With four other league clubs playing in T20 knockout matches this weekend it was back to our old friends Pak Orient for a friendly match – no arrogant messages about putting out a good team from them, they like to stuff us by as many as possible. Heavy overnight and early morning rain made an abandonment a distinct possibility but the heavens cleared and we were ready for a 1 pm start. Captain Weston, bleary eyed and hung over from leaping around in his army boots in a disco until 4am and burning up 1700 calories in the activity, won the toss and chose to field. I think this decision was based on giving opener O`Meagher, who seemed to have celebrated Friday night even more than Weston, some breathing space before batting.
The wonderfully named Sher Khan and Janan opened for Pak Orient to face MCC opening bowlers Gill and O`Connor. They batted as if there was no tomorrow and, after 9 overs, were 94 for 1. Jadwani had replaced O`Connor but his style was also very much to the batters liking – they even complained he was throwing but as they were tonking him for fours the protest was not taken seriously by the umpires. After 12 overs, with the score on 112, the skipper brought on the first of his secret weapons and Hobbs bowled a modest first over going for only 7 runs. After the drinks break, Clare who had kept wicket and not given a bye or dropped a catch, was replaced by Turner who arrived just in time for the drinks. Sobek now joined Hobbs and his first four balls were “w”s – wicket, wide, wide, wide. Why on earth he was allowed another over no-one knows but the captain. However, the concatenation of the lightning fast Turner behind the stumps and the donkey-drop tempters from the two slow bowlers was simply breathtaking. From 129 for 2 after 15 overs, Pak Orient subsided to 168 all out after 26.4 overs, Sobek with a three-for, Hobbs with a six-for, including a hattrick. However the bleary eyed captain fell down on his counting and allowed Hobbs to bowl 7.4 overs when he should have been restricted to five. As so often in our matches the wide count was very high – the third highest score but the ball was very wet and slippery.
After teas MCC opened the batting with O`Meagher and Clare. Two wicket maidens later the score was 0 for 2 and Weston and Hobbs were at the crease. Weston went for 9 with the total score on10 but then Hobbs and Turner put on 23 for the 4th wicket, Turner facing 24 balls, keeping his end up in scoring his 3 runs. Next in was new member Anil Kavi who hadn`t played for two years. He decided the only prize worth going for so late in the season was the duck race and went after facing one ball. Now came the other secret weapon, Sobek, who put on 12 for the 6th wicket with Hobbs and another 12 for the seventh wicket with Gill. Gill went for 2 and in came Soundararajan, determined to improve on his performance of last week. Sobek went for 10, the only double figure score so far after the umpire tried desperately to find a reason why he couldn’t give hime out LBW and this introduced a nervous Jadwani to the struggle. He and Soundararajan put on 10 for the 9th wicket before Soundararajan fell for 4 and allowed number eleven, O`Connor, his chance to shine. This he did excellently remaining on 8 not out and putting on 30 for the 10th wicket in a partnership with Jadwani who top scored with 19.
MCC finshed on 89 all out after 26.4 overs so were soundly beaten but had a wonderful day with many memorable happenings. We sat around sampling Helmut’s cool fresh until 7pm then decided to go for one more at the kiosk in poofters alley. At 7:30 the heavens opened with torrential rain for almost two hours so we were forced to extend the one more into two more and so on while`st watching the rivirs of muddy water streaming past.
Clare, 0, caught, 1 catch
Weston, 9 bowled
Hobbs, 8, bowled, 7.4 overs, 1 mdn, 24 runs, 6 wkts, 1 hat-trick
Turner, 3, bowled, 4 stumpings
Kavi, 0, bowled
Sobek, 10, LBW, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 20 runs, 3 wkts
Gill, 2, bowled, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 54 runs, 1 wkt, 1 catch
Soundararajan, 4, caught
Jadwani, 19, bowled, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 31 runs, 0 wkts
O`Connor, 8*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 38 runs, 0 wkts
MCC, 89 all out lost to Pak Orient, 168 all out, by 79 runs.
MCC MOM: Hobbs