SPCU finally managed to play a home league fixture this season after rain and a scratch the previous weeks and it allowed our two overseas players Connor and Chris to be given their “caps” at home.
After winning the toss, Gordonians elected to bat first and opened up with Aman Arora and D Barman. For SDCC it was Connor (1-56) and Chris (1-45) and the innings started slowly as the pair looked to leave anything outside off stump as much as possible Barman (9) gave an early chance but the catch was put down at slip but fortunately for SDCC he did not take advantage and was out to a good catch by Andrew of the bowling of Connor. Gordonians 9-1.
This brought in the Gordonians OA, Krutik Patel and looked a little nervous early on. However, he soon found his timing and quickly picked up three fours to put on a 40 run partnership before glancing one down the leg side to be taken by Ewan in his first stint as a keeper for SPCU. Gordonians 49-2.
Meanwhile, Arora was playing himself in and taking no chances as he set his stall to bat through the innings. Saraswat joined him and the pair put on 41 before Saraswat (16) gave his wicket away this time giving a catch to Jordan off Owen (2-41). Bhandari (12) followed soon after again of Owen’s bowling to leave Gordonians 128-4 after 23 overs.
This brought Hamza Arshad and together with Arora, the pair produced some of the finest batting display to be seen in a very long time. Both started off carefully before accelerating the run rate and cleverly chose the side where the wind was blowing to target the bowlers – one side of the innings produced a massive 222 runs off 22 overs built around some splendid shots. While Arora looked to play the more classical shots, Hamza went for brought force and both were unafraid of swinging through the line.
The pair put on an excellent partnership of 199 runs off 21 overs before Adam (1-18) snuck one through to bowl Arshad for 110. Rane (5) was bowled by Chris looking for runs but Arora was able to bat through the innings for a fantastic 147 not out as Gordonians set a target of 340-6.
SDCC came back to the dressing room and despite the target, spirits remained high. At the outset we knew we were playing the best team in the league with our second best available eleven. The SPCU is very much a development team to prepare most of the members for the step up to the first team so it is understandable other teams may have days like they did on Saturday. Simply put, it was some of the finest batting display put on by Arora and Arshad but the team stuck through it to the end. The objective of our innings was to ensure we scored runs and batted the full 45 overs.
Opening up with Connor and Andrew, Gordonians struck with their very first ball, when Forbes (1-26) got through the defences of Connor to leave SDCC 0-1 after one ball. Not the start we were wanting. However, Andrew (26) and Adam (17) got stuck in and put on a partnership of 76, which was helped by a number of extras as well before Rane (3-35) struck then Marc Jones (3-32), playing just his second game come on and bowled both
Ewan and Andrew to leave SDCC 87-4 off 20 overs.
A disappointing collapse again by SDCC who just a few overs before were at a healthy 76-1 off 16 overs. Jordan (32) was joined by Mark (9) before Marked became the first of Saraswat’s (2-29) wickets. Chris (14) became Jones’ third wicket and SDCC were 129-6 off 30 overs and looking less likely to not only bat the 45 overs but also get many batting points. This became 158-7 as Gordonians’ captain took a catch of Rane to dismiss Jordan.
Owen, Rufus and David were able to achieve the 42 runs required in the final 8 overs to finish on exactly 200-9 off the 45 overs.
This was a good learning experience for a young SDCC side that include 8 people under 20 with a debut for Ed on the day. Gordonians ran out comfortable and well deserved winners. SDCC showed with the bat they are capable of scoring 200 runs which will win more games than not against one of the better bowling units in the league. The outcome of a game like this is to continue the learning curve and any mistakes made but also to appreciate playing against good players and watching good cricket.
Gordonians MoM: It is very rare to score a ton and not get man of the match so Hamza is a bit unlucky but for his concentration, batting display and remaining not out from ball one, it goes to Aman Arora for his 147*.
SDCC MoM: Not too many choices this week but for his 2 wickets and relatively tight spell plus his valuable 18 runs that took SDCC a long way at the end to achieve the 200 run target and the batting points, it goes to Owen.
Highlight of the Game: You can probably pick any number of the sixes that went sailing out of the ground by Arshad which looked all the more elegant as it came from a left-hander!