After some stupendous thunder storms over Saturday night and spots of rain from the overcast Munich sky still falling, MCC assembled at 9am outside the Hirschanger for the trip to Erlangen for the BCV T20 quarter final match. Lack of transport meant we had to hire a mini-bus although mini is a strange way to describe it as it was really an 18 seater with three rows removed and was very, very long. Five players piled into John Jolliffe`s car and six more plus umpire Ravi and the scorer piled into the van and all arrived in time, just after 1130 for the 12 noon start. The weather in Erlangen was good, sunny skies, no rain and temperature around 20° plus although the playing field was still damp from the overnight rain.
Captain Ayub put Maria Theresa to good use, won the toss and cleverly chose to field first opening the attack himself with Khan Maiwand. His first ball was a wide, as was Maiwands and that of Wàqas when he came on, thereby continuing an MCC tradition. Nevertheless with the last ball of the first over their opener Ali hit the ball to Maroofkhel, who rarely drops one, and Erlangen were 4 for 1 after one over. With the last ball of the fourth over Maiwand got their other opener and captain to nick one which was spectacularly caught by keeper Otmankhil leaving them 19 for 2 after four. Ayub bowled a third over but Maiwand was replaced by Waqas who, as already commented also opened with a wide. However on the sixth ball of the first over he saw the sight that warms the heart of every fast bowler, the batman`s off stump cartwheeling away, making them 29 for 3 after five. Khan Mahmud replaced Ayub and had two wicketless but fairly tight overs while Waqas got a second clean bowled in the last ball of his third over. On the third ball of the same over the captain dropped a fairly easy dolly but, since the striker had assumed it would be caught, he didn`t run and both batsmen were at the striker`s end when Ayub threw-in to Waqas to run out the dangerous Gusher Singh who had returned 106 not out against us in the recent league match. Erlangen were now 57 for 5 after ten. Butt took over from Waqas, giving only a miserly two runs from his first over and Maiwand replaced Waqas. On his third ball Maiwand got his second wicket, Aniket caught Akmal and in the fifth ball of his second over Butt got an LBW leaving them 72 for 7 after thirteen. There was then a 42 run parnertship between Philip Milton and the hard-hitting Jimmy Joshi before, in an inspired move, Akmal was brought on and got Milton in an easy caught and bowled from his first ball leaving them 117 for 8 after seventeen. Three runs later Ayub bowled Joshi but a partnership of 20 for the last wicket, aided by some poor fielding, took them to 137 for 9 after 20 overs.
Teas had been provided by Mahmud but there were no knives to spread the strange looking speads on the semmeln which led to much innovation. The target of 138 was achievable but not easy but the team were reminded that if Butt started as he had against Erlangen in the league match we could do it. Also choosing to bat second helped as the outfield had dried significantly and it was better for batting. Consequently MCC opened with Butt and Khan Mahmud, with Butt facing. Erlangen opened in true MCC fashion and the first over was +, ., +, 4, 4, ., ., meaning umpire Ravi had called a five ball over but with 10 off the first over we were on our way. Butt`s first four scoring shots were all boundary fours, not slogs but very good cricketing shots. Mahmud went for 9 with the score in 33 in the 6th over to be replaced by Jolliffe in his very first innings for MCC. The opposition scorer couldn`t believe we would let anyone bat at three who had never before played for us until he learnt that he has a large car and can take five to away matches. Jollife went for a duck with the score on 48 in the 9th over to be replaced by captain Ayub who, at first, played a very secondary role to Butt who was now in the six-hitting mode, taking Joshi for 6, 6, 1, 1, 6, and 1 in one over to cruise past his 50. He finally fell for 72 in the 15th over with the score on 95 leaving MCC needing 33 to win 5.5 overs. Waqas and Ayub made short work of the task, Waqas finishing the game with two consecutive classy fours.
Mcc thus won with a very good team effort and look forward to the semi-finals.
Butt, 72, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 10 runs, 1 wkts
Khan Mahmud, 9, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 34 runs, 0 wkts
Jolliffe, 0, bowled
Ayub, 39*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 17 runs, 2 wkts
Khan Waqas, 16*, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 26 runs, 2 wkts
Khan Maiwand, DNB, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 22 runs, 2 wkts
Akmal Ibrahim, DNB, 2 overs, 0 mdn, 17 runs, 1 wkt, 2 catches
Maroofkhel, DNB, 1 catch
Usman Asif, DNB
Otmankhil, DNB, 1 catch
MCC, 140 -3 in 17.3 overs, beat Erlangen, 137 – 9 in 20 overs by 7 wickets
MCC MOM: TK Butt