After the fixture arranged for the previous day had been cancelled because of bailages, lack of players and a poor weather forecast, the opposition offered us a game on Sunday when there was a much better forecast. The event was duly posted and eleven hearty players registered, only for one Habib to announce at the Friday nets that he was bailing because he was going to Dresden to demonstrate for Pegida. Someone else dropped out too but we were able to recruit Amir Khan who turned up for nets and actually goes home to Stuttgart every weekend. Suitable threats to MCC II captain Manav persuaded him to join us so we were back up to eleven.
The game was scheduled to begin at 11am so we gathered at the Hirschanger at 8:15 with one car and a mini bus, only to learn that four of the team had no whites. This meant a diversion to Bowes`s Altbau flat and up four flights of stairs to get the club`s whites, recently purchased. Good time was made to Esslingen and we arrived around 11:30 only to discover a football match being played on the ground and a new start for us of 12:30. This put the kybosh on Sarmas plans to begin the drive home around 4pm.
There was no toss as we had travelled there to appraise their special kind of matting and we wanted to bowl first. The Stuttgart openers put on 54 before Sarma struck with a caught and bowled. Eighteen runs later Sarma had his second and after another 20 runs his third. The next two wickets were taken by Zahinullah Khan and they were 106 for five down. Two of their batsmen retired out but one returned after 10 wickets had fallen making the scorer`s life very difficult. After 30 overs they were 214 for 11.
The two Khans (not the two Ronnies) Amin and Zahinullah opened the batting for MCC but Z wanted to join the duck race and was bowled after facing four balls with the score on one. Amin joined him 11 runs later and was replaced by Sarma who played a beauty of an innings. Shahid Ahmad had been run out for four and was replaced by Mudassir Ayub. He and Sarma put on 60 for the fourth wicket before Sarma departed for 37. Bowes shared a partnership of 20 before being run out for nine and was replaced by Qureshi who, together with Ayub, put on 45 for the 6th wicket. Hashim shared in a 7th wicket partnership of 20 before being bowled for six. Thereafter no-one stayed around for long but credit must go to Sid Shekhar who showed great club spirit in haring down the wicket after being called for an impossible run and being run out. MCC had been pretty much up with the run rate throughout the innings and finished with 184 all out after 29.5 overs.
Khan A, 7, bowled, 6 overs 0 mdns, 40 runs, 1 wkt
Khan Z, 0, bowled, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 26 runs, 2 wkts
+2 Sarma A, 37, caught, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 34 runs, 3 wkts, 3 catches
Ahmad S, 4, run out,
Ayub M, 68, LBW, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 45 runs, 0 wkts, 2 catches
+1 Bowes P, 9, run out, 1 catch
Qureshi S, 23, bowled, 6 overs, 2 mdns, 26 runs, 2 wkts
Hashimi S, 6, bowled
*Alagh M0, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 24 runs1 wkt
Shehar S, 2, run out, 1 over, 0 mdns, 11 riuns.0 wkts
Afridi S, 1*
MCC, 184 for 10, lost to Stuttgart, 214 for 11 by 30 runs
MCC MOM Sarma