MIC vs MCC Friendly (08 Apr 2018)

Match Report MCC away to MIC 8/4/2018.

On a day set fair, all members of the team arrived well ahead of the game and began warming up. After a quick discussion with the opposition captain, whereby he revealed that he had more than eleven players, effectively a batting side and a bowling side, the toss was won by new captain JD who felt it prudent to bowl first (Yes Doug, I lied).

So it was that the first flakes of rust were thrown from the shoulders of veteran performer and returning player Paul Scott, who opened the bowling for MCC for the first time in over three years. Years which may have seen a decline in pace but by no means in accuracy. 8 overs, 1 maiden 23 runs 0 wickets and no wides I might add. A very reliable and commendable start to his reintegration!

Imtiaz Ahmad also started well, his 4 overs going for a meagre 14 runs. Accuracy was the request and accuracy was what both openers delivered. Only two wides were bowled in the first 8 overs. I say “only” (Of course, there should be no wides at all!), because in previous years wides and no-balls have been among the top contributors to the oppositions tally. This was a marked improvement and proof positive that we are capable of doing better.

Waqas replaced Imti and struck with his third ball, castling a perplexed Johnson with a perfect Yorker. He struck again two overs later with another beauty, rattling the poles of Sharda. 37 – 2 after 8.

Jonty Altmann picked up the 3rd in the 19th over and the 4th in the 21st (Ct Varun), but took some heavy fire in his 4th over and ended with figures of 4-0-24-2. Captain Deverill replaced him and frankly bowled like a drain, laughably collecting the wicket of his opposite number, caught off a woeful full-toss at midwicket by Paul Scott.

A second came the skipper’s way when he shocked the batsman by finally pitching one, the batter obligingly leaving it to rattle in to the stumps. 148 – 6 from 27 overs. It was all looking fairly even, especially considering the short boundaries at the MIC ground.

The real damage was done by a combination of effective, aggressive batting from Kashif who was finally run out by Abhijit on 98 and some pretty average fielding from some of us who either dropped him or simply did not manage to get to the ball when we should! So, room for improvement in the field. Otherwise we may well have kept the score well below the 250 all out that we did.

The magic moment in the field came when Hari Iyler, playing his first game for MCC and his first game in some years, full stop. Took a wicket in his only over, Ct Waqas. All in all, a good effort from a side that has room to improve.

I’ll be brief on the batting. Jonty opened with Doug Giles. Dougy departing for 2 just as he started to look settled. JD joined Jonty, as Jonty seemed to be finding his mojo, but after consecutive boundaries he inexplicably missed a straight one, which proved terminal. Jonty gone for 23 with just 7 overs bowled. The score on 28.

Imtiaz and JD kept the score ticking for the next ten overs. I was impressed to see Imtiaz trying to bat long. I believe he has the ability to be a good all-rounder for MCC and he made every effort to learn on the job until off-break bowler Manzua snuck one through bat and pad. Not bad Imti. Keep that mind-set going!

I had hoped to bat much longer with the incoming Phil Bowes, but holed out to a one-handed catch by Kashif at deep mid-off.
Phil was also castled by a beauty from Manzua. Phil undone whilst playing an uncharacteristic forward defensive. I appreciate it PB. We must learn to bat for much longer than we generally do!

Paul Scotts cameo was ended by a straight one and it was all looking a bit grim until Varun Deshpande knocked up a well-crafted 46. The knock of the day from an MCC player. Abhijit lasted one ball and Waqas left the newbie Hari stranded 0 not-out. MCC bowled out in 31 overs for 139.

Naturally, that’s not good enough, but this was the first game for most of us and the opposition were that much stronger. Those are the facts of it. We look forward to giving them a much harder run for their money at home this Saturday.

Notable performances:
P Bowes behind the stumps. Just one Bye in nearly 40 overs.

21 wides were bowled, but most of them by non-frontline bowlers. Very happy with reduction in wides from Waqas, Imti and others.

James Jabez fielded like a dynamo. Top effort.

To everyone for turning up on time and everyone paid their match fees. I notice these things!

MOM goes to Varun Deshpande for a good knock, for bowling to a plan and for also putting in a top effort in the field.

Well played All!
JD