Slovenia 2005

Munich Gloating Over Ljubljana Win

Ryan ‘Standards’ Saling

The Munich Cricket Club hit the ground running with a commanding victory over Ljubjana Cricket in it’s first International Tour of the 2005 season

While all signs may have been pointing to mediocrity in the debut road trip, the club managed to pull together and ride the wave to a successful showing on Slovenian soil.A forecast of rain leading up to departure seemed to effect the mental preparation of some of the MCC squad, notably Luke Sobek and Dave Weatherall. Sobek was ready to pull out of the Tour but was back in at the eleventh hour leaving the MCC captain with tough playing decisions. Weatherall flat out missed the train. Never the less, both recovered admirably. Weatherall met the team at the Ljubljana station and parlayed that success into 2 wickets and a fine umpiring performance. Sobek, the North London native, shined in the field with two great catches and 2 wickets of his own. The last wicket, a controversial beamer turned snapped stump to a Romanian bird/batter that obviously was still shaken over the sledging/come-ons of Andrew Bostock and his cold sores. Sobek’s performance was no doubt in large part due to the excessive amount of rest that he was able to get while not spending much time on the town.

MCC captain Bostock continued his touring tradition of planning the entire event around his need for female companionship. Having to spend the match on the boundary didn’t seem to dull Kiwi’s enthusiasm as he managed to make a play on everything with a heartbeat. So eager for companionship was the pseudo –POM that he rendezvoused with a less than attractive bloke from a football tour also visiting the Slovenian capital. That too went afoul after his roommate beat him back to the hotel room and spoiled the evening for him by breaking up the secret soiree.

Paul McGree stepped in assumed the captaincy in the match and didn’t let the lack of ability to take wickets dull his leadership skills. His stoic demeanour was reinforced by a very focused Desmond Bradley. Like McGree, Bradley led not necessarily with his words but with his attitude and focus throughout.

The Müncheners began the sun filled day at the bat with questions abound. This marked the return of MCC veteran Mark Lovell to the crease. The critics were unsure what direction the day was to go after speculation was rampant about his injuries sustained when he fell off the wagon the day before. But Lovell was not one to gloat and stroked the Ljubljana bowlers to the tune of 151 runs on 39.5 overs before being dismissed on the last ball of the innings. The selfishness of Lovell did seem to affect Knut Haenelt as he was denied his hundredth run for the MCC. So distraught was Haenelt that he fled the celebrations later that night and turned it in before midnight. There is no doubt in this reporters mind that Lovell could have toppled the record of 155 runs had he moved as quickly between the stumps as he did at the sight of a rodent at the post match festivities.

MCC’s other run support came from a handful of veterans including the second half of the opening partnership. Doug Giles was able to rack up 16 runs on the day. One is left to wonder if he could have chopped his way to more had he been able to wear his flannel shirt and red hat in place of the more traditional whites. Harry Khanna went 26 runs not out when the 40th over hit. His slugging performance was overlooked until he went down on the 2nd ball of the host’s innings. All that hard hitting must have softened the hands leaving him unable to continue at the keep. Then again, it could have had something to do with his desire to show off his dancing skill with the ball in hand, returning later in the match to take a pair of wickets himself. Ian Mitcham contributed 13 runs to the effort but not without the help of team-mate Ryan Saling who, in line with Bradley’s orders, dropped him at the boundaries to keep his innings alive. Mitcham kept the spirit alive after the injury to Khanna by taking his first stumps as an MCC wicket keeper.

A hotel partnership of Alex² (Gale and Nichols) provided politics, philanthropy and four wickets to the Tour. Between his infatuation with dead ducks and their (or his depending on which side of the pond you are on)sexual preferences and his defence of PM Blaire’s going to war in Iraq, Nichols was able to provide the visiting side with two wickets of his own. His roommate on the other hand was the definite all rounder of the weekend. Alex Gale was reported to have provided his services to a group of local Ljubis in the form of setting up their open air market in the pre-dawn hours of the match day. All in exchange for a handful of carrots and spring onions. Such acts of kindness were obviously not overlooked when Gale opened the bowling for MCC and promptly took two wickets. Speculation had been that the health of Gale was sub par after he was seen having his face bounced off the street by team-mate Saling the previous night. The altercation was reported to have had something to do with a female but rumour has it that it was because Gale didn’t know how to say fillet or albino in proper Microsoft English.

Two Tour virgins played pivotal roles in the success of the team as well. Alistair Round provided the style with his not to go unnoticed Hawaii 5-0 dress and the chicness of only buttoning one button and letting his girth do the rest. Ryan Saling, as previously reported dazzled in the field with his quick footwork and timely drop.

Calling this a successful Tour would not be without merit. That is unless you were Kiwi and you couldn’t play and your only motivation for going was to get laid. Then this Tour was an unmitigated disaster, platinum ducking out with everything he talked to, including a Swedish midget with abnormally large ankles. The MCC looks to bankroll the success of this Tour into more W’s in upcoming league fixtures. Upon the rather warm return to München, official word out of the camp was the that team was celebrating the win BUT moving on.

Tour Summary

Bob ‘Gets what he wants’ Mitcham
Kiwi: 14 yr-old austrian hockey jailbait, snoopy shaggy dog, friend to the homeless, well connected with the ljadies, ‘may i assist you with that helmet, miss?’
Dave Buggerall: better ljate than never, two wickets (intimidation), tidy umpiring performance
Gale: markets, carrots, spring onions, champion of unpaid community service, holden caulfield school of humanitarianism, top order furniture removal, benevolent
Knut: denied 100th run for the club thanks to selfish MCC batting performance, solid in the field, tour junky
Ljovell: off wagon, no turn, sausage fest, union man, rattage, belly button, money shot, comeback kid: 151 = ljegend, celebrate and move on
Round: latest apprentice at the Smith/Bostock school of butchery, impressed with the ljubljanian broads basically, has punched clay uglier
Bradley: unusually quiet tour, plotting? misses having his own bar apparently (not ljong till zuoz, des), expert in British accents
McGree: superior captainage, responsible, deadly accurate yet unljucky with the ball, quietus mannus
Khanna: first time birded up on tour, feigned injury to ensure bowling, two wickets for the king of disco, moonwalk ready for zuoz, 26 not out
Giles: one half of large opening stand, enjoys running between wickets with lovell, ljumberjack (but he’s okay)
Saling: word, mid-west, rides the wave, excellent fielding (check’s in mail mate), ljoves a good 3D film, kind to animals, fillet, albino, messed gale up = bully
Sobek: kipper, two catches (never in doubt), thug: romanian girl full-bunger bodyline and subsequent stump shatterage, name that coffee, innit
Nichols: mallard necrophilia, flatulent herrings, immaculate ljine, two wickets, knows where the azores are (not switzerland, apparently)
Mitcham: exemplary performance as usual, doesn’t always get what he wants though
mingefest. no one pulled = village. nodding dogs.