Back to Groats Road for the second time in a fortnight with expectations of another run-fest, minus Jamie Jones after a last-minute call off for illness, Methlick could probably have been stronger and a good start was required to enable the later order to go after the bowling after being put in to bat.
After a big innings last week Stuart Anderson was hoping to cash in but disaster struck in the 6th over as he edged one to slip for a duck. Woodhouse and Acton were batting with confidence and Acton was particularly aggressive playing some glorious cover drives.
Everything was going to plan as Woodhouse drove Balaji back over his head for four, followed up with a boundary to mid-on and the next ball was a juicy full-toss as the batter seemed to be able to hit where he liked and, caught in two minds, missed the ball and was bowled for 22.
Acton took the fight to the bowlers along with Veersema but, once again when all seemed in control, he was clean-bowled by Kumar for 36. The innings was taking an unfortunate shape with Methlick seemingly on top and then losing wickets through a lack of concentration. Addison added a few runs but was bowled for 8, and Maxfield also looked strong, hitting three fours and looking in good touch but then caught and bowled by Ballal for 18.
Veersema looked to be striding to a half century but played a loose shot and was out for 31. By this time Methlick only had 125 for 6 on the board and were looking well below par. Brian Anderson was looking settled and something was needed from skipper Duffy to steady the ship. Cometh the man cometh the hour as his first scoring shot disappeared to the boundary, but this had been seen before and all expected a mistimed shot to bring the usual quick end. Not today though as Captain Courageous got his eye in and despatched all comers. Ably supported by Anderson, Duffy put on 36 to take the score up to 193 until being bowled for 36.
Anderson chipped in with 15 and Grant Cordiner was unbeaten on 8 and Jay Allan was the last wicket to fall, but Methlick now had a real total to defend.
Duffy and Veersema opened the bowling and a tight first 10 overs restricted Knight Riders to 27. Duffy was his usual accurate self, giving away only 3 runs from his first 5, and Veersema was particularly unlucky not to nab a few wickets.
But it was Cordiner and Addison that made the breakthrough with both taking a wicket in their first over. This brought some hope to MCC as Knight Riders were only going at three an over at the half-way stage, but ominously wickets had stopped falling and a similar scenario as two weeks before was starting to unfold as Acton had to leave early and MCC were left with only 9 fielders and Matty, a small child.
Sanjay and Valatharasu took the innings past the hundred mark and with Sanjay on 60 Addison took his second wicket. He then bowled Nangia for 1 and Rizvi for 4, and with Cordiner striking to take Panni for 10, victory seemed, once again, to be in Methlick’s grasp.
Valatharasu stood firm and Ballal, coming in at number eight, held the innings together and took Knight Riders over the finishing line with eight balls to spare. A similar outcome to the last visit to Groats Road with Methlick losing by being short in the field.