A match anticipated with some excitement, MCC needing to win to retain any hopes of being league champions should Serendib come a cropper and Pak Orient needing to win to be league champions provided they beat Serendib. There had been some heavy rain in the night on Friday and probable showers were forecast for Saturday and, around 11am, the heavens opened with a violent hailstorn. However at the start there was some cloud and some sun, temperatures around 20°C and there was one rain interruption only, during Pak Orients innings. Despite using the correct coin, skipper Weston lost the toss and Pak Orient chose to bat, their innings being started at 12.40.
At the agm two years ago there was a passionate discussion resulting in the club investing in some expensive bats to ensure our batters performed well. These were duly purchased and followed up with some new batting gloves, chest guards and thigh guards this year. The success of these measures are reflected in the stats and it was time to do something for the poor old bowlers. The committee recommended purchasing a new Flicx pitch because our bowlers are getting hammered with too many wides and no balls since umpires have started to call no-ball when a ball pitches off the matting, not, as was defined by Harit Khanna when he was umpiring coordinator, when the ball careers away after hitting the side of the matting. I think the reasoning behind the recommendation is to lay two mats alongside each other, thus doubling the width of the pitch and giving our bowlers a chance to bowl fewer than the 46 wides and 5 no-balls they bowled against Pak Orient. Extras, 52 of them, were far and away the highest score for Pak Orient, the second highest being 35 from Mateen. Had it not been for the extras all the MCC bowlers would have returned good figures but as it was, Wright was the pick or them with 3 for 24 in 4.4 overs. There was some very good fielding including a run-out of Anwar who can be dangerous and two superb catches by Van Dalsum. Pak Orient were all out for 180 after 39.4 overs.
Up until the 10th over the scores were virtually identical but thereafter MCC lost wickets regularly and were 72 for 6 after 20 overs whereas Pak Orient had been 86 for 1 at the same stage. Wright and O`Meagher were the only batters to make any sort of score with 22 and 28 respectively and there was a rather enjoyable 10th wicket partnership of 21 from Blades and O`Meagher. The captain tried nine bowlers as he had in the other two league matches we lost but MCC were all out for 125 after 33.1 overs. On the positive side the duck race received a little boost with two ducks in the innings, one of them a newcomer to the race.
So roll on the new Flicx pitch because the ball cannot be seen against the green background of our old Flicx, the umpires and visitors mock us for playing on such an unworthy specimen, we lose too much net practise time repairing it, the ball shoots and gives low bounce getting our batsmen out (not the opposition batsmen because we seem to have difficulty hitting the mat) and we bowl too many wides and no-balls on the old pitch. Once it is installed we will surely win every match.
These were among the reasons given to me for justifying the purchase of the new Flicx and please excuse my vicious mickey taking as there has to be some fun in writing these damned match reports.
Weston 2, caught
Ferguson 12, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 0 wkts, 18 runs
Van Dalsum 11, caught, 2 catches
Wright 22 caught, 4.4 overs, 0 mdns, 3 wkts, 24 runs
Clare 0 caught, 7 overs, 0 mdns, 2 wkts, 23 runs, 1 catch
Goldsack 1, caught, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 2 wkts, 35 runs
Rabbani 2, LBW, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 0 wkts, 13 runs
Sear 6, caught, 4 overs, 1 mdn, 1 wkt, 9 runs, 1 catch
O`Meagher 22, bowled, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 0 wkts, 22 runs
Hobbs 0, caught, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 1 wkt, 19 runs
Blades 3*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 0 wkts, 16 runs.