Serendib Cricket Club 299-10 (30 something overs) (P. Scott 3-47, H. Khanna 2-23) defeated MCC 255-8 (40.0 overs) (Serendib Extras 80, P. Toke 51, R. Ahmad 46)
MCC Man of the match: P. Toke
The sun was shining gloriously as MCC arrived at Serendib for an early season friendly. After some brief warm up exercises, application of plenty of sunscreen war paint, captain Praf marched out to the middle, hellbent on winning the toss and batting first. Unfortunately, the toss was lost and MCC was put in the field. Paul Scott opened the bowling with some very accurate good length deliveries. He may have lost a few yards over the years, but the accuracy was as good as ever. Kantor was the other opening bowler but had to leave the field after bowling two overs due to old age creeping in and giving him a bad back. Scott’s accurate bowling finally became the undoing of one of Serendib’s openers as the striker’s stumps were obliterated by a straight one. Having taken his first MCC wicket after 3 years the Englishman sent his replacement back to the non-existent changing rooms as the striker lofted one to Amit. In came Serendib’s Milan who, after getting his eye in, proceeded to smash the MCC bowlers all over the ground with many deliveries being dispatched to the adjacent football pitches, fortunately not injuring those enjoying a Saturday kickabout. While Milan continued his onslaught, Scott picked up his third at the other end with another straight one to splatter the bails over the loosely attached coconut matting on wooden boards makeshift wicket which resulted in the bowlers losing their footing on several occasions – fortunately without injury. Usman, Praf and Ruhel took a wicket each. Shashi managed to pick up a wicket as Douglas Giles took a diving catch to his left with cat-like agility – really an outstanding piece of work in the field by our Treasurer. President Khanna was tasked with some death bowling with his right arm disco promptly trapping his opponent lbw. Following some more peppering of the adjacent football pitches, Milan decided he had had enough of smashing boundaries and retired on 142 after a remarkable knock with some outstanding cricket shots – not just slogging to cow for 6. His replacement was runout and Hazzas right arm disco struck once again with a plumb LBW to end Serendibs innings on 299 runs.
Somewhat sore-necked from watching balls sailing out of the ground, the players tucked into some thoroughly deserved tees. With it being a small ground, the skipper was reasonably confident 300 runs could be chased or at least come close to it. With the sun still shining gloriously, Usman and Arun opened the batting for MCC. It only took four deliveries for Arun to score his first boundary. In general, the openers batted very sensibly, and all was looking very promising after 6 overs with the score on 47 for no wickets. In the seventh over, however, the settled batsman Arun Karthik was undone as he nicked one behind. In came Shashi, who decided to get his eye in with a couple of dot balls before dispatching one over the ropes. Usman batted on defiantly until a running between the wickets fumble resulted in him being run out. Ruhel then joined Shashi at the crease, who was going very nicely until Shashi missed a straight one which clattered into his pads – which was too plumb for the umpire to not give out. Captain Praf strolled to the crease who also got off the mark very quickly. The strikers batted beautifully putting on a magnificent partnership of 122 due to some quality stroke play and plenty of Serendib extras. Having reached 46, Ruhel decided that it was time for the lower order to get some batting practise and consequently retired. Amit came to the crease and was eager to do some quick running between the wickets, which became his undoing as he run himself out without facing a single delivery. Chairman Haz rocked up to the crease intent on giving it a good slog. Skipper Praf reached his fifty and unfortunately, not too long after, a quality innings which was a textbook captain’s knock came to an untimely end, as yet another run out ended the skipper’s innings prematurely. Michahelles joined the bat-swinging Khanna but was given LBW a few balls later. The Treasurer had a brief cameo of 2 runs thus bringing Jonkiffe to the crease who was gifted two runs by virtue of Serendib overthrows. Jonkiffe failed to get the last two deliveries of the innings away, unforgivably stranding the President on 22 not out.
All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day of cricket. Yes, we may have lost, but we were outclassed by a quality batsman in the shape of Milan who quite frankly put on a batting exhibition which was a pleasure to watch. Had it not been for him MCC may well have won, since the next highest score for the Serendibbers was 25. After packing up and whishing those with family or other plans on a Saturday night a farewell, a trip to the Chinese tower followed to lick our wounds with the other MCC team. There was still plenty of thirst when the beer garden shut, therefore a trip to the keg rounded off a quality Saturday and to be honest, thanks to some stronger than anticipated gin and tonic, my memory stops there and therefore does the match report.
Arun Karthik, 22, caught, 2 overs, 47 runs, 0 wkts
Usman Sandhu, 9, run out, 4 overs, 36 runs, 1 wkt
Shashi Gaikwad, 21, LBW, 7 overs, 37 runs, 1 wkt
Ruhel Ahmad, 46, retired, 2 overs, 1 run, 1 wkt
Praf Toke, 51, run out, 4 overs, 48 runs, 1 wkt
Amit Bhalerao, 0, run out, 1 catch
Harit Khanna, 22*, 2 overs, 23 runs, 2 wkts
George Michahelles, 0, LBW, 1 catch
Douglas Giles, 2, caught, 1 catch
John Jonkiffe, 2*
Paul Scott, DNB, 8 overs, 47 runs, 3 wkts
James Kantor, DNB, 2 overs, 21 runs, 0 wkts
MCC, 255 – 8 in 40.0 overs, lost to Serendib, 299- 10 in 30 something overs, by 44 runs
MCC MOM: P. Toke (With the 80 Serendib extras a close second)
J. D. Jonkiffe