While the skippers away, the boys will play

Toss: Pak Bristolians with heads

Pak Bristolians 153ao – Shah 41, Penny 4-22, Swetman 2-13 vs OBWCC 1st XI 154-3 – de Nobrega 62 not out, Ribbons 44 not out, Butt 2-23

The 1st XI welcomed Pak Bristolians to The Memorial Ground Failand on Saturday and under cloudless skies and hot temperatures that allowed for some welcomed sun bathing by some saw the team produce another excellent all round team performance.

Having lost the toss and being asked to bowl first Will Penny and Jon Roper set about dismantling the opposition’s top order bowling a measly opening spell, backed up with some outstanding fielding led by Alex Lee, saw the visitors struggling at 25-3 after 10 overs.

With the Joe-a-constrictor Colebrook replacing Roper the pressure remained on and the 4th wicket was a vintage piece of combo-fielding that had been practised in the warm up ‘stump battle’ that saw winners Swety and Ricardo combine to run out the excellent Razaq. Penny continued to trundle in down the hill delivering his customary half volleys that the opposition kept missing to finish with 4-22 off his 9. Pak Bristolians continued to attack the initially luckless Griff arriving arrive at the mid innings drink break at 87-5.

The reintroduction at the top end of the tall, perfectly sculpted Roper, standing at the top of his mark looking more like Ivan Drago than a cricketer saw his girlfriend, Miss St Andrews 2017, put down her Vogue magazine and rise from her chair, camera in hand and with a smile on her face. She clearly energised Ivan as he tore down the hill to break a very useful partnership between Shah (44) and Abbas (22) who had put on 60 together with a mixture of short and full balls removing both caught behind by the outstanding Kerry ‘the ant’ Lock.

With the tail now in place Griffiths was nagging the captain like Ziggy when he wants a walk to get back on to ensure he stays in touch with the leading wicket takers in the league. Penny relented and in partnership with Swety the pair took the remaining wickets with Griff finishing with 1-46 and Swetman returning outstanding figures of 7-3-13-2.

The run chase didn’t start well with the strapping figure of Bilal Butt nicking off Swety with the second ball of the innings, only a light breeze in the changing room post-match would brighten his mood. Fairbrother and Ricardo went about rebuilding the innings and rebuffed the excellent Butt who finished with 2-23 from his 9 overs.

The ever green Alex Harris replaced Fairbrother who chipped one to cover for 18 and Alex, worried by the fact Howard Hudd has given him out in 93% of the games he has officiated him in, survived a big LBW shout to stamp his authority on the flagging attack. A well-made 22 including some sumptuous drives and subtle cut shots deflated the visitors as along with Ricardo, now batting with real authority put on 65 for the third wicket.

With Harris out Ribbons strode to the crease. Unbeknown to the rest of the team James ‘Lovejoy’ Ribbons had an EBay auction to get back to as an antique piano was going for a steal and despite starting with 3 very uncomfortable looking defensive shots decided enough was enough and anything that Shah could do to Griffiths he could do to Abbas and Ahmed and he launched an unbeaten 44 in 30 balls that included 3 towering sixes and 4 aggressive fours. With Ricardo leaning on his bat observing the carnage unfold he quietly went about building his final score of 62 not out whilst leading his team over the line to win by 7 wickets in very uncharacteristic OBWCC fashion given there was no customary collapse!

The game was played in great spirits and was officiated in an outstanding manner by Howard Hudd and Paul Ferragut who we hope to see later in the season. It will be interesting to see if our skipper can get back into the side for our visit to BWI Phoenix who are rising from the flames to mount a serious championship challenge themselves next weekend at Sabina Park, Bristol.

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