B-Grade Muddies down the Toads

Tuesday February 3 2015, 1:50pm

By Ben Vikionkorpi


Travelling to Fuller Park on Sunday to play against the top placed Mulgrave Toads, the Astute Financial Muddies came away winners by 14 runs in a close fought encounter.

Preparing for a 1pm game, it was not until late Saturday night that Captain Ben Vikionkorpi was made aware that he had made a major stuff up, with the game in fact starting at 8am. In a mad telephone dash, and being made aware that he was going to be fined appropriately,  Benny V was able to get a hold of all the players who all duly arrived at Craiglie by 6am on game day.

With the field and pitch still soaking wet with dew and the after effects of rain the previous day, a decision to bat or bowl was proving hard to make. Hoping to lose the toss, Benny Vik did just that forcing the Toads Captain to decide to bowl first.

With the potential to play difficult with the damp deck and humid conditions, the Toads bowlers wasted their early opportunity by bowling 5 wides in the first over.

Going steady-steady, Ethan ‘Peanut’ McCullough and Radal ‘Randy’ Smith set about getting the ball on the wet ground to reduce the impact of swing, and did well by turning the strike over. Randy soon forgot about the ball on the ground philosophy and went aerial, only to be caught on the second attempt after the ball was bumped up initially.

Ben Gaske joined Peanut at the crease and set about upping the run rate, sneaking through for singles and slashing hard at the ball to get it to the boundary.

Controlling the innings with steady batting, they got the score through to 55 before Gaske was bowled around his legs, by a straight ball off the opening pace bowler; a realisation that this is why he has a phenomenal LBW record while batting. Nathan King and Peanut got the score to 60 at drinks; a platform laid ready to tee off on. Kingy then tried upping the momentum after drinks, swinging probably too hard, with plenty of ball going to the fielders. Both batsmen were running really well between wickets, turning two’ in to three’s, working up a real sweat.

Ethan’s gloves started turning to soap and this contributed to him missing a ball that stayed low and rattled his stumps for the stop score of 36. This wicket then brought a succession of wickets with King (35), D’Addona, Harrold, Evans, Vikionkorpi, and Lucas all falling quickly but with quick runs, leaving Gary ‘Buckets’ Postons and Daniel ‘Good Bloke’ Redfern to see out the innings, Astute Muddies 9/141 off their 35 overs.

Taking the ball on a dry outfield, Ben Vik finally found some form with the ball, hitting good lengths early and the ball the move off the deck resulting in many play and misses, but no early wickets. Running up hill, Adam ‘Luco’ Lucas struggled to find early rhythm, but still bowled enough tight balls, and a cracker of a bouncer, hitting the noggin of the unhelmeted Toads batter.

The early pressure, intensified by great fielding, resulted in a bad call and a well completed run out by D’Addona and McCullough. Wicket breakers Buckets and Haydos teamed up again, with Buckets finding the edge of the leading run scorer in B grade, only to put down by Peanut (McCullough) at wicket keeper, caught moving the wrong way.

Haydos then again pulled some magic out of his special place while bowling and caused another run out, by getting a touch on the ball from the batsmen’s hit which ricocheted onto the stumps at the bowlers end, running out the non-striker in his back-up. Dossy then continued, with the applied pressure from Buckets, bowling out the next two batsmen, who happen to be the two top run scorers for Mulgrave. Good Bloke Redfern, in his return B grade match, re-claiming his number off-spin bowling position, then rolled out an over before drinks.

At 4 down and behind the run rate at drinks, the game was definitely in the Astute Muddies favour. Redderz continued after drinks, taking a sensational falling caught and bowled low to his right to claim an early wicket after drinks. Setting up the batsmen, Redderz draw a false shot in to the outfield to the usually reliable Julian Harrold, only to set it go to ground. Redderz then picked up another wicket after moving Gaske to third slips from first, and getting to batsmen to hit ball straight to Gaske, catching it just above his feet.

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Kingy bowled tight for his three overs, keeping scoring under check and resulting in bad calling from the batsmen. Benny Vik had the opportunity for an easy run out but not realising how far away the batsmen was, bombed an easy run out chance with a bad throw. Luco and BV then bowled the last six overs.

Luco finally find his line and length after running Kingy around behind square leg, picking up his first wicket for the day. Benny Vik at the other end picked up a wicket and over for his last three, thanks to two sensational catches; one from a gracefully diving Redfern at first slip and a magnificent one handed over the head mark from Kingy. BV bowled the last batsmen to claim the 14 run win for the Astute Muddies. 

This win brings the team up into fourth place (20 points) on the one day / T20 ladder, only 2 points behind 1st (22), 2nd (22) and 3rd place (22). The B grade Astute Muddies travel to Fuller Park again this week to take on 2nd place Punjabi at 1pm (Yes, 1pm), in what may prove to be a fiery encounter after their last encounter before Christmas.