MCC v DJK Goggigen (30 Jun 2018)

MCC v DJK Goggigen 30th June 2018 (Played at The Hirsch).

“The history of watches began in 16th century Europe, where watches evolved from portable spring-driven clocks, which first appeared in the 15th century. … Although mechanical watches still sell at the high end of the market, the vast majority of watches now have quartz movements.” Wikipedia.

It rained miserably all Thursday and grumbling messages were posted on the club FB page. Friday began gloomy as hell and autumnal temperatures, but gently things began to lift. By lunchtime there was an occasional golden ray that pushed up another degree C at every attempt. Come 4:30pm the gates to The Hirsch were opened for business and a clutch of optimists were rolling out the flicx under puffy white clouds, brightly lit against a background of ocean blue.
Scroll forward to Saturday and (ignoring the events of the night preceding… (You know who you are!)) the clouds had entirely vaporised and positivity, rewarded. The hallowed turf was softer than Grannies bed, in total odds with the sky.
Years of mid-day tossing paid off as the coin dropped in the MCC skippers’ favour and he had no hesitation in inserting the opposition.
I should say now that the scorebook, although accurate, is missing some handy information. Like the score at fall of wicket and in which over? In fact this would not be a problem, had the overs been filled in? So from memory, it went something like this:
Goggigen opening bat #1. Ct Sumeet (One handed full stretched dive, snaffling the ball in front of the open hands of Craig at first slip. Excellent take!) Bowled Waqas for 8.
#3 was next to go, Ct Deverill @ mid-off, bowled Waqas for 0.
#4 Ct Deverill @ silly mid-off, bowled Macca for 1.
#5 Ct Sumeet, bowled Waqas for 0.
#6 Ct Deverill (I don’t remember this one?), bowled Macca for 7.
#7 (I enjoyed this one. It was Sharifi, the opposition captain (My opposite number). Nice bloke, and it was the interplay that I liked. By now we were very much on top. I felt he was really under pressure to do something dynamic so I took Macca out from leg gully and put him at midwicket, dropping Varun in to the deep on the leg. I was firmly positioned at silly-mid-off under a wide-brimmed hat, complete with reflective glasses. I was there to intimidate the batsmen in to playing aggressively before they had got in. He looked directly at me. I showed no emotion back. He looked away and then looked back at me again. I smiled a little crocodile smile and he gave half laugh back and shook his head a little). Ct Macca, bowled Waqas that very ball for 2.
#2 This was ridiculous. The guy had been the only one to play with the temperament to bat the whole innings. He’d hardly played a forcing shot and I wanted to coax him in to more aggression. The opportunity came when, mid-innings, he changed his bat. “We’re expecting big things from you now” I told him. “I hope that bat’s better than the last one?” chirped Craig. “Watch out! He’s got a new bat lads!” – Sumeet. After a couple of overs of goading he unleashed a perfectly timed cover drive. Stop the watch and scroll back 20 years.
Twenty years ago I was positioned at silly mid-off, starring down an opponent. He unleashed a perfectly timed cover drive. In a flash, I saw it hit the middle of the bat and the ball head directly between my eyes. The next thing I saw was the back of my hand and a red ball planted firmly in it. At 28, you have the reflexes of a starving cat.
Scroll forwards twenty years again. Same scenario. I don’t see a damn thing really. The ball hits me in the upper thigh and as I crumple my beer belly traps the ball. Ct Deverill, bowled Macca for 5.
When my wife saw the bruise, she said “You could have been out of action for years!!!?”
#8 Plumb LBW, bowled Macca for 7.
#9 Bowled Macca for 0 (Macca on a hatrick).
Hatrick ball, the field in, bullet straight, ball pops up back to bowler, Macca tumbles but can’t cover the ground. Ball falls short. So close!
Last ball of Macca’s spell:
#11 Ct Varun, bowled Macca.
Goggigen bowled out in 15 overs for 45. No catches dropped. Top opening spells from both ends.
In reply MCC made 46 in 8.3 overs without loss. Varun Deshpande 26 N.O. Craig Barrett 5 N.O. The rest in extras.
Is this MCC’s most conclusive win, ever? I don’t know, you’ll have to consult the oracles. It must be among them?
It was a day where everything aligned and special things happened. After a friendly T20 which saw them beaten again, Goggigen left promising that they would have their revenge when they have home advantage. Who knows? The cricketing gods have a nasty sense of humour, but for now we’ll take the win!
Mahmoud Khan, 8 overs, 3 Maidens, 15 Runs, 6 Wickets.
Waqas Khan, 7 overs, 1 Maiden, 28 Runs, 4 Wickets.
Catches. Jonathan Deverill 4 (Although I cannot recall one of them, so if you took it you’d better say now!) Sumeet 2, Varun 1, Macca 1.
Runs Craig 5* Varun 25*
MCC win by 10 wickets.
MOM: Macca, without doubt.

