As far as cricket matches go, last night’s friendly between Dubai Exiles Cricket Club and Dubai Cricket Council Mammoths Select 11 would have been well placed on the desk of a scriptwriter for Disney. As the clock ticked past midnight, 1 ball remained, 3 runs were needed and one team was about to turn into an assortment of pumpkins…
It was an evening start for the 30 over friendly match up, DCC Mammoths were represented by some very good players from the various clubs that make up DCC’s League of Mammoths, they’d clearly come to The Sevens to enjoy themselves, but also to win.
Yasser Khawaja and Benoy Kurien opened the batting for the Mammoths. Benoy was the first wicket to fall, cheaply too, after facing only nine balls he was caught by Harsh ‘Harry’ Udeshi off the bowling of Hamza Shujaat with 17 runs on the board.
DCC Mammoths Select 11 finished with a whopping total of 240 runs
Exiles open their bowling attack
Harsh ‘Harry’ Udeshi saves 4 runs
Clint ‘Berksie’ Berkenshaw has as much energy in the field as he did with a bat
That’s definitely ‘out’
A pretty satisfying start for the Exiles‘ bowling attack. 17 Mammoth runs on the board, 1 Mammoth player back in the pavilion. Unfortunately for Exiles Cricket Club, DCC Mammoth’s batting lineup included some pretty decent and reliable batsmen, by the time the Mammoth’s had burned through the 30 overs, they’d put a total of 240 runs together for the Exiles to chase. Just 8 runs an over needed, umm, simple right?
For DCC Mammoths, opener Yasser Khawaja finished with 24 runs, caught by Aaryan Ahuja off Anitah Munnah’s bowling. Adnan Ul Mulk added 27 runs, Mukund Srinivasan 32 runs, Shiva Pagarani 29 runs, Samir Thakran 24 runs, Ranjeet Chavan 17, Sujit Salian 22 not out and Devendra Taneja added a sprightly 37 not out off only 20 balls.
Siddhant Jhurani and Harsh Udeshi opened the run chase for the Exiles. 8 runs an over is a sizeable task and clearly the pressure to make a good start had an impact. It wasn’t long before ‘Sid’ found himself on the way back the the pavilion, caught by Ambey Parwatkar off Devendra Taneja‘s bowling. ‘Harry’ looked like he’d settled into his rhythm, his bat was certainly getting swung around with great enthusiasm.
By the time ‘Harry’s wicket fell, Exiles Cricket Club had 58 runs on the board. Shayan Khan had come in and added 16 runs before being caught by Adnan Ul Mulk of the bowling of Ranjeet Chavan. ‘Harry’ finished with a contribution of 31 runs which included three x 4s but his wicket fell to the same combination that dispatched Shayan.
Hamza Shujaat made himself comfortable in the middle of the oval, and was promptly joined by Clint ‘Berksie’ Berkenshaw. Both seemed intent on going after the Mammoth’s bowling attack – and both didi a pretty good job of it!
When Hamza’s wicket was finally collected by the Mammoths he’d scored 36 off 31 balls which included a four and a six. Dubai Exiles Cricket Club had bumped their score along to 138.
Clint Berkenshaw had announced himself into the match in typical Clint Berkenshaw fashion. One ball faced, four runs on the board. The South African was just setting out on his journey to an impressive 124 not out. A magnificent innings that included nine x 4s and seven x 6s. When you have a player in your armoury who can hit 78 runs off just 16 balls – you’ve always got a chance!
Harsh ‘Harry’ Udeshi finished with 31 off 21 balls
Shayan Khan calibrating…
Hamza Shujaat hit a very important 36
Khalid Raja suggesting not to run about half a second before he had to
What Exiles needed was a cameo to go alongside ‘Berksie’s thumping performance. Khalid Raja came in to help and added 8 runs before being stumped by Sujit Salian bowled by Ambey Parwatkar. Richard Gunasekhra was caught by Gaby Alex off Devendra Taneja, 6 runs added. Anitah Munnah had unfortunately been sent back the changing rooms after facing only one ball, lbw by Devendra Taneja. The run chase had crept to over 10 runs an over and there was a certain amount of twitchiness from the gathered Exiles support.
Harry and Shayan congratulate each other
Clint ‘Berksie’ Berkenshaw dispatching the fist ball he faced over the boundary
Aaryan Ahuja had joned ‘Berksie‘ at the crease and was making a mean fist of things. ‘Berksie’ himself was still hitting the ball out of the ground and into The Sevens practice nets every opportunity that he had. As the game distilled itself down into the final over, Exiles Cricket Club had once again found themselves with one ball remaining, 2 runs needed for a draw and three for the win.
As the clock ticked past midnight, the last ball was sent down the wicket by Mammoths, it was Berkenshaw that was facing it. ‘Berksie’ did what ‘Berksie’ had been doing all match – sent it towards the pavilion at a rate of knots and across the boundary rope for the match winning four runs.
Clint Berkenshaw finished on 124 not out, including nine x 4s and seven x 6s, that’s 78 off 16 balls. Not too shabby.
Dubai Exiles Cricket Club – Falcons
DCC Mammoths Select 11
Dubai Exiles CC v DCC Mammoths Select 11
Friendly (28th December 2020)