One legged pinch hitter steals the show at Middleton Stoney
Middleton Stoney 178-7 dec (Murphy 2-17, A. Short 2-29, J. Wilkinson 2-33)
Jesters CC 180-4 (Mohammed 81)
Won by 6 wickets
On the morning of the game, the Jesters’ match manager received an ominous-sounding phone call. Adnan Mohammed (star of several historic Jesters’ Middleton Stoney victories) was injured, but kindly agreed to turn out anyway. Unable to bowl or field out of the slips, Adnan expressed his desire to play as a pinch-hitting opening batsman.
We lost the toss and were put in the field. Jake Wilkinson – on debut – opened the bowling with DJ Chak. Both bowled well, and Jake took two early wickets making the most of some variable bounce. Adnan held onto a tidy slip catch. A familiar pairing of John Murphy and Andrew Short bowled first-change. Both took two wickets, with Andrew taking a catch off John and vice versa. John’s catch – at mid-off – was one-handed above his head, although this was only necessary because of a misjudgement of positioning. Middleton Stoney batted well, with an excellent partnership between Jamie Lumb and their skipper Tim Riley taking them towards a total of 178-7 at the fixed tea. A tight spell by Arran Aris kept the runs down at the end of the innings.
Teatime negotiations by the man himself enabled Adnan to bat with a runner, with the Jesters skipper promising debutant Wilkinson that he would not have to be out there for too long. That proved to be a mistake. Adnan lived up to his promise, smashing three boundaries in the first over taking us to 35-0 after three. He lived a charmed life early on. He was dropped no fewer than three times by the same fielder at square leg, but somehow kept scoring at a fast rate helped by his runner’s enthusiasm and agility. As Adnan hit a huge six into the tree at midwicket, our team and the WhatsApp group started to discuss the prospect of a maiden Jesters’ century. Sadly, the hundred was not to be, as Adnan was dismissed for a memorable 81. Sarbajeet Nag supported with a handy 29. Adnan’s dismissal started the customary collapse, but Aris and Robbie Hudson steadied the ship, scoring 21 and 23 not out, respectively, to bring us home with about ten overs to spare.
Thanks to Middleton Stoney for their usual excellent hospitality – and for sportingly allowing Adnan to bat with a runner!
Jesters XI: Murphy (c), Mohammed, Harrison, Nag (wk), A Smith, Aris, Hudson (wk), Mitra, Wilkinson, Chak, Short