June 20, 2018, by Dr. Meghan Gray
Staff vs Student Cricket Challenge: Match Report
School of Physics and Astronomy Cricket
Academic and Research Staff vs. Undergraduates
The staff won by 3 wickets, with 4 overs to spare
Match report kindly provided by Prof Laurence Eaves
The Academic and Research Staff won a keenly fought and exciting match under 20-20 rules at Highfields Cricket Ground on University Boulevard, on Thursday. The game was played out on a dry wicket under high clouds, accompanied by a brisk westerly cross-wind and sunny intervals. The strong wind may well have been responsible for the number of “wides” bowled by both sides.
The Staff won the toss and opted to field, with their skipper eyeing overhead conditions and hoping for movement in the air early on. The Students openers made a solid and promising start, defending well against a bowling attack which combined brisk pace with a guileful spin.
Despite an excellent start from the opening pair, their run rate slowed somewhat in the middle overs due to a steady bowling attack and the regular fall of wickets. The fielding team were then gifted the wicket of the Undergraduates captain, Alice Baird; Baird was looking dangerous and threatened to take the game away from the Staff, but she was disastrously run out in a mix up with middle order bat, Joseph Botham. The Undergraduates innings terminated unexpectedly early in the 16th over following two brilliant catches by the Staff skipper, Matt Brookes, who leapt like a salmon to pouch two brilliant right-handed catches, the first at silly mid-on off the bowling of Eaves, and the other off his own bowling. This left the staff with a competitive target of 86 runs to win.
Following an early lunch interval, during which the teams fortified themselves with pizzas, the staff reached the required total with 4 overs to spare. Highlights included doughty, Boycott-esque innings from Owers-Bradley and Yong Mao and some wristy flashing cuts and drives by Mahabub Bhuiyan. There were useful contributions in the lower order, in particular from Debi Pattnaik. Though the bowling attack struggled on an unhelpful pitch, there were moments of brilliance, Frazer Pearce receiving an unplayable delivery which saw him depart for a golden duck. The Undergraduates’ leg spinner bowled a highly effective line and length and his earlier entry into the attack might well have created problems for the staff team.
The match was ably umpired by Dr Peter Milligan, though a photographic decision review system might have overturned his lbw decision against Owers-Bradley, or so the batsman thought.