However, with a few remarkable individual performances and a contentious umpiring decision, a deserved victory was within Easy Living’s grasp leading into the final five overs.
Deciding to bat first after winning the toss, captain Matthew Kohler – deputising for an injured Alex Runhaar – opened proceedings with Sameer Khan, and announced his intentions by hammering a 6 off his first ball faced from Anthony DuPont.
Taking the score to 28 by the third over, Kohler (21) mistimed his attack on a DuPont delivery, giving Alistair Lawson the catch and a crucial wicket for Easy Living, but bringing the ever-threatening Muhammad Ahmed Virk (Ali) to the crease.
Working their way to the ninth over, Khan and Ali were being contained well by the bowling of DuPont, Lawson and Pir Sami, when Khan (13) was stunned by a full delivery from Sami that dipped viciously to cartwheel the batsman’s off-stump, sending in Shad Wahid to join Ali.
Realising their run rate was below par, the new partnership challenged Easy Living’s bowling with more ferocity, boosting the total to the mark of Nelson – a score of 111 that is negatively superstitious for cricketers. And while it is usually the batsmen that are unnerved by the number, it was Easy Living that bore the brunt when a delivery from young Eddie Chattaway was driven long by Shad, but an exceptional catch by DuPont on the boundary seemed to have the batsman on his way back to the clubhouse, when celebrations were cut short upon realising that umpire, John King had called a no-ball in judging the full delivery had passed above Shad’s waist height, with the fortunate batsman on only 29 runs at the time.
Easy Living may have felt aggrieved by the decision, but in the very next over their heads were lifted when Eddie’s father, James Chattaway stepped up to take the first of his five wickets by dismissing Ali (34), caught behind by keeper Tony Donovan, with the second of his haul coming just three balls later by trapping new batsman, Rishi Sadaranghani (1) LBW with the score on 115.
With five overs remaining, Shad (65) exploited his reprieve by adding another 36 runs to his own total, while his batting partners fell quickly and cheaply at the hands of an inspired Chattaway who added two caught and bowled, and another assist from Donovan behind the stumps, bringing his superb spell and wicket tally to five for 20 off four overs!
With Shad’s final flurry, Patong Blue would consider themselves lucky to have eventually reached a score of 157, resting the outcome of the game ever so lightly back in their favour.
Easy Living’s other father-son pairing of Anthony and Alex DuPont opened the batting and looked to consolidate a steady start, but a lack of experience in running between the wickets resulted in the younger DuPont being run out by Saju Abraham in the first over of their innings.
The middle order collapse that followed did not bode well for a competitive chase by Easy Living with the next three wickets falling for only eight runs before Lawson expertly batted his way to 35 and then J. Chattaway (24) supplemented the anchored innings of Anthony Dupont (38) to ultimately post a total of 126, just 31 runs short of Patong Blue’s total.
In a great sporting gesture, both teams agreed to play on at the end of the 20 overs, allowing the two young players, Alex DuPont and Eddie Chattaway to enjoy a further three overs at the crease and hit a few extra runs.
The win for Patong Blue now vaults them into first place on the same points as Patong White, but their lead position based on net run rate (2.55 versus 1.06).
This Sunday (Sept 2) sees Patong Blue take on Goan Panthers in the 10am game, followed by Patong White and Easy Living CC at 2pm.
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