Mallards v Davipart May 25 @ Greenside

An overcast May evening saw Mallards at Greenside for the first Davipart fixture of the season. In typical Mallards fashion the team was fairly fluid, changing up to about 90 minutes prior to the start, and a strong side eventually assembled and after losing the toss, would bowl first.

Davipart were into their business from the off, with 21 coming from the first two overs as the new ball sped over a quick outfield. Seasoned campaigners Cleaver and Browne plugged away gamely but were unable to create any early chances. 42/0 after 6 and a double change saw Bell and Malik try their hands.

Runs continued to come in a steady but not unmanageable manner but the breakthrough still proved elusive. A steady string of batsmen began to reach the pre-agreed 25 and retire (five of the top six were to retire by the end). After 12, the score had progressed to 94 without loss. The run rate was beginning to climb and it continued to do so as Stone and Cox both went for in excess of ten an over from their two-over spells.

The breakthrough finally came in the 16th over, with Cox taking advantage of yet another retirement, bowling Rawley for a first ball duck. 153/1, and if nothing else we had avoided the ignominy of 20 wicketless overs.

It was Ankush and Edge to close the innings out, with the latter finding good swing and picking up two more wickets, both bowled. Impressively, with the danger of conceding 200 for the first time a real possibility, Edge’s final over saw just one run off the bat and the second of his wickets – restricting (if that’s the right word) the score to 187/3.

There was only one thing for it – get out there and show some intent. Ankush was intent personified, reaching retirement in just 10 balls as we were briefly on the required rate, indeed we were 7 runs ahead of Davipart at the four over mark.

It all got a bit Mallardsy for a while, with Nair given LBW for 5 (Umpire Taylor also showing plenty of intent), and McCaffery out for a couple soon after. Malik and Cox looked to steady the ship, but still scoring at a decent rate before Cox was out LBW for 12 with more than 100 still required. Continuing the positive approachh, Edge and Bell went down swinging, without really getting in.

Browne started to find the middle of the bat and swung at everything, sparking a lower order fightback. Useful contributions from numbers 8 to 11 helped keep the score ticking, of particular note was the 20-run last wicket partnership between Stone and Taylor before we finished on 137/8 after our 20. A bit of a hammering, but a decent effort with the bat in the face of a big target. Special thanks to the injured Stig for turning up as 12th man and scoring the whole match; anything to get out of umpiring, eh?