On Sunday 1st February, a Marlborough College XI made up of beaks and pupils took the field against one of Johor’s best club sides, the DESA Bangles. Salman Zhari won the toss for the visitors and didn’t hesitate to elect to bat on what proved to be an excellent wicket. Marlborough’s openers, Paul McCraw and Lower Sixth pupil Ameer Chughtai initially contained the visitors with some good line and length bowling and were rewarded with a wicket apiece in their opening eight-over spell. The second wicket fell with the score on 18 and opener Gordon Chung was joined by Victor Graman. The pair patiently played themselves in before accelerating with some powerful straight and cover drives. Fred Hobby and Aiman Islam worked hard in the middle overs and bowled some impressive deliveries but in-form batsmen Chung and Graman were in a punishing mood, particularly enjoying anything full pitched.
This partnership put DESA in a strong position when the second drinks break came in the twentieth over. At this point Marlborough experimented in an effort to break the partnership and Dan Scott was rewarded with the wicket of Chung who bludgeoned an impressive 76 from 58 balls. A flurry of wickets followed thanks to some tight tail-end bowling from Josh Bickford and Andy Gough and the visitors were restricted to 183 from their thirty overs with Graman finishing not out on 49.
OM Will Caldwell opened the batting with Joe Moriarty and the pair played cautiously in the first six overs against some pacey and accurate opening overs from DESA’s two Suffyans. They saw off the new ball and accelerated thereafter before Moriarty was run out by young off spinner Ayan for 17. Caldwell was joined at the crease by Josh Bickford who showed excellent technique and a good range of shots but found it difficult to force the pace against some tight bowling by DESA’s medium pacers. Bickford departed for 22 in the nineteenth over and was followed shortly after by Caldwell who was caught out for 58, both wickets falling to Sara Jayaraman. McCraw joined Andy Gough in the middle in the twentieth over with the score at 98/3, Marlborough needing 83 from the last 10.
Gough initially pushed the pace with some strong straight drives and aggressive running between the wickets before McCraw found some form. The game looked to be heading the way of the DESA Bangles when in the 26th over McCraw hit captain Zhari for a six and two fours to bring the target closer. With 22 required from the last three overs Gough and McCraw continued to run hard and Gough sealed the game with a powerful cover drive. Gough ended the game on 26 not out with McCraw 62 not out.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable game played in excellent spirit and Marlborough hopes to welcome DESA back in the Summer term.
Head of Humanities