Munich, 7th May 2023
Picture this: a beautiful day for cricket with temperatures ranging from 15 to 18 degrees Celsius, the sun played a delightful game of hide and seek with the clouds, and there was a hint of moisture in the air from last night’s thunderstorms. It seemed like the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable match.
Captain Jonty won the toss and, with all the enthusiasm and confidence in his batters, elected to bat first. Vish and Jonty, the dynamic duo, stepped onto the field, looking to take on the CCB bowlers. They started off cautiously, each scoring a boundary. It was a promising start until, Vish attempted a similar shot to the one that brought him success earlier, only to find himself walking back to the pavilion. Talk about déjà vu gone wrong for the teammates in the dugout. Soon after, Jonty struck an otherwise magnificent shot straight into the hands of the fielder perfectly positioned at long off. MCC-I lost both their openers at a lowish score of 22.
As the innings progressed, MCC-I found themselves in a spot of bother at 3-38 after 11.5 overs, owing to Flo’s untimely dismissal. Deep and Rudi came to the rescue to stitch the best partnership of the MCC-I innings, adding a precious 32 runs to the board. But alas, “What goes up must come down.” Deep’s departure marked the beginning of the end for MCC-I. Wickets tumbled like a pack of cards, with Cam and Anirudh falling victim to the opposition’s bowling brilliance. And then there was Dan, whose terrible luck seemed to have a personal vendetta against him. The poor guy couldn’t catch a break. He kicked off his day with a golden duck, struck on the pads first ball and was declared LBW. As MCC-I’s innings came to a close, Mayank and Waqas managed to salvage some pride by adding a boundary each to their accounts and bringing the MCC-I’s score to three figures. It was a small victory in the midst of a cricketing collapse.
The second innings kicked off with a bang as the CCB openers unleashed a barrage of crisp shots. Cam started with a couple of looseners that went for boundaries. However, frontline bowler Waqas stepped up to the plate and did what he does best: picked up the wicket of CCB’s opening batter, Anup. It was a glimmer of hope for MCC-I, but little did they know what was coming next. The CCB batsmen decided it was time to unleash their inner demons and by the end of 11 overs, they had reached a staggering 98/1. The worm chart resembled the freaking Himalayas, leaving the MCC-I players’ shoulders low. To add insult to injury, MCC-I players seemed to have a case of butterfingers, dropping multiple catches, as if playing a game of catch-me-if-you-can with the ball. Dan found himself in the midst of the storm with catches following him and his dreadful luck.
With less than 10 runs to win for CCB, Rudi brought a flicker of hope. In a twist of fate, he picked up a wicket with his very first ball with Flo taking a brilliant catch, very uncharacteristic of the proceedings so far. Mayank joined the party in the very next over, sending a set CCB batter back to the pavilion. It was a moment of sweet revenge for MCC-I, but alas, it was too little, too late. The match had slipped through the Fürsten’s fingers like sand in an hourglass, and panic had no place in the hearts of the batting side.
In the end, CCB emerged victorious, clinching the win by 7 wickets. Samar with his knock of 39 and Anjan with 45 were the top scorers for CCB and Muhammad ending with a fifer for their side. As for MCC-I, Rudi’s patient 20 and Deep’s gritty 15 off 56 balls were the shining moments in an otherwise forgettable innings. In the bowling department, Waqas, Mayank, and Rudi shared a wicket each. There was certainly a lot for the MCC-I players to learn from this match. Perhaps it was a lesson in perseverance, in taking the ups and downs of the game with a pinch of salt. As they say, “We win together, we lose together, we play together, and we stay together.” On to the next one, bois!