T’was the night before a league match in Nurnberg, the MCC Fursten were in bed awaiting what could only be described as Christmas in July. A 50-over match, on a hard wicket along the highway to Nurnberg – what could go wrong?
With 11 blokes named, with 21 functioning legs the MCC were all set for the day ahead. With bright smiles and an optimistic outlook for the day ahead, in beautiful conditions, the MCC were all set for the day ahead and 300 (legal) balls of the 50-over competition. Being set the task of fielding first the MCC lathered themselves with sunscreen and set out to enjoy the day.
Bowling from one end for the entirety of the match with the bowling run-up resembling the Gaza Strip the MCC quicks (and JD) managed to navigate through an opening 15-over spell at drinks seeing Nurnberg sitting comfortably at 1-75ish with Jonty claiming the sole wicket in the first. It is hard to know or recall the exact score as the opposition’s scoreboard had been stolen for several matches/weeks/months with no intention to purchase another. The wicket came with a great catch from Vish behind the stumps who was in some sort of crater-like one of those whack-a-moles popping up at the right moment.
At the end of the drinks, the Nurnberg opposition was settling in at the crease. Some excellent bowling from Cameron Foskett, Waqas Khan, and Neeraj Thapliyal all bowling well without a reward, a partnership of 150+ amassed from the two left-hand batsmen which really got Nurnberg on top thanks to the number of dropped catches that become a signature of the MCC Fursten this season. With more dropped catches to come, and no scoreboard to report more precise moments of the game, it was safe to say the middle innings comfortably belonged to Nurnberg and drinks simply couldn’t come quick enough.
In the last session, however, with the partnership finally broken you could say belonged to MCC. Claiming 7 wickets in approximately 20 overs with only 70 runs or so being scored. The MCC had fought back through some great bowling from Cameron Fosket 2-32 from 10, Neeraj Thapilyal 2-40 from 7, and Waqas Khan with 1-55 from his 10.
On a pitch and outfield that should have seen a score well and truly 300+, the MCC was ready for the opportunity and the challenge at hand. During the lunch break, there was some concern for Such as he was every chance of dropping his tomato and mozzarella sandwich – for those playing at home he didn’t drop it and it was a little win for Such on the day.
With 285 the target for victory opening Vish and Jonty set off to tackle the perceived moderate task. Finding the gaps, and ticking the score over Jonty and Vish started the innings well before Jonty fell attempting to find the boundary with the score at 1-17. Such joined Vish at the crease and the runs continued to accumulate however the MCC batsman all day struggled to find the boundary alike the Nurnberg batsman. With everything seeming to go the way of the fielding team, Vish was caught by the tallest bloke on the field throwing his hand up and taking a catch that would have been dropped by the men in yellow.
It wasn’t until Deep joined Foskett at the crease that the MCC innings looked to be back on track, both players playing well, hitting the ball hard into the gaps and running between the wickets a partnership just shy of 50, saw MCC 150 – 4 in the 27th over well on track. With a mix-up at the crease, Deep departed run out for a very well compiled 35. Foskett continued his impressive game with 43 runs finding the boundary with ease, as Mucca (18) and Neeraj (22 not) put up a fight towards the end of the innings leaving MCC 60 runs shy of their total with 5 overs still to play.
Catches win matches and MCC failing to take some of the chances surely could have seen a very different result. In what was a great place to play cricket, we look forward to the opportunity to get back to Nurnberg to play on one of the better facilities available to us in Bavaria – here’s hoping next time, there is a scoreboard…