Mo rips up Sunday Times batting order with 4 for 12 as King’s Road romp to victory

Another ... Mo on his way to 4 for 12

A headline-grabbing all-round performance by Mo Shaboodien helped King’s Road to victory against the Sunday Times Occasionals.

An excellent innings from Jamie Keating and a thoroughbred performance from stand-in skipper Lewis Robinson were the other highlights for the Orange Caps in a closely fought contest in Dulwich.

Batting first, late call-up Dan Sherman and opening partner Chris MacNicol got off to a steady start on a surface which offered some indifferent bounce and an outfield which bore more than a passing resemblance to a ploughed field.

Solid ... Mo on the defensive
Solid … Mo on the defensive

The pair put on 26 before Sherman was clean bowled after failing to pick Pitt’s slower ball.

David Hughes was the next man in – and out – adding just five to the total before being clean bowled.

Wicketkeeper Elliott Small scored 1 and James Couldrey 4 as they both fell in Sunday Times’ skipper Greg Struthers’ first over.

MacNicol, who had been standing firm while his batting partners returned to the pavilion, was next out for 12.

When Chris Beckett, playing against his Sunday Times colleagues, was bowled for 1, the Orange Caps were teetering on the brink of humiliation at 62-6.

But a stand of 49 between Mo and Keating helped stop the rot.

Keats’ batting was exactly what the team needed, reining in his usual aggressive instincts – although his third scoring shot was a majestic six and there were five fours in the innings – in order to make sure a total collapse was averted.

Making a stand ... Mo and Keats
Making a stand … Mo and Keats

He was well supported by Mo, who looked untroubled before being adjudged LBW on 25 to leave the Road on 111-7.

Keating found another willing batting partner in skipper Robinson and the pair put on 51, with the Road galloping to 162 before Keating as caught for 38.

Alasdair Gordon smashed his way to 19 off just 11 balls before being bowled attempting a third consecutive boundary – perhaps encouraged by an ill-advised “mind the windows” style comment from umpire Sherman.

Chris Brown joined Robinson at the crease as the Road passed the finishing post with a score of 207, the skipper finishing on 32 not out with Brown undefeated on 2.

The Sunday Times reply started brightly, racing to 35 before Liam Moore was bowed by Gordon.

Brown was put to the sword as opener Danish Malik and number 3 Jonny Singer hit out, with his fourth – and final – over being smashed for 16 to finish with figures of 0-30.

Victory ... team Vs Sunday Times Occasionals
Victory … team Vs Sunday Times Occasionals

The pair put on 33 in just 19 balls before Mo struck to bowl Singer, who had scored 21 off just 11 deliveries.

Malik was the next to go, well caught by Couldrey off Mo’s bowling for 47 to leave the newspaper team on 90-3.

That became 90-4 as the main man Mo struck again, bowling Lee Garwood for 3.

A stunning diving left-handed catch from Sherman gave Mo his fourth wicket, Jonathan Wilson departing for 2 with the score 93-5.

Skipper Robinson gambled on introducing MacNicol into the attack after the drinks break and the ruse paid off with the wicket of Alex Lee, smartly stumped by Small for 4.

Resistance from Nevil Smith was ended as MacNicol struck again – another fine catch from Couldrey ending his innings for 14.

By now, the Sunday Times had been reduced to 120-7 and the Orange Caps had victory in their sights.

Gordon returned to the attack to pick up the scalp of Rhys Pitt, caught behind for 19, with the same Small-Gordon combination accounting for Struthers for a duck.

Russel Herneman was the last man out, LBW to Keating for 5 as Robinson’s team cantered to victory.

Pick of the bowlers was Mo who finished with 4-12 off 8, Gordon picked up 3-30 off 7 despite suffering from the onslaught from the Sunday Times top order.

MacNicol finished on 2-20 off 4, Keating 1-22 off 3.4 overs.

Skipper Robinson picked up the Matt Small award for failing to take a wicket while skipper as he finished 0-21 off 5.

Man of the match was Mo for his valuable runs and incredible bowling, with Keats running him close for the honour.

Sherman’s catch was the Champagne moment, but his umpiring mind games to end Gordon’s innings earned him the most embarrassing moment award to.

The teasmaker award was won by the staff of the Dulwich Sports Ground, although an honourable mention goes to skipper Robinson for providing the crisps to go with the post-match drinks

Author: David Hughes

Engaged to be married.