MCC Firsts complete win against Wurmtal (24 Jun 2018)

Worm continues to turn for MCC against Wurmtal

And now for something completely different.
Stand-in skipper Wembridge, Andrew of Melbourne, elected to bat on a pleasant enough day with temperatures in the teens. Thankfully it wasn’t too hot as it was a first match in black clothing ever for some, but it did represent an opportunity to sport a rather fetching Plymouth Argyle polo shirt. A chance that was never likely to be shunned.

The skipper’s excellent tossing skills look to have been vindicated as the openers Mahmoud Khan and Varun Deshpande racked up 73 untroubled runs by the 15 th over before the dashing “Desh” departed for a top-scoring 35 and “Macca” followed soon after for a well-constructed 34. Going into the mid-innings break at 101-2, MCC were looking well on course for 200+ with Maxi and Mudi at the crease. Ultimately, both M & Ms were eaten up for 15 apiece as wickets began to fall in clumps, bunches, rather too quickly and the all too familiar mad scramble for black became rapidly apparent.

Sumeet hit a sweet straight six before succumbing shortly after for 8, Gaikwad lobbed one up for one and Lovell’s return to the league side after a hiatus of seven years didn’t go completely to Planegg as he was bowled off his pad / foot (for possibly the 71 st time in his MCC career) by a Wurmburner in Wurmtal. Or maybe he just missed another straight ball — again.

Unfortunately, a few things had changed since Lovell’s last league outing, meaning that the former skipper now has approximately 70 assorted white garments up for sale at MCC friendly prices. Anyway, another vital two runs for the cause. Completely vital in the end.

Wembridge, aka “Wembo”, struggling with a groin and to add insult to injury the added burden of captaincy, fired a couple of pleasant cover drives before he too was castled for a valiant nine. Imtiaz followed for a blob and all of a sudden, the worm had turned from a pleasant 73-0 to a less than rosy 144-9.

At that slightly depressing stage, after an average of 3.6 LBW appeals per over for the pressurised umpire to deal with, there was scant humour from the next LBW shout from third man, posted 30 yards away —“THAT’S COMPLETELY OUT UMPIIIIIIIIIIIIRE!!” Never change German cricket. Never change.

Anyway, after that fleeting entertainment, valuable late runs from Aditya (14*) and Jack Waqas did take the score onto 168 as MCC were dismissed after 38 overs. Something to bowl at. Something to bowl at.

It’s the early bird that catches the worm and an impressive opening spell from Waqas (8-3-15-2) and Imtiaz (8-0-34-0) put Wurmtal under the cosh on an “interesting” surface, a combination of Bolsa wood underneath carpet (tea bag). Mudi (5.4 – 0 – 43- 3) and Maxi (6-0-47-4) both managed regular inroads into the home team’s batting, but while only two Wurmtal made double figures, they both made it count with scores of 46 and 51. A stunning reaction catch at short cover from the skipper set the standard in the field, fortunately managing to avoid a broken finger off a flashing drive, while a portly former skipper somehow avoided getting maimed, naively standing too close at first slip, off a flying edge.

Indeed, there was slight panic when the Wurmtal score suddenly shot up to 150+ with still two wickets in hand according to the scoreboard. However, news soon reached the scattered MCC fielders that the scoreboard was missing an important number 4 so there was still some leeway. Just.

Despite this good news, complete panic almost followed though, when their batsman who had (up to that point) looked like he had only one shot in his locker, proceeded to launch a HUGE majestic lofted cover drive into the tennis court, thankfully not maiming a Steffi Graf lookalike on court number 1. ***Serious note, it was a tight shave though, and hopefully messages will be passed onto the relevant authorities to avoid this in the future. Somehow. Trust me, as someone who now only has one shot, the aforementioned lofted cover drive – it is a recipe for disaster. Complete disaster.

Thankfully for MCC, Macca Khan (4-0-20-1) soon came on to remove the danger man who completely played on, before Waqas took a stunning running catch on the boundary to seal the win by 16 complete runs.

    Match result summary

Cricket was completely the winner as MCC avoided a can of worms with a tense victory in Wurmtal.



Man of the match: Mahmoud Khan

MCC 1st XI vs Pfaffenhoffen Regionalliga (16 Jun 2018)

“Fortes fortuna juvat – Fortune favours the brave”

With some last minute changes in playing XI, MCC managed to put a strong team for the 3rd league game of Regionalliga against our visiting team Pfaffenhofen Cricket Club. Though MCC won back to back two away friendlies against same team (low scoring), our rival seemed enthusiastic, focused and were ready to bring on heat.

Skipper Wembridge won the toss and elected to Bat first. Arun and Zeeshan were sent to open only to see Arun walking back after being given LBW (which he claims was not out). MCC was 8 for 1 after first over.

As infamous as the MCC Flicx wicket is, it started playing tricks with batsmen. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals. After 6 overs MCC was 17 for the loss of 4 wickets. Zeeshan and Max started building a steady partnership but once again some wrong call was made and Zeeshan saw himself walking back.

Later Max who was joined by Pierre then started playing some responsible inns with partnership on 13 runs. Unfortunetly Max became a victim of the Flicx and got bowled, Skipper Wembo replaced him and continued with another important partnership with Pierre for 34 runs. At that moment MCC looked good but again wickets started falling. Somehow MCC managed to 110 runs on the board. An excellent innings by Pierre, Max and Wembridge under pressure.

