The second game from the 2007 Sarasota Tour
A groggy MDCC made it to breakfast the following morning to be met with an even nicer, warmer, sunnier day. Advil Omlettes and Aspirin Muffins were consumed, and we set off for an 11am game.
JPM takes up the story again...
Chanderpaul did not, in fact, turn up. Apparently, his wife had objected to his abusing the small boys of the Mad Dogs' bowling attack for a second day, insisting he stay home and mow the lawn, wash the dishes and generally spend time with her before the West Indies left for their Indian tour on Tuesday.
This scenario would, of course, never arise with any of the Dogs, all of whom are MEN who wear the trousers in their households and can play cricket or golf, and drink beer with the boys, just any time THEY want to.
Harrison took over the captaincy duties, and "negotiated" the toss, avoiding the need to actually win it. As a result, the Dogs batted. Moore displayed great team-spirit by feathering a leg-glance straight to the keeper in the first over (0, 3 balls), thereby ensuring that Knight got to the crease early.
Banerjee and Knight then put on 78 for the 2nd wicket during the first 20 overs, a solid enough start. Banerjee was fairly sedate and solid, but was just starting to find his timing when he ran himself out for 14 (35 balls, 1 x 4). Knight had survived an early chance to the slips which turned out to be very costly to Sarasota, and settled in to play another glorious array of drives, dominating the stand with Banerjee.
He was joined by Kimberley who, after a night on a saline drip and supplementary oxygen was clearly feeling with oats. He laid about the Sarasota bowling with his usual array of strange shots, exploring the stratosphere and the outfield and, once again, displaying the uncanny knack of identifying what fielders couldn't catch (on today's display, that was pretty much the entire Sarsota side..). With Knight scoring more classically, 74 more runs were added in only 7 overs, both batsmen scoring off pretty much every ball, Kimberley mowing one huge six, Knight several fours.
Eventually, Kimberley achieved the seemingly impossible feat of actually being caught, another skier being held onto, to leave with a glittering 36 to his credit, scored from only 23 balls (1 x 6, 2 x 4). Who needs Prasanna and Thornton?
Wilson played himself in and ran himself out (1, 6 balls), but Knight was still going strong, scoring absolutely at will and all around the ground and reaching a century in fine style with a 6 over wide mid-on. A few runs later he top-edged vertically to the keeper, leaving with 102 from 98 balls (2 x 6, 8 x 4; 50 from 65 balls, 100 from 94 balls), a great knock for the second day in succession.
Thaker kept the score ticking over in the closing overs, contributing a useful 14 not out (14 balls, 1 x 4), Santosh used his feet aggressively to pick up 7 from 6 balls before hitting a catch, and Simon struck his only ball for a nice 4 through the covers, as the innings closed on a highly commendable 216 for 6 from 35 overs.
Simon and Wilson opened the bowling for the Dogs, keeping it tight and combining to take the first wicket when Baldrick Wilson (and the physical similarities are becoming increasingly apparent) plopped down yet another loopy leg-break; for the first time in living memory, the "cunning plan" actually worked as Gosai, having picked the slower ball perfectly, belted it straight to Simon at square leg who held onto the rocket in front of his groin.
Simon then had McGregor snicking a cut to keeper Banerjee for a duck, so the Sarasota innings was in trouble, off to a slow start with two key batsmen out. Lomesh and Kellston then put on 60 or so, mostly off the change bowling off Kojima and Moore, the former bowling quite well, the latter delivering a load of old tosh and getting punished accordingly.
Kojima dismissed Kellston, the batsman charging and missing for Banerjee to flatten the stumps, inelegantly but effectively. Harrison brought himself on for Kojima, and struck two killer blows in his first over to end all hopes for a Sarasota recovery. Lomesh drove hard and high to long-on where Kojima ran in and dived forward to take an excellent catch, smashing his head into the ground in the process and stunning himself The very next ball, Persaud smashed Harrison hard and high to long-on, where Thaker held on to a hard, low catch on the run. So, what would have been two big sixes at MDP, became two wickets at Sarasota, the benefits of a big ground to bowlers are very clear.
Harrison's hat-trick was straight but blocked - still, he had done the business, removing the last two batsmen capable of winning the game. The rest of the Sarasota innings was an anti-climax, as the remaining batsmen, with the exception of Bates, were simply not up to the task of scoring the required runs. Consequently, and rightly, Harrison rang the changes with his bowling attack, as several people were given one or two overs.
Wilson bowled Bacchus, Kojima removed Greenway courtesy of a lobbed catch to Moore at gully, and in the last over of the innings, Knight caused Ronnie to snick to Banerjee, thereby suggesting that if he would only take the trouble to work on his batting a bit, he could become a genuine all-rounder. Hart remained at the end 10*.
The Sarasota total of 175 for 8 from 35 overs left the Dogs comfortable and worthy winners by 41 runs, and the weekend series split at an appropriate 1-1. Harrison did a nice job winning the game and keeping everyone involved, and the Dogs' fielding and keeping was excellent, with every chance taken (a huge difference from the Sarasota effort). As always, thanks go to Neil K. for organizing everything - after his efforts with the bat, he'll no doubt want to visit Sarasota again next year (or even next week..).
A great win for us, and a great conclusion to the weekend! We drank at the ground until night fell, then had a bite on the St Armand's circle before dropping into bed - a job well done.
One interesting note: Today Johnathon Hart played for Sarasota. This is the same Johnathon Hart that played for the Mad Dogs back in 1992 (some of our earliest days). great to see him! He has also promised more MDCC photos from the days yore.
The pavilion at Sarasota Cricket Club
Richard Knight - A splendid century