a caught and bowled claim that to those in front of the wicket were convinced that the ball came up off the bat. Umpire at Square leg, Mike Simpson, was quick to point out that the ball had been hit into the ground. Both batters become increasingly belligerent. With the partnership past 130 Riley fell stumped to a very smart piece of work behind the stumps by the Islip skipper, Olly Black from the bowling of Henderson. Henderson coming on fourth change proved to be the pick of visiting bowlers with his accurate off spin. Matt Carpenter joined Way, but not for long as Way fell top edging as he tried to hit a third consecutive boundary.

Mark Ford-Langstaff, batting at 4, had asked that he could sit and watch for half and hour before needing to bat. Two hours later he strode to the wicket hoping to join in the fun as the declaration neared. Two hours and two minutes later he strode back to his still warm seat, undone by the best delivery bowled by the visitors, a dipping yorker that left Ford-Langstaff wondering where the ball was that he was trying to hit.

Eliot Barton played a good hand in taking the score toward the declaration target, before perishing to a very good catch at deep midwicket, Carpenter was caught and bowled, George Williams and Sam Norley were undefeated in the three balls the captain allowed before calling the innings closed.

Sam Norley and Harry Way had found themselves volunteered for tea duty. For both it was a first attempt at mass catering. They did the job so well that they have passed the probationary stage and can now volunteer again. They were even heard saying that they had enjoyed the task.

Asif Kamal was itching to bowl. With the new ball in his hand he commenced his gentle run up. The ball left his hand in line with first slip, the striker lifted his bat and stretched his front foot toward the expected pitch of the ball. As he did so the ball changed its direction from toward first slip to toward the stumps, the batter committed to the wrong line was stranded and unable to defend the ball which crashed into middle and off stump. Asif skipped and jumped in delight as he made the perfect start.

Not to be out done George Williams from the Church end also struck in his first over. His third delivery proved too good for Islip’s no 3 shattering his stumps. With Asif striking again in his fourth over, and Sam Norley in his first as he replaced Williams Islip were in a perilous position at 21 - 4.

Islip’s captain, Olly Black was in determined mood, he found good support from Crawford and gradually they brought Islip back into contention. With lots of close catchers around the bat there were always gaps to exploit. As the last hour approached it looked as if a target of 120 from 20 overs would be remaining. As the the tray of drinks was readied Mike Simpson and keeper Carpenter combined to dismiss Crawford. It was not Mike’s finest delivery, slightly short and a little leg side. In trying to swing the ball past square leg the ball feathered the back of the bat, Carpenter clutched, and clutched again with outstretched left hand. Saving the umpire the trouble of making a very difficult decision, the batter did the honourable thing and walked.

Michael Robinson replaced Sam Norley and was soon in the wickets himself despite taking a little punishment from Black who was still pressing for victory.  The captain called for George Williams to have a second spell, remembering the way that Middleton had recovered from the dead against Islip last year. George obliged first with a wicket gifted tamely caught and bowled and then the with the days best delivery which bowled Black for a commendable 66. You know that it was a quick delivery when a set batter is beaten for pace, the stumps are upended and the ball still flies into the long grass.

Islip's youngster Will Goodfellow defended bravely and skilfully for four overs until be became a victim of Seril Shah rounding off the game with 11 the last 20 overs remaining.

Many thanks to Chris for scoring and for Rob Barton who umpired the second innings. In mid summer sunshine Mark manned the barbeque and Seril the bar as for the second week running those hoping to turn up for the last half hour’s cricket were only able to stand and chat.

 

Tim Riley


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