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2024Match Reports

2024- Rome Tour

I guess what happens in Rome, not always stays in Rome. Thank you to Vishv “How’s that” Bhatia for the explicit details of the tour. And here it goes…

As the bells toll for our new season to begin, our committee members, Suchit “Young ‘un” Desai and Tears o’ Joy were recently prepping for a quick nip down by the Romans. Suitable armours were arranged via contacts in Mumbai as Mr. Desai made the best use of his spare time during his visit to India last time.

Latest touring shirts had the endorsement of Desai Sr. Extra bonus points for correctly guessing him in the pic above.

Most of the tour management was almost done when poor ol’ Llewellyn had to unfortunately take on a short business trip to down under instead, and allocate some of his personal time to glorious beaches and dangerously cold beers. Hang on there, Dave. Things will get better some day. Swift replacement was found as Priyansh decided to ruin his weekend in Rome instead. 


Joy could barely wait to get away from the Munich cold as he arrived at the airport almost 6 hours ahead of time. He had been given some inside information on long queuing for security checks. Such, Christian and Vishv were the first ones to arrive in Rome (correct airport this time), followed by the driving duo of Ritwik and Pri taking a short cut via Pompeii (Ritwik’s exemplary short cut taking is well documented). Rest of the group arrived a touch later via the 9pm flight. Deep and his +1 were already in the city for an amorous getaway.

Bewitching beers on display.

Such destroying everyone at a game of UNO while Christian and Vishv reconsider their life choices.

The tourists agglomerate at their lovely apartment by the Vatican City on Friday evening. They will be indulging in 2 T20s tomorrow and a 50 over match on Sunday.

Match 1 (Day 1)

Deep +1 arrived on the ground just in time for the first match to begin. Everyone else turned up soon after. Glorious sunshine was on offer. Our hosts, Roma Capannelle, had struggled slightly to put out a playing XI for Saturday. Their call for help was duly answered by the Italian Cricket Federation who sent 4 of their international players to act as extra-strength reinforced leather. We lost the toss and were asked to bowl. 

The start was decent, our opening bowlers J. Singh and A. Joy making good use of some extra bounce and sending 3 of their top order batsmen to the pavilion. First change R. Banerjee had an unfortunate fall in his follow-through and had to be replaced by the square leg umpire S. Machado for the rest of the game.

On came Italian Internationals who, also assisted by our excellent misfielding and catch dropping, smashed our bowlers high and handsome all over the park (read cow corner) multiple times. From about 65 odd for 4 from the first 10, they ended up with 168/6 in their 20 overs. 

MCC obliged further and lost 3 wickets for 1 run within the first 2 overs (damn those internationals!). Some watchful batting by the middle order, D. Kotru (24) in particular, ensured MCC finished with 111/9 in their innings. 

Match 2 (Day 1)

C. Haack captained the MCC for the first time and slotted in straight away as he too lost the toss. His dehydrated troops will field first for another 20 overs (please direct all questions on presence of sulphur in ground water to Simrat Pal Singh, Dr.).

This match was an extremely good replica of the first one, with MCC bowlers making early in-roads and the Italian Internationals smashing us everywhere (pron: kou kawr-ner). They finished 181/7 in their 20 overs with A. Joy most conspicuous with 4-0-24-5. Well bowled, sir!

S. Desai (30) and S. Singh (17) opened the innings, with latter playing the aggressor and hit one huge six over long on. S. Desai was ably supported by D. Kotru (30) and P. Panchal (46) as MCC fell agonisingly short at 173/5 after their 20 overs. 

Some finages and extreme rehydrations followed in the apartment thereafter, man of the day Deep Kotru emerging with 3 bottles of Limoncello 7 hours after the last phone call.

Match 3 (Day 2)

Slightly hungover MCC players had to wait slightly longer for their cabs to arrive, as all the major streets were cordoned off for the Rome Marathon. Fully rehydrated and no more gutter burping by Mayank, Sameer and Jagjit, the touring XI were greeted by the ever cheerful Leandro, Leandro Sr and Dean on reaching the ground. Plenty of handshakes and reminiscing over the last tour in 2021.

MCC lost the toss again and we were sent to bowl for third time in row. S. Machado and J. Singh opened the bowling with some tight lines and lengths, latter rewarded in his 2nd over with a smart catch from S. Sadar. 

Dean joined the other opener Adnan and the two ticked along nicely before Dean was caught at long off by A. Joy of D. Kotru. Several watchful partnerships followed with M. Shekhawat being the most economical. Rome were 149/6 after 40 overs when he finished with 10-0-30-1.

What followed afterwards was an onslaught of the highest order. Rome captain Kevin, who has been active with the Italy international circuit for a few years now, picked multiple fours and sixes in every over. He ended the innings with an unbeaten 85 and Rome scored another 99 in the last 10 overs to reach 248/8 in their 50 overs.

MCC got on to another poor start with V. Bhatia (1), M. Shekhawat (0), P. Panchal (12) and C. Haak (1) perishing early.  Strong fightback followed as partnership between S. Desai (90) and D. Kotru (47) got the MCC back on track before the latter was stumped. Somewhat resistance was offered by incoming batsmen but it was soon over when Desai was caught at covers by Dean, MCC losing by the game by 30 odd runs in the last over.

Both captains in full praise for each other after a long match.

Young Gyan was awarded with the MCC touring shirt. He made 4 followed by a spell of 6-1-10(ish)-1

Plenty of handshakes and hugs followed, with pizzas, beers and joy shared among both teams. The tourists were in cabs soon to be on time for their dinner reservations.

The touring party left for Munich the next day. Many thanks again to Roma Capannelle for hosting us. Its always brilliant touring there, lovely chaps with cricket always played in the best of spirits.

A big thanks to Joy and Such for organising the excellent tour. Speedy recovery to Ritwik after his unfortunate accident on field (he is doing well and should be available to play soon). 

All eyes on the intra club next Saturday and the 2 (no more red) white ball friendlies on Sunday. Good luck to everyone involved. And all the very best for the new season.

On On!!

Dang Ling-Wang