Under grey skies and a much-rumoured threat of rain, a spirited MCC Sekunden arrived for more T20 exploits vs POCC. Despite the rather grim climate the squad had conspired to bring enough bottled water to flood the Isar, but never let it be said that Die Sekunden are lacking in hydration. In unprecedented fashion, 12 (!) members had made their way to Hasenburgl, leaving Captain Dave Llewellyn with perhaps a simple decision to leave yours truly (with 2 games experience of organised cricket) out of proceedings for the first match. Recovering from the shock of having a full squad, the skipper then repeated his uncanny trick of losing the toss. MCC were duly sent out to field on a pitch which was a bit clumpy but did feature a lovely Hirsch-esque running track, as per German Cricketing Regulations.
Paul Scott opened the bowling, the first over bringing instant action and reward. The second delivery was dispatched for 6, beginning the first of several forages into the foliage to retrieve the ball. However, the following ball was then met with a rash slog that travelled a long way — this time vertically — before being snagged by Vinny. Tom Clode and Scott continued to complete some tidy overs, while POCC’s No. 3 batsman toyed with the offside field as Pryke Jr. was kept particularly busy at point. Prykey responded in kind with some juicy sledging of the opposition.
The batsman perhaps unsettled by the vocal abuse, the next wicket fell as he attempted to dance down the track to Clode only to see his stumps fly and be greeted by a typically thunderous roar from TC. Sai and Simrat joined the attack and continued to keep things tidy as the latter took the third wicket of the day, with Vinny also lively behind the stumps unlucky to see a stumping effort given not out.
At this point some drizzle arrived, an event promptly celebrated by POCC’s batsmen with a few fine boundaries as runs began to flow a bit more freely. Following an optimistic drinks break to wait out the rain, Adam, Usman and Pryke Jr. came into the attack as POCC reached the 100 mark; MCC alum Obaid Mushtaq hitting a fine half century in the process.
Adam couldn’t hang on to a fizzing C&B chance, but persisted to trap the batsman LBW in his next over to break a sturdy partnership. Despite a leisurely over-rate the umpire took his chance during a bowling change to get some curling practice in, impressively sweeping leaves off the wicket but curiously only at the non-strikers’ end. Against increasingly aggressive batting, Adam deservedly doubled his tally — courtesy of Sai Tarun breaking Sekunden Code of Conduct and taking a catch in the deep.
MCC put together a solid outing in the field, complemented by disciplined bowling as shown by the rarity of any extras given away. Credit also to Sai who built pressure without claiming a wicket for his efforts. At the end of the innings, POCC were 152-5 and both sides retired to shelter from a conveniently timed downpour.
In soggier conditions Charanpreet and Vinny went out to open, the former a tad unfortunate to face something of a Jaffa first ball which jumped off the surface and was caught behind. Vinny and Sim got the scoreboard ticking over with some good running, before MCC’s chase was blighted by the loss of the 3 quick wickets.
With the weather now holding up better than the batting, Adam and the skipper quickly developed a handy rapport to consolidate the innings. Facing an energised POCC attack, the pair carved some nifty singles out as the ball continued to show surprising bounce off the all-weather wicket. Some clean hitting also ensured that POCC had to go fishing in the hedge for the ball a couple of times themselves. Recovering from 23/4, an admirable partnership was brought to an end with 69 runs on the board as Adam was trapped LBW. Llewellyn, who was then already missing his running mate, soon followed.
The remainder of the innings passed largely without incident, but sadly also without too many runs. Pryke, who never came in to bat, attempted to lift the run rate from the side of the pitch with some aggressive shadow batting. Doug started off on what would’ve been a lightning quick single, before being sent back by a cool, calm and collected Usman. With the clouds darkening again, MCC finished up on 77, Llewellyn top scoring with 20, Adam and Vinny adding 12 and 11 respectively.
MOTM: Adam Clarkson.
Onto game 2.
After some much needed sandwiches and trying to reduce the level of water on the running track, it was time for the toss. The useless tosser captain managed to lose the 5th of 6 tosses this season, Tails never fails is becoming, tails always fails. Despite begging the ISA Minga captain to reconsider his decision to bat and he looking at me as if I come off the moon, into the field we were sent.
Out went Charan and in came Harry.
In the usual fashion, Paul Scott was handed the shiny new ball, and the regulation fielding positions taken up. With cover on the boundary on both the on and off sides, the batsmen managed to find the boundary a couple of times, before Scott struck again for his second wicket of the day, their opener hauling it to cow, where Simrat continued his excellent day in the field by holding on. His opening bowler partner Tom Clode, started well and unlucky not to get wickets with his first 2 overs, but only conceding 7. Scott continued for his regulation 4 overs and was rewarded with another 2 wickets, and LBW and bowled. Finishing with 4-0-22-3, Sai and Adam taking over from the opening pair, Sai keeping it tight with just 3 from his opening over and Adam 6 plus a wicket, caught close in by Usman
10 overs in and the 52-4, the visitors were feeling on top, great work in the field from all and the unusual catching continuing the Sekunden Code of Conduct violations. Mention in dispatches to Harry for saving a flat 6 by taking one square in the chest. Not able to hold one, by saving us 5 runs. There will be one hell of a bruise there!
The 2nd half of the innings, POCC felt we the visitors hadn’t rummaged in the undergrowth enough and decided to start hitting out, the favoured shot across the line and launched time after time into the trees. After the 4th or 5th rummaged, the skipper was praying to the rain gods to open up and relieve the pain, but the prayers went unanswered. Vinny hung on to another 2 skyers, taking responsibility and suggesting that we should all wear gloves. Unfortunately we put down 4 or 5 catches, morale was dropping, but in true MCC spirit we never gave up. Wickets came to Sai, Adam and Simrat. Usman unlucky not to join in the wicket taking. POCC ending up with 185-9.
During the short break, after being told he was in at 4, Tom Pryke decided to keep us all on our toes by practicing his batting as the rest of us throw some food down, the ball flying all over the place.
The captain changed up the batting order for the reply, Vinny and Simrat moving up 1 place each, Sai coming in at 3 and Tom Prkye number 4. All his practice in the interval, helped him get on the scoresheet .After the exploits of the 1st game, Clarkson and Llewellyn stayed at 5 and 6. Usman, Harry, Doug, Paul and Tom Clode following on. The less said about the batting performance the better. Top score of 20 to Sai (and the only one to manage more than 5). Vinny managed to find the fielder at mid off, Llewellyn found the same one and 4 others caught in various places on the outfield. POCC showing MCC that catching in the 2nd game in front of the bat is possible.
MCC finished on 43 all out, just in time for the heavens to open, just an hour after the rain god was asked for.
Man of the Match goes to the old hand and ever present line and lengther Paul Scott for another 3 wickets.
Another fun day in Munich for the cricket, not the result desired, but we showed we can put up a good effort. 14 wickets, catches, improvements in the field and above all the MCC spirit shines through. Onwards and upwards to the first home league game of the season next week.
Hatchet Harry Dave LL