Finally a beautiful, sunny day at the Hirschanger with a blau-weisse Himmel and temperatures in the low twenties. The pitch had been laid out for the Friday evening nets, the grass being mown by VC O’Meagher, standing in for injured grass cutter Sestan
Ex-captain Tony Murphy, who played for us from 1986 to 1989 turned up to watch together with scoreboard manufacturer Stuart Bennett and elder statesmen David Carr and Doug Giles. Adschi Keim and Mansoor Chowdry of Pak Orient, who know Tony of old, also came along to say hello.
Captain Sarma won the toss but didn`t use the Maria Theresa silver dollar – was this to be an omen? Be that as it may, he chose to bat and MCC openers Veser and O’Meagher took the field. The grass mower fell in the fourth over, with the score on 13, to be replaced by Sarma. He and Veser progressed at a reasonable rate before Veser shouldered arms to one which moved in off the pitch and took his off stump. At 53 for 2 off 12 overs we were on track for what was considered to be a par score of around 180. Fudge came and joined the duck race after two balls but claimed he really wanted to get off to oversee the splendid teas he had provided which he then oversaw from the depths of Brunskill’s hammock. In came Weston and was looking very good until he received a superb ball from Sadiq, who took three wickets in total, which completely yorked him and he went for 12 in the 18th over. At the drinks break MCC were 88 for 4 down. After drinks MCC pushed on apace mainly due to some hard hitting by Clare and Sarma and, at the close, MCC were 208 for 6 down, Sarma a superb 81*, a pretty reasonable score we thought.
Scott opened the bowling for MCC and went for a huge six off his first ball, a short shoulder high bouncer which Ali played very well. Clearly Nürnberg were going to go for it. Blades, the other opener also went for a six off the first scoring ball of his first over, again by Ali. Thereafter the bowlers were on top, conceding very few runs and, even more important, taking wickets. After 14 overs using the two opening bowlers Nürnberg were 58 for 5 down, Blades getting his 300th wicket for the club in the process. Thereafter it all went a little pear shaped despite the usual parsimonious bowling from Ferguson. After 20 overs Nürnberg were 106 for 5 so looking to be a little in front. Wickets fell regularly, despite MCC’s propensity to drop catches or even not even get into position to make a dropped catch. Nürnberg’s top scorer, Wajid, fell to a very good catch by Scott on the boundary for 93, the total now being 180 for 8 and MCC had the upper hand. Then it was 188 for 9 in the 38th over and 198 for 9 after the 39th over so 11 needed to win in one over, with one wicket left but the “in” batsman on strike. A single and a dropped catch off the first ball brought their number 11 on strike. The first ball was a massive six leaving four to win off four balls. The second ball another massive six and Nürnberg had won by simply refusing to give up and leaving a shell-shocked MCC to lick their wounds with Helmuth’s cool-fresh and an after match tactical discussion at the Chinese Tower.
Veser, 23, bowled, 2 catches
O’Meagher, 5 caught,
Sarma, 81*, 3.3 overs, 0 mdns, 28 runs, 0 wkts,
Fudge, 0, caught & bowled,
Weston, 12, bowled, 1 catch
Ferguson, 7, caught, 8 overs, 2 mdns, 19 runs. 0 wkts
Clare, 28, bowled, 8 overs, 0 mdns, 29 runs, 1 wkt, 1 catch
Rabbani, 11*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 33 runs. 2 wkts,
Garner, DNB, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 42 runs, 0 wkts
Blades, DNB, 7 overs, 1 mdn, 35 runs, 3 wkts
Scott, DNB, 7 overs, 4 mdns, 23 runs, 2 wkts, 1 catch
MCC, 208 for 6, lost to NCC, 211 for 9, by 1 wicket
MCC MOM, Sarma