Goldener Oktober, memories of multi-hued leaves on the Autumnal trees, a table wine and MCC with its own version of this famous phrase. Some would say it was the arrival of Lord Wembo of Pretoria with Lady Wembridge as colourful as the autumn leaves but in reality it was an innings featuring four ducks, three of them golden, the final one much to the mirth of the spectators.
The match against the Breakaways, one week after the scheduled last match of the season, was arranged at short notice as witnessed by the hilarious team selection with more comings and goings than you would see on a busy day at the Hauptbahnhof. When Cassandra Craig turned up after working on a Sunday morning we were finally represented by a full team. Captain Ayub lost the toss and MCC were asked to field choosing youngster Samiulla Tanka as keeper after his sterling performance in the six-a-side last week. Brooks and Deverill opened the bowling, Deverill getting the first wicket on the final ball of his first over and the Lions on 16 total. On the second ball of his second over he got another, well caught behind and the score on 22. After nine overs, Ayub replaced Deverill and after 13 overs, Brooks was rested. He was replaced by Sandhu, fresh from his exploits against Serendib, who bowled very well and got a wicket in his third over, caught by Craig (taking him to the top of the catching table) and the Lions were now 94 for four down, their third wicket having fallen to Toke, the partnership breaker extraordinary. Ayub got the next wicket with the score on 119 but a 70 run partnership was only broken when Toke was brought on for one more over and got a hilarious hit-wicket to his name. The seventh wicket fell on 195, an LBW for Ayub and the eighth on 202, the first of two run-outs. Ayub also got the ninth on 223 and the tenth was another run-out on the last possible ball of the innings, the score being 283.
After teas, biscuits and cinnamon cakes bakes by Crystal Craig – long may she support us – and some pizza, MCC opened their innings with Khan Mahmud and Wembridge. Mahmud survived a wide successfully then became the first to add gold to the Munich skies. He was replaced by Tanka who brought as many lives as a black cat with him but batted splendidly before falling for 37 in the 12th over with the score on 61. Captain Ayub came in and showed his intentions by hitting a cracking four but that was all he hit, the next ball he missed completely and was bowled leaving us on 65 for three down. Wembridge at this stage was still plodding along, having slowly crept through the entrance door of the 500 club and was on 17 when the captain departed. A 52 run partnership between Deverill and Wembridge ended when Deverill was bowled for an uncomfortable 11 off 38 balls faced. MCC were now well behind the required run rate and needed a big hitter so Craig came to the wicket and was part of a 57 run partnership (of which he scored seven), broken when Wembridge went for 85 from 97 balls in the 33rd over and the score now 174. Imtiaz hit a quick-fire 11 but left with the score on 200 for 6 in the 36th over. Michahelles replaced him and saw Craig become very aggressive hitting three boundary fours before George left for a duck with the score on 213. Five runs later Craig was caught in the deep going big again and MCC were now 218 for eight down after 38.1 overs. Usman Sandhu was next to bat and next to add to the Goldener Oktober, falling after 38.3 overs. Brooks replaced him with clear instructions to make them bowl their forty overs at the very least. After 34.4 the golden skies reverberated once again to the sound of the stumps crashing accompanied by hilarious laughter and MCC were all out for 220.
There were a couple of noteworthy incidents during the MCC innings, the first when five penalty runs were awarded after a ball thrown in by a fielder hit a jumper left lying near the wicket. This is only the second time I have seen this, the first being in Zuoz where a rather stroppy opposition keeper caused five penalty runs to win us the game by not preventing the ball from hitting a helmet placed behind him. The other incident was a certain run out of an MCC batsman but the wicket was already broken and the fielder held the ball in one hand and lifted the stumps with the other while the batsman scrambled home. Congratulations to Captain/Umpire Ayub for knowing the laws.
Khan Mahmud, 0, bowled, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 17 runs, 0 wkts
Wembridge, 85, caught, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 22 runs 0 wkts
Tanka, 37, caught, 1 catch
Ayub, 4, bowled, 6 overs, 0 mdns, 52 runs, 2 wkts
Deverill, 11, bowled, 4 overs, 0 mdns, 37 runs, 2 wkts
Barrett, 28, caught, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 18 runs, 0 wkts, 1 catch
Imtiaz Ahmad, 11, caught, 4 overs, 0 mdns 26 runs, 0 wkts
Michahelles, 0, LBW, 2 overs, 0 mdns, 19 runs, 0 wkts
Toke, 2*, 3 overs, 0 mdns, 23 runs, 2 wkts
Usman Sandhu, 0, bowled, 5 overs, 1 mdn, 16 runs, 2 wkts
Brooks, 0, bowled, 8 overs, 0 mdns, 44 runs, 0 wkts.
MCC, 220 – 10 in 38.4 overs, lost to Lions, 283- 10 in 40 overs, by 63 runs
MCC MOM: Wembridge