News, Saturday Match Reports (League)

Match Report – Mallu CC v Park Hill – Saturday 13 May 2023

Park Hill’s season belatedly got underway at the third attempt in somewhat farcical circumstances. Upon arrival at the ground, the wicket, which was greener than Oscar the Grouch on St Patrick’s Day, was being prepared with a strimmer and didn’t look like it had seen a roller in years. In addition, the changing rooms and toilets were still locked and remained inaccessible for most of the match. On the plus side, the surroundings were verdant and the weather was good. Mallu won the toss and inserted Park Hill on a pitch that looked to be offering plenty of assistance to the bowlers and an outfield that appeared to be in the middle of No-Mow May.

It was immediately apparent that this was a slow scoring wicket – very variable bounce, skiddy and an outfield that acted as a handbrake to most shots. Mallu bowled tidily and used the conditions. Jake played around an outswinger and Alex was undone by a straight one that kept very low. Lush came in and played a different game, clearing the rope twice before being taken well in the deep. Daf was then undone by a ball from their spinner that reared up, again utilising the pitch to their advantage. Despite some vociferous appealing for LBWs off the middle of the bat, Stupples and Damon doggedly dug in and steadily accumulated throughout the middle overs.

Stupples was undone by an under-edge from another one that kept low before Prem came and went quickly. Damon perished trying to accelerate the scoring, well held in the deep, before a plucky fox made off with some of the opposition’s lunch.

Following this distraction, Tyler was bowled and Park Hill were in danger of an early end to their innings. However, Blakey and, debutant, Guy stuck around for the remaining 8 or so overs, both batting nicely and taking the score past a hundred and Park Hill finished on a hard earned 107-8. The key scores (and only ones in double figures) were Stupples (23), Lush (19), Damon (14) and extras (29).

Park Hill also entered the 21 Century with in-game app scoring on Play Cricket, done expertly by Clare, and then adequately by Jake.

Mallu rescued what was left of their lunch and headed out for their innings. Alex and Prem opened the bowling, somehow both running uphill and immediately used the favourable conditions well. Prem found the opener’s edge which Alex snaffled at slip, before Alex clean bowled the other opener and their No4 in quick succession. Mallu then decided to go all-out attack and the dangerous No3 was well held by Alex (via his chest) at long-on while trying to hit Prem out of the park. Alex and Prem each claimed another wicket with good wicket-to-wicket bowling before the lower order hit a couple of big sixes. The field spread as Mallu tried to take the game away from Park Hill, before a delivery from Prem was smashed, sailing over the cow-corner boundary before Jake, having spent most of the past few weeks sat on his butt watching the IPL, found inspiration, moved to his right, leapt in the air and plucked the ball from the sky, one-handed, before landing safely inside the boundary.

Alex clean bowled the new batter first ball before Prem bowled the other dangerous hitter. The last pair hung around for a while and eventually saw off our opening bowlers. A herculean effort from the both opening bowlers saw them bowl out, taking 9 wickets for just 40 runs and one their aging legs will undoubtedly have felt the following day. Youth replaced experience as Tyler and Guy came on as change bowlers and each bowled a tidy first over before the last man was pinned LBW by Tyler with the first ball of the 19th over. Mallu all out for 45 with Park Hill winning by 62 runs.

Prem took 5-24, Alex 4-16 and Tyler 1-3.

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