40 Club (H) Match Report

Dollar Cricket Club vs The 40 Club
Date: 08/05/2022 | Overs: 35 | Location: Dollar | Conditions: Warm and Cloudy

On Sunday we squared off against the 40 Club XL, the worlds largest wandering cricket club. The weather was kind and spirts were high as we looked to add to our winning run that has stood since last June. An air of excitement and intrigue whipped up before the match as our opponents came in tow with a specialist camera that would be used to live stream the encounter on the World Wide Web. Captain Sandy Cunningham lost the toss and the 40 Club elected to have a bat.

The skipper gave Tim Dillion and Calum Weir the nod to get the bowling effort underway and the two openers took little time in finding their line and length against an skilful top order. Dillion got the first strike in his second over by pitching one up to see it beat the batsman’s defence and fly to the safe paws of Adam Buchanan-Smith at first slip. He would continue to find that length all spell long and was a constant thorn in the batsmen’s side.

Both he and Weir relentlessly hit their marks and saw some tough chances go by. At the end of their spells the 40 Club were at 60 for 1.

The elder Weir on the day, Rory, replaced Dillion and initially Buchanan-Smith, then Simon Breasley replaced C. Weir. By this stage the 2nd wicket stand was proving a tough nut to crack, until Connachie chased a wide one off Weir, cut it in the air only for the the ball to nestle in the hands of the 2021 Fielder of the Year, Paul Fensom at point.

This would prove to be a turning point in the innings, as in the next over Breasley sent down a fine fuller ball catching the leg of the dangerous Polkinghorne, this was followed by a subdued appeal from the bowler, but the raucous shouts from around the stumps sent the umpires finger skyward. Score, 98 for 2 at the midway stage.

The two experienced bowlers kept persevering and started to subdue the batsmen that saw the run rate come crashing down. In the 25th over Breasley got his second as he pitched one in the corridor on a good length forcing S. Weir to slash at it, yet the only contact he got was a tickle and ball took a trip into keeper Cunningham’s gloves.

With his bushy tail up, the Yorkshireman’s next reward would be just around the corner. J. Slack wandered out, and without playing a shot he was sent back to the club house. The lack of shot making would be his immediate downfall as he was bamboozled by a yorker pitched just outside-off and pushed out his pad offering no shot and was given out leg-before after an audible appeal. All eyes on the hat-trick ball… a full toss down leg. Oops.

The skipper make his final bowling change of the afternoon as he brought Buchanan-Smith back on, and replaced Weir at the Ochil End with last season’s leading wicket taker, Charlie Dunn. Dunn would not take long in starting his chase of this years crown, as with his eighth ball he sent down an inviting one, but P. Singh failed to find the middle and cut it high into hands of Ian Morrison who did a fine job backtracking through the covers to grab.

Buchanan-Smith kept pilling on the pressure from The Mylne Avenue End, and helped soften up J. Ashraf who tried to flick Dunn down the leg side, but failed to get anything on it and the ball went crashing into middle stump. In the final over of the innings Dunn would get his third thanks in part to Cunningham’s rapid glove reactions as C. Macdonell looked to smash one but misjudged the variable bounce and edged it behind to see the skipper finish the innings with a tremendous tumbling take.

A special mention also goes to Callum Kirby, who put his body on the line to stop one flying down to the third-man boundary, and unfortunately injured his shoulder in the process. A minor setback for a major comeback.

The 40 Club XL: 144 for 8
Dunn, 3 for 18 off 4 | Breasley, 3 for 22 off 6

A sociable lunch was taken, and thanks is given to all those who dusted off their aprons (or ventured to the Co-op) and contributed to the spread. Thanks also goes to new member Calum Kitt for putting the teas and coffees on and Kirsty Cunningham for laying out the lunch.

Chasing down a modest target, Buchanan-Smith and C. Weir were first to wander out with their willows in tow. They both had to get their eyes in quickly as the opening quicks were operating well as a 1-2 punch. ABS would get off the mark by smashing one past mid-off for 4, but unfortunately would fall a few overs later for 6 to an in-cutting peach. R. Weir was the next man in and the two brothers took little time in taking the fight to the bowlers. Weir, the younger, confidently pushed the ball all around the vast outfield, while the elder began stalking his pray and started driving with authority.

Just as the pair were starting to build a partnership Rory felt something go in his leg, but persevered with a runner. This would result in a moment of great controversy as R. Weir swept one behind and instincts set in as he took off on a run, only to feel his niggle half way up the track. He halted, his brother and his runner kept pushing and both made their ground with ease, however this act contravened the laws of the game and after a conference it was deemed that R. Weir was rightly out for 17.

The next man in, Cunningham, did not have long to travel as he was the runner. He and Weir Jnr started to resemble an Olympic relay team as they scampered between the sticks, even running a 5! Disappointingly, like a relay this partnership did not last very long as Weir misjudged the talented Ashraf’s floated fuller one and the ball snuck under his bat, nudging the bails from their platform, dismissed for a hard fought 22. Dunn wandered out, and at the other end Cunningham started to rattle off a string of boundaries. Dunn would return without scoring after he was given out leg-before, quack. Score at this stage, 72/4 after 16.1 overs.

Rob Morris was the next to walk across the outfield and he immediately got the scoreboard ticking. Looking assured at the crease both he and Cunningham looked poised to push the score to near the target. Morris then played an excellently timed sweep shot, but sadly managed to pick out the man at fine leg. Out for 10.

This wicket would be followed by a flurry, first Cunningham looked set to smash one through the covers, only for the ball to find a mini trampoline, catch the shoulder of the bat and go straight to first slip, an unlucky end to a good knock, out for 25. Ian Morrison entered and quickly got off the mark, but he was fooled by the one from Smith that turned, hitting him plum on the pads, out for 3. Sadly the next man, Fensom, would fall to the same fate, except this one turned inside his bat and knocked his off-stump, quack. Score, a worrying 91/8.

After the collapse, the next two men in, Dillion and Tom Hall, who subbed in for Kirby, had a mammoth task ahead of them, but the initial signs were firmly nestled in the region of hope. The two men started taking it to Inglis and Caskie and showed no signs of strain from the weight upon their shoulders. A procession of boundaries started to give off a whiff of victory and voices from the boundary went up a few decibels. With the bit between his teeth Dillion started to hit. But, this would be his undoing as he mistimed one and looked resigned as soon as the ball left his bat as it headed towards the bowler’s hands. Out for a battling 14.

All hopes now rested on Hall and Brealsey, strategically batting down the order, to score the remaining 31 runs required. The pair managed to prod the ball safely around the outfield, and with each shot the atmosphere went up a notch. However the task was too much, and Ashraf was brought back on and put an end to proceedings. Hall, like many of his predecessors, was unable to stop the ball from hitting his pads and was out for a commendable 11. Breasley unbeaten on 5. Not our day.

DCC: 124 all out

Cunningham: 25 | C. Weir: 22 | R. Weir: 17

DCC MOTM: Sandy Cunningham

RESULT: The 40 Club Victory by 20 Runs

We give thanks as always to our opponents, and their footage (watch here on youtube) has been a valuable addition for this write up. We are back in action this Sunday against Freuchie. The match was initially meant to be in Dollar, however due to a scheduling mixup it will now be an away fixture. Perfect time to start a new winning run.

Season Record: Played 2 | Won 1 | Lost 1