A wonderfully warm day with the temperature hovering just below 30° and MCC travelled to CCB`s fine new ground in West Park. It is infinitely better than their old Züricherstrasse ground and better than MIC as the ground is flat and of a reasonable size. A running track surrounds it and there is a sand pit so it brings back happy memories of the Hirschanger.
Captain Weston lost the toss and we were asked to bat, somewhat nervously as we had heard reports that the pitch was poor and the balls stayed very low. The reports were wrong for it played very well even allowing a few bouncers when bowlers really put their backs into it.
Weston and Veser, opened as usual – we must start counting the number of opening pairs we have had and scored at a rate of just above five an over until Weston went for 10 in the 8th over with the score on 44. Sarma and Veser put on 50 for the second wicket, Veser in particular being very aggressive until he was bowled for 60 off 44 balls in the 17th over. Sarma was playing a very reserved innings and as will be seen this was just as well. We needed someone to anchor the innings. At 20 overs the score was 108 for 2 down. Butt disappeared in the 22nd over followed by Mascarenhas in the 26th who hit his trademark massive six into the next field. Hoeck and Sarma put in 27 for the 5th wicket, Hoeck falling to a direct hit run out. Ayub had a bummer being out from the 7th ball in the over and MCC were 175 for 6 down in the 33rd over. Altmann was run out in the 36th over and Sarma finally fell in the 37th over having scored 63 from 89 balls and really held the innings together. Khan went in the next over after some almighty heaves and Govendar made a useful 8 before being bowled leaving Blades stranded just short of his fifty.
During the tea break the Carrie family arrived complete with the young princess but didn`t stay very long as there was no-one for Lady Carrie to escort to hospital. Lord and Lady Scott, fresh from the arctic, also arrived, he sporting an expensive looking new bicycle. He it was who intercepted the message from the Hirschanger stating MCC II had scored 279. Skipper Weston had issued a challenge promising a mass of beer to any bowler bowling a minimum of five overs and giving away fewer than one wide per over. The MCC opening bowlers were Govendar and Blades and it was soon obvious that Govendar was on the waggon. However he got a wicket in his third over and was bowling with some pace. Blades got his wicket in his fourth over and, horror of horrors, was then taken off so no mass for him. After eight overs CCB were 44 for 2 down and now Altmann and Ayub took over the bowling. Both bowled very well and tight going for only 4 runs an over. After 20 overs CCB were 94 for 5 down so just about up with the required run rate but having lost three more wickets than MCC at this stage and things were looking good. Five became seven down after Sarma`s first over, the 23rd, and the eighth fell again to Sarma in the 31st over (this time a Jayawardene style run out) with the score on 148. Mascarenhas got the ninth in the 34th over and Sarma cleaned up the innings with his third in the 35th.
Veser, 60, bowled,
Weston, 10, caught
Sarma, 63, caught, 6.2 overs, 0 mdns, 27 runs, 3 wkts
Butt, 8, bowled, 1 catch
Mascarenhas, 8, caught, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 21 runs, 1 wkt, 1 catch (brilliant)
Hoeck, 11, run out, 2 catches
Ayub, 2, caught, 5 overs, 1 mdn, 20 runs, 3 wkts
Altmann, 2, run out, 8 overs, 1 mdn, 32 runs, 0 wkts
Khan A, 7, caught, 1 over, 0 mdns, 10 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch
Govendar, 8, bowled, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 31 runs, 1 wkt
Blades, 2*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 19 runs, 1 wkt,
MCC, 208 for 10 in 39.5 overs, beat CCB, 166 for 10 in 34.2 overs by 42 runs
MCC MOM: Sarma