The first game of the season and we trundled off to Hasenbergl again as we have been doing for the past few seasons. It was a beautiful spring day, sunshine but rather cool with the temperature around 10°C. MCC had dropped from 15 players to ten, Amruth moving from “playing” to a “maybe” in the morning and Ibrahimi simply not turning up. Nevertheless, spirits were high although captain Weston spurned the assistance of Maria Theresa and lost the toss, and thus gave us the opportunity to field first.
The opposition had several new players and also Omar Khan appears to be back having left the Munich Boys; the beautifully named Sher Khan, who took six wickets against us in the last game of the 2011 season was playing too.
The MCC opening and first change bowlers were pretty tight and they took wickets too. The first five wickets fell with the score on 10, 45, 67, 76 and 76 and, after 18 overs, Pak Orient were 86 for 5. However, after the drinks break Pak Orient went into big-hitting mode, helped by a couple of dropped catches. Awal Khan, one of their new players, finished on 130* having hit 18 fours and 4 sixes, more than many of us hit in a complete season. Pak Orient were eight down for 287, including 34 wides after their 35 overs.
Sarma and Ferguson opened the batting for MCC and put on 54 for the first wicket before Sarma was out for 25, bowled by Sheraz in the 10th over. Veser and Ferguson continued scoring at a fast rate until Ferguson was out for 31, stumped by Aslam off Omar Khan’s bowling in the 16th over. After 18 overs MCC were 120 for 2 and still thinking of winning the match. The good scoring rate continued until the 24th over when Weston was out for 22, bowled by Awal Khan. Wright came and went quickly, only just troubling the scorers as they say, to be replaced by Rabbani. He and Veser continued the good work until Rabbani went for 14 in the 28th over, bowled by Waqar who introduced Caspari to the duck race for 2012 off the next ball.
MCC were now regretting having only ten players but were pleasantly surprised when Happy Hooch Turner turned up, dressed like Johnny Cash, having been out for a bike ride. Like a real cricketer he had his whites in the saddle bag and was persuaded to change from his skin-hugging attire into cricket clothes, ready to bat at number eleven. Albert and Sestan made some useful runs and really enjoyed themselves before Blades with Turner took MCC to 220 for 9 from their 35 overs.
So with over 500 runs scored, everyone getting a bat and a bowl, the first friendly of the season finished with MCC losing by 67 runs but everyone had an enjoyable day in the spring sunshine.
Sarma, 25, bowled, 7 overs, 0 mdns, 65 runs, 3 wkts, 3 catches
Ferguson, 31, stumped, 7 overs, 2 mdns, 50 runs, 1 wkt, 1 catch
Veser, 73*, 1 over, 0 mdns, 15 runs, 0 wkts.
Weston, 22, bowled, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 25 runs, 1 wkt,
Wright, 1, caught, 1 catch
Rabbani 14, bowled, 7 overs, 2 mdns, 27 runs, 2 wkts
Caspari, 0, bowled,
Albert, 3, bowled,
Sestan, 6, bowled, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 53 runs, 1 wkt
Blades, 6*, 7 overs, 0 mdns, 51 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch
Pak Orient, 287 for 8 beat MCC, 220 for 9 by 67 runs
MCC man of the match: Manfred Veser.