This match has to rank as one of the best games of cricket I have ever been involved in!
MCC SA5's first home fixture of the season at the Marlboro Oval against Glenvista, and what a match it was!
Hours of hard work preparing the wicket, followed by the council workers arriving just in time to get the outfield in shape, the fixture began at 1:30pm with the match restricted to 36 overs.
Winning the toss and after consultation with the team, MCC decided to bat first. Openers Zain and Naeem Nathie got off to a flying start before Zain departed, bowled by a ball which swung tremendously to dislodge the bails. Nathie at his new position of opening batsman looked good, as MCC raced to 50 in 7 overs. Sensing pace was not effective,Glenvista switched to spin, taking all pace of the ball. Nathie fell lbw to one that kept low for 20, followed by Eboo. Archie and Naushaad fell in quick succession too. MCC reeling at 72/5 in 13.
Kadwa and Ishaq stepped up to rebuild the innings. At Drinks MCC 96/5 after 18.
What followed was the "Kadwa Show" After getting in, Kads started scoring freely all over the wicket, including 2 sixes, and the 25th over going for 26 runs. A 115 run partnership followed before Kadwa fell for a well played 73. Ishaq fell shortly after for a patient 30.
The lower order of Safwaan, Aadil, Jaydeep and Pankaj batted out to the last over, as Marlboro notched up a formiddable 237 all out.
At the change and with a super fast outfield, we knew it was no walk in the park. And a couple of dropped catches didnt help much! Glenvista raced to 127/2 in 18 overs. Even with a rather unconventionally defensive field placement, the bad balls still got despached to the boundary. However with the runs on the board, we knew they still gotta get 'em. Soon after drinks we got a couple of mini breakthroughs. Glenvista still required 54 off the last 10 with 5 wickets standing.
The stadium was tense, the young MCC fans began cheering as something special was on the cards. Soon the runs dried as the pressure raised. With 2 wickets standing, and fading light, the visitors still required 18 off the last two..
And when Nathie had the Number 11 bowled, Marlboro snatched a well fought 15 run victory!
The bowlers, although being punished earlier on, held their nerve.
Ebrahim Kadwa was named Man of the Match.
A great game of cricket all round.
MCC SA5 will be looking to keep up winning ways with a tricky visit to Hilson Park this weekend.Hopefully Farhad will be back and MCC up to full strength once again.