Caveat:- Due to temporary mis-placement of the scorebook, this report has been written completely from memory. A rather blurred memory I might add, due in no small part to the author´s mahou induced haze, which although dulls the pain and disappointment of the second loss of the year for SACC 1st XI, also means statistics are likely to be inaccurate, facts exaggerated and whole paragraphs completely untrue.
This week SACC welcomed Glenrothes for the yearly edition of the "Billy Elliot" trophy, in honour of much missed but never forgotten club member John Morgan.
SACC won the toss and the captain chose to bat, a decision forced upon him somewhat as only 5 players had turned up by the time of the toss. Most of the top 6 arrived five minutes before the scheduled start time, no doubt straight out of bed, and proceeded to bat as if they had just rolled out of bed and arrived five minutes before the scheduled start time.
Ward and Brook strolled out to the middle, Ward once again proving that as an opener he has the makings of a good number 10, nicking off in the first over. Brook had earlier been seen banging his forehead repeatedly with his box and muttering under his breath "I will not plink it straight to mid-on, I will no plink it straigh to mid-on".
The same instruction had been inscribed on the back of his bat, and for good measure tattooed on both of his forearms. Fortunately for him, Glenrothes clearly had never seen him bat before, and placed their weakest fielder at mid-on, who proceeded to drop a sitter when Brook plinked it straight to him in the first over.
Would this stroke of good fortune offer Brook the springboard needed to bring his undoubted talent to the fore and register a match defining innings? No. Next over he was strangled down the legside attempting an optimistic pull. When later asked if he felt that the correct decision had been given, he said that although he hadn´t heard or felt a nick, as the opposition all went up he thought he must have hit it. Nice to see young SACC members taking sportsmanship to a whole new level.
Muñoz was beaten by a perfect inswinging yorker by young left armer Robbie Wright, who also got rid of Crompton next over, caught behind whilst attempting an expansive drive. Captain Fletcher continued his dismal form, an inside edge onto the stumps doing for him, and Roper was caught at gully, Glenrothes captain Chris making a difficult chance look easy.
At 30-6 at drinks, Laundon and Shahzad had a huge job on their hands, firstly to save SACC the ignominy of registering their lowest ever total, and then to try to build a semi-competitive score.
As both Muñoz and Roper had failed with the bat they were recruited, albeit reluctantly, for umpiring duty, cutting into their valuable betting time.
Soon after Shahzad appeared to edge to the keeper, but as umpire Muñoz was at the time listening to live coverage of Almería-Granada and trying to place a bet in play, he missed the nick and Shaz was given a life. It later became claer that some irregular betting patterns had been registered, large sums placed on Shahzad top scoring for the home team.
With plenty of sweat and endevour, some questionable umpiring and a couple of generous bowling changes from the Glenrothes captain, SACC limped to 126-8 after 40 overs. Shahzad made an unbeaten half century to his credit, but the much vaunted top six had been given a real wake up call by a talented and youthful bowling attack.
At the halfway stage, the hoards of spectators must have thought that the contest was all but over. But SACC have a proud record in this fixture; Opening bowler Roper even conceded to warm up, and the results were immediate as he removed two batsmen early.
At the other end Basharat was proving an inspired choice to open from the bottom end, moving the ball both ways at will and removing Glenrothes captain and overseas pro, caught smartly at mid-on by debutant Andy Dell.
4 down early, Glenrothes fate now depended largely on Scotland Under 18 captain Ben German. Roper, with one final effort in his first spell, produced a beauty which hit him low on the pads, a ball which would have no doubt missed leg stump but dislodged middle pole. The umpire didn´t see it quite like that, giving the batsman the benefit of no doubt whatsoever.
A couple more fell before drinks, and at 59-6 the game was really on. Add to that a couple of missed chances (both the keeper and first slip dropping easy chatches) and a bang to rights lbw not given, and Glenrothes could have been all out within the first 15 overs.
After drinks however German showed why he currently captains Scotland U18s. He batted carefully, taking singles from the spinners and timing the chase perfectly with the tail. In the end Glenrothes deservedly knocked off the sub-par total with plenty of overs and 3 wickets to spare.
This report was brought to you by Betfair, or whichever betting company has taken SACC´s younger members cash this week. The club is also looking into accepting sponsorship from Gamblers Anonymous.
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club
Sundays Game .....
For the 9th year Glenrothes arrived at the Woodbridge Oval in fine form after yet another enjoyable evening tasting the local dishes and fine wines, electing to bat first on a very hot Sunday in September the players played cautiously as the atmospheric conditions removed the liquid from the night before, the game went along in a very friendly way and few batsman ever really got in and wickets fell steadily until the arrival of Chris Greaves the springbok.
BOOM BOOM fifty from 32 deliveries gave the Glenrothes team a total to defend. Alfas Openers Laundon and Abdul ticked along nicely 50 coming up in the 9th over then Abdul(34) fell to the young Dodds who proofed he was no mug with the ball, Laundon(45) also went then Waqar(4), 84 for 1 to 94 for 3 all taken by Dodds was an Alfas wobble coming.
No, Old Head McKinstry(26) and young Keiren Perman(25) scored an evenly matched 51 runs with the help of a couple of extras SACC took the game in the 33rd over.
It was great to meet up with the lads from the highlands and they will be made welcome next year.
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club