Actonians Cricket Club


MTSSC 3 v Actonians Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sat 02 Jul 2011 at 1.00pm
Match was Drawn Winning draw

Match report Old Actonian's: 193 all out / 49.3 overs

MTSSC: 157/8 / 42 overs


Result: Winning Draw to Old Actonian's


Having narrowly lost to Alexandra Park the previous week, this 3rd XI team were more than ever determined to turn around what was a disappointing first half of the cricket season. As Captain of the side on Saturday (regular skipper Andrew out due to anniversary celebrations), I was keen to encourage elements of greater aggression from the players and this challenge was blissfully accepted by the majority of the side.

On a pitch that was dry and slow, losing the toss turned out to be fortuitous for us as we were put in to bat first by MTSSC. Aiming for a 200 par score, the opening batsmen began cautiously as the ball swung and seamed off the pitch. Yet another opening partnership of 50 was reached after 14 overs as both Puranik and Khan started to get their eyes in, until Khan - in looking to increase the run rate drove hard at a wide half volley and was caught at deep point in the 18th over. Matters were made worse when a succession of wickets fell as Old Actonians suddenly went from 61/0 at 17 overs to 74/4 after 25 overs. Puranik was unluckily bowled around his legs off the spinner while Swann and Wallace played loose shots off the same bowler.

A quite simply brilliant half century from Jayakar (57) under pressure, combined with an excellent 27 from Buchanan pushed Old Actonian's to 150/4 after 40 overs. Both batsman displayed determination and great choice of stroke-play (Jayakar smashing 32 of his 57 runs in boundaries), achieving a 6th wicket stand of 76 in just 15 overs. A quick-fire 17 from Butt plus 11 runs between Qamar, Gaikwad and Smith set the opposition with a target of 193 to chase.


Qamar and Kumar opened the bowling, MTSSC reaching 35/0 after 10 overs. Both bowlers had several strong LBW decisions turned down, majority of which appeared to be dead plum - however this Old Actonian's side soon realised that the only way this game was going to be won was by either hitting the stumps or having the batsmen caught. Nonetheless, an admirable return to the side for Qamar who bowled 9 overs straight and demonstrated great accuracy and swing to finish with figures of 9-1-22-0.

The first wicket did not fall until the 16th over, when Khan started demolishing the MTSSC top order almost single-handedly. Khan had the number one batsman caught for 24 thanks to what must be described as arguably the catch of the season. The MTSSC opener drove hard at a full length delivery to Gaikwad, who at short extra-cover dived low down to his right and snapped up the ball with one hand. A remarkable effort from Gaikwad suddenly sent the Old A's side into a frenzy as a sensational Khan removed batsman number 2,3 and 5 in quick succession to leave MTSSC panicking at 64/4 at 26 overs. The strong-built Pakistani illustrated a bowling masterclass with a mixture of slower balls, pace and accuracy finishing with figures of 8.5-4-14-4, unfortunately only being forced to stop bowling due to a hamstring injury.

Khan was greatly supported at the other end by the young Swann prodigy, showing discipline and variation with crafty left-arm orthodox spin - conceding just 6 runs from his first 4 overs. Although he did not pick up a wicket, having being bought on to bowl early in the innings to control the run rate against a desperate MTSSC side, Swann demonstrated maturity and temperament that will surely ensue in further success in future.

After 32 overs and with just 10 overs to go, MTSSC had scrapped to 103/4 - leaving them with 91 to get off 60 balls or 58 (161) for a winning draw. Smith and Gaikwad came on to bowl - Smith proving to be difficult for the opposition to get away and the bowler willing himself for the breakthrough when during the 32nd over, after the number 6 batsman had raced to 26, Smith bowled a full length delivery that cannoned into the stumps. By this stage, after such controversy and appalling umpiring, adrenaline levels were running high and a fired-up Old Actonian's side let emotions get the better of them as frustration started to creep in. Numerous appeals for stumpings off Smith were turned down, even with the MTSSC batsman blatantly out of his crease and by now it was again obvious that we were against a side who simply did not know how to win the right way. Smith however finished an excellent spell of controlled bowling before grabbing a second wicket in the 35th over to leave MTSSC on 114/6 at 35 overs.

With the last 3 overs to go, the Captain came back into the attack, looking to take the last 4 wickets as a win result was a strong belief. After bowling a needless and absurd no-ball (overstepping), Kumar yorked the number 8 batsman as Old A's sensed that a win was still a possibility. MTSSC would have been in deep trouble when during the same Kumar over, Jayakar dropped a sitter at mid-off as the number 9 batsman spooned a slower delivery into the heavens. A catch that should have been taken would surely have rattled the opposition as tension and emotions were getting out of control.

THE FINAL OVER - 11 needed for MTSSC to achieve a winning draw. The first ball off this Kumar over went for a single, the second ball went for a boundary. The fourth ball was hit high to deep midwicket where Butt was standing on the boundary, another drop that should have been taken conceded 2 runs. This left with MTSSC needing 4 required off 2 balls - an experienced and confident Kumar bowled 2 dot balls as Old Actonian's finished the game with a Winning Draw.


In light of the tight nature of this result, it demonstrates that sharp fielding and catches are crucial in winning matches even with a par/under-par batting score. Regardless of the two dropped chances at the end of this game - throughout the whole of the second innings, this Old Actonian's side saved at least 20-odd runs in the field whilst also restricting extras to just 15 in comparison with MTSSC who conceded 39 in extras. I would like to mention in particular Jayakar, Wallace, Butt, Gaikwad and Puranik who threw themselves at the ball in saving boundaries that were a certainty. Khan's exhibition of sensational bowling is the standout performance of the game, in addition to the brilliant half century from Jayakar. This was a team performance in the strongest sense - encouragement for the bowlers, determination and aggression was displayed throughout every minute and each of the 11 cricketers involved played a pivotal role in ensuring we ended the first part of the cricket season on a high note.

On a final note, although the scorecard shows this match result as drawn, this in fact was a moral victory for the 3rd XI. Having conceded more than 200 runs on 4 occasions already this season with a relatively strong bowling attack; to have restricted a top opposition to 157 in 42 overs after ourselves recovering from 74/4 (at 25 overs) to reach 193 - and still come away with a winning draw is testament to the character and fortitude shown by each of the 11 players who participated in Saturday's game.

All this, on top of what was the most controversial and idiotic display of sportsmanship I have ever witnessed from an opposition can only mean that this Old Actonian's 3rd XI will be a strong force to be reckoned with in the second half of the cricket season!

Sammy Kumar

Actonians Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 10 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Hrishikesh Puranik b Sandil 33 1 1
Faheem Khan ct Manamar 16
Aaron Swan ct Sandil 2 1
Josh Jayakar ct Shree 57
Dominic Wallace ct Sandil 0 1
Tim Buchanan Bowled  27
Sameer Butt st Shree 17
Sammy Kumar lbw Shree 0
Shaiq Qamar ct Shelton 4
Atul Gaikwad b Shree 3 1
Steve Smith Not Out  4

MTSSC 3 Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

MTSSC 3 Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
157 (0.0 overs)
  ct Khan 24
  ct Khan 17
  ct Khan 4
  b Smith 21
  ct Khan 1
  b Smith 29
  Not Out  26
  b Kumar 2
  run out Puranik 15

Actonians Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Shaiq Qamar9.012200.002.44
Sammy Kumar7.0041141.005.86
Faheem Khan8.541443.501.58
Aaron Swan6.012000.003.33
Atul Gaikwad5.102800.005.42
Steve Smith6.0026213.004.33
Hrishikesh Puranik0.00000.000.00