Freising, 1st Aug 2021
On a rather damp Munich, Captain Owen, was met at Ostbahnhof for his lift to Attaching with Dave, after the usual greetings, Owen announced ‘I have news’, with thoughts of grandeur, maybe a lottery win or new job, no, he announced ‘I have received a message from the oppo at 8:15am that we should cancel the games due to the pitch being soaked, but the umpire has told us we must come to the ground regardless’. Well, the umpire does want his fee, so off we trotted, all the while looking at the roads and whilst dry the pitch would be sodden. Cue 8 hours later, thankfully the games went ahead!
Upon arrival at the ground, the oppo were out building the pitch. Boards, green felt topped with coconut matting, I can only guess the felt was to stop the coco mat slipping, not sure how effective that was. The pitch was damp, certainly not Goggingen a few weeks previously where Noah would have found enough place to park his ark, and the feeling was (after checking the forecast and radar), we would get 1 hour maybe 2 in before we were sent home.
Alas, the arrival in stages of the remainder of the team, off to toss went El Capitan, coming back victorious and sending the oppo out to bat. Catching practice ensued with each ball going between Eddie and Rich and Eddie and JD, to which the former was expected to catch each. Bad form that he didn’t take each, not even a prematch dive!
Of course, we were opened up by Paul Scott and followed by JD, combined life experience of over 110 years. It puts Broad and Anderson in the shadows, neither of them have to contend with bowling one end and crease drawn out with a stump. In a rather strange twist from the friendly held weeks before, there were 6 stumps but no bails for the bowling end. MCC thought this through and brought our own (although I think they may have been donated/ forgotten at the end of the day).
The pair unlucky not to get any wickets, but the fielding was tight, diving around on the ground. Not sure this was to stop the ball, just to keep warm in the 15 degree weather. Scotty ending on 4-1-19-0 and JD 4-0-20-0. Eddie was unlucky, just not his day with the ball and replaced after one over 1-0-18-0, Sai 4-0-35-0, Ruhel, Tom Clode coming on (can’t remember in which order), but the few wickets taken in the game fell to Tom, which without the inspirational captain, would have left him with no wickets. One caught and one stumped. TC ending on 4-0-28-2 and the stumps went flying (might have been weighted down with paper) for Ruhel, 3-0-21-1. MCC performance in the field was outstanding, a few mistakes and a lapse of concentration, but FS Strikers ending 141-3, setting the target of 142 to win in the full 20 overs. A mention here to Rich Clark who took 2 catches on the boundary, both off the free hits!
The standard sandwiches, drinks and snacks was accompanied by a very tasty cake by the awesome baker in Anita (Simrats lovely wife) and tea. MCC Sekunden request cakes by the talented Anita every week. Standards have been set!
Into the middle went Ruhel and Simrat, with a still damp pitch the boundaries were hard to come by and just a few singles coming before they were replaced by Ruhal and Rich, who unfortunately were unable to trouble the scorer. MCC in a delicate position and in came the skipper and Dave, the latter who only stayed for 4 balls. In comes JD and the flurry of runs starts, both playing some sublime shots, quick running between the wickets and, as with all good innings, some luck. JD falling just before the end with a run out and 27 to his name. a quick single for Sai and on strike for the last 2 balls, the skipper. Not that he knew it at the time, but his final 4 of the innings took him to a maiden half century, 51 not out. MCC finishing just 21 short of the target.
The second game of the day arrived with some blacker clouds than before. Not sure its fair to call him a useless tosser after the heroics of the first game, but alas, the usual tosser lost and we were sent out to field. Dave sat out and in came Usman, who had he told us it was his birthday, may have been greeted with a rapturous applause and back slapping.
As with the fist game, and maybe not worth writing in the reports any longer, the duo of Scotty and JD started us off. On this occasion Scotty got his much deserved wicket, caught at mid on by Sai. Wouldn’t have been the easiest to hold onto in the slippery circumstances. Scotty and JD continuing until the 6th over, when on comes TC. How to describe the wicket he took? As the ball released his hand, I’m sure there was a shout of ‘f*ck’, although I may have misheard, a full toss, very wide around knee height and spanked at, taken smartly by Rahul Bhat at slip. Dross, Gash are perfect words for the delivery, but the 2nd wicket fell. The third wicket and TCs second of the over came from a wild swing and miss with the stumps going flying. The favourite shout of LBW came from the boundary at deep cover, like every good square leg umpire, the angle for LBW was obvious, smashing into middle stump, why oh why was it given not out. Nice try Rich!
JD gets his rewards with more action from TC, with a catch which he just about held onto, they all count! The birthday boy comes on for his over, sadly no present this year, Usman went unrewarded. TC with his next wicket and final of the day, LBW on the first ball. Wicket 6 came from a caught and bowled by Ruhel, number 7 for Sai, caught by the skipper, and the 8th a second from Ruhel, bowled, he calls it a yorker, didn’t look like it from the authors position, but still out! The first dead ball of the day from MCC came courtesy of the bowler of gash/ dross when it hit the front of the board and no doubt took a nice chunk out of the ball. Ruhel got his 3rd of the game with another LBW and the final wicket a run out courtesy of Simrat and skippy.
Paul Scott: 4-0-29-1, JD: 4-0-17-1, TC: 4-0-21-3, Sai: 3-0-21-1, Usman: 1-0-13-0, Ruhel: 3-0-14-3
MCC chasing 117 to win.
The bathing line-up changed slightly, out stepped Ruhal Bhat and Rich, with the former departing not too long after. In came JD just as the heavens opened. On went the ‘covers’.
25 minutes later and the game reduced to 19 overs, the target was now 111 in 19 overs. Rich and JD providing one boundary and many singles, rotating the strike and frustrating the oppo, JD fell 18. Out came the skipper hoping to add to his fine performance from game one. On this occasion he was caught but not before he had managed a quick single which left Rich needing a runner. Special thanks goes to the oppo skipper for his and his teams sportsmanship in allowing the runner. Not wishing to be outdone by the skipper. Rich manged to hit the 2nd half century of the day, 55 not out and with some support from Ruhel, 3 not out, guided MCC Sekunden to their first victory of the season in the 15th over, 111-3. No half centuries in an age and 2 come along at once, just like busses!
With one victory from the 2 games, MCC Sekunden set themselves up nicely for the final 2 league games of the season at home next weekend
Man of the Match for the first game undoubtably goes to Owen for his fabulous 51 not out and in the 2nd game to Rich Clark for his 55 not out.
Whilst there can only be one man of the match for each game, there was not one member of the MCC Sekunden team that didn’t contribute to the efforts of the team on Sunday. Whether it be in the field, with the ball or the bat, an all round team performance. We lose as a team and we win as a team.