A week of rain was briefly interrupted by some decent sunshine at Groat’s road on Saturday as Methlick attempted to keep their 100% record going against 2nd Knightriders with a strong team, buoyed up with the return of Shaz Kallepu after two years overseas.
The home side batted first and the bowlers gave nothing away with only 5 runs coming from the first four overs. Captain courageous, Duffy, was the first to strike when Vivekandan trying to get off the mark lifted a simple catch to Reeve at mid-on.
Arumugam came in at number 3 and tried to get the scoreboard moving but was obviously living on borrowed time, always pulling the ball across the line and threatening to leave his stumps exposed. Addison came on to replace Veersema but it was a top edge that dislodged the batsman, shelling out to Jones in the covers to end the only partnership of note in the innings.
Addison then bowled the opener Vallatharasu on 18 but MCC were conscious of being in a similar commanding position at the corresponding fixture last year, and then losing the game to a strong middle order.
This wasn’t going to happen on Saturday. Brian Anderson with some extreme loopy finger-spinners constantly tempted Ballal down the wicket and it was only a matter of time before he was stumped by Woodhouse for 2. Anderson completed a remarkable spell where he took 4 wickets for 6 runs, all wides, and no runs coming from the bat.
A rusty Kallepu also pitched in with 5 wides in his only over, backed up by Reeve, but it was the return of Duffy and Veersema that closed the innings off, with the skipper up-rooting the stumps of Bandi with a marvellous slower ball and Veersema sending a low flying edge to Addison in the gulley to finish off the innings for 68 all out.
With rain looking highly likely and a low-score to target, the captains decided on an immediate turn-around. Woodhouse and Stuart Anderson opened with plenty of time left to get the runs. They were relatively unchallenged by the bowling, although Anderson escaped an easy catching opportunity. As the clouds darkened the two started to hit out. They reached 45 until Woodhouse had to change a broken bat. Jamie Jones offered up his lump of timber upon which Woodhouse top edged for a simple catch on 24.
Anderson fell at 18 shortly afterwards, but there was no doubt about victory as Kallepu smashed three 4’s and a six to win the game at a canter by 8 wickets inside 16 overs.
By Mark Woodhouse