A sunny but windy day at the Hirschanger after a prolonged dispute about moving the fixture to Erlangen on Sunday as this was a “super series” day and both teams had to release players for that event. MCC released vice-captain Sarma and Veser, Erlangen one of their best batsmen.
Captain Weston won the toss and chose to field opening the bowling with Scott and Blades. Scott’s first over went for two and Blades, whose flight and swing seemed to terrify the opposition, got his first wicket from his second ball. He got his second in the 6th over and they were on 26 for two down. Then he bowled a maiden and got his third wicket in the 10th over leaving them on 32 for three down. Scott was not to be outdone and got a wicket in his seventh and his eighth and last was a maiden. Scott was replaced by Qureshi, back from Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona and seemed to have left his range finder in Spain as he bowled eight wides in two overs. Nielsen and Weston on the other hand bowled tightly both getting wickets in their respective second overs and, at the drinks break, Erlangen were 74 for 5 down. The sixth fell in the 23rd over and the 7th, a superb run out by Mitchell / Furlonger in the 30th over of their highest scoring batter, leaving them on 115 for 7 down. In the next over that was 117 for 8 down then 118 for 9 down, Nielsen taking the 10th with the first ball of the 32nd over. MCC had fielded superbly taking seven catches, one stumping and a run out, Weston the only bowler getting a bowled. It was clear why on their ground with predictable bounce Erlangen were high scorers as anything even a little inviting was really tonked and they hit 4 sixes in their modest total.
After teas provided by Furlonger during which we had visits from old club members John Hamilton, Matt Parry and Mark Lovell, MCC opened with Weston and O’Meagher Weston didn`t stay long being bowled by a grubber for 5 in the 3rd over. This was a pointer for things to come, Erlangen bowlers were able to get much more unpredictable bounce on the wicket than we had. Perhaps this was the reason for the suicidal batting which to the observers in the boundary seemed to suggest that the match had to be won in only a few overs rather than 40. Furlonger and highest scorer Nielsen were exceptions, Furlonger looking good until run out by a ball hit straight back by Nielsen and the bowler redirecting it onto the stumps with his finger as it sped past him. Blades and Scott did their best to stave off the inevitable, taking up 14 balls and putting on 11 runs with Nielsen for the 9th and 10th wicket partnerships but, in the end we were all out for a paltry 99 and not a single six hit. During the MCC innings there was a colourful invasion of the pitch by a whistle blowing hen party, all dressed in Dirndls. Could this have been the reason so many of our batters wanted to get back to the showers quickly?
*Weston, 5 bowled, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 20 runs, 3 wkts
O’Meagher, 5, bowled
Mitchell, 7, bowled, 2 catches
Baker, 11, caught, 2 catches
Ishtiaq, 9 caught, 1 catch
Aranachalam, 8, caught
+Furlonger, 10, run out, 1 stumping
Nielsen, 15, caught, 7.1 overs, 0 mdns, 26 runs, 2 wkts, 2 catches
Qureshi, 5, bowled, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 16 runs, 0 wkts
Blades, 1, caught, 8 overs, 1 mdn, 29 runs, 3 wkts
Scott, 2*, 8 overs, 1 mdn, 27 runs, 1 wkt.
MCC, 99-10 in 35.3 overs, lost to Erlangen, 118 – 10 in 31.1 overs by 19 runs
MCC MOM: Nielsen