The Calm Before the Storm
Date: 17/09/21 | Location: The Northern Meeting Park | Conditions: Showers | Overs: 20
After a long trek up the A9 DCC kicked off our Inverness tour with a game against a Northern Counties side that was struggling for numbers. Thus it was decided that the game should be morphed into a resemblance of an inter-squad match. With the teams picked it was agreed that the side picked by Captain Sandy Cunningham would play under the guise of DCC and the other XI would represent NCCC.
The hybrid Highland/Clackmannanshire outfit were given first whack of the bat and the powerful A. Green and eloquent Simon Breasley took little time in taking it to the opening bowling pair of P. Fensom and G. Dunsire. Green would only be in the middle for a matter of minutes before he raced past the retirement mark of 25. Marcus Tinsley replaced him at the crease and the Yorkshire counterparts kept the run rate motoring.
With a change in the bowling VC Bruce Harper and Charlie Dunn started to get things heading in the right direction for DCC. Dunn in particular did not take long to find some rhythm and dismissed Tinsley with a well taken caught and bowled for 15.
Soon after, Brealsey wandered back to the pavilion with his wicket intact and Dunn doubled his tally forcing Paul Arnold to sky one to the engulfing hands of Al Stewart at square-leg for 1.
The pressure did not let up after the next bowling change as the one Northern County player playing for DCC, Nick Polata and his left arm pace sent Cameron Glasgow back to the picturesque old stand for 4. Al Stewart too would get his name in the book, trapping Tim Dillion on the pads for 6. As the heavens started to open Alan Douglas fell for a duck to Tom Hall, who found the edge and the ball made its way to Adam Buchanan-Smith at first slip.
The next men in, Phil Rourke and Rob Morris, began to turn the tide as both players played themselves in and started attacking. The in-form Morris displayed some venom as he raced through the teens and twenties with a plethora of boundaries, including a few maximums and retired for 30. Rourke showed some class and confidentiality push the ball around as he was joined by the young Peter Du Preez and the pair reached the 20 over mark sending the score to a competitive 156/2.
Top scorers: P. Rourke (31), R. Morris (30), A. Green (29),
S. Breasley (26) [all not out]
Best figures: C. Dunn (2 for 13 off 2), A. Stewart (1 for 7 off 2),
T. Hall (1 for 11 off 2), N. Polata (1 for 15 off 2)
In reply the Back Road duo of Al Stewart and Adam Buchanan-Smith were sent in to open the innings. The pair showed great tactical nous with Stewart holding his end which allowed ABS to have an almighty whack. After seeing off the first over the ex-chairman started to cannon the ball here, there and everywhere for a collection of maximums, even sending one over the pavilion/stand for a colossal 6. Needless to say he walked past the retirement mark with ease. This brought B. Harper to the crease and unsurprisingly he followed in the footsteps of ABS and too hit a couple of maximums before he was bowled by Chris Hadley for 17.
With conditions worsening by the second, Polata joined Stewart and the pair had to dig in as the bowling tightened up. Stewart cracked one for 4 and retreated to shelter, walking off for an unbeaten 15. The captain replaced him and he tightened his grip and began swinging in an attempt to keep the run rate ticking… and he did more than that by hitting 4 boundaries before he returned unbeaten on 26 to the pavilion.
Dunn wandered out and with his first shot he quickly got off the mark with a wonderful lofted-cover-drive for 4, but facing the skilful Green he would be caught behind by Glasgow the very next ball. Fensom too unfortunately could not forward the cause and was bowled by Breasley for 1.
With the bowling starting to put the squeeze on the batsmen, tensions started to rise and this resulted in Rob Passé pushing for a risky 2, but he was an inch or two short and was run out for 5. Meanwhile Polata was still answering all questions posed and retired for 28.
By this stage the required rate put the odds in NCCC’s favour, but stalwart G. Dunsire was not fazed and in the company of (tall) Pete Matthews they started to scamper between the sticks with Dunsire making a commendable 13 before he was bowled by Tim Dillion, brining Simon Wilton to the crease.
As the match reached the penultimate over DCC required 17 for victory. Matthews would crack one for 4 from the first ball, but Al Douglas would get instant revenge bowling him for 5. With Stewart and ABS well ‘refreshed’ by this stage Cunningham wandered back out and unleashed a string of scintillating shots and channelling his inner Carlos Braithwaite the skipper smashed three consecutive 6s including one on the roof, and one over it to see DCC home with 7 balls to spare.
Top scorers: S. Cunningham (44), N. Polata (28),
A. Buchanan Smith (26) [all not out]
Best figures: T. Dillion (1 for 3 of 1), S. Breasley (1 for 10 of 2),
A. Green (1 for 17 of 2)
We give thanks to NCCC for getting numbers down and getting the 2021 tour of to a good start. More gratitude to follow in the match report of Saturday’s game.
Man of the Match: Sandy Cunningham
RESULT: DCC VICTORY BY 7 BALLS
Played 10 | Won 8 | Lost 2
Win streak of 5