After their splendid first-game victory in the Last Man Stands World Championships in Cape Town, Fulton’s Flyers were well beaten on Monday by the team from Bangladesh.
Then, in their final pool match, with two runs needed for an unlikely Australian victory, the Flyers were controversially defeated by an experienced Brisbane side ‘stealing’ a legal extra run after the striker had been sensationally caught on the boundary.
In Tuesday’s game, the Flyers had put on a magnificent exhibition of sensible but aggressive batting in the first innings against ‘The 2nd XI’ from Brisbane. Skipper Paddy Barbour and Sheryar Awan quickly put together a partnership of 67 in the first seven overs before both were out off the same delivery – striker caught and non-striker run out – a familiar facet of the wacky LMS rules.
That incident brought together Andrew Scobie (51) and Kasim Farid (48no), who cemented the innings with a partnership of 90-odd runs. And when Scobie had to retire on reaching his half-century, Arun Krishna stepped in with a lively 22 to leave the Flyers with an imposing total of 194-2 in their 20 five-ball overs.
The Australians set off like a train, but lost a wicket in the third over. The Aussie opener Hayden Donnollan hammered any loose balls to and over the boundary, quickly reaching his retirement score. But wickets, too were regularly captured by the feisty Flyers – perhaps too regularly with one of the batsmen clearly giving away his wicket to enable Donnollan to return to the crease.
Two overs remained, with 32 runs required for a 2nd Xi victory,17 coming off the penultimate over, and the game reached the final ball with the Aussies needing two to win. Barbour brought all but one of his fielders into close positions to cut off the single, leaving Andrew Scobie on the long-on boundary.
As expected, Donnollan launched himself at Calum Drummond’s final ball, and hit it hard and low and straight, probably for six if it hadn’t been intercepted by a world class diving catch by Scobie that would have graced any professional cricket game ever played.
The Flyers and their followers on the boundary erupted in ecstasy at what they thought was a fantastic last-ball victory for the Scots – but forgetting the LMS rules also keep the ball ‘live’ to allow the non-striking batsman to ‘steal’ extra runs at the other end.
The Scottish celebrations were premature, two extra runs had indeed been stolen and the Aussies were declared match winners by the umpires. Fulton’s Flyers are now determined to do well in the Plate competition starting on Thursday.