On another beautiful April morning, the T20 team embarked on a trip to Augsburg to take on DJK Göggingen in the final round of the T20 Pokal group. With Würmtal dropping out after not being able to raise a team, the start time was brought forward to 9am to allow a friendly game to be played afterwards.
The arrangements were made for some of us to meet on the Northbound side at Donnersbergerbrücke, some at the Hirsch and Nav and Usman were catching the RB. As our group were trying to work out which direction North was, we noticed there was no Macca, who had decided he wanted to make the trip in the comfort of Arun’s car.
The address was no longer in the Facebook event so after a quick googling, it was entered in the sat nav and off we trundled, Augsburg bound. We turned up at the DJK sports ground and whilst having a spectator stand fitting of a cricket game in Germany, it wasn’t home to a cricket pitch. The opposition captain was inundated with calls from the other car and Paul Scott had tracked down a cricket rep from the sports club. Eventually we arrived at the baseball ground, home of the DJK Göggingen cricket team.
With Arun and Varun tracking down our rail riders, Macca was given the responsibility of having a toss in the middle. MCC to bat.
The track was a coconut mat, stretched out over compressed soil. It promised to give some decent bounce and a goal of 150 was floated around the dugout. Due to the rather unique setting of bowling towards the baseball cage and particularly short boundaries behind and square on the leg side, there are special rules. 2 for hitting the fence/ cage and 6 for clearing the stream.
Varun and Macca opened the batting and with the help of a number of extras, we raced to 16-0 before Varun was adjudged LBW to the opening left handed bowler. The bat coming down across the line and from square leg it looked rather plumb. Arun the next man in.
With the score on 20, Macca joined Varun after trying to heave a full straight ball the 65km back to Munich and his stumps rattled.
Paul B joined Arun and the pair put on 30 runs, with some nudges and nurdles into the fence. Arun hit a particular fierce square drive, destined to be 4 but catching the fence and only receiving 2 to his score.
With the score on 50, a cardinal sin was committed. Arun cover drive, call of no, misfield, call of yes, Busby run out by 6ft. His own fault for eagerly wanting to get to the other end and face their off spinner.
Pratik was bowled third ball to a grubber with the score having not moved. Imti joined Arun and looking to rebuild launched one of the Göggingen seamers for a huge straight 6, followed by a lovely 4. It looked like a counter attack was on the cards before Imtiaz misjudged a ball from the off spinner and lost his bails.
That was the start of an MCC collapse with the loss of 4 wickets for 8 runs. Arun caught behind off the glove, Nav got a good nut and Waqas missing after clearing the front leg.
Clean striking and good running saw Usman and Avinash bring the score up to something respectable with individual efforts of 11 and 23 respectively.
The platform was set. Göggingen to chase 124 off their 20 overs.
In response the home team lost two quick wickets, the first a good piece of ‘you miss, I hit’ bowling from Paul Scott and the second an outstanding direct hit from the new gun fielder Nav at cover. 0 for 2.
Shortly after Waqas removed their number 4 with a ripper that knocked back all 3.
This led to some tactical rebuilding from Göggingen and a composed innings by Zeeshan, their number 3 and Dawajan their opening bowler. Nicks, flicks and deflections were the order of the day as the ball kept finding the batting cage. Even with 3 behind square on the off side at one point, the two batsmen still found the gap.
Avinash, the batting star of the first innings made the breakthrough, having Dawajan caught nicely by Pratik. A deserved reward after a tidy spell. Zeeshan upped the scoring rate and took the total to 87 before Nav made the breakthrough, castling the newer batsman.
What followed was 8 minutes of chaos. Waqas brought back to finish the tail off in conjunction with Macca. Waqas had their number 8 caught by Nav at long off. Nav, always in the action ran both numbers 9 and 10 out from the same position. Both times, he ran round, swooped on the ball and knocked over the non-strikers end.
Macca wrapped up the innings by bowling the well set Zeeshan.
MCC won by 21 runs
A good all round performance sees us top the T20 group and through to the next stages to be held in September.