With a Low target to defend, MCC begin their bowling with wicket machine Waqas Khan who took first 3 wickets and PAFCC were 14 for 3 after 5 overs. The combination of Waqas and Imtiaz worked perfectly for MCC. This duo was later replaced by another Right and Left bowlers Max and Pierre who didn’t let their opponents score and kept pressure on. Max was able to get well-set batsman Ghuman caught at covers by Pierre. After 20 overs Pfaffenhoffen were 62 for 5. Some motivational words and another change in bowling brought MCC close to victory. The perfect line and length of Macca kept building pressure and taking important wickets. Shashi joined him as the visitors started swinging. At the climax, the visitors needed just 4 runs in 48 balls. Skipper again came up with his wicket-taking bowler Waqas and the last delivery looked like this:

Waqas to Saber Ali (who was set and hitting) – A comparatively weak ball – Plays it in the air – Varun goes under ball – First fumble – Second fumble – Caught – MCC goes crazy.

As MCC never gave up and kept fighting til the last moment, we were victorious.

Scorecard as following:

MCC all out 110 after 32.1 Overs
A. Karthik, LBW, 0
Z. Shaikh, Runout, 7
M. Khan, Bowled, 0, Overs 6 Maiden 1 Runs 10 Wickets 2
V. Deshpande, Caught & Bowled , 1, Catches 1
S. Naag, Bowled, 1
M. Hoeck, Bowled, 13, Overs 4 Maiden 1 Runs 15 Wickets 2 Wides 1 Catches 1
P. du Plessis, Notout, 23*, Overs 4 Maidens 2 Runs 7 Wickets 0 Wides 3
A. Wembridge, Caught, 12, Catches 1
S. Gaikwad, Bowled, 4, Overs 5 Maidens 0 Runs 28 Wickets 2 Wides 2
I. Ahmad, Bowled, 1, Overs 6 Maidens 0 Runs 21 Wickets 0 Wides 3
W. Khan, Runout, 0, Overs 7.1 Maidens 1 Runs 20 Wickets 4 Wides 5 No Balls 3

Man of the Match : Waqas Khan

Author’s Special Awards :
Pierre du Plessis for valuing his wicket
Varun Deshpande for not dropping that catch
Sumeet Naag for doing world most thankless job and being GREAT at it.


Karlsruhe CC vs MCC Friendly (10 Jun 2018)

Despite a long away journey as well as late pull outs and call ups, ten men from Munich arrived punctually at Karlsruhe SCC for the match. The SCC, who proved to be excellent hosts, not only provided us with two extra players (one of whom, Mudit, was immediately dubbed the new Mudi), but also allowed us free choice of the toss, Wembo gladly electing to bat on an excellent batting track.

Above: Cricket in Karlsruhe

At 16/3 from 12 overs (Wembo run out in a horrible mixup that had him muttering about calling protocols, Zeeshan and Sumeet bowled), this decision was starting to seem less wise. A pair of stubborn and patient 17s from 51ish balls by Macca and Usman helped us begin to rebuild, before Macca was unfortunate to be caught at third man off a top edged cut. Rahul and Faf (12 each) then helped to push the score along, but when the latter fell in the 31st over, leaving the score at 109/6, trouble beckoned. However, Shashi held his nerve and combined sensible batting with occasional power hitting to guide the score to 156 with a valuable 25 (falling in the final over).

Above: Wembo contemplates the situation.

Imtiaz and Faf then greeted the SCC openers with a hostile opening spell of bowling, the concrete wicket helping them to generate considerable pace and bounce. However, although they beat the bat on numerous occasions, and even took the edge a couple of times without it going to hand, the SCC openers showed a remarkable knack of keeping out the straight balls. Nevertheless, pressure was built, with SCC at 25-odd off the first ten overs. However, with the 30-degree heat starting to get to the fielding side and the SCC batsmen beginning to open up with a brace of boundaries (three overs later, they had doubled their score to 58), a wicket was needed.

Faf (drenched in sweat and water, having dunked himself under the water pump) was able to deliver just this, extracting Ibrahim, the dangerman and top-non-extras-scoring batsman in the game (he made 32) with a sharp bouncer that took the glove, Sumeet snaffling it down the leg side. One brought two, as Shashi’s introduction to the attack brought an immediate impact: The other SCC opener took half a look at his bowling and attempted a wild heave off his first ball, resulting in his stumps being rearranged.

With Faf bowled out, SCC’s donation, Mudit, was brought on to bowl. He made an immediate impact, reaffirming the importance of bowling straight as he hit the woodwork three times in his first ten balls. Shashi struck again several overs later to leave the opposition teetering at about 80-6. However, the SCC played a sensible hand, joined by the SCC captain, who soon smashed a on
e-bounce four over extra cover.

With the score at 130ish-6 and MCC seemingly played out of the game, Wembo brought himself on and demonstrated the danger of the short, wide long hop. He bowled a ball that not only tested the middle of the pitch (coming up short to the test – it barely passed waist height), but was also so wide that observers were unsure whether it was actually still in Karlsruhe. The batsman reached across to smash it several metres left of Zeeshan. Four runs, he must have thought. Not a chance, thought Zeeshan, who stunned onlookers with a flying leap, taking the ball with an incredible one-handed catch at full stretch.

