RBCC1 vs Antwerp CC (away)

RBCC won by 3 runs

Match Report

The onward march in the division 2 league continued this week with a game away at old foes Antwerp CC. The plan was win the toss and field first. Why, well if you remember the earlier fixture against Antwerp at home, we were just beaten in the last over while trying to defend 304 runs. The thought process was that yes they can chase, but can they set a score, and a quick look at their season so far, the answer is a Resounding NO. Out the 6 matches they have played, they have all four where they had batted first and won the other two in which they chased. However the skipper lost the toss for the umpteenth time this season and we were asked to bat.

Imran Fazal and Anurag went out with the usual strict instructions of making sure they don’t return before 10 overs have been bowled, that they take the shine off the ball and see off then opening bowlers. After 3 overs RBCC were on 27/0 but then Imran hit one in the air to extra cover, followed shortly by Anurag having nicked one behind the next over. Mishi and Waqas now at the wicket set about rebuilding, getting their eyes in and adapting to a surface that was slightly sluggish and holding a bit. Both doing well and having added 20 in partnership before Mishi chased a ball well outside off stump, hitting it on the up and straight to the cover fielder. RBCC 59/3. Brighton came and went first ball LBW as did Usman Azim with a simple return catch to the bowler for 1. RBCC now 62/5. Hutchy  joining Waqas put up a bit of a fight and a 27 run partnership before Hutchy was a bit late on a full straight one to be bowled for 7. RBCC 98/6. The skipper came and went too with a  rush of blood to the head hitting straight up to be caught and bowled for zero. RBCC 99/7. Nofil then joined waqas at the crease, waqas doing well to keep his head down despite the continuous fall of wickets at the other end. But in Nofil he found a resolute partner, who was turning the strike over nicely. But then calamity, as Waqas, having just seen the Mid-off sent back 3 quarters of the way to the boundary, hit one straight down his throat for 55 well played runs in difficult circumstances. RBCC 122/8 and thus looking down the barrel of a well below par score. Khurram and Nofil now at the crease did excellently under the barrage of the opening quicks, brought back to bring a swift end to our innings. But Khuram had other plans, as was seen when he smashed 10 runs in 2 balls in just his first 5 balls faced. Nofil at the other end ably supporting Khurram and hitting the odd boundary too. If fact so brutal was this turn around pressure, that the opposition starting making errors, bowling several wides that went to the boundary and throwing at stumps with no backing up, conceding 2 or 3 over throws, that they shouting at each other. Nothing so satisfying as watching  team implode after a good start. Khuram and Nofil would put on 77 runs together before in the last over of their quicks, Khurram was adjudged out LBW for 33 and RBCC 199/9. Wasooq then joined Nofil with only 5 overs to go and only spinners left to bowl. He hit a few lusty blows before getting out for 4 and RBCC finishing on 206 all out in 40.4 overs leaving poor Nofil stranded not out for an excellent 43.

Lunch was served, where we had to make our own sandwiches, and then we returned to prospect of an unlikely victory having put a pretty mediocre score on the board, but still enough to make Antwerp have to work hard for the win.

Waqas opened with Khurram. Both doing well in their first over, but Khuram having bowled 3 wides in that over was taken off to be replaced by Brighton. Brighton doing well to get the first wicket caught behind to a strange down the leg-side. And we had our opening.

