MCC narrowly pipped at the post in rain affected T20 against POCC (14 May 2017)

A cloudy day with some sunny intervals at the Pak Orient ground in Hasenbergl. All MCC players arrived on time and were good little chaps because everyone brought their player passes along for the umpire to check. Pak Orient had one player coming late and, against all the laws of cricket and the DCB playing rules, the umpire allowed them to field a substitute for 45 minutes until the late player arrived. I protested vehemently but the umpire was adamant. When the player finally arrived the umpire said he could not bowl for 45 minutes, again against all the DCB rules. He made the situation worse by allowing a substitute player onto the field while one of the Pak Orient team, Waleed Basit went off to change his boots. (I have complained to the BCV Ligaleiter and the Umpirewart but, perhaps predictably, have not had a response).

Here is the relevant extract from the DCB playing rules.

2) Substitutions are only allowed if a player is injured or becomes sick during the game and the umpires believe the replacement is justified. In accordance with the Laws of Cricket, substitute players may not bat, bowl or keep wicket.

3) Substitutions must be entered on the Game Report Form before the start of the game.

So captain Ayub lost the toss and we were asked to field, POCC expecting a rain shortened match and it is advantageous to bat second. The outfield was rather long and unkempt making boundary hits along the ground very difficult but Thomas Butt and Mahmud Khan opened for us. Butt in particular batted aggressively but fell, caught in the 9th over, with the score on 36. Wembridge, fresh off the plane from China, replaced him and ran himself out to enter the duck race. The illegal substitute player was still fielding so perhaps, had the umpire done his job properly, we wouldn`t have lost these two wickets. Captain Ayub joined Khan Mahmud at the crease but ten runs later, Khan went for 22 to be replaced by Qureshi. A splendid partnership of 78 ensued with Qureshi tonking two fours and three sixes before being caught by boot-changer Basit, with the score on 126. Colling replaced him and played aggressively for 14 minutes during which time captain Ayub went having scored 33. Colling and Bhat put on 15 for the 6th wicket, Colling out caught going for a big one and made way for Bhamare with the score at 147 for 6 down. Bhat went with no change to the score and Otmankhil came and went for a golden one, with the score still on 147. In came Imtiaz Ahmed to face three balls without adding to the score and join the duck race so MCC were now 147 for 9 wickets down. Bhamare and Waqas Khan had a good 10th wicket partnership of 13 until Waqas skied one and MCC were all out for 166 in 35.3 overs. There had been a 23 minute rain break during the innings and we should have been restricted to 35 overs anyway although the umpire did not state this.

After tea was taken, MCC opened the bowling with Colling and Qureshi and Butt keeping wicket, which he did superbly throughout the innings, but in the first four overs 7 wide balls were delivered and POCC were 26 for one, Quereshi getting the splendidly named Sher Khan in his first over. Ayub replaced Colling and also got one in his first over so after five POCC were 29 for two down. Quereshi got his second in the eighth over leaving them on 40 for 3 down. Ayub and Waqas Khan were now bowling well together and in the 15th over, Waqas got his first wicket, boot-changer Basit caught by Wembridge and the score now 64 for four down. Unfortunately the heavens opened and after play was resumed the target was reduced to 141 from 35 overs meaning they had to score only 77 from 15 overs. In the 17th over Khan Mahmud got the first of his two wickets and a second in his next over. So after 18 overs they were 76 for six wickets down. The wicket count stayed the same until Waqas got his second in the 27th over with the score on 110. POCC captain Ali and Badsha were able to face everything MCC bowled at them and POCC finished up winners with the score on 142 for 7 wickets down after 33.2 overs. So a very exciting game was over and who knows what would have been had the umpire been up to the task.

+Butt T.K., 17, caught, 1 catch

Khan Mahmud, 22, caught, 7 overs, 1 mdn, 25 runs, 2 wkts,

Wembridge, 0, run out, 1 over, 0 mdns, 11 rins, 0 wkts, 1 catch

*Ayub, 33, caught, 7 overs, 0 mdns, 18 runs, 1 wkt,

Qureshi, 43, caught, 7 overs, 0 mdns, 31 runs, 2 wkts, 1 catch

Colling, 16, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 24 runs. 0 wkts

Bhat, 5, caught, 1 catch

Bhamare, 10*

Otmankhil, 0, bowled

Ahmad I, 0, caught, 1.2 overs, 0 mdns, 11 runs, 0 wkts

Khan Waqas, 8, caught, t overs, 1 mdn, 25 runs, 2 wkts

MCC, 166 -10 in 34.2 overs, lost to POCC, 142-7 in 33.2 overs by 3 wickets (D/L ruling)

MCC MOM: Qureshi