Game One Of The MDCC Grenada Tour 2007
The Mad Dogs C.C. opened their tour of Grenada with a game against St Andrew's Parish Select XI at Grenville. A long drive over the mountains to the East Coast ended in the picturesque but non-touristy town of Grenville, and the friendly confines of the Grenville 3rd XI ground (the 1st XI ground being used by our mate Shiv and his buddies the West Indies team). The Dogs team featured several club regulars plus a few guests of tender years whose athletic contributions turned out to be quite useful.
L to R, Rear to Front, Liam Gallagher, Steve McCracken, Keith Lawrence, Chris Wright, Neil Kimberley, Eric Harrison. Lincoln Harrison, Stu Chalmers, James Thornton, Jonas Wilson, Neil Harrison
Keith Lawrence skippered the team and persuaded St Andrews to bat in case we were too tired, hungover, old or out of touch to play a decent game. The Maestro proceeded to pull all the strings and coax a symphonic MDCC performance out of a rag tag and bobtail outfit assembled that very morning. Jonas Wilson opened the bowling with Liam Gallagher (not that one), a young South African, and this pair bowled tidily with Chris Wright behind the sticks, picking up a wicket each as Jonas took a fine diving return catch to dismiss John for 9, and Campbell was bowled by Liam for 1. Steve McCracken replaced Jonas and bowled a fine tight spell, picking up the wicket of Mason, caught Liam for 4 at 39 for 3.
The three seamers did a great job early on of controlling the scoring rate and set the stage for the later collapse. Keith turned to the spinners, and Lincoln Harrison (Neil's Dad) was unlucky to have a catch and stumping missed amid some Big Tonka activity as McCode and Lewis proceeded to demonstrate the limited dimensions of the cozy little ground by taking the senior spinner downtown. The drinks break saw the introduction of Neil Harrison at the top end, and the similarity of the frighteningly small ground to Mad Dog Park must have comforted the spinner, who replied to an early drop catch for 6 by trapping McCode in front for 39 amid considerable vocal cacophony.
Neil Harrison thinks the hutch is open
Eric Harrison came on at the pavilion end, and the biff-fest continued at both ends from the middle order until Lewis was caught by Neil off Eric for 24 and Felix was caught by a diving catch by Eric off Neil for 13. After some massive sixes into the next town off both Harrisons, Thorndog took a nice catch off a skyer to dismiss Alexander for 12 off Neil, and then Neil slid in the outfield to catch Hopkins for 23 off Eric. At this point, St Andrews were suddenly 8 down and in a spot of trouble. A ball that actually turned and clipped the off bail gave Neil H. another wicket and dismissed Francis for 2, before the reintroduction of Liam who bowled I.Lewis for 7, to end the innings at a surprisingly modest 143 all out in the 28th of 30 scheduled overs. All in all, a solid bowling and fielding effort by the Dogs, and a tidy job of keeping by Chris and great captaincy by Keith Lawrence. Everyone fielded well and stayed in
the game despite the intense heat, even Geoff Abbott the 12thy and drinks waiter.
Bowling: Jonas Wilson 4-2-10-1; Liam Gallagher 4.5-0-19-2; Steve McCracken 4-0-11-1;
Lincoln Harrison 4-0-24-0; Neil Harrison 6-0-50-4; Eric Harrison 5-0-21-2.
Lawrence and Gallagher opened and began slowly against accurate bowling from Hopkin and Mason, but before long the pair settled in and Lawrence began to accumulate from loose deliveries from change bowlers Campbell and Lewis. Keith settled in to play a typical Keith Lawrence innings, with a combination of easy drives and punishing yet perfectly timed pulls and cuts and Liam contributed some nice shots behind the wicket from the other end. At drinks Mad Dogs were 83-0 off 15 overs with only 61 required to win.
In typical fashion, Liam was out immediately after the break, stumped for a tidy 29. This was followed by the quick loss of Thornton caught on the boundary going for a typical big hit for 1. Kimberley joined Lawrence and the pair nurdled the score to 113-2 before Neil K was fingered lbw for 8, and a comedic Mad Dogs mini-collapse followed as Jonas first changed out of his sarong then applied some biff before being dubiously run out for 8.
Keith then retired bored at 62 bringing Aussie Stuart Chalmers and keeper Chris Wright together for a while before both were stumped off some dobby spinners. The game was then finished by Lincoln Harrison, with a stylish cover drive or two, and Steve McCracken who hoisted one for four before hitting a massive six to close out the game at 145-6 in the 27th over for a comfortable MDCC win, although all members of the team had to go and put their boxes in...
Roti and beer followed, before everyone piled back to the villa in L'Anse Aux Epines for beers round the pool. All in all it was a great day out in the sun and the Mad Dogs showed their hosts that they know a thing or two about playing cricket with intensity and purpose.