PCC played their first BCL match against the newly promoted Superboys CC on a sunny and breezy afternoon at Horse Shoe Point on 29 Jan 2023. PCC made cracking progress in the first 18 overs, after which the Superboys took wickets and the run rate slowed, but PCC managed a creditable 218 for 7.
Superboys responded with a superb 102 from Irfan Shaukat, but the run rate was not quite enough and PCC also took wickets. Superboys fell short at 198 for 7 and just missed a bonus point. Yet again, PCC was unable to field their A Team as Ryan Driver, Tom Fogden, and Habby Singh was unavailable, although Jainsh Parikh and Chris Lindop returned to help with the bowling, there were some pretty miserable figures and too many wides.
Wezley Masterton and Harsh Bhamuvani did the toss with Dave Samways and Clive Rogerson, the umpires, with Harsh winning and deciding to bowl first. PCC’s heavy hitters, Wez and Luke Stokes, took the field to face the bowling of Harsh and Irfan. As usual, Wez went on the attack and hogged the strike, with 4’s and 6’s flowing and the run rate an 11 per over. Luke, was not going to be outdone and hit Irfan’s pacier balls for 18 in one over. Wez was dropped in the 3rd over and his luck ran out when a smart bowling change brought the spin of Walter Persaud to the wicket.
Wez got an inside edge and was bowled for 31 from 17 balls. 51 for 1. Luke, as always, playing a more measured game, continued to assault the Superboy bowlers with Jainish Parikh for company, although Luke had some luck when he was dropped with a score on 71. 100 was achieved in the 12th over and the runs kept coming. Harsh made the breakthrough in the 15th over, just before drinks, when Luke missed the line and lost his off stump. Bowled for an excellent 64 from 44 balls faced, including 6 4s and 4 6s, 121 for 2.
After drinks, Trevor Moolman joined the fray and immediately forced the withdrawal of Dr. Mustapha who was smashed for 20 in one over. Both Jainish and Trevor were doing well at almost 10 per over, when Walter, doing his wily best by varying line, length and pace, deceived Jainish with a slower ball. Up it went and down it came into the hands of Dr. Mustaph. Out for 36 and 176 for 3 from 18 overs. It looked like a score of 230 was possible, but then the brakes were applied.
Young debutant, Tiger Khunmuang, was bowled for a duck by Mohak Pugar’s first ball but he managed to get on target. Steve Christie (Crunch) provided some experience at the crease until Trevor was LBW to a full toss from Mohak. 185 for 5 from 21 overs. Irfan was brought back into the attack and Crunch had some luck when he was dropped at the long off boundary, but it was Irfan that had immediate success when Crunch was caught by Ashinuad Marayan for 7. 198 for 6. Simon Philbrook also had some luck when he was dropped by the same fielder as Crunch, but he became the last wicket to fall when he incorrectly believed his legs were 30 years younger and he embarked on a suicide run. Run out by a yard for 6 by the bowler, Irfan.
This left Andy Emery and Ian Liddel (Reds) to score 16 off the last 2 overs and conclude the innings at 218 for 7. The best bowling figures were Mohak with 5 over 33 for 2, whilst the worst was Hash with 5 over 1 for 53.
Superboys began their run chase with Harsh and Irfan at the creases facing Chris Lindop and Tiger. Both batsmen got into the swing of things but the bowlers were struggling to find their line, especially young Tiger who might have been concentrating too much on pace and not enough on line and length.
Anything on the middle stump to Irfan got hit for a boundary between Long-off and Mid-wicket (his only shot really) and steady progress was made, but not quite as quickly as PCC. Crunch managed to slow down the run rate with some tidy bowling and he was the first to strike for PCC. He induced Harsh to hit a high ball to Long-on, straight down Luke’s throat for 22 and 71 for 1 from 10 overs. Ashutosh only lasted 2 balls before he was bowled by Crunch for a duck and 71 for 2.
Irfan continued to batter all the PCC bowlers except Crunch, and although he gained temporary support from Ashinuad, it was not enough. Ashinaud was run out by Wez off his own bowling for 24 with a score on 135. At the drinks break the Superboys were only 15 runs behind, but Irfan could not do all the work and was lucky to survive late on when Reds could not hang onto a ball. Adnan took the crease and made a quick contribution of 13 from 15 balls before he fell to a bowling change. Chris Lindop’s first ball induced him into a big shot to the boundary but he fell to the safe hands of Luke. 160 from 5 in the 21st over and the Superboys were seriously behind the curve with only 4 overs left. Another bowling change brought on Andy Emery, whose outside the off-stump line did for Irfan, who got a thick edge and sent the ball straight to Trevor at short 3rd man and Irfan fell for a magnificent 102.
There was little batting left after that and wickets tumbled in quick succession in the final 3 overs. Walter tried to muster some resistance but to no avail. Dr. Mustafa was run out for 7 by Andy and Eashan was well caught by Jainish on the Deep-cover boundary for 1. This left Walter on 5 and Joshua on 1 when the 25 overs expired. The Superboys finished on 198 for 7 and PCC won by 20 runs. Their 4 dropped catches cost them dear, whilst PCC only dropped 1.
Crunch was the pick of the PCC bowlers with 5 overs, 2 for 8 and Wez was a costly 5 overs, 54 for 0. The man of the Match award was given to Irfan for a superb 102.