Played at Hylands Park
Report by Steve Hamilton
This fixture was well overdue. We last played Camel on the
weekend back in 2015! It was very humid day with sweltering
conditions, temperatures hitting almost 30C
We were aiming to
continue our run of 10 consecutive wins. After winning a very
important toss, I decided we needed to bat first and put the
pressure on early, based on what we knew about this ground after
three previous victories here.
However, things at first
didn't go according to the script. We lost two early wickets and
after 10 overs were on 53 for 2.
But this play had more than
one act. A star role was about to be played by the "RUN MACHINE",
aka Mo Junaid, who has now hit a total of 439 runs this season with
an average of 87 after this encounter. Supporting him was Mozzam
Sultan, a powerful unit who has the ability to change the balance of
a game in a blink of a eye.
We consolidated our position with
a valuable third wicket partnership of 80, taking our total to 153
for 3 off 26 overs. Mozzam played a courageous innings, hitting six
boundaries in his total of 35.
Next in was Asad Mushtaq, a
last-minute replacement, who came in at 133 for 3 off 27 overs. We
needed to up the pace and Mo and Asad did exactly that! They put on
116 for the third wicket and took our total to a formidable 249 for
3 off 40 overs.
Mo probably played his best innings to date,
with a breathtaking 115 not out against a powerful pace attack
including 75 mph deliveries from Camel’s Seb. Mo went through the
gears gradually and then accelerated with some exquisite stroke
play. Showing pure class, he hit 19 boundaries including two sixes
and seventeen fours. He finished his innings with a mighty four,
Asad also played a gem of an innings. He dominated
the bowling and scored freely with six fours and remained 44 not
Now it was time for some nourishment. Once again Mo
kindly brought some tasty lamb biryani and a delicious slightly
spiced chicken pasta. Then Adnan joined the party with a bunch of
ice lollies! I wanted to say, 'Ambassador, with zees Ferrero Rocher
you are really spoiling us!'
With full stomachs we felt ready
for whatever reply Camel could offer. They had come with a powerful
batting force and it wasn't the team I was expecting. It was a
younger squad and no one over the age of forty!
Camel batting was the big-hitting South African Hugo who scored 115
last week and Sam Berkson who played for us in the past.
opening bowlers Umair Shahzad and Mozzam took control and restricted
the opposition to 44 for none off 10 overs.
Then our chance
came for a breakthrough came. Umair bowled a quicker and shorter
ball that took Hugo by surprise. He mistimed his pull shot and got a
top edge. The ball travelled into the air and head towards square
leg where I was thinking 'oh sh..' and I completely fluffed my
Flapping like a seal lion, I misread the trajectory
of the ball and it went beneath my outreached hands, hit my stomach
and then the ground. If that was not humiliation enough, on top of
that I was on the receiving end of some verbal “encouragement” from
a few spectators.
Being the sensitive soul that I am, I felt
terrible. I was over-analysing everything and the only thought I had
in my mind was that my fumble could have lost us the match!
few overs of anguish later Umair trapped Sam plum lbw for 12,
breaking the tension and providing our breakthrough with the score
Asad bowled with usual mixture of swing deliveries and
slower balls and was soon rewarded with the wicket of Rana for 17.
It was an outside edge caught behind by the safe hands of our keeper
Now it was the moment for our lively leftie Talal Ali who
is our second highest wicket taker so far this season. Camel had
made a solid start, reaching 90 for 2 off 20 overs. Their dangerman
Hugo had reached a well deserved 50 with nine boundaries and was
looked settled after being dropped earlier on (ahem!).
beating myself up mentally and rehearsing how I would position
myself if the ball should come in my direction again. Then that
exact moment weirdly did come again!
Talal bowled a
short-pitched ball and Hugo again attempted a pull stroke. As before
he mistimed it and got a top edge, sending the ball once more
towards me at square leg. But this time the sun had came out from
the clouds and was shining in my face, making it more difficult to
see. It seemed like the whole world had stopped as the ball slowly
fell out of the sky into my hands. Yes! Catch taken! Hugo out for 53
and I had my redemption!
That was the straw that broke the
Camels’ back and now we started to dominate. Talal took another
wicket in his next over and Jakeria took the wicket of Matt for 33.
That dismissal made Jakeria our top wicket taker so far this season
with 11 wickets, amazingly all cleaned bowled!
bowling performance from dubutant Taraq Chowdhury sealed our 68-run
victory as he finished with very impressive figures of 6.2-0-32-3
The match over, a couple of us stayed for a few alcoholic
beverages with the Camel lads in the club house, to round off
another satisfactory day.