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Mankad Madness in Metchosin!

The Cougars looked to rebound from a few losses and try and regain that winning feeling they had become so use to over the past few years.

The ground was looking top notch thanks to the hard efforts of Mike Smith and others, and after last weeks defeat at the home ground, the Cougars were raring to bring smiles back to the home crowd.

Doug returned from hiatus to skipper the squad and won a rare toss, putting the home side into bat on a fast-looking outfield. Tanzil, returning after many games due to injury, and ,2023 opening bat sensation, Jon Cocks formed a new opening pair to take on the Langford attack. With a few steady leaves and solid defensive shots, the pair got to work and began finding the runs at ease.

Tanzil brought up his fifty before the drinks break and whatever the skip brought out for him to rehydrate himself with, it quickly brought him back as he was bowled the very next ball after the restart 81-1.

Himanshu was next in and very excited to be back at his home ground where he can play proper cricket shots and be rewarded! Jon and Chewy went on to get the scores past the 150 mark after 28 overs.

This was until Jon was found strolling out of his crease by a few inches, and Tushar taking no prisoners, mankaded (runout) the assured opener for a fine 61 off 93. The mankad continues to be the most debated dismissal in the cricketing world, and although the MCC laws moved it from being unfair, it still ruined what was to be an absolute classic of a match.

Chris Duke was next in to join Chewy, getting the scores past the 200 mark, before another ill advised drinks discussion where the skip provided some more wicket water, with Dukey back in the sheds the very next ball, a common theme occurring. With the scores at 222-3 after 38, 300 was the target and seemed very doable on the lightning quick ground.

Cole and Chewy found the runs easily but Cole was next out with a brilliant catch by the mercurial Gaurav in covers. This brought in Izak who was prepping a little too hard for the upcoming VISAS and tried a few scoops instead of drives and drives instead of scoops, out for 1 off 3 with the scores 250-5. The skip joined Chewy who was well on his way to another hundred, before that man Gaurav pressed himself into the match and took a fine caught and bowl to remove Chewy on 81. Rob was next in, and a few flurry of runouts with the skip and Rob pushing to get the scores by using ones feet versus the middle of the bat had the final score 276-8, 14 shy of the ideal target with Yuri one not out.

After a some bites of tea and a few too many choice looks followed by some unhealthy discussion regarding Vinoo and his historical presence in the cricketing lore, the Cougars returned to the field to defend the total. Not since Dushyant Kohli smashed 175 back in 2011 (scorecard) had the Cougars not managed to defend such a total, but Tushar and Satinder wasted no time in the chase. Izak and Rob doing their best to the hold off the onslaught, with Rob taking a particular hiding. 55 runs in 5 overs, and the screws were beginning to tighten. The 2023 season has been one of missed opportunities by a matter of inches and several dropped catches. Saturdays match would be no different. The skip attempted a flying squirrel pouching some nuts impression to get rid of Tushars late cut, but was undone by the second bounce onto the surface, in what was to be a very costly drop.

A few more drops and finally the first wicket, with Izak finding the edge of Satinder and Chewy taking it behind the stumps with ease.

Gavi was next in for Langford, looking to hit another 150 in a chase at the MCG (scorecard), however, not today as Amit’s bowling masterclass C&B had Gavi returning to the sheds with the scores at 82-2.

Gaurav was next in, and this was the partnership to break. However, the next few overs saw Tushar find his way to his fifty and after 11 overs the score was 100-2.

The run rate was reduced finally, thanks in part to some tighter bowling by Cole & Amit, and some sharp fielding by Dukey, Rob, Yuri and Mikey.

Several more difficult chances went begging, and a few missed runout opportunities inches away. As the momentum was very much in the direction of Langford, Tushar was stricken down by a case of the exploding calf muscle, most likely caused by pulling out of his delivery stride in the first innings.

This caused a welcome momentum shift to Metchosin, and a breakthrough brought the scores to 220-3 when Gaurav was well caught by Yuri off the bowling of Chewy. Langford had a can of magic spray and Tushar was able to return from the exploded calf muscle, surprisingly able to run again. The Cougars battled hard and found some more inroads with Jon and Chewy bowling well at the death, picking off a few late wickets with some very impressive catches by Rob, Chewy and Mikey but at the end of the day the Langford CC were able to find the gaps and make it to the total of 280-6 with 10 balls left.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Cougars after such a terrific game was played, but it will unfortunately be remembered for the completely legitimate dismissal.

The Cougars will have a few weeks off before the Craggs Cup (August 19th at SL) with VISAS gearing up this Saturday!

Scorecard can be found here.

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