Alloa XI vs. Gargunnock XI
by G. Taylor
The Alloa XI’s first game of the season was a friendly with local rivals Gargunnock. Due to a small glitch in the selection system (only having 8 players at the 1pm start), Tipu won the toss and elected to bat.
Alloa XI started off in dire straits, when the found themselves at 5-2 after 3 overs, but a 112 run partnership between Greig Taylor and Tipu Sultan, steadied the ship. The pair took the many singles and twos on offer. The partnership would have been a lot more had the persistent rain during the week not caused the outfield to be on the sluggish side. In the end, enough was enough for Sultan and he started dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground (in particular cow corner) with the run-rate starting to increase. Taylor was to depart for a well-constructed 22. Sultan passed his 50 and within no time whatsoever was in the nervous 90’s, but as he reached this stage, he started to poke and prod (not the Sultan way!!) and was bowled by a full toss as he leaved it, expecting it to be a no-ball.
With the potential for the innings to stutter, Alamgir (25) ensured it continued in the same vein as it did when his brother was at the crease. Ash Rasul (28*) hit some late boundaries and ran very hard, including an all run 5 with Alan Deacon (4*), to ensure the team posted a good score of 198-7 off the allotted 40 overs. Pick of the bowlers for the away side were Naris 2-20 off 7 and Bailey 4-51 off 8.
Gargunnock began their reply in dominant fashion, putting away any bad balls and indeed making use of the missed chances (mainly the keeper!!!) offered to them. It took the experience of Will Kay, 1 for 8 off 6, to slow down the run rate and effectively ruin any chance of an away victory. Sutcliffe (35) and Lloyd (25) made a fist of the chase, but ultimately fell short as everyone was given the chance to ball. A Oliver, Rasul, Sultan & Heggie all took one wicket each, and with 2 run outs, the Gargunnock innings came to a close on 118 – 7 off their 40 overs.
A good win for the home side, with all players contributing in the field and this win will surely give the side confidence going into their next friendly against Strathmore this coming Sunday.