A combination of fine bowling (Macca, Wembo) and fine catching (the new Mudi and Wembo, who took a pair of steeplers) then brought the equation to six runs to win with one wicket remaining. Macca then took a thick edge off No 12’s bat, Sumeet catching the ball behind his body to complete a sensational win for the MCC.

Shashi 25
Usman 17
Macca 17
Extras 52
Macca 2.4 overs 3-14
Mudit 5 overs 3-17
Wembo 2 overs 2-6
Shashi 7 overs 2-27
Faf 8 overs 1-25
(And yes, that is 11 wickets)
A tight contest between Macca and Shashi (Mudit is disqualified as he hasn’t paid his subs…), but edged by Shashi for a very important 25 along with a tight spell that delivered a pair of crucial wickets.


Pfaffenhofen CC vs MCC Friendly (09 Jun 2018)

Having come a very close second to an MCC team the weekend previously, Pfaffenhofen CC were keen to learn more about their opponents before the league fixture at the Hirsch the following weekend. So it was that eleven of us made the short trip to see what we could learn in exchange?

If you read Craigs’ report of the first game, you’ll know that the Pfaffenhofen ground is a curious mixture of pain and pleasure, being framed on two sides by very pretty arable land and the river Ilm. Whilst on the north/south sides it is squeezed between a train track and the autobahn.

Since sixes would potentially disrupt traffic (And more importantly, lead to a hold up in play…) from the Autobahn end, all bowling is conducted from the freight train end. Such is cricket in Germany.

I was greeted by the amenable opposition captain, who is named in our scorebook as “21”. 21 lost the toss and MCC took to the field in the hope of early wickets.

21 opened the batting with the curiously named “=” (according to the book). Both 21 and = looked perfectly proficient with the bat, but the partnership ended in the 5th over when Waqas Khan had 21 caught down the leg by keeper, Sumeet. 31 from 5, 21 gone for 21, = 9.

The equally competent Sabir walked to the crease, only to watch Adrian Brooks (who only moments before had been described as “The unluckiest bowler alive” by Craig Barrett), take three wickets in the very next over. = caught Aditya at cover, Mosin well caught by Craig at slip the next ball and (after a wide and a no-ball (massive jug-avoidance from Adrian)) the third legal delivery was snaffled by myself at gully. Deaser trudging off for nought. Suddenly the game was looking all too easy. 38 for 4 in the 6th over.

Needless to say, it was time to get rid of Waqas and Adrian and give some other people a go. Pierre Du Plessis replaced the left-arm-over of Waqas with his own variation of the same and Imtiaz Ahmad doing the same for Adrians right-arm-over.

Sabir galvanised, playing some delightful shots and instilling some metal in to the efforts of his team mate, Qiariq.

Pierre bowled an unusually stiff looking spell of three overs for eleven, without taking a wicket. He bowled well but on this day he had all the rhythm of a fucked clock. He was still unlucky to finish wicketless on the day.

Sabir was the next to fall, having made a fluent and determined looking 23. Imti got one to rear sharply, hitting the shoulder of the bat and looping to a grateful “Moi” at a sort of not-very-deep fly slip. 65 for 5 from 12.

The changes were rung again and Aditya stepped in for Imti and Craig for Pierre. Craig had the try-hard Qairiq caught Sumeet to a ball that popped and looped over the head of the keeper, Sumeet turning and diving to pick up the catch.

Aditya, (never to be left out) took three in short succession Pierre taking a good catch in the deep and the other two clean bowled. Adi is a pleasure to watch and a fine example to all spin bowlers for flight and control.

Craig suffered a little in his second over, getting tonked for three sixes by Jamsed, who was making a last ditched effort to rectify a disappointing scoreboard. Craig and Aditya were replaced by Mahmoud and Shashi. It was Shashi who closed proceedings, beating the rampant Jamsed by taking more pace off and luring Jamsed in to a mistake. Jamsed caught by Aditya at cover, but not before he’d top-scored on 39 and taken the score to an almost respectable 124 all out. Pfaffenhofen used just 20.1 of the 40 overs on offer.

A good effort by MCC in the field, but 21 extras in less than 21 overs is poor. So as much as we did well, there are still areas to be tidied up if we want to compete at a higher level? You know who you are!

The plan had been to bowl them out for as little as possible, knock them off and get back to the Hirsch to watch the ladies tournament that was being hosted there. So far the plan was going well, but could we bat sensibly and knock off the runs, avoiding the crazy collapses so characteristic of yesteryear?

Craig Barrett, having proven himself so adept at being unflappable at the top of the order showed Aditya Dube the way to the middle as the chase began.
Adi hasn’t had the chance to show us what he can do with the bat this year, but anyone who’s seen him will recognise that he’s no mug with one. He looked comfortable until he played a full ball of the back foot and chopped it on. Gone for two in the second over. 9-1 from 2.