Next ball though Brighton bowling to the number 3 who at most is only 5ft 2inces, dropped one short and got dismissed over the boundary for 6. Next ball same thing short and sharp but this time more of a top edge, directly to where Usman was standing. He misjudged it badly running in before the ball fell just over his head and inside the boundary for 4. This continued for some time, Brighton not able to release the ball correctly dropping short and getting hit over the boundary. But he was still bowling good balls in amongst the runs he was conceding, and in good faith the skipper kept him on, knowing that if he could just nip one for 2 more wickets out we would be well placed in the match. This he duly delivered getting the opener caught behind with the score on 51/2 after 7.3 overs. Nofil was brought on from the other end after a good spell of 5 overs from Waqas, unluckily not getting a  wicket. The trap was set, Mishi on cow corner boundary. But it wasn’t Mishi this time who took the catch, it was the keeper with his 3rd catch of the match, when the short number 3, just fended at a ball that popped off the shoulder of the bat for a simple catch at silly square leg. The next batsman in was their big hitter. And with an apparent license to go after anything, he hit a short ball from Nofil to the mid-wicket boundary. Next ball he tried the same thing, but to a slightly fuller ball only to bottom edge it into the ground. Again the next ball he had the same idea, only this time he found the safe hand of Mishi out on that Cow corner boundary. Brighton then had his next victim also caught behind and Antwerp were in trouble at 69/5. With the Antwerp skipper joining the fray, he blasted his first ball from Brighton for 6, only to top edge the next ball. Waqas doing an excellent job running back from slip to get there, get hands on it and then stumble on a hole in the outfield only to finally drop the ball. That drop would prove crucial, as Benjamin would go onto to score a well played 66 littered with brutal shots over the boundary. But he was loosing partners from the other end. But with only 35 runs required, plenty of overs left and just 2 wickets in hand Benjamin decided to finish it off quickly. Hitting Anurag for two sixes and 4 and then hitting Waqas for 2 big sixes of the first 2 balls of his return spell. The 3rd ball however found Mishi out at Long off and with 10 requires and 1 wicket in hand RBCC had another sniff of victory. Brighton also returned only to have a chance dropped by the keeper (the skipper of all people), the chance that would’ve given us victory. Would that drop cost us, it seemed so, as Antwerp needed only 4 runs and had 10 overs in which to get them. Waqas perhaps remembering the previous game when he came on to defend 4 runs from the final over and couldn’t, had other ideas though and with his 3rd ball had the number 11 inside edging the ball. The keeper had no chance of stopping it and with no fine leg it seemed the match would be over. But as luck would have it, the inside edge deflected toward the stumps and only just nicked the top of the bails.

RBCC a not so resounding win, but a win that keeps us marching toward league glory. A match full of ups and downs, on never knowing which side would come out on top. Perhaps tellingly, Waqas took the last 2 wickets, having dropped the catch of Benjamin which nearly saw Antwerp over the line, and a very relieved skipper having dropped the catch that too would have won us the game.

An excellent fight from all involved and a deserved victory for the fight and resolve shown.

Written by Gregg Hawson

RBCC1 vs ACC - 20170806

Scoreboard

Category : League

RBCC Innings
Batsman Dismissal Runs 4's 6's
Imran Fazal caught 18 3 0
Anurag Gakhar caught 4 0 0
Mussayab Syed Jamil caught 13 3 0
Waqas Ali Raja caught 55 8 1
Brighton Watambwa LBW 0 0 0
Usman Azim caught 1 0 0
Chris Hutchins bowled 7 1 0
Gregg Hawson caught 0 0 0
Nofil Aziz not out 43 4 0
Khuram Shahzad LBW 33 3 1
Wasooq Butt caught 4 0 0
Bowling Extras 28 0 0
Totals: 206 22 2
Bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Extras
Waqas Ali Raja 8 2 32 2 4
Khuram Shahzad 1 0 6 0 3
Brighton Watambwa 9 1 68 3 2
Nofil Aziz 4 0 17 2 0
Anurag Gakhar 7 0 46 1 2
Mussayab Syed Jamil 1 0 10 0 1
Usman Azim 5 0 21 2 2
Totals: 35 3 200 10 14
 
Fielding
Fielder Catches Stumpings Run Outs Dropped Catches
Brighton Watambwa 0 0 0 1
Gregg Hawson 4 0 0 1
Mussayab Syed Jamil 2 0 0 0
Nofil Aziz 1 0 0 0
Usman Azim 0 0 0 1
Waqas Ali Raja 0 0 0 1
Wasooq Butt 0 0 0 1
Totals: 7 0 0 5