Glous Seniors came back once again for their 3rd match in 3 days at the picturesque Woodbridge Oval in Alfas del Pi looking for their 1st win on tour. Having been on the losing end of a very close game last year where there was only 3 runs in it, they hoped fortune would favor them today.
Alfas openers Fletcher and J. Perman set off nice and steadily, Perman hitting a lovely 6 early in the match and keeping the score ticking along against the openers Daniels and Brown. However, an inspired change of bowler saw Courtney come on in the 7th over and get Fletcher caught on 17, just after he had hit 3 successive boundaries.
Laundon went in and put on another 36 with Perman before a rash shot saw Perman sky one more or less straight up and Thomas settled himself well under the high, high ball before taking the catch, 2 down after 15 and Alfas on 74.
Marriner strode confidently out to the centre but looks can be deceiving and was on his way back 4 balls later, popping one to Austen off Thomas to leave Alfas wondering 77 for 3 off 17. Byrne joined Laundon at the crease and together saw the team to drinks - 102/3.
After drinks, Laundon took a liking to the bowlers and the boundary and reached his half century with little ease, Byrne happily working the singles to give the experienced batsman the Lion´s share of the strike. With Waqer coming in after the retired Laundon, Byrne and Waqer used their experience running between the wickets to keep the score steadily ticking along. All the while, Byrne was still in and still running 1´s and 2´s (the latter very grudgingly) and delighting the crowd with a reverse......something along the way!
Inexpicably, finally, Byrne reached the half century and as his celebration walked straight past the next ball and off, barely able to move after running 38 of his own 50, batting with Waqer not helpful for older players!
Waqer continued to play some nice shots and rotate the strike before eventually missing a straight one and falling for 29, Ward breathing a sigh of relief at the other end. Ward then displayed his famed helicopter swing and another stumping saw Dhondai come in to bat out a solid wicket maiden in the last over! Alfas ending on 213.
In reply, Austen (the Seniors stand out bowler)and Febery set about the opening bowlers with abandon, rotating the strike well and finding a few boundaries. Seeing off the opening bowlers, it looked like they were well set on their way to make it to drinks until Skipper Perman brought Waqer into the attack. Getting lovely swing, he found the edge of Febery's bat with Laundon taking a sharp catch at slip and Alfas had the break through.
Next over, Waqer got another, this time, read this carefully, getting Daniels trapped LBW in front of Vince O'Reilly, the Irish turning the game on it's head today! Austen was next to go as Waqer got one to beat the batsman and send the bails flying, Seniors had gone from 70-1 to 100-3 and danger batsmen had been removed.
The game turned again with the introduction of Marriner who coaxed extra bounce out of the pitch and in his second over, 2 wickets fell. Firstly, a fiece strike by Thomas found Waqer who threw down the stumps without blinking and then Courtney was left in shock as Marriner somehow took a blistering return catch over his head! 100-3 turned to 101-5.
Collinson came and went, much in the same way as the bowler who got him, Abdul taking an easy catch to leave the Seniors on 111-6, Nelson striking.
Moneybill and Deane were able to rally the side a bit and together put on 24 before Marriner once again got the breakthrough, taking a high skied return catch off his own bowling. As often happens, a batsman can miss his partner after they have been together a while and next over Moneybill followed Deane after Skipper Perman found the edge, Byrne taking the catch "off" 1st slip Laundon. 134-8
Murray then added some gloss to the score with some meaty blows for a quick fire 20 before Marriner picked up another with Byrne doing the honours with a stumping and, in a blantant bid to curry favour with the powers that be, Mr. Chairman B. Fletcher was allowed to finish proceedings taking the final wicket, caught by Abdul with Marriner close to intervening!
A great game by all, spirits were good all day and Alfas look forward to the Seniors final game this tour on Tuesday coming.
Alfas MOM - I. Byrne - Maiden 50, 1 Catch and 1 Stumping