The Pfaffenhofen opening attack got in to their stride for a few overs and it was certainly not easy going for Craig and Macca. Both stuck to their guns and valued their wickets highly, quite rightly so. Craig looked the more fluent of the two until Macca timed a ball through forward point and suddenly the picture started to change. MCC were taking the game away.

By drinks we were 75 for 1 off 20. When play resumed Craig Played 5 balls like he hadn’t picked up a bat for several years and was bowled on the sixth ball of the over. He walked to the boundary saying “I don’t know what happened there!?” Indeed, it was a bit odd, but he’d done a good job for his side.

Sumeet had been itching to get a bat, but had made the mistake of nodding off a bit before he was rudely awaken to take to the crease. The bowling really wasn’t bad at all and a swift Yorker had him back with us in no time, just one to his name. Shashi and Macca had 47 to knock off in 18 overs. We weren’t concerned.

With the score on 93 and his innings nearing what would have been a fine fifty, Macca called for an improbable second run and ran himself out on 43. Bloody annoying I should think!? A fantastic knock that glued the innings, just as we wanted him to. Such as shame that it wasn’t the Not Out it deserved to be.

Still, Pierre was keen to put bat to ball and in complete contrast to his bowling, his timing was metronomically perfect. Before we knew where we were, Shashi (also looking unfazed) and Pierre had us on the brink of victory.

Now this is where I have to make a point as captain…. With only one to win and with Adrian waiting to bat next (having scored three ducks in succession), what we didn’t need was anyone to try and blatt the ball to the moon. Both batsmen did try to do just that and both batsmen were lucky to get away with it, until Shashi didn’t.

We knew we were due to play these guys in the league the very next weekend. This was a time to know what was best for the team. There is nothing wrong with being clinical.

Shashi got himself clean bowled by the ever testing Tarik (Who I guess is Qairiq in the batting line-up?) for a previously-untroubled 11. Why?!
And so poor old Adrian had to make his way to the crease for the fourth time this season, still on naught…. It can’t have been the best feeling in the world, but like all good stories and massages, it had a happy ending. Adrian clipped the ball to leg to break the evil spell and take the winning run!
So we completed the plan, did our handshakes and got back to the Hirsch to sink a couple of beers while the girls played.

The match in figures:

Bowling – Overs, runs, wickets, extras.
Waqas 4-26-1-2
Adrian 4-18-3-2
Pierre 3-11-0-10
Imtiaz 3-15-1-2
Aditya 2-11-3-1
Craig 2-21-1-0
Shashi 1.1-11-1-0
Macca 1-8-0-1

Catches: Aditya 2, JD 2, Craig 1, Shashi 1, Pierre 1, Sumeet 2

Batting: Craig 24, Aditya 2, Macca 43, Sumeet 1, Shashi 11, Pierre 8 Not Out, Adrian 1 Not Out (Proud of you son!)

Man of the Match: Adrian for a devastating over, breaking the spell and doing nothing wrong.

Well done fellas. Another good win and the roll continues. Do take on-board what I say about the extras and how to close the innings off. We are doing far better as a team, but we must be mindful of the fact that we will be tested in the season and these are the moments we should recognise for what they are – places to be improved upon.

Our catching is much better, as is our general standard of fielding. People are on-the-whole batting like they value their wickets more and they understand what is required from them for the best of the team.

Key bowlers are tidying up their acts and anyone wanting to play first team cricket in the league needs to do the same.

We are getting hard to beat and we have strength in depth on many counts, but we should not be complacent. There’s a lot of competition for places and that is a healthy thing. Keep it that way and help motivate each other to do better. Don’t back-bite, support. You’re strongest that way.

Well, I’m stuck here in the USA for the next two weekends. Trust me, I know where I’d rather be. Make it worth the pain for me lads. You have the power to cheer me up! Send me regular updates from the matches and make sure the last one is a picture of you all enjoying a win!

Good luck and enjoy yourselves!

Yours sincerely,


Pfaffenhofen CC vs MCC Friendly (02 Jun 2018)

Pfaffenhofen CC v Munich CC – 2nd June 2018

MCC travelled to Pfaffenhofen for a first visit to Ilmgrund 8 on a typical fine Munich summer’s morning. With the majority meeting at the Hirsch and Barrett and Gattinger travelling direct, the latter arrived early to find what could only be described as a cow field… The grass appeared to have not been cut in weeks. Pfaffenhofen’s players were dutifully cutting the grass where the flicx would lay, but of course there was nothing that could be done about the outfield. Value for shots was not on the agenda. Despite the long grass the setting is pleasant, a stream on one side and an actual field on the other creating a lovely rural feel to the place. “Same for both sides” was the general feeling.

After a general discussion between Captain Toke and his players, it was decided that it was likely to be a low scoring game therefore the decision was made to have a bowl. Praf proving he is no useless tosser and duly inserted Pfaffenhofen.

