Result: Damazan CC won by 2 wickets
On another glorious day Stragglers arrived at Damazan in time for a sandwich lunch and to admire the charming ground, beside a pleasant lake and well kept by John Ayling.
In accordance with local custom the toss was contrived and after a moment of silence to mark the passing of a Damazan CC founder member Stragglers were to bat first. Russell departed quickly but thereafter Suckling, Calder, Hooper, O’Neill (candidate), Melhorn and Gunn (guest/candidate) all made good contributions. Suckling top-scored with an impressive 59, to the delight of his supporters; Hooper was quick to punish the short ball, unleashing a series of rasping cuts through cover point before he was yorked by the best ball of the day. Melhorn also played well for his 28. Cavanagh and Blackhurst scrabbled around at the end – and attracted some welcome extras – and the Stragglers closed on 213 for 7 from their 35 overs.
Damazan set off aggressively – it became clear, quickly, that their batsmen would not die wondering… Hooper and Blackhurst bowled valiantly but Damazan soon worked up great momentum, Ahmad in particular enjoying several clean hits over the fence and into the field beyond. Change bowlers Calder and skipper Lerwill returned Stragglers’ best figures of the day, each picking up 3-fers from their sets of 7 overs, and while Damazan had seemed to have been cruising towards their target, all of a sudden the game seemed to be back within Stragglers’ grasp. It was not to be however: from No 10 the young and diminutive Shahidullah slashed and chopped a quick 25* and Damazan were home by 2 wickets with 4 overs to spare, Stragglers left contemplating their dropped catches.
Again the match was followed by copious beers on the outfield, and brief speeches. A Damazan founder member presented Vinny O’Neill with a splendid trophy in recognition of his on-field and off-field commitment (Damazan having discovered – despite Vinny’s “London” cover-story – that he had motorcycled in from Timbuktu). Meanwhile Damazan skipper Gagan and his wife were rustling up an excellent curry…much replete and not a little weary, the tour party mounted up as darkness fell for the drive back to Gites La Colombiere.
Team Batting First: Stragglers of Asia
|1||W Russell||Ct AN Other||Shahidullah||1|
|2||M Suckling||Ct G Singh||S Singh||59|
|3||T Calder||Ct AN Other||G Singh||17|
|5||V O’Neill (can)||Ct G Singh||S Singh||12|
|7||B Gunn (g)||Bowled||G Singh||16|
|8||J Cavanagh||Not out||4|
|9||W Blackhurst||Not out||7|
|10||I Perry +||Did not bat|
|T Lerwill (*)||Did not bat|
|For 7 wickets||(35 overs)||213|
Team Batting Second: Damazan CC
|4||Rich (sic)||Ct Gunn||Calder||1|
|5||G Singh (capt)||Ct Hooper||Cavanagh||16|
|9||Gary (sic)||Not out||3|
|11||Issan||Did not bat|
|For 8 wickets||(31 overs)||218|