Pfaffenhofen CC v Munich CC – 2nd June 2018
MCC travelled to Pfaffenhofen for a first visit to Ilmgrund 8 on a typical fine Munich summer’s morning. With the majority meeting at the Hirsch and Barrett and Gattinger travelling direct, the latter arrived early to find what could only be described as a cow field… The grass appeared to have not been cut in weeks. Pfaffenhofen’s players were dutifully cutting the grass where the flicx would lay, but of course there was nothing that could be done about the outfield. Value for shots was not on the agenda. Despite the long grass the setting is pleasant, a stream on one side and an actual field on the other creating a lovely rural feel to the place. “Same for both sides” was the general feeling.
After a general discussion between Captain Toke and his players, it was decided that it was likely to be a low scoring game therefore the decision was made to have a bowl. Praf proving he is no useless tosser and duly inserted Pfaffenhofen.
Needless to say the prediction of tough batting conditions was proved correct, anything short of a length was almost unplayable, but anything pitched up the Pfaffenhofen batsmen punished with some big hitting. Mudussir (6-0-34-3) and Mahmoud (6-0-30-2) bowled excellent opening spells with wickets falling at regular intervals. The first to fall, the dangerous Sabir Ali for 23 to a ball that lifted off a length, took the shoulder of the bat and Barrett claiming an easy catch at slip. Mahmoud picked up the wickets of Fiaz Ahmed (bowled) and Khurram (caught Ali Khan) before the catch of the match from Ali Khan off the bowling of Mudussir to dismiss Wasim Bhatti for 18, a one handed diving effort to his right in front of first slip!
After 12 overs, the skipper decided to slow things down and Barrett (3 wickets) and Shashi (2 wickets) came on to clean up the tail. Pfaffenhofen all out for 83 in 15.4 overs! Test match stuff it was not… A remarkable (by MCC standards) 8 catches held in total with only one drop clearly contributing to the low score, let’s keep this up for the remainder of the season!!
Of course given the regularity at which wickets fell and the performance of the pitch, MCC knew this was going to be a harder chase than it looked on paper, but with some careful batting, 84 was of course very gettable. After a short break Mudusir (4) and Zeeshan (1) strode out to the middle to begin the chase. Unfortunately, neither lasted too long and they were both shortly back in the shed, although not before Mudussir hit the first 4 of the match (Pfaffenhofen scoring all their boundaries in sixes!), MCC 9/2 in the 3rd over. Ivan arrived at number 3 and Mahmoud at 4, the score slowly moving along to 17 before Ivan was bowled by Rehan for a blob. The skipper came and went for 1, Shashi out for 4 and MCC were in big trouble at 29/5.
Sometimes a game is set up for a particular individual. It was clear that on another outfield, with the players at MCC’s disposal, 84 would have been got far more easily. As previously mentioned, anything along the ground just would not reach the outfield, let alone the boundary. MCC needed a hero, a man whose game is perfectly set up for this moment and that hero was to be Veith Gattinger. Veith masterfully racking up 23 runs with some big hitting and solid defence, all the while Mahmoud accumulating to bring MCC to the brink of victory. Mahmoud’s steady innings was finally ended with the score on 74, leaving MCC needing just 10 runs for victory, however there was to be a twist. Gattinger fell in the next over without adding to the score Ali Khan top edged to the keeper for just 2 and debutant David Llewellyn fell for a golden and suddenly the brink of victory was looking like MIC mark II. 77/9 with Barrett and Davies needing to add the 7 runs in order to take MCC over the line. The Pfaffenhofen players were rampant and MCC starting to look despondent, but the two archetypal British club cricketers knew that stubborn defence and blitz style grit would get us over the line and so it was to be, with 6 singles and a wide, the 7 runs were got, Davies hitting the winning single into the off side through the long grass and MCC had done it! 84/9 a one wicket win!
Sometimes the low scorers are the most fun to be a part of, you just want to be the team that gets the win and thankfully MCC were able to do that.
With this being possibly the shortest 40 over game of cricket the author has ever played in (the entire match lasting 41.4 overs and over by 3pm), the captains agreed that we all had nothing better to do so a F15 game was decided to make up the time. Pfaffenhofen batting first again and racking up 158/9 and MCC were 126/9 in reply. Honourable mentions for Ivan (19*) and Zeeshan (28) in the chase, the wickets were shared around.
Match Summary – MCC (84/9) beat Pfaffenhofen CC (83ao) by 1 wicket.
MCC Man of the Match – Veith Gattinger.
Champagne Moment – Ali Khan’s one hander to dismiss danger man Sabir Ali.
Thanks for Coming Award – David Llewellyn.
Quote of the Day – “The grass is a bit long isn’t it…” Veith Gattinger.
Match in Numbers:
14 – Catches taken by MCC across two games (8 in the first, 6 in the second).
37 – Number of wickets to fall.
45 – Highest partnership by MCC (Veith and Mahmoud).
29.5 – Overs it took to bowl Pfaffenhofen out twice!!
3 in 4 – Craig’s Irish hattrick.