ECC vs Beausoleil CC, Sunday 3rd June 2018, at Entrecasteaux

Match report:

The ground, ringed by poppies like some rested Somme battlefield, looked magnificent but it has to be said the grass had not been cut and with the frequent rains that we have been having it would easily have satisfied a large flock of sheep for a couple of days. Still it was dry, but it meant the bowlers figures were always going to be flattering as batsmen were hard pressed in scoring anything more than a single, or of course the maximum.

Chaminda Perera won the toss and in habitual fashion asked his opening batsmen, Brad Edwards (16) and Anthony Slack (4) to face Beausoleil’s fire. This was headed by Kalith Fernandez (4-1-17-0) from the Football Ground end and Ashan (3-1-5-0) from the Garden House end. The predictions of a low scoring game were standing the test when after 9 overs the score had reached only 28 runs and pressure was building,  Edwards tried to take matters in hand only to hole out to a well taken catch at deep mid wicket by Fernandez off the bowling of Roshan (3-0-16-1) who had replaced Fernandez. Pranav (6-0-22-2) took over from Ashan and bowled well, both accurate and challenging, moving the ball in the air and off the pitch. First he sent Slack back to the pavilion and a short while later, Fife (1), both clean bowled.

Chaminda Perera (35) proved more resilient and reached the boundary on four occasions, top scoring in both innings, before smashing the ball to an ever grateful Fernandez on the mid wicket boundary, off the bowling of his brother in law Kavinda Karunarathnage ((5-0-20-2). Kavi also had Sahan Hewa (5) back in the pavilion and a drinks break was taken with Entrecasteaux having attained an insignificant total of 51 runs with four wickets down.

Clifford Gregory (28) supported Perera in a partnership of 30 runs and with Perera gone Steve Crozier (6) joined Gregory. Gregory took up the strike force mantle, striking 4 maximums and with Crozier the supporter, the total crawled toward three figures.  By this time Yoges Prasana (2-1-6-4) had entered the fray from the Football Ground end and his first ball saw Crozier bowled. Balu Negi (4-0-14-1) had Steve Gibbs (0)  bowled which left the home side with 3 wickets still standing at the start of the 27th over.  Yoges bowledt three dots before Gregory lost patience and not quite getting hold of the ball it fell into the hands of deep mid off. The batsmen had crossed and Yannick Perera (0) fell next ball, also bowled. Enter Max Harland (0) for the hatrick ball. It was straight and Harland missed it and the bails flew; Yoges had his hatrick. Poor Sam Grepne (0 not out) was left with no partners and the Entrecasteaux innings closed on 104 all out.

It had been a fine display of bowling and fielding by the visitors, catches were held, the ball was bowled to a good line, length and pace and it left them needing a paltry 105 runs to win. Surely for this side, who already had six wins in the bag this season, would have no problems in knocking off the runs. But they had not reckoned on a rejuvenated Gregory (5-1-9-3) and Sahan Hewa (4-1-20-2) who took to their task like hounds after a fox. When wickets weren’t being taken runs were not being scored. This game was all about the application of pressure by the fielding side who forced batsmen into making shots they might otherwise have not made. Gregory in a 5 over spell was very impressive; fast, accurate and hostile, he had Yoges (1) well caught at third man by Sam Grepne and then 2 overs later both Roshan (8) and Pranav (0) in consecutive balls, bowled. He reflected that he knew the latter was a wicket as the ball left his hand, swinginging into the right hander to a perfect length, which then cut back off the seam to remove Pranav’s off stump.  Indeed he bowled for his hatrick the next over only to see a relatively easy chance spilled off the first ball. Hewa had both Balu Negi (1), caught by Brad Edwards at cover point and Damika (0) caught by Max Harland at silly mid wicket before he was replaced by Anthony Slack (5-1-7-1).

Kavinda Karunarathnage (11) had struck two boundaries and was looking strong before Slack delivered a real peach of a ball which had Kavi playing down one line and then another before his stumps were flattened. The heart of the Beausoleil batting has been ripped assunder and they were now struggling on 32 for 6 after just 12 overs. Kalith Fernandez (20) and Shalana Karunarathnage (5) tried valiantly to make a recovery and they ammassed a 19 run partnership, Fernandez in particular holding his own, but again the pressure was building and he tried to force Brad Edwards (5-0-16-2), from the Garden House end , back over his head only for Edwards to athletically grasp the ball from above his head. Shalana fell in the same over and so it was now only a matter of time. Max Harland (2-0-10-0) bowled two effective overs but he must practice more if his true value is to yield the kind of results of which he is capable. Ashan (14) was forceful but only had one shot and intention which worked on a couple of occasions but on the third he was caught at deep mid on by Anthony Slack off the bowling of Chaminda Perera (1-1-0-1). With only ten players the game was over, Nathan Perera (1 not out) was left standing and Entrecasteaux had won by 33 runs.

So I said this was a day when the bowlers stats would be flattering but on reflection it was not about flattery, it was just darn good bowling and pressure being applied by both fielding sides. Although the scores were not huge and therefore perhaps not the most exciting game to watch there was some decent cricket being played. How often do we praise the fielding sides in this column – not often, so it makes a pleasant change.

Sincere thanks to Maurice Mitchem for umpiring and to Sian Crozier, Steve Gibbs, Brad Edwards and Steve Crozier for scoring.

Entrecasteaux XI -  Chaminda Perera (captain), Yannick Perera (wicket Keeper), Bradley Edwards, Anthony Slack, Sahan Hewa, Clifford Gregory, Steve Crozier, Steve Gibbs, Sam Grepne, Max Harland, Andy Fife


4 juin 2018Permalink