DAMAZAN vs. EYMET (friendly), Sunday 6th May
It could have been a Devon village given all the work John Ayling and his team had done to prepare the pretty Lac ground. Pristine green outfield, flags flying, and scones for tea. Eymet were lucky to be there at all after some miscommunication concerning the minibus on Friday and several call-offs on the day of the match.
Damazan gallantly lent Eymet a couple of players including the captain’s wife Susi. Fancying their chances, the Lot-et-Garonnais decided to bat. Nigel Jones had a couple of decent shouts and generally kept the openers honest while Enayet softened them up from the other end. It paid off as Enayet found a ‘top of the stumps’ length and bowled Richard who was reversing into the maize field. Another followed as Enayet clipped the bails of Dylan.
A good start for Eymet. Damazan’s Ahmed made his intentions clear from the start and they weren’t pacific. Enayet took a bit of stick and was replaced by our guest Susi. She started brightly but then struggled a little with her grip. Owais Mohammed came on at the other end and began promisingly, but fearing the drive, he then dropped too short and was punished accordingly. Redemption came in the form of Ahmed Jewel who had spent the winter perfecting his daisy cutter. He used it to great effect dismissing both his dangerous namesake who had cruised to 56, and Ashir and Hussein (48) as well. Nigel returned and accounted for Swaran, then caught and bowled captain Gagan Singh who had made a stylish 30. The tail wagged as Eymet passed the ball around and Damazan closed on 240.
Having kept wicket stoically, David sent Ahmed and Azizul to open the innings. Azizul departed early but Richard Brown joined Ahmed in a fruitful partnership until Richard fell LBW to the consistent Gagan.
Ahmed soldiered on, hitting the ball powerfully for several boundaries. Eymet began to sniff the hint of a suggestion of a much unlikely run chase. But it only lasted a few seconds as Ahmed parked his pads in front of another Gagan delivery. Owais flashed at a couple and Nigel then feasted on some of the more friendly bowling that was introduced. However, wickets fell regularly and the quicks returned at the end and the last 2 wickets fell in consecutive balls, leaving Eymet on 164.
A shame, because with a full complement, on a fair surface like Damazan, Eymet would have been capable of chasing down the probably slightly lower total Damazan would have made. However, beggars can’t be choosers and credit to Damazan for lending the players to the Dordognais. Ex-Eymet and Damazan player Tom Lewis was in attendance, regaling David and Nigel with some of his favourite cricketing anecdotes. Damazan veteran and cricket pioneer Jean-Claude Rieudebat was also present and kindly scored.
Damazan won by 36 runs
DAMAZAN 240 for 9 wickets off 35 overs (Ahmed 56, Hussein 48, Enayet 3-44, Ahmed Jewel 3-38, Nigel Jones 2-27)
EYMET 164 for 9 (innings closed) off 32.3 overs (Ahmed Jewel 50, Nigel Jones 46*)
EYMET: D.Horlock (capt/keeper), Ahmed Jewel, Azizul, R.Brown, N.Jones, Owais Mohammed, Enayet, Susi, Said, Ahsan.