METHLICK were keen to continue the run of form that has moved them up to fourth position in Grade 2, one place behind opponents, Caley.
After four previous attempts the toss was finally won and Caley were put into bat. After eight overs the score had pushed along to 37 and Maxfield’s first two balls of the 9th disappeared for two maximums from Nirav. However, revenge was the bowlers with the fourth delivery as the batsman was clean bowled. Brian Anderson took a fine diving catch to dismiss new bat, Van Oorshott without scoring.
Ex- Brocher, Liam Bowie, then came in to steady the ship but faced a battle of wills as the pair of Saward and Brian Anderson turned the screw. Despite Anderson bowling a loose first over, batting became a study in circumspection as five maidens in a row were bowled and the high scoring rate was checked and after 20 overs the score sat at 74 for 2.
Finally the pressure told and Moiz was bowled by Saward for 28. Addison joined the fray and opened with three maidens in a row. Saward, at the other end, continued to bowl with swing and accuracy. Smith decided to take the attack to the bowlers but a brief flurry, including two sixes, was brought to an abrupt end bowled by Addison with the score on 107 for 4 off 33.
This could have been a good springboard for Caley to attack from but Anderson struck twice with his last two balls of the game removing the stubborn Bowie for 25. Addison finished the innings taking Gordon for a duck and leaving Caley on 141 all out.
Disaster struck in Cordiner’s first over, as umpire Cox succumbed to the keeper’s extravagant appeal and gave Woodhouse out, unjustly, “caught” behind with only one run on the board. However, a strong batting line up gave MCC little to fear and skipper Anderson and the high scoring Saward were soon tucking in to the bowling.
Once again, Cordiner’s innocuous bowling reaped rewards and Saward was caught behind for 13 to follow his two successive centuries. Murphy and Anderson combined to add an additional 25 until the skipper went for 27 off Safee. MCC had reached 57 for 3 with plenty of overs left so there were no real fears.
Safee, however, had other ideas and his swift bowling and an unfriendly batting surface started to reap rewards. Acton came and went without scoring quickly followed by Addison, Maxfield and Brian Anderson, all clean bowled by Safee. In the meantime, Murphy had been purposefully going about his business without any trouble and soon reached an impressive and aggressive half century.
However, a shaky tail had been exposed and with seven wickets down and only 93 on the board, 141 runs seemed a long way away. Ilham McHardy came to the crease and stoutly defended his wicket. Each boundary brought the total tantalizingly ever closer. The winning runs came with an effusive six for a brilliant 82 not out for Murphy, but probably the hero of the day was McHardy who had faced 26 balls without scoring, but unbeaten at the end.
Methlick edged ahead of Caley to third and the weekend’s away fixture against newly-promoted Knightriders will give an opportunity to move ever closer to the top spot.