EYMET vs. CATUS, Blevins Franks League
EYMET vs. CATUS, Blevins Franks League, Sunday 20th May 2018
Stade Bretou was looking ship-shape. The sun was shining and some of the grass had been cut. But behind this idyllic facade lay a reality after several weeks’ of rain; a slow pitch and an even slower outfield. Perhaps this the only clue to the classic potboiler which was about to unfold before a sparse crowd.
Strangely, Catus invited Eymet to bat. Maybe confident they could roll over Eymet quickly in the absence of Ed Nicholson; maybe seeing themselves as a chasing side. In any case, their gamble seemed to work. Batting was a painful process, Parneet and David Horlock struggling to get the ball away from the miserly Karim and Atik. After 7 overs Eymet only had 8 and the pressure told with Parneet bowled by Karim. Another from Karim skidded through David’s defences and he was LBW. Ahmed Jewel and Nigel Jones did their best to rebuild but Ahmed walked across spinner Shafik’s first ball and was adjudged LBW. This prompted Nigel into Test match mode. However, a breath of fresh air came with Owais Mohammed. Swiping unsuccessfully at his first ball, his innings then read: 6, 6, 4, 1, out caught. Eymet were now definitely in trouble – 27 for 4 off 12 overs. Numan joined Nigel for a fruitful partnership, with Numan showing signs of patience to add to his natural attacking game. Almost 50 had been added when both batsman found themselves scampering to the same end following a mix-up. Numan was run out for 18. The arm speed and turn of Shafik were too much for debutant Richard Dunham who was bowled and Azizul soon followed back to the hutch. Eymet were tottering again at 85 for 7 off 30 overs. Roland ‘Sausage’ Marshall strode to the crease, armed with his Bob Willis-like forward defensive lunge. Despite the recall of the seamers, Roland stood firm. Nigel continued to look solid with the occasional flourish including a pleasing whip for 6 over square-leg off the persevering Raheem. Although the running between the wickets could have been managed better, the batsman importantly played out the remaining overs and kept Catus in the field. Nigel squeezed past fifty in the final over before holing out to the last ball. Eymet 119.A sage in the grandstand said Eymet could have scored a few more….but also a lot less.
After a lovely tea provided by Joan Wall and Jackie Wilson, the two sides resumed battle. It was the usual Numan-Nigel combo. Numan bowled Scud missiles from one end and Nigel kept a tidy line from the other. Catus did not get the flying start they had hoped for and first-change Enayet had Ken Sutton caught behind off his first ball by gloveman Horlock. Catus were still keen to put bat to ball but were less at ease against the spin of Tim Chancellor. The dangerous Farouk misread Tim’s line and was bowled. Things were beginning to look up. Next, Tim mesmerised Bappy like a mongoose, pinning him in front of his stumps. Finally, Raheem edged Tim into the hands of Richard at first slip. The seeds of doubt had been sown with Catus teetering at 38 for 4 off 13. Tim was not to be kept out of the picture for long as he made a potentially difficult catch look easy, Shafik trying to knock Owais out of the ground. Ahmed nipped in to remove Pavil and then Steve Taylor snicked one off Owais into David’s gloves. 49 for 7 and Catus really in trouble. However, as is often the case with Catus, there seemed to be no discernible difference between their batters: number 9 seemed almost as capable as number 2. Rahul swung hard at Owais and twice deposited him over the road. The pendulum now swung in Catus’ favour in such a low-scoring game. Moreover, number 9 Shamin looked as if he were prepared to play a waiting game. Catus accumulated and Eymet’s chances looked to be receding. David recalled a fired-up Numan. Frankly, some of his deliveries were just too good to get a bat on. More importantly, the dot-ball after dot-ball put the pressure back on Catus. Deservedly, Numan shattered Shamin’s stumps (literally) with the total on 79. Only two to go – surely Eymet were home and dry. Rahul and Karim continued to play sensibly and Catus edged towards the necessary 120. Rahul dramatically whirled Enayet over midwicket for 6. The bookies didn’t know what to do. Then unexpectedly, Rahul pushed one back into the grateful hands of Enayet with the total on 96. Catus plodded on. With 2 overs to go they required 15 with one wicket left. The admirable Enayet steamed in from the Swimming Pool end and a poor slash from the previously sensible Karim sunk deeply into the gloves of ‘Mr Superglue’, David – his 4th catch of the day. What a game! Of course, skipper Horlock commented that he never had any doubts concerning the result.
What made the difference? Well, Eymet were more patient on a slow wicket and, for once, conceded fewer extras – 13 to Catus’ 19. In addition, Eymet held their catches whereas Catus were more profligate, spilling 4 or 5 chances.
Many thanks to our sponsors, the Pizzeria, the Café de Paris, Danelander and Aquitaine-Info.
RESULT: EYMET WIN BY 14 RUNS
EYMET 119-7 off 40 overs (N.Jones 51, Numan 18, Shafik 3-37, Karim 2-11)
CATUS 105 all out off 38.1 overs (Rahul 29, T.Chancellor 3-14, Enayet 3-25, Owais Mohammed 2-18)
EYMET: D.Horlock (capt/keeper), Parneet, Ahmed Jewel, N.Jones, Owais Mohammed, Numan Uddin, Azizul, R. Dunham, R. Marshall, Enayet Hussein, T.Chancellor