Played at Epping
Report by Steve Hamilton
This was the first of our two visits this season to the
ever-welcoming home of Epping, where we hoped to reverse
narrow defeat. After a delayed start from the overnight
and morning rain, we reached a compromise for a 2.15pm start and
I loss the toss, which probably worked in our
favour as the opposition chose to bat on an uncompromising damp
Amazingly at least FIVE missed opportunity catches
was presented and zero taken after the first eight overs. This
didn't seem to affect the rhythm of our deadly opening bowling duo
Umair and Syed Shah. Syed struck first and dismissed Ross for 15 as
he attempted a shot over cover, only to fail without any real
connection and instead sent the ball straight to Jakeria for the
first of his three catches.
Next was BALL OF THE DAY. Umair
"Master of Swing" Shahzad delivered an unplayable delivery which
boomeranged snake-like in the air from outside off to hit the middle
stump. Their captain Hasan departed for 1 and we were firmly in
control with Epping wobbling on 23 for 2 off 10 overs.
Mushtaq and Talal Ali bowled a flawless spell and only conceded 18
runs in seven overs.
I came on and took the wicket of Rashid
for four on my third delivery! It was a plumb lbw as he attempted a
sweep shot. Instead, the ball hit him on the shin in front of middle
stump and the umpire had no choice but to send him on his way.
For my second wicket I had to wait until the fourth ball of my
second over before I clean bowled opener Dhiru for 12. He made no
attempt to play the ball. He left it, assuming it was going pass on
the off side but it didn't and hit halfway up off-stump! Not sure if
the ball turned or whether it was poor judgement by the batsman.
Nevertheless, we now had the opposition crumbling at 49 for 4 off 18
Old Fallopians legend Peter Frisby rolled back the
years and showed that there is still life in the old dog yet! He
took three wickets as he ripped through Epping's middle order. He
removed Remesh for 50 and Reshad for 0, both caught, the catches
taken solidly by Jakeria.
Peter's final victim was the big
hitting Sri for 14, undone by a cunning deliver. Peter dragged back
his length and bowled slightly wider as the batsman charged down the
wicket. The batter was never in touching distance as the ball
whistled pass the bat towards fifth stump. At lighting speed the
ball was taken by Mo Junaid behind the stumps and the bails were
removed - excellent keeping! Peter finished with outstanding figures
Now Asad Saleemi stepped up and showed what was
in his locker. I'm never sure what's awaiting us as he has a store
of unpredictable deliveries ready to be unleased. On this occasion
he had total control and was dispatching the batsman back to the
clubhouse with regularity. First to fall was Vansham for 8 who hit
the ball straight to mid-wicket where Talal Ali took the catch
Next to depart was Trevor for a duck. He
top-edged the ball behind for Mo Junaid to catch easily. Finally
John was bowling out for 2. He was already through his shot and was
completely done by a slower ball. Asad finished with exceptional
figures of 4.5-0-22-3.
Epping reached 141 off 33.5 overs.
In the break, our first proper cricket tea in two years was
served and definitely hit the spot. Fully nourished and with the
sunshine now breaking through, we were ready for revenge for that
close defeat last season.
We got off to perfect start and
were treated to masterclass in destructive hitting. Our opening pair
of Jakeria and Asad put on 74 for first wicket. Jakeria scored 46,
including five fours and three sixes in brutal fashion. He connected
with such force and velocity that it wasn't long before the ball was
out of shape! He played some dazzling pull shots, including a
particularly handsome lofted drive for six off Hasan, the Epping
captain. Hasan changed from medium pace to slow after that.
Asad scored a stylish 37 including six fours and showed his class
with some elegant cover drives and delightful cuts to lay down the
foundations for our victory.
Next in at the crease was the
one and only Mo Junaid who came to conquer and destroy anything that
got in his way! In this match he was in absolute BEASTMODE. A
glorious semi-circle rainbow lit up in the sky and it looked like
the ball was going somewhere over that rainbow at times. With his
perfect timing and natural strength Junaid scored a rapid 50
including six sixes and two fours Ė as well as losing two balls in
This was a display of pure might deployed against
the Epping bowling. One fierce pull shot was definitely the biggest
six I've ever witnessed, as an OF player at least. It flew 60 metres
towards deep square leg, over the boundary line, past the scorerís
hut, above the trees and is probably still travelling into another
He continued in this merciless manner as he pummelled
the ball 360 degrees around the ground.
Moís final six
completed his 50 and at the same time took us over the winning line
to compete a thumping victory by eight wickets.
Many more pictures from the game here...