Needless to say the prediction of tough batting conditions was proved correct, anything short of a length was almost unplayable, but anything pitched up the Pfaffenhofen batsmen punished with some big hitting. Mudussir (6-0-34-3) and Mahmoud (6-0-30-2) bowled excellent opening spells with wickets falling at regular intervals. The first to fall, the dangerous Sabir Ali for 23 to a ball that lifted off a length, took the shoulder of the bat and Barrett claiming an easy catch at slip. Mahmoud picked up the wickets of Fiaz Ahmed (bowled) and Khurram (caught Ali Khan) before the catch of the match from Ali Khan off the bowling of Mudussir to dismiss Wasim Bhatti for 18, a one handed diving effort to his right in front of first slip!

After 12 overs, the skipper decided to slow things down and Barrett (3 wickets) and Shashi (2 wickets) came on to clean up the tail. Pfaffenhofen all out for 83 in 15.4 overs! Test match stuff it was not… A remarkable (by MCC standards) 8 catches held in total with only one drop clearly contributing to the low score, let’s keep this up for the remainder of the season!!

Of course given the regularity at which wickets fell and the performance of the pitch, MCC knew this was going to be a harder chase than it looked on paper, but with some careful batting, 84 was of course very gettable. After a short break Mudusir (4) and Zeeshan (1) strode out to the middle to begin the chase. Unfortunately, neither lasted too long and they were both shortly back in the shed, although not before Mudussir hit the first 4 of the match (Pfaffenhofen scoring all their boundaries in sixes!), MCC 9/2 in the 3rd over. Ivan arrived at number 3 and Mahmoud at 4, the score slowly moving along to 17 before Ivan was bowled by Rehan for a blob. The skipper came and went for 1, Shashi out for 4 and MCC were in big trouble at 29/5.

Sometimes a game is set up for a particular individual. It was clear that on another outfield, with the players at MCC’s disposal, 84 would have been got far more easily. As previously mentioned, anything along the ground just would not reach the outfield, let alone the boundary. MCC needed a hero, a man whose game is perfectly set up for this moment and that hero was to be Veith Gattinger. Veith masterfully racking up 23 runs with some big hitting and solid defence, all the while Mahmoud accumulating to bring MCC to the brink of victory. Mahmoud’s steady innings was finally ended with the score on 74, leaving MCC needing just 10 runs for victory, however there was to be a twist. Gattinger fell in the next over without adding to the score Ali Khan top edged to the keeper for just 2 and debutant David Llewellyn fell for a golden and suddenly the brink of victory was looking like MIC mark II. 77/9 with Barrett and Davies needing to add the 7 runs in order to take MCC over the line. The Pfaffenhofen players were rampant and MCC starting to look despondent, but the two archetypal British club cricketers knew that stubborn defence and blitz style grit would get us over the line and so it was to be, with 6 singles and a wide, the 7 runs were got, Davies hitting the winning single into the off side through the long grass and MCC had done it! 84/9 a one wicket win!

Sometimes the low scorers are the most fun to be a part of, you just want to be the team that gets the win and thankfully MCC were able to do that.

With this being possibly the shortest 40 over game of cricket the author has ever played in (the entire match lasting 41.4 overs and over by 3pm), the captains agreed that we all had nothing better to do so a F15 game was decided to make up the time. Pfaffenhofen batting first again and racking up 158/9 and MCC were 126/9 in reply. Honourable mentions for Ivan (19*) and Zeeshan (28) in the chase, the wickets were shared around.

Match Summary – MCC (84/9) beat Pfaffenhofen CC (83ao) by 1 wicket.

MCC Man of the Match – Veith Gattinger.

Champagne Moment – Ali Khan’s one hander to dismiss danger man Sabir Ali.

Thanks for Coming Award – David Llewellyn.

Quote of the Day – “The grass is a bit long isn’t it…” Veith Gattinger.

Match in Numbers:
14 – Catches taken by MCC across two games (8 in the first, 6 in the second).
37 – Number of wickets to fall.
45 – Highest partnership by MCC (Veith and Mahmoud).
29.5 – Overs it took to bowl Pfaffenhofen out twice!!
3 in 4 – Craig’s Irish hattrick.

Author: Craig Barrett

Erlangen vs MCC Friendly (26 May 2018)

Match Report: MCC away to Erlangen.

“I wish I could have batted longer.” Complained Sumeet after the game. I think we’ve all had that feeling?! Nobody goes out to bat hoping to return too soon, do they?

Erlangen is a long way to go and it would be a travesty to make the three to four hour round trip, if you’re not going to put in your best performance. The drive began from the meeting point at Nordfriedhof Ubahn station at roughly 10am ish, with Sumeet and myself as designated drivers. Barrett and Dube had made their own tracks, leaving Mudi, Waqas, Ali and Shashi in my motor and Wembo, Ivan, Zeeshan in with Sumeet. So it was that the intrepid eleven converged on the ground just before the midday start time. Much of the talk in my car centred on how much better it was when a side plays as a unit, supporting one another and recognising that there is a greater purpose outside of your own individual performance and desires. Deep man! Waqas was playing it cool, just soaking it all up. Not a word.

I got my wish and lost the toss, something I would advocate to any aspiring captain. We were kindly asked to take the field on a balmy summers day. Waqas took the new ball and began with a very well-directed maiden. I will state now, this guy is going from strength to strength and I’m impressed by his efforts to tidy up and get rid of the extras. He’s a pleasure to watch and it’s all going the right way.

