23/04/23 | Grange Loan | Cold & Overcast | 30 Overs
After a performance against Linlithgow that can only be described as a loosener, DCC ventured to the capital to return to the superb Grange Loan as we squared off against Carlton. With a damp, but drying, outfield having first crack with the bat would have been preferred, but unfortunately newly elected Club Captain Cameron Glasgow mistimed his toss and we were asked to bowl.
The skipper summoned George Buchanan-Smith and Tim Dillon but all their early questions were swatted away by the skilful opening pair of Murray and Kentish. With an awol late arrival, 12th man Harris Harper put his body on the line to save crucial early runs and aided in slowing the fast opening pace. This slight lull in scoring opened the door for Dillon to remove Kentish as his persistently relentless line and length dislodged the openers’ bails for 27. Score, 50/1 after 8.
Buchanan-Smith saw a couple of tough chances drop to their knees and beg to heavens, but alas he and Dillon finished off their spells without adding any further wickets. The ex-skippering duo of Marcus Tinsley and Sandy Cunningham brought about the first change and the pair conjured some much needed pressure. Cunningham would not take long to make a break through as Sail could not get enough wind under the ball as he jibbed one to Dillon. Score, 74/2 after 13.
After the first change initially diverted the batsmen’s run-rate from the motorway to the twisting B roads, an increased impetus from Murray saw him string together a barrage of boundaries to see him past 50. However, after a few overs of pressure from Tinsley’s swinging fuller ones and Cunningham’s variations, Maine lob-ster-ed one from the Yorkshireman and Buchanan-Smith jolted forward from mid-on to take a fine catch. Score, 113/3 after 18.
Captain Glasgow made some final alternations as Calum Weir replaced Tinsley and initially Tom Hall, then Gregg Dunsire took over from Cunningham. In stark contrast to his late arrival Weir immediately made his presence felt as with his 4th he navigated the ball around the defence of Murray and surgically removed his off-stump clean from the ground that held it, Murray gone for a stellar 60, no qualms in falling to a ball like that. Score, 133/4 after 22.
Only moments later Carlton were in need of a barrier to stop Weir’s flow as he locked on R. Murray and reassembled his stumps to create a scene Jackson Pollock would have been proud of. Score, 140/5 after 24.
With the overs dwindling Laing and Veejay began to throw caution to the wind as they chased for late runs. Some high scoring overs had the 200 board in the scorers hut limbering up for action, but by name and by nature Dunsire struck in a deathly fashion.
First Veejay attempted to pepper the walnut through the space between mid-on and mid-wicket, but Weir’s sixth sense of a cricket ball once again paid dividends as he stuck out his hand to take a screamer of a one handed catch. Then only a matter of balls later Dunsire pulled the pin on yet another one of his unnerving grenades and Firth could take his sides effort out to sea as he was caught after gloving one up to Glasgow behind the sticks. A few more runs were added in the dying overs and Carlton’s effort was halted at 181 for 7 after their 30 overs. Game poised in the vicinity of a knifes edge.
Murray, 60 | Kentish, 27 | Maine, 24
Dunsire, 2 for 8 from 2 | Weir, 2 for 28 from 5 Tinsley, 1 for 28 from 6
After a tucking into a selection of sannies, pakora, and cakes Tinsley was joined by Richie Nicolson to get the reply underway. After Tinsley cracked a 4 from the 2nd ball and then followed it up with a 3, Nicolson’s eagerness to continue the early onslaught would be his undoing as he was caught looking to find the leg side boundary, quack. Score, 7/1 after 1.
Calum Weir entered the fray and after a couple of quieter overs both batsmen looked as if they were in mid-season form as they frequented themselves with the boundary edge through a mix of finesse and power. They took on all questions form the opening pair of Burgess and Firth in a manner in which they already knew the answers as they brought up a 50 stand.
Ultimately the partnership would not live on as Weir looked to converted his start into a big score he returned the ball to the bowler, Abby, without any contact on the ground, gone for 23. Score, 69/2 after 13.
Cunningham entered at 4, but would be soon searching for a new partner as Tinsley would fall to an absolute beaut of ball from H. Murray that pitched on a 5th stump line but darted in to clip the outside of off, gone for 28. Score, 77/3 after 14.
The current skip replaced the skip twice removed to enter the spirit level straight contest. The potentially destructive pair wasted no time in forwarding the cause and resembled the 2008 Jamaican 4×100 relay team as they raced for a non-boundary 4. As the score ticked over from double to triple digits our in play odds shortened to slightly below evens. Cunningham sent a lofted drive off Laing that gave umpire Dunn unwanted flashbacks of last Wednesday evening, but unlike Dunn the fielder at mid-off opted to use his hands and Cunningham was caught for 8. Score, 105/4 after 18. 77 required off 72 balls.
The next name in the batting order was that of Buchanan-Smith, and he and Glasgow immediately got the run rate above the required 6.4 an over. Glasgow was showcasing some powerful prowess off his back foot, while Buchanan-Smith struck off a series of scintillating drives. The score was noisily creeping its way to 150 until Glasgow looked to heave Veejay and was caught for 25. Score, 140/5 after 23, 42 from 42, nervy.
With the pressure building the situation required a man to unveil some of our hosts secrets, and (IMOM) Dillon answered the call. Another big over from Buchanan-Smith saw off Laing, but unfortunately like his previous partner GBS slightly misread Veejay’s spin and the ball lacked just enough gusto to evade the diving square leg and was out for 32. Score, 150/6 after 25. 5 overs remaining. 32 runs required. Chances of victory relinquishing.
Tom Hall entered at the non-strikers, but Dillon was adopting the disguise of saviour as he took his back lift above his shoulders and swung for the fences. Was there to be one final twist in this undulating, hectic contest? Not quite. Hall’s aggressive foot work saw him stumped as he danced down the wicket in less of a Strictly style and more of an uncle at a wedding style, quack. Then Dillon was undone by a bullet from R. Murray. Dunsire and Murray McBrearty had some effortful heaves in the final over, but could only find singles as we ultimately came up just short. 172 for 8. Special mention to Pete Matthews, who despite not bowling or getting a bat showed great determination in the field, at least Spurs were on hand to cheer him up… oh wait.
Buchanan-Smith, 32 | Tinsley, 28 | Glasgow, 25
Veejay, 3 for 27 from 5 | R. Murray, 1 for 4 from 3 H. Murray, 1 for 20 from 5
***RESULT*** Carlton victory by 10 runs
The BSB (DCC) MOTM
A trademark all round performance, highlighted by some fine fuller length bowling and a gritty opening knock. Credit also to Buchanan-Smith and Weir.
Thanks go to Carlton for putting on an incredibly competitive fixture at their cracking ground. Here’s to many more memorable contests over the coming years.
We are back in action this Sunday for our home opener against old rivals Kinross County CC. Start time is 1300, and we would love to see as many faces as possible to cheer us on in the derby.
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