Wendi-Meg Breward’s letter from Pretoria (15 Jul 2017)

MCC Gold 151ish-8 (35 overs) (A.Wembridge 45*, X. Wides 29, O. Mushtaq 19, J. Deverill 2-4) defeated MCC Black 117-9 (25.2 overs) (Y. Wides 30, M. Khan 20, Obaidullah 18, W. Khan 3-12, P. Toke 3-14)

Man of the match: Obaid Mushtaq for his 19 runs and 22 servings of simply divine curry.

This long-overdue match report from 15-07-17 has been simplified into a dot-point summary for your Sunday reading convenience, mainly due to the author’s laziness

  • Serendib Sports Club e.V withdrew interest in the match at the last minute, however Craig Barrett remarkably managed to organise 20 (mostly) MCC participants
  • Clever decision made for both teams (and umpires) to wear identical black clothing
  • Deverill arrived resplendently in a shiny new Napa Valley Cricket Club blazer, resembling some sort of candy-cane thief.
  • Wembridge fresh off the plane from an African safari (of sorts), accused of challenging Deverill for the title of ‘silliest arrival costume bearer’
  • Teams picked, Praf and Craig skippering their respective ships
Presented without comment or taste.
Photo by Shahzad Qureshi
  • Praf, wielding some plausible excuse about traffic accidents, arrived to find Farid and Waqas padding up to open the batting
  • Mahmoud caught a Waqas fly-ball at mid-on in Abdul’s first over, cementing the left-arm strike bowler’s prized number 11 position for at least the duration of this mortal life
  • Fortunately this duck will not count toward the official duck race leaderboard
  • Shazhad made an elegant start but guided a Colling short ball into the loving hand of an unrecorded mid-wicket fieldsman
  • Farid fell for 9, caught off the bowling of Obaidullah, ending a hitherto well-disciplined opening performance which certainly caught the eyes of the selectors
  • Maiwand seemed to have turned up by now and was cheerfully enjoying watching the match before realising he had been selected for the fielding side
  • Usman and Obaid Mushtaq built a handy partnership of 39 before Master Chef Mushtaq was caught for a well-earned 19, giving Deverill his first wicket.
  • Nirmal allowed JD to nab his second wicket, unfortunately being bowled for 2
  • Usman continued his attack with new partner Wembridge
  • A partnership of somewhere between 13 and 15 developed, if we apply some sort of logical deduction techniques from the unorthodox scorecard
  • Warhol would have been proud
    Photo: Andrew Wembridge
  • After a ‘timeless’ drinks (etc) break, Usman was clean bowled by Seyar for 17, bringing captain Praf to the crease.
  • Really quite difficult at this point to distinguish the difference between ‘1s’ and ‘.s’ in the scorecard, or 4s, 7s and all other Arabic numerals for that matter.
  • The proud skipper and his antipodean lackey poked around for an indeterminable period of time for an indeterminable quantity of runs
  • Barrett snaffled a catch behind the stumps to give Imtiaz a taste of glory, Toke finally being dismissed for a total of ‘1Y’
  • Remarkable to report that not a single runout dismissal occurred despite the wonderfully diverse run-calling methods practiced by the MCC Gold team
  • Not a single LBW given, naturally due to some sort of interplanetary magnetic force dragging every ball contacting the pads well down the leg side.
  • Ring in Rohail was cheated of facing his fair share of deliveries on more than one occasion, given his foul-tempered partner’s accidental farming of the strike.
  • Rohail bowled for four by “Sam”, where a rare Fall of Wicket entry suggests the score was 141 at the time.
  • A true dolly was dropped at backward square leg off a Maiwand Khan short ball, allowing Wembridge and new batsman Akmal to close out the innings for (allegedly) 151
  • Mahmoud Khan extremely unlucky to finish wicketless, bowling a superb 4 overs 0 for 8, and wides accounting for 29 (or 19,2%) of the total MCC Gold score
  • An undisputable man-of-the-match winning effort from Obaid              Photo: Shazhad Qureshi
  • MCC Gold and Black were treated to a magnificent tea courtesy of the wonderful culinary skills of Obaid Mushtaq
  • Chicken curry and lentils were wolfed down with delicious brown roti, chased with chocolate biscuits.
  • A description of ‘triumphant’ would be severely understating this mouth-watering intermisso from our established semmel-based standard
  • Rumour has it that the wife of Mushtaq is in no way partial to curry, and this was the Master Chef’s big chance to show off his skills
  • Non sequitur, the Gin en Toxic indoor CC, Pretoria
    Photo: Andrew Wembridge
  • MCC Black made a healthy opening partnership of 31 between Hashimi and the in-form Mahmoud Khan
  • This was facilitated by several mangled caught and bowled opportunities by Sanger Khan.
  • Shazhad knocked over Hashimi’s castle for nine, bringing Barrett to the crease
  • Waqas snagged the prized wicket of Mahmoud with a simple, regulation catch at gully
  • Deverill fell for a fortunately unofficial duck to become Waqas’ second victim, caught behind by Farid
  • Abdul managed to belt around a few boundaries before one finally stuck in Sangar Khan’s mitts at mid-on after a woeful delivery by Wembridge.
  • Barrett was bowled by Akmal for nine and MCC Black were beginning to look a little shaky at 5 for 84
  • Promising resistance from Colling (10) and Obaidullah (18) was soon to be interrupted after captain Toke’s decision to warm up his shoulder
  • The captain effortlessly blasted through the pair (and follower Maiwand), taking his three wickets for a mere 14 runs, virtually sealing the victory for his team
  • Waqas delivered the death blow to the other S. Khan, earning himself a well-deserved ‘three-fa’
  • Well done to all for hauling our arses off the couch and spending our Saturday outdoors sharpening those cricket skills.

Wendi-Meg Breward