Michelle rules again vs Serendib

Another fine hot humid day with thundery showers forecast for later. The game was scheduled to start at 12 noon, there were only six MCC players present then so the toss was forfeited. The last team member arrived at 12:20 and, as is usual, he was the one living closest to the ground. MCC were asked to field but as captain Westion wuld have chosen to field anyway, MCC were not punished for their tardiness, They opened the bowling with Bhamare and Arunachalam, complete with headband, and making a last appearance before disappearing into the depths of the Black Forest. In the first over Bhamare got his wicket, a magnificent leg side stumping off a wide by Weston and we were lucky the square leg umpire from Serendib was alert and honest for it was very close. The two openers bowled tightly and after 12 overs the score was 47 for one down. Altmann and Blades took the ball, Altmann going for one wide only in his first over. Blades on the other hand experimented with his length and was hit for a six off the first ball, a full toss. This led to the somewhat unusual occurrence of the batsman sledging the bowler which didn`t go down too well. Blades went for 11 in his first over, and this was followed by a maiden from Altmann. In the first ball of his second Blades got his revenge and sent the sledger on his way to a loud farewell. His next ball was a superb caught and bowled followed by a single, a six and yet another wicket. From 60 for 1 after 15 Serendib moved to 67 for 4 after 16. In the 20th over there was a run out and then Blades got his fourth leaving them 80 for 6 down at drinks. A splendid stand of 48 took it through to the 31st over when Mascarenhas got a two-fer. In the 32nd Sarma got Dissanayaka, their highest scorer, caught behind by Weston and Blades came back to finish it off and get the Michelle of his dreams in the 33rd.

After the innings break MCC opened with Veser and Weston and were soon in trouble although Veser hit a couple of powerful boundaries. Weston joined the duck race in the second over and Veser went in the third, both caught behind off some very good fast bowling. Sarma went to a caught and bowled for 4, Butt was caught for the same score in the 7th over and things were looking a bit grim with all four top batsmen making an aggregate of 26 off the bat. Mascarenhas and Hoeck steadied the ship playing very carefully and put on 20 before Mascarenhas got a top edge with the score on 47 in the 12th over. Hoeck departed in the 16th with the score on 60, dark clouds amassing and the 20 over score taking on additional importance. The 17th over went for 20 runs, two fours and two sixes from Ayub and then after 20 overs MCC were ahead on 87 for 6 down. Altman and Ayub put on 58 for the 7th wicket taking us to 118 in the 24th over. The Serendib bowling changes had become increasingly frantic as MCC edged towards the winning total of 137. Altmann and Arunachalam took the score to 126 at the end of the 27th over so just 11 runs were needed as the rain began, not heavy but threatening to be later. The next over went for 3 wides, a wide, a four, a single and 2 wides and before the scoreboard could be updated to show the match was won, Arunachalam was out caught going for glory. As a parting gift before he left for Freiburg, we were able to prove to the umpire and the opposition that the game was in fact over before he was out and so he finished with a not out score.

Veser, 12, caught, 2 catches

Weston, 0, caught, 2 catches, 1 stumping

Sarma, 4, caught, 5 overs, 0 mdns, 16 runs, 1 wkt

Butt TK, 4, caught,

Mascarenhas, 6, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 18 runs, 2 wkts

Hoeck, 11, bowled,

Ayub, 45, caught, 3 over, 0 mdns, 10 runs, 0 wkts

Altmann, 13*, 4 overs, 1 mdn, 10 runs, 0 wkts

Arunachalam, 8*, 6 overs, 1 mdn, 21 runs, 0 wkts

Bhamare, DNB, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 24 runs, 1 wkt

Blades, DNB, 5.4 overs, 0 mdns, 32 runs, 5 wkts, 1 catch

MCC, 137 for 7 in 27.3 overs, beat Serendib, 136 for 10 in32.4 overs by 3 wickets.

MCC MOM: Blades