He was joined by Mudi at the other end, the two fielding at short cover for each other between overs. They worked well in unison, Waqas’ extra pace and accuracy kept the batsmen honest allowing Mudi to experiment with changes of direction and pace. It was all well backed up in the field with good stops helping limit the runs. Erlangen is a notoriously high scoring ground as the track is billiard table flat and the boundaries short. After ten overs the board read 40 without loss. Who would crack first?

The answer came in the eleventh over as their #2 drove uppishly and was caught by Mudi at short cover off the bowling of Waqas. The early pressure rewarded. Reward came again within a few balls as the new batsman cut a wide one in to the open mitt of Andrew Wembridge. I’ll take some time to try and describe this more accurately for you, in the hope that I will spare you having to listen to Wembo going on about it relentlessly…

There was less than 0.1 of a second between the bat and the catch. It took the batsman 10 seconds to realise that he was out and not 4 runs the better off. You know that stuff kids get given by mischievous aunts and uncles, heaping distress on the parents? It’s a kind of snotty goo that you can roll in to a ball, throw at a wall and it just “THWAP!” sticks. That was Wembo’s catch. His left arm shot out and the ball ceased to travel. It was that simple and improbable. Great viewing!

Wembo took on the duties from Mudi in the twelfth over, while Waqas bowled out at the other end. Wembo struck in his third and eighth, catches being pouched by Mudi and a salmon-like Craig (What can I say, the man turns pink in moonlight!) a good one handed effort being taken at midwicket by Craig and a skier to Mudi at cover.

Mudi had finished his last three overs while the ball was still relatively new after Waqas was done. Although he finished wicketless, he bowled well and the batsmen were beginning to live dangerously in pursuit of runs. The stage was set for Aditya and Shashi with some top-draw spin required. They both delivered, Aditya befuddling the remaining opener, well stumped by Ali Khan. Wembo ran in from the boundary to hold on to a good catch, removing the dangerous #5 and Aditya was looking at a possible hat-trick. So close, but not to be.

Meanwhile Shashi was collecting wickets cheaply, removing #7 caught off a flashing edge by Sumeet at first slip. Aditya followed up by clean-bowling #8. Calamity in the field saw #9 run out, taking a dodgy second run after an overthrow, Sumeet keeping his cool to throw the ball neatly to Aditya who removed the bails at the bowlers end. Good work.

Shashi closed the first act when Waqas pouched #11 with a low diving effort at short midwicket. A cogent display from a cohesive MCC side. Erlangen surprised to be dismissed in 34 overs for 141. In summary; splendid accurate bowling supported by excellent fielding (Including 7 catches, 1 stumping and a run out).

Everybody, including Erlangen knew that this was a below-par score. Even so, you take nothing for granted. Looking at our line-up, there were any number of combinations that would work as a batting order, but there was one man who was made for this type of job. Craig donned the pads accompanied by Zeeshan. A quiet start was aided by poor direction, the wides keeping us up with the required run-rate. Then Messer’s Barrett and Shaikh started to connect and the hunt was on.

The partnership was worth 64 when Zeeshan missed a straight one, gone for 25. Zee, suffering from too much bat love. I think he’d have scored another 15 if he would accept that his bat retired last season. Time for a new one? I joined Craig briefly, stupidly running myself out on the best batting track you’ll find on the circuit! 67 for 2 after 16.

Ali and Craig partnered up and were ticking along at a more than healthy rate, Ali finding the rope regularly until he holed out for 26. 110 for 3 after 25. It was all looking plain sailing. No need for a wobble! And so it was that Sumeet took a considered and steady approach along with Craig, the two seeing us home in the 32nd over. Barrett finishing on an unbeaten 43 and Sumeet not out on 17, wishing he could have batted longer.

Well he couldn’t. We had to race home, dump the cars and neck a few victory beers! My god they taste good! When are we having the next one, I’ve got a taste for it!???

It was a splendid performance from the team as a whole. Erlangen had some of their star players missing this is true, but the side we faced was no poor squad and we beat them well. We will never know how much closer it might have been? But I can tell you this, when we play like that lads we’re a hard side to beat.

Bowling: (Overs, maidens, runs, wickets)
Waqas 8/2/19/2 (How cool is that?)
Mudi 8/0/38/0 (No wickets but good support)
Wembo 8/0/40/2 (not so part-time after all?)
Aditya 6/0/19/3 (“There is only one…”! Top bowling)
Shashi 3.4/0/9/2 (On that track!? Good work.)

Catches: Wembo 2, Mudi 2, Craig 1, Sumeet 1, Waqas 1.
Runs: Craig 43 N.O. Zeeshan 25, Deverill a lonely 1, Ali 26, Sumeet 17 N.O.

MOM? Honours shared between C Barrett with the bat, Waqas Khan and Aditya with the ball and Andrew Wembridge in the field. Since there can only be one MOM, I’ll have Craig bask in the moment. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Well done ALL.

