MCC were very excited about hosting the match with the current league leaders at the Hirschanger, having beaten them in a thrilling friendly at their ground in Erlangen last season. Captain Weston was winging in from KL on the Friday evening and, in fact, joined us at the Chinese Tower to discuss pre-match strategy after commandeering the internet connections on the flight home via Dubai to order us to mow the shi** out of the pitch before laying the Flicx at Friday`s practise session, in order to give our quickies all the help we could.
Later on Friday the heavens opened with torrential rain and the rain continued until around 08:30 on Saturday morning. The Erlangen team had already telephoned and texted asking what would be expected in the afternoon and were told, no problems, we will get the match in. As often happens in Munich, by the time the game began the clouds had blown away and we had a beautiful, hot, sunny afternoon.
Captain Weston used Maria Theresa to lose the toss but remained certain we would win the match as the correct coin was used. Superstition reigns supreme in some quarters.
FVSE chose to bat and opened with Satish and Bilal to face MCC`s opening pair, Scott and Ferguson. The outfield was still wet and it was difficult to score any boundaries even if the ball was hit well which was apparently difficult to achieve, the first wicket, Bilal, falling to Ferguson for 8 in the 6th over with the score on 16. Ferguson also accounted for Satish who went for 9 in the 8th over with the total now 21. Wyanand a South African and Wasif scored very slowly but FVSE lost no more wickets before the drinks break when the score was 50 for 2 after 80 minutes. FSVE appeared to be following the traditional ODI philosophy of saving wickets for a big charge towards the end. Wyanand was bowled for 16 by Clare in the 27th over with the total on 75. In the 32nd over Garner, the man of many voices (thank goodness for that “o”) had Akmal out caught by Rabbani for 19 and the score was now 102 for 4 down. In the 33rd over Wasif was finally out for 42, LBW to Clare and the score was now 113 for 5 down. There was a rather comical run out with Captain Gursher and Subjahit both just about at the same end.
FSVE finished up on 149 all out after 38 overs which, considering the difficult batting conditions at the start, was a very competitive total.
After enjoying a Sarma-special tea MCC openers Veser and O`Meagher took the field, O`Meagher hoping to be among the runs again and MCC requiring 3.75 runs per over to win the match. The bowling was tight and scoring difficult although Veser hit a cracking boundary six off his seventh ball. O`Meagher though was having problems and fell for 5 in the 9th over having faced 24 balls with the score on 25. Sarma and Veser pushed the score to 46 before Veser was out caught for 26 in the 16th over. Weston went for 2 in the same over and at the drinks break MCC were 70 for 3 needing just 4 runs per over from the remaining 20 overs. Ferguson and Sarma carried on at just about the required run-rate until Sarma went, bowled for 28 in the 26th over with the score on 89. Clare and Ferguson had a partnership of 39, Clare being bowled for 16 in the 34th over, the score now 128 for 5 and 22 runs needed off 6 overs. When Ferguson was bowled for 29 in the next over MCC were 129 for 6. Rabbani stayed only a short while and after 37 overs MCC were 132 for 7 down and needing 18 to win off 3 overs. Furlonger and Gill put on 11 for the 8th wicket but Gill was bowled for 3 in the 39th over to be replaced by the man of many voices who played dot and a 1 to keep the strike for the final over with MCC needing 7 runs for victory. The first two balls of the final over were wides, greeted with great enjoyment by the spectators then a single to leave Furlonger facing, needing 4 runs from 5 balls. He upped his strike rate and took a single off the first ball so leaving Garner needing 3 off 4. The first ball was met with a massive swipe to be a dot ball, 3 runs needed of 3 balls. Then, joy of joys, Big Bird tonked the penultimate ball for a massive six over square leg and MCC had won a thrilling match with 2 balls to spare. Helmuth`s cool fresh took a hammering in the after match celebrations before we retired to the Chinese Tower for a post match strategy discussion. There was some dispute over the score book, Rabbani claiming he had scored a single and not moved up the duck race table. This claim was, of course, rejected until Rabbani drove the chairman home and passed over a sealed brown envelope so he is credited with 1 run and Furlonger finished up with 6 not out rather than 7 not out.
Veser, 26, caught
O`Meagher, 5, caught, 1 catch
Sarma, 28, bowled, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 14 runs, 0 wkts,
Weston, 2, bowled, 2 catches
Ferguson, 29, bowled, 8 overs, 2 mdns, 18 runs, 2 wkts
Clare, 16, bowled, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 26 runs. 2 wkts
Rabbani, 1, caught, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 32 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch
Gill, 3, bowled, 5 overs, 1 mdn, 10 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch
Garner, 8*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 33 runs, 4 wickets
Scott, DNB, 8 overs, 3 mdns, 13 runs, 0 wkts
MCC, 153 for 8, beat FSVE Erlangen, 149 all out, by 2 wickets
MCC MOM Ferguson