Kotru stars in a very friendly friendly at POCC (21 May 2017)

A blau/weiss Bayerischer Himmel, increasingly more weiss than blau as the game progressed, saw us at the Eduard Spranger ground to face effectively the Pak Orient II team. They were down to play Passau in the league the previous day but conceded the game having no cheap transport so asked MCC on Thursday night if we could play a friendly match on the Sunday. All credit to Qureshi for getting a team together and to those who turned out to play.

Pak Orient won the toss and chose to bat to face MCC opening bowlers Jackson and Maroofkhel. The first ball, amazingly, was not a wide and Jackson actually bowled a maiden, then went for 8 in his second over and 16 in his third. Captain Barrett, wary of the geometric progression replaced him then with Deverill. Maroofkhel went for 7 in his first over and 17 in his second so without studying the arithmetic the captain replaced him with a slightly groin-strained Ayub. The first 48 runs scored, in five overs, were in boundary fours and wides plus a single no-ball. Thereafter followed three maidens, the first a wicket maiden to Deverill. He was exceedingly parsimonious and finished up with 2 for 7 from his 5 overs. The Pak Orient run rate was pegged back despite cap`n Barrett deciding to play it in a very friendly fashion and use 10 bowlers. The final wicket fell to Jackson in the 35th and final over with the score on 200 of which 54 were wides.

After the break, MCC opened with Wembridge and Kotru and it was felt that should POCC play in the same friendly manner their score could be beaten. Their bowlers though were not so profligate with extras as we had been and the scoring rate was very slow with only 27 runs for none after 10 overs. In the 11th over Wembridge departed to be replaced by Ayub. The run rate increased rapidly so that when Ayub was caught behind by their captain in the 24th over the score was 121 and a win was really on the cards. Up to now POCC had used six bowlers and were clearly getting concerned about the result. Thereafter they reverted to their best bowlers but this did not deter Kotru who faced 74 balls and scored 70 runs, one a superb six which cleared the boundary trees. To be fair he used up four of his nine cat`s lives getting to his 50 so, as some joker remarked, his average is actually 12.5 so far. Up until the end of the 30th over, with the score at 150 for two were we looking reasonably well but three more wickets fell in the next four overs and it was left to Barrett to play the final ball in his unique manner and ensure we once again batted-out the overs.

Wembridge, 5, bowled, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 18 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch

Kotru, 70, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 25 runs, 1 wkt

Ayub, 43, caught, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 22 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch

Deverill, 18 bowled, 5 overs, 2 mdns, 7 runs, 2 wkts, 1 catch

+Otmankhil, 2, bowled

*Barrett, 3*, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 9 runs, 1 wkt, 2 catches

Jackson, 10*, 4.1 overs, 1 mdn, 27 runs, 1 wkt

Singh, DNB, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 27 runs, 1 wkt

Maroofkhel, DNB, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 25 runs, 1 wkt

Goit, DNB, 3 overs,0 mdns, 14 runs, 3 wkts

Ibrahim, DNB, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 16 runs, 9 wkts

MCC, 173 – 5 in 35 overs, lost to POCC, 200 – 10 in 34.1 overs by 27 runs

MCC MOM: Aneesh Kotru