Tegernsee CC vs MCC Friendly (20 May 2018)

With a pretty rough forecast for the day slowly improving, an optimistic bunch arrived at Hauptbahnhof at 9.45am sharp for the 10.04am journey to Tegernsee.

Only half an hour earlier, Craig Barrett had been informed by Captain Deverill, aka „J glass knee D“ that his glass knee had shattered once again and that it would therefore be prudent for him to rest this one out with his replacement, our resident South African Ivan Bekker. He probably was the only one who actually checked the weather forecast…Barrett, already at Moosach Bahnhof, was totally unprepared for this news, and thought to himself, “Ok, I hope Wembo has a ball…”

The motley crew of players and spectators, one or two nursing a hangover were in good spirits. With 3 x Bayern tickets purchased and the debate over who’s name would go on which, a plan was hatched to wind Faf up something rotten after he had declared that he had said “9 times” the day before that he would be catching the train from Donnersbergerbrücke and NOT Hauptbahnhof.

Faf duly embarked on the train on the wrong carriage much to the concern/amusement of the travelling party as we did not know whether he had actually made the train or not. A quick call from Wembo confirmed he had and at Harras, Faf proceeded to run down the platform towards the correct carriage. The group, expertly convincing him that we thought he was buying his own ticket at Donnersbergerbrücke, managed to keep it up for a few minutes before finally admitting it was a complete wind up! Poor Faf!

After a spot of train cricket and plenty of further banter, the crew arrived in Tegernsee and were greeted with glorious sunshine for the 15 minute walk to the ground.
After a little confusion about the address given on the facebook page, the other two MCC members arriving by car made it to the ground just in time for the toss.

Cpt „I had this dumped on me at half past nine this morning” Barrett (who describes himself as a „useless tosser“) not surprisingly lost the toss and MCC were fielding.
The weather was holding and the scenery was quite dramatic with some thick clouds still hanging in the valleys covering the mountains tops.
Keeping true to form we discovered that we actually did not have a new ball..

Nevertheless the play soon started with Faf opening the bowling. The openers for Tegernsee much to the frustration of the rest of their team started with a more orthodox approach to cricket.
Albert was dismissed for 3 runs in the 8th over after a great catch from Wembo at short cover and the replacement batsman had had enough of the orthodox style and went sledging from ball one. He hardly connected and was lucky to be neither bowled nor given LBW. After riding his luck more than once, he was finally run out by John Jolliffe in the 21st over.

At this point MCC felt quite confident. The bowling had been good, with Faf (6-1-16-1) and Collo (5-0-10-0) keeping it tight and Veith (4-1-18-0) bowling maidens.
Unfortunately we had only taken two wickets so far and it was time for the wide boys to bowl their spell. Bachstädter was the final wicket of the day caught by Bhat off Barrett for an excellent 64.

After 30 overs Tegersee were 207/3 (32 extras)

In a tactical ploy to makes us drunk and satisfied the barbecue was brought forward from after the game to tea.

Wembo and Faf seemed to be unfazed by this when they were sent out to the crease to open. Cpt. „I had this dumped on me at half past nine this morning“ Barrett gave specific instructions to be sensible but aggressive. He had been assured that Faf could really hit the ball…how wrong this would prove to be…

Wembo soon got his eye in and started scoring boundaries in his usual style. Faf not quite so. Never really looking comfortable he contributed 0 runs to the 50 partnership. By the time Wembo was caught and dismissed in the 11 over, these numbers had improved and from their 64 run partnership he contributed 7 runs. 22 runs being extras.
(With 46 runs the 12th man Extras was actually the top scorer on the day)

James Jabez who arrived to support the MCC, was in charge of the off field entertainment better known as the blood bath when he decided to toss a shot put to Collow, who whilst trying to catch it, lost a whole nail in the process. As Clint Eastwood said in Dirty Harry: This is a shot put, the most powerful ball in the world and it will take your nail clean off…

Rahul Bhat coming in at Number 3 played sensibly and aggressively top scoring for the MCC with 45. (3×4 / 3×6) before being clean bowled.

Tegernsee were appealing for every ball that hit the pads, but all umpires were unmoved. This led to the comical episode that Phil who was umpiring from square leg and also filming for the live feed on facebook, found himself surrounded by the Tegernsee players demanding to see the video replay.
Maybe a check of Law 36 would have been more prudent.

Faf was finally run out on 18, MCC being 111/2 at this point. Still with a fighting chance, even though our run rate was lacking a bit.
Arun took on the fight scoring 20 before being caught.
Phil being next in told John: „to get ready this will not last long…I’m sledging from ball one“ and after being bowled with the second ball he proved just that.

This marked the beginning of the famous MCC batting collapse. John came and went as did Ivan who sliced one to point. Next up was Veith who also joined the duck race. Cpt. Barrett steadied the ship and even though we lost we were spared the ignominy of being bowled out.

MCC fall of wickets 64/111/147/147/148/155/157/166

MCC 169/8 (46 extras) after 30 overs

All in all a good day out, discounting Collow‘s little finger of course, and as always Cricket was the winner…

MCC MOM : Rahul Bhat


Click here to view the article published in dem Münchner Merkur (21 May 2018)