Dunstable push 9 men of Ricky down to 4th
Dour day on the downs
Starting with 10 men is never easy, however starting with 9 can be considered reckless, but nevertheless this was exactly how Ricky began a crucial game of 3rd v 4th against Dunstable. To the 9 men’s credit, the fielders kept it tight and some wonderful bowling by Raz and Brett meant Dunstable had only scored 65 off the first 20 overs for the loss of a couple of wickets. Tom Watson arrived to make up the numbers to 10 and he also bowled well but without any luck. Kasser then turned to two bowlers who hadn’t bowled this year to take the pace off, Zahir and Kamran and yet both bowled with control and skill. Zahir picked up a wicket as did Kamran, but Dunstable had batted sensibly on a flat wicket and reached a total of 219/5. Brett with 3-32 from his 15 overs showing just what a lethal bowler he has become off his restricted run up.
With Bobby turning up as a late sub at tea, but only able to bat at 7 or below, what Ricky needed was a good start. With Tom pushed up the order so he could leave early, Paul and he put on 15 before he missed one and was gone, home, for 8. Zahir and Paul then batted superbly, taking the game away from Dunstable and when Zahir was out for 30, the score was already on 85 off just 18 overs and 130 was needed off 150 balls. On reaching 45 with a combination of late cuts, quick singles and pushes for 2, Paul cut the ball hard into the hands of first slip, but Ricky were almost halfway on 102/3 with lots of batting to come – or so the story should have gone.
What followed was an extraordinary run of players getting starts and then getting caught out going for shots that weren’t really required in the circumstances. 7,8,8,10,7 is more like a set of scores on Strictly Come Dancing than a perfect set of stats for the vaunted Ricky middle order. But that was what was on offer much to the disappointment of the watching skipper, Kasser. Ricky were certainly dancing to the Dunstable tune and when Rory was snapped up off a faint edge 2nd ball, Ricky had lost 7 wickets in 12 overs and even a draw was now looking unlikely. Kamran provided some late fireworks but having batted at 9 he had no support left to him and despite Kamran’s 37, Brett ws undone by a fast yorker that ended Ricky’s participation in the game.
Ricky drop to 4th and must now beat Stevenage this Saturday to finish the first half with a winning ratio over 50%. And hopefully get 11 players on the pitch for the whole game.