Mallards v Davipart @ Riding Mill 18 July


Lies, damn lies, statistics and the Duckworth Lewis Method.

Two overs into a reply to Davipart’s challenging 152 the Mallards, at 26 for 0, were way ahead on DL.

For those who know and love it, the sky was heavy with Flash Gordon cloud cover (just lacking the tinge of deep purple). The near darkness which had blighted Mallards fielding (but surprisingly not the Davipart batting) had grown more intense. The potential rain which had threatened from the start became even more potentially threatening — and even began to spot.

Given the slight prospect of our gallant boys chasing down such a daunting target were we about to be rescued by at worst a “no result” – or even find ourselves going 2-1 up on DL and take the trophyless annual Davipart Challenge which stood at 1-1 going into this “decider”?

Sadly for those more concerned with results and stats than the sheer playing of as much cricket as possible, the wonderous weather haven that is Riding Mill came to the rescue of virtuous cricket. Even more sadly a last but one wicket stand of 24 between the 70 year old Beacock and the even older Haylock failed to get the boys over the line.

With the Mallards a mere 45 runs short at the end of 20 overs our fixtures secretary is now faced with the challenge of slotting in two more games against Davipart with gamblers in the team saying “surely we will win if it is a best of five” — or at least looking to a huge win in a fourth match aided by some magical statistical work on net run rate.

But how did it come to this sorry state on this dark night ?

Davipart, having won the toss chose to bat in what half-light there was.  Samed and the diminutive, but oh so talented Shree, set off at a cracking pace against the bowling of Browne and Bennett.  Browne opening tightly, suffered in his middle overs and closed tightly with just 3 off his final over to finish with figures of 0 for 23 off 4 overs.  Bennett recovered well from a first over which was hit for 14 to close on 0 for 33 off 4.

43 for 0 after 5 overs became 67 for 0 at the end of the ninth bowled by Hamid. Samed retired on 31 bringing G Dhillon to the crease to be bowled by Bateman for 0 with just his second ball followed by Hilton bowled by Hamid for 1 in the following over. Somewhere around here Shree retired for 32.

The departures brought Dinesh Rawley and A Dhillon to the crease.  Dhillon 2 resumed the plundering of not unreasonable Mallards bowling, while Rawley pushed a few singles while waiting for his nemesis, the veteran Haylock, to be brought into the fray.

Bateman completed his 3 overs – closing on 1 for 17, bringing Kent into play to open with a tight over which went for  just 3 runs as the Mallards belatedly slowed the Davipart run fest which had reached 111 in the 15th.  Hamid closed with 1 for 25 off his 4 overs to be followed by Haylock.

Dinesh had been waiting in fear for this – with Haylock having taken his wicket in each of the past four seasons. The first ball he hit for 2 – the second he hit hard but straight to Wood at mid-off! The catch was safely pouched and Dinesh’s curse continues into a fifth year !

The remainder of the innings was all about Dhillon 2 knocking the bowling about to retire on 33 and Kent knocking the Davipart line-up about. His 3 overs brought Muggeridge caught by McCaffrey for 6, C Burt bowled for 0 and a fine direct hit run out of J Burt by Hamid for 8. (Presumably that is Kent off the Burt family Xmas card list!) Only some late hitting by the returning opener Samed denied him some super figures as he closed on 2 for 21, with Haylock’s 2 overs yielding 1 for 19

Aided by 15 wides and 11 other extras the innings closed on 152

So now to turn to the story of a great chasing start and a whimpering limping close of a Mallard chase.

Kent opened with a single, a single by Hamid followed next ball, a dot and then three consecutive 4s from Kent and Thompson had gone for 14 in his first over.  From the other end we had Shree – turning the ball prodigiously but, nonetheless leaking 4s. 26 for 0 after two overs became 28 for 1 with Thompson having Hamid caught behind. This then moved on to 28 for 3 with the first ball of Shree’s second over having Kent bowled for 20 and the third Taylor bowled for 0. As the rain started Duckworth/Lewis was fast becoming our enemy.

Bennett came in to steady the ship and move the score along – eventually retiring on 31. Wood partnered briefly before being caught off Hilton for 0 – and Green was trapped very comprehensively in front of his stumps by Shree for 2. This was at the end of a 4 over spell which had brought 3 for 19.

Bateman at last provided Bennett with some decent company before being caught and bowled by one of the Dhillons for 16. The retirement of Bennett with the score on 80 and Bateman’s demise on 83 brought first Browne (who perished caught and bowled again- but this time by Muggeridge – for the team’s third duck) and then Beacock and Haylock to the middle.

The shout went up at one stage – “we only need 53 off the last 5 overs!”

With 5 overs left, McCaffrey to follow and Bennett waiting to resume his innings Haylock was yet again in the hit out or get out role. The trouble was that he was singularly unable to do either – and, after an early four, neither was Beacock.

Bennett at last got out to the middle with only two balls of the innings left – but only as a runner for Haylock who had pulled a muscle in a leg unaccustomed to so much short sprinting.

Haylock was bowled off the last ball for 9 leaving Beacock not out on 10 and the score, aided by a mere 11 extras, on 107 for 8 – just those 45 runs short.

A fine turnout from both teams at the Wellington failed to raise the challenge of a fourth or fourth and fifth game to really resolve the rivalry between the teams!

Over to you fixture sec – and the team statistician on where we are on net run-rates across the Davipart series.