SG Moosburg v MCC (Friendly)
11 enthusiastic early-season warriors made their way to the distant lands of Moosburg an der Isar on Easter Sunday for a T20 smashathon double-header. A big shout-out to Suchit and Trabal for joining last minute and a second big shout-out to Mucca and Trabal for cycling to the game from Munich, and Sameer and Vinul for their extra long commutes!
Captain for the day Owen decided in the unlikely event of winning the toss, it would be best to bat first given the tardiness of three players turning up late. Alas, an Easter miracle occurred and Vinul and Vishv were sent out to open. The start was disappointing given Vishv’s boasting of hitting his first ball the day before for six. Despite being given a free hit, Vishv tried to hit the ball back to the Hirsch and failed, eventually falling lbw to a very slow (but correct) decision from umpire Pryke. Mucca came and went soon after, bringing Owen to the crease, who set about upping the rate hitting his first ball (a wrank long hop) to square leg for four. Vinul joined in with some lovely shots, including a glorious six over long on. Owen fell for 22 after an extras-heavy partnership of 58, trying to hit another long hop to mid wicket, with Suchit arriving as number five at 78-3 after 12 overs. He quickly set about targeting the boundary fence under construction—and the people building it—saving his running legs for next week’s half-marathon. Vinul was bowled with the score on 91, having scored an excellent 41. The middle order of Vinny and Trabal rotated the strike well in support, before ultimately being caught and run out respectively, leaving JD to face the final ball. Despite trying to block it, he managed to scramble a single, with Suchit ending on an average-boosting 33 not out. MCC finished with a respectable 137-6 off 20 overs.
Having just about recovered from his marathon 22-yard sprint off the last ball, JD was thrown the ball to open the bowling. To his, and everyone else’s surprise, he landed it on the pitch, but the biggest surprise was reserved for his ability to move two steps forward to take the easy return catch off the batman’s leading edge. Mucca opened from the other (the same) end, finding his line after a few looseners, taking two in two balls and the hosts were quickly three down. JD, perhaps in jealousy of his opening partner’s success, also took his second victim, aided by Vinny’s safe hands. Thomas and Abhishek were brought in for the middle overs, keeping it tidy but wicketless, leaving Moosburg needing to up the rate fast. Sameer and Trabal were selected to bowl the closing spells, with Trabal making an immediate impact, despite not seeming to understand what happens when you bowl someone out. He still hadn’t learnt when he took his second victim in his second over, but everyone else in the team realised as the bails went flying. Sameer then joined in on the party bowling two batsmen in a double-wicket maiden, leaving Vinny the honour of bowling the penultimate over. Vinul was delighted to take a good catch at point, having dropped one difficult and one not so difficult chance earlier in the match, with MCC ending up comfortable winners by 44 runs.
Despite losing the second toss, MCC again batted first, JD and Owen opening. The runs started flowing immediately, helped by an American-sized portion of wides and no balls from the Moosburg attack. Both batsmen took advantage of the runs on offer, including a big T20-style six over cow corner from JD. Owen eventually played around a straight one with the score on 91, having made a run a ball 37. New boy Trabal set about testing JD’s running—and patience—much to the amusement of those watching. JD continued playing his shots, bringing up his 50 off 51 balls and getting a well deserved round of applause from the capacity crowd of approximately zero spectators. Sameer entered the fray with a few overs to go, looking to add to his impressive bowling in the previous game. However, he did not manage to change Trabal’s running style, some frantic shouts of “Yes, yes, yes!” getting MCC to 158-2 off their 20 overs.
The second new high-quality white ball of the day was taken by Suchit and Mucca, who showed their experience with two tight opening spells, including Owen running out one opener at the second opportunity and another sharp run out from Trabal at point taking care of the remaining opener. Thomas and Abhishek were again brought on first change to cut through the middle order. Some accurate bowling from Thomas was rewarded thanks to a good catch from Suchit, who proceeded to drop a much easier chance soon after. Abhishek got in on the act with a much improved spell, bowling two batsmen and getting one stumped thanks to some sharp work from Vinny. Wannabe keeper/bowler/six-hitter Vishv tried his best to keep the game interesting, but kept his nerve in his last two overs. Sameer then picked up another wicket in another good spell and Owen took advantage of some suicidal running off the final ball to get his second run out and give MCC victory by 20 runs.
There were some great performances all through the team, both with the ball and bat, as MCC completed an excellent weekend with four wins from four, the perfect way to prepare for the start of the league season next Sunday.
Owen "Middled It" Davies