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It’s last ball agony as ’Brook beaten by one!

PUBLISHED: 17:06 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 12:26 11 August 2010

DANGER MAN . . . Shaddai Smith took two wickets, but it wasn't enough.

DANGER MAN . . . Shaddai Smith took two wickets, but it wasn't enough.

GORESBROOK 198 lost to MAY & BAKER 199-8 by 1 run GORESBROOK S season of near misses took another twist on Saturday, as a run-chase that they always appeared in full control of turned sour in the final few overs to leave them one run short of their targ

GORESBROOK 198 lost to

MAY & BAKER

199-8 by 1 run

GORESBROOK'S season of near misses took another twist on Saturday, as a run-chase that they always appeared in full control of turned sour in the final few overs to leave them one run short of their target of 199.

With the pitch green and the outfield heavy after significant rain in the week, Goresbrook skipper Kurt Whisker had no hesitation in electing to bowl after winning the toss, however it was May & Baker who took the early initiative as Iftikhar Ilyas and Tahir Aslam played their shots early on to get the visitors off to a flyer.

The introduction of Richard Williams stemmed the flow for Goresbrook as he trapped Ilyas leg before and then frustrated Khalid Hussain into an ungainly heave that saw his stumps disturbed.

Compulsive

Eighteen-year-old paceman Sha-ddai Smith then got in on the act as well, as he trapped compulsive hooker Aslam with a bouncer that was well held by Williams on the deep square leg boundary and a slower ball accounted for Abdul Sattar who chipped the ball up to Bryan Atkins at mid-off.

With Williams then bowling Imran Palmeera with the last ball of his spell, Goresbrook were in the ascendancy, and when Andrew Mitcheson returned to dismiss Atif Zeeshan, Bakers were reeling at 90-6.

Fortunately for M&B, the depth of their batting order rescued them as Ahmed Khan and Tariq Aziz mounted a rearguard action. Khan looked the more fluent initially and he played a variety of pleasing strokes, including a couple of big sixes off the spin of Lawrence Walsh, to get his side back into the game.

Khan made 50 before he advanced down the track once too often and was stumped, but Aziz then took over, the big bowler bludgeoning a succession of boundaries in the late overs to take Bakers up to 199-8 from their 45 overs.

For Goresbrook, Williams with 3-15 and Mitcheson with 1-23 from nine over spells exerted control over the batsmen, and Shaddai Smith produced another impressive performance to take 2-39.

In reply, Goresbrook got off to the worst possible start as the prolific Kurt Whisker went second ball as he flashed at a wide delivery from Aziz and was caught behind.

However, Michael Rooke and Toby Maund then took the attack to Bakers, with Maund in particular looking in fine form. Maund finally went for 53, bowled by Sattar, but at 93-1 Goresbrook were in a strong position.

Rooke was next out for 33, but with Lawrence Walsh bedding in well and Andrew Mitcheson looking positive, Goresbrook were well up with the run-rate and had wickets in hand.

Unfortunately for 'Brook, every time they looked like breaking the back of the run-chase, another wicket went, so despite only needing a run a ball for the last six overs, the total required was still only down to 13 with 12 balls remaining.

Bakers then struck what proved to be the killer blow in the penultimate over, as Walsh's innings was ended when he was bowled by Zeeshan for a patient 47.

Walsh's dismissal left eight runs required off the final over, with three wickets still in hand, but after a dot ball, Shaddai Smith was stumped off the second ball and Williams could only scramble a leg bye, leaving seven still required off three balls.

Lee Ramduth then swung the game back to the hosts as he launched Khalid Hussain for four through mid-wicket, but with only three runs required from two balls, instead of just putting bat on ball, Ramduth tried to repeat the trick next ball and was bowled.

That brought number 11 Greg Barwick to the wicket needing three from the final ball, and despite a valiant effort, he could only squeeze the ball out to square leg.

Although one run was completed, Barwick was run out by half the length of the pitch coming back for the tieing run, to leave Bakers the victors by the smallest possible margin.

Goresbrook skipper Kurt Whisker was bitterly disappointed at the conclusion.

"We looked the likely winners for most of the game and despite a good rally from May & Baker towards the end of their innings, 199 was a very reachable target as the pitch wasn't doing anything," he said.

"We were cruising for most of the second innings, but the difference was that we couldn't find the boundaries to take the chase down to three or four an over.

"May & Baker stuck at it, and when the pressure came on in the final couple of overs, we couldn't finish the job. We need to learn how to win close games like this quickly or we could find ourselves in a relegation battle.


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