An awful day dawned, overcast, not raining but there had been rain in the night. An hour before the match captain Weston sent out a message that having talked to Pak Orient, the game was definitely on and scheduled for a 1230 start.
In the meanwhile it had begun to rain, not heavily but more than a drizzle. A few MCC stalwarts gathered outside the ground, wondering where the opposition were for 10 minutes or so when finally about eight of them arrived, having travelled up from Rosenheim. MCC numbers had now increased to eight, including a new, keen member, Tejas Jadwani who was getting a brilliant introduction to Munich cricketing weather. Unfortunately we had some five bail outs, disrespecting the cricketing tradition of turning up at the ground to experience the match being called off.
Ibrihim had sent an SMS advising he was on his way from Rosenheim and Wrighty confirmed he was coming too, bringing MCC up to ten. It continued to rain and the sensible thing would have been to cancel the fixture but the opposition were very keen, as many of them had travelled a fair distance to get there. Also O’Meagher stated that they played club cricket in the north of England in such weather and we didn`t want to be labelled a bunch of poofters, like the bail outs, by Yorkshire members of the club – eat dirt Steven Pryke!
So the match was on and captain Weston duly lost the toss, a very bad toss to loose in retrospect. The scorer settled down in his Zuoz attire – thick woollen shirt, long sleeved MCC sweater, a hoodie, a padded winter jacket, an MCC cap and a pair of gloves plus a battered umbrella and a flask of steaming tea.
Ferguson opened the bowling with a no-ball and demonstrated that it was going to be extremely difficult to control the ball at any pace. In fact MCC bowled 32 wide balls and 8 no-balls making an extra 6.4 overs to be bowled and endured by the freezing scorer whose tea flask had been shattered by a six hit towards the end of the Pak Orient innings. Pak Orient had scored at around 7 per over up until the half way stage when they turned up the screw and finished with 248 for 9 after the allotted 25 overs. It was very difficult to keep the score, all the fielders’s were dressed like Scott’s Antartic expedition and there was no scorer from the opposition to help. They even retired one batsman after he reached fifty and replaced him with Omar Khan without advising the scorer who enjoyed a vicious revenge when Omar asked how many he had scored, only to be told, none, because you were not listed in the batting order. MCC bowlers did their best under shocking conditions, the best probably being Ferguson who went for 34 off his five overs and only bowled three wides and one no-ball.
After a short break enjoyed in the warmth of the changing room, Sarma and Wright opened for MCC against the bowling of Suleiman and Sheraz. Suleiman had trouble controlling the ball, as had the majority of MCC’s bowlers and he put down seven wides in his two overs finishing with 0 – 24. He was replaced by Omar who showed that it was possible to control the ball but nevertheless, the MCC openers were very aggressive and scored at ten an over until Wright was out, caught off Omar’s bowling for 21 in the seventh over with the score on 57. Algar came and went, being run out without facing a ball – the second time in his career with MCC and Sarma went in the same over for 25, the score at the end of the eighth over being 60 for 3.
Ibrahim went for 1 in the ninth over and then O’Meagher and Weston put on the brakes. It was noticable that the Pak Orient bowlers were better able to control the ball than had the MCC bowlers and, in fact, they bowled only 16 wide balls and 0 no-balls in the allotted 25 overs. It was clear that Weston was completely out of sorts at the start of his innings, but at the end appeared to be back into form so we hope this is an omen for the games in Bucharest next week. He remained unbeaten, with 26 off 52 balls as did O’Meagher with 21 off 45 balls. MCC finished with 114 for 4 after 25 overs thus losing the match by 134 runs
Sarma, 25, bowled, 1 over, 0 mdns, 16 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch
Wright, 21 caught,
Algar, 0, run out, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 36 runs, 1 wkt
O’Meagher, 21*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 47 runs, 2 wkts
Ibrahim, 1, LBW, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 42 runs, 1 wkt, 1 catch
Rabbani, DNB, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 26 runs, 1 wkt
Jadwani, DNB, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 16 runs, 1 wkt
Shakarappa, DNB, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 28 runs, 0 wkts
Ferguson, DNB, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 34 runs, 1 wkt, 3 catches.
MCC, 114 for 4, lost to Pak Orient, 248 for 9, by 134 runs.
MCC man of the match, Ferguson, tight bowling, fewer wides and three catches.