|Accrington Cricket Club|
ACCRINGTON A 157-9 KASHMIR 107
What a win, what a performance from Accy A...we won against a very good team....today Kashmir tomorrow Australia! The match took place on Accringtons 'Himalayas', King Georges playing fields.
I won the toss and without hesitation decided to bat on a sweltering day. As I made the decision the Kashmir captain ('Raja' Basharat) decided to make an assumtive and confident statement that was going to haunt him for the remainder of the day. He declared that we should let Kashmir bat first so they can claim the win and gain a maximum of 6 points. Raja Basaharat is an interesting character himself as he is a self proclaimed ICC chairmen, umpire, committee member, captain, player and supporter...he manages to bring all this baggage with him on the pitch and a classic case of this was the delay of our match for 20 minutes while we awaited the arrival of one of their players who was late ....Now thats what you call a gifted multi utility player.
The match started off on a very slow note as we reached 9 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in the first 12 overs...it wasn't just slow it was agonisingly slow,any body would think the Accrington second 11 were playing!. But this was believe it or not part of the game plan as the players were all told to use up the full overs and not be bowled out before the 36th over (only on one occasion have we managed not to be bowled out all season). The former Accy A player and bowler Nadeem 'jungle bunny' accounted for myself (1),Immy (3) and Arif (5) as he was looking very dangerous on the pitch moving the ball consistently off a line.Luckily Alvin and Dave managed to steady the innings and slowly give the innings some momentum getting us to 50 in the 18th over. They managed to carry the good work through up until Dave had to go off for cramps and Alvin was out for a very useful 29. By then they had carried the score to 85-4. From here on in everyone chipped in with runs. Innings of note were Shazad (16) and Arshad the 'Mangoe' (11). The latter individual is a walking disaster, a case in point is in this match when our innings started off he became the first umpire to be brought off the field for 'sledging' the fielding side (he was abusing them and umpiring at the same time!) and on more than one occasion the bowler was stopped by Arshad so that he could sledge a particular fielder of his choosing.
Dave bravely decided to come back on when our 8th wicket fell (at this stage we were 120-8 in 30 overs). 13 runs came off the last over taking our final score to 157-9. Dave was unluckily left on 49 not out, without a doubt the best and definitely from a team point of view the most important innings this season from a player who plays a lot better than sometimes his scores suggest. Good player, top bloke...even if he did play for Rovers years ago. The brilliant recovery from 9-3 in 12 overs to 157-9 off 36, geed us all up and it was stressed to my players that for once we have a defendable total and only our fielding would lose us the game if we didn't shape up.
The Kashmir innings was kicked off soundly by their openers and Mushtaq in particular (the former Accy first team player) was hitting regular boundaries with ease. It was not until they were in he 30's before they lost there first wicket. Immy had picked up the priceless wicket we wanted most (Mushtaq) and it was a wicked lifting delivery that accounted for him. Imran did look for the stone that the ball must have hit to lift so viciously but couldn't find it. He continued to trouble the batsmen and Abbas was bought on at the other in in place of Tom. Together they managed to rip right through Kasmirs volatile middle order. In the end the game was won in large thanks to the efforts of Abbas (4-18) Immy (4 wickets) and the contribution with the bat from Dave and Alvin. It was a good win one that was well deserved and at this point I would like to challenge the Accrington second 11 team for a match.