Pre-season match v Damazan
Match Report Eymet v Damazan 15 April 2018
The sun was out, the outfield dry, so despite all the rain Eymet were kicking off their season on time by welcoming Damazan for a 35 over ‘match amicale’ at Stade Bretou. Most of the team had wintered well but sadly top batsman, Eloquent Ed Nicolson, and former President, Tiger Tim Smith, were on the long lay-off list. Indeed Ed was spotted prowling the boundary insisting that rumours about serious jaw-ache were simply not true.
Skipper, David Horlock won the toss and elected to bat, sending out Parneet and Richard Brown as a new opening pair. Both began watchfully and just when all looked well the useful Shaid bent back Richard’s off stump. This set the pattern for the innings as batsman after batsman got in and got out. Eymet were soon struggling at 38 for 3. The worms were not helping, with a mass of castes covering the outfield, and it needed the aerial route to score quickly. Owais had now joined The Horlock and Eymet had their best spell of the innings with Owais’ powerful hits peppering the ropes. But then Owais missed a straight one and the timbers clattered, Eymet rocked back at 68 for 4, and still half the overs to go! David tried to hold the innings together but no-one would stick, that is until Roland Marshall strode out at No.9. Now Roland is normally economical with the scorer’s pencil but he dug in and clipped a few useful runs. David departed at 85 for 8 and thoughts of 130+ had disappeared, it was now a case of just a ton. But even this proved too far for Eymet and Roland was left high and dry when the last wicket fell at 96.
“Not much to bowl at”, complained one of the Eymet faithful at tea, but Skipper Horlock hinted at his plan, muttering something about his trio of mystery spinners, but as normal, the mystery was whether they could spin the ball at all!
Damazan started shakily as both Enayet and Numan picked up a wicket apiece and it was soon 5 for 2. A new bat, Sidique, had started quietly, like all new lads it was his first match since playing street cricket with a tennis ball. But, having become used to the harder stuff, he suddenly exploded, scoring his first runs with 3 successive 6s off Enayet. With support from Swaren the pair began to eat into the Eymet total, reaching 50 with only 3 wickets gone. The Horlock turned to his mystery spinners and Colin Goodall began to twirl away with his slow left-arm stuff. That old buffer The Colonel, standing as ‘arbitre’, mumbled something about his Empire days, reckoning that Colin was like a bloke called Nasim-ul-Ghani, apparently the slowest left-armer of all time. Whatever, it did the trick, a frustrated Sidique danced down the wicket, missed, and had his bails whipped off, Damazan 52 for 4. Another stand eased Damazan to 70 but then the wheels fell off and who would start it but the Roland! Those pop-gun seamers soon found Swaren’s stumps and with Owais dismissing Damazan skipper, Gagan, with a brilliant caught and bowled, the end was nigh. Roland picked up 2 more wickets and Numan returned to wrap up the tail as Damazan collapsed to 78 all out.
A win is a win as the cliché goes but Eymet’s bowling had saved the day. And so to the league season ahead, which covers the whole of the Sud-Ouest again but with a few clubs dropping out, including that old foe from Bordeaux. Be assured though of more excitement at Stade Bretou. Eymet CC win by 18 runs.
Eymet CC: 96 all out in 34.2 Overs (D.Horlock 22, Parneet 18, Shazib 2-14, Arshad 2-19)
Damazan CC: 78 all out in 27.3 overs (Sidique 35, R.Marshall 3-4, Owais 2-7, Numan 2-9)
Eymet Team: D.Horlock (capt & wkt), R Brown, Parneet, A Jewel, Owais, Numan, P.Bradford, Enayet, R.Marshall, T.Chancellor, C.Goodall