CCB Batting XI – 177/10 – Bharath 50 (77) P.Bowes 3-8, J. Kantors Foot 1 Run Out
MCC XI – 162/9 – M.Hoeck 51 (64), V.Bhatia 36 (70)
On a cold, 9-degree, April afternoon the MCC were to be pitted against CCB, two teams who had fought it out last season in the Verbandsliga for a vital position in the Bundesliga. MCC had been victorious, ergo ‘Grudge match’. As usual, only 4 members of the MCC team were punctual at 1130 with the remainder stumbling in in dribs and drabs, the collective XI finally coming together circa 1155. During the set up we had been informed that the T20 XI playing to the west of Munich had been victorious in their first game, Glückwünsch!
Captain for the day, Prafulla ‘Praf’ Toke, sporting a new line of ‘Customised Sports Trousers’ lost the toss and was asked to bowl first. It was at this point we realised we were up against 16 players from CCB, who clearly were pulling out all the stops to assure themselves of victory. They would be inserting their batting XI first.
Warm up completed, MCC took to the field and aroused, sorry ROUSED by Prafs team talk were in position for the first ball to be bowled by Maiwand ‘M One’ Khan, consisting of 2 wides and a single. From the other end the MCC had the pleasure of witnessing the return of Maximillian ‘Maxi’ Hoeck, who proceeded to take a bit of a hammering, conceding 30 from his 2 overs. He was swiftly replaced by new member Avinash ‘Mishi’ Mishra who was an absolute delight to watch. Line, length, customisation to the flicx, it was lovely to watch, made even better by the fact that he had turned up and played in full whites. It tugged at the heartstrings of this writer. Mishi and M One bowled extremely well together, with the first wicket of the day coming from a run out. The CCB batsman hit the ball straight to Owen ‘Can’t be stumped off a no-ball’ Davies, with the on-strike batsman deciding that there was a single on his arm. CCB non-striking batsman (BCV Vice President Sharique) was not of the same opinion and instead of calling no, elected to save himself and very quickly turned around to get back in his crease, selling his team mate down the river (thanks to Praf for this eloquent paraphrasing). Owen didn’t even need to throw the ball over the stumps, instead walking to the crease and whipping off the bails himself. Upon later reflection he was heard stating ‘I wish I had done a Jonty Rhodes’.
In his next over karma however struck for Sharique, as Mishi clean bowled him, his first wicket for the MCC! Mishi bowled 2 spells, was a pleasure to keep wicket to and finished the day with figures of 8-4-16-1 AND he came out for a curry afterwards (which he didn’t really enjoy as it wasn’t spicy enough). Welcome to the club young man!
After a great burst from M One, Jonathan ‘Bionic Man’ Deverill was programmed to bowl and after needing some readjustment after his first 2 wide deliveries, bowled CCB’s number 4 who inexplicably (especially after being advised against it) tried to play a late cut off the back foot (IN APRIL) and was deservedly clean bowled. The Bionic Man was doing such a great job of scaring the life into the opposition that they again had a brain fade and tried to take a quick single to short square leg, where Mishi collected the ball and, trying to be a hero, attempted to throw down one stump. Fortunately, Phil ‘Iron Gloves’ Bowes was able to collect the throw and whip off the bails with the batsman very short of his crease.
James ‘Jemas’ Kantor was warming up at the other end and although wicket-less during his spell, had one of his deliveries pumped straight back at him and in true cricketing fashion, stuck out his foot and manage to deflect the ball onto the stumps catching the batsman out of his crease. It is worth noting that the umpire was not paying any attention, so thank you to the opposition batsman (Padhu) who did indeed walk. Jemas later informed us that his life partner Julia was in Stuttgart playing football (he called it ‘Soccer’ but I ignored him) and had lost 7-0 and 6-0 allowing us to conclude that there is finally a sport in which he is better than her at!
Craig ‘Bluey’ Barrett bowled a very tight 8 over spell during which he was rewarded with a wicket (caught Jemas) and finished with figures of 8-0-35-1.
Owen ‘can’t be stumped off a no-ball’ Davies, well he enticed the batsman to run down the wicket, Iron Gloves whipped off the balls, only for it to be called a no-ball. You could not have predicted it better. True gold. That batsman went on to hit a 50 of the highest calibre so well done to him (Bharath). Owen did also have a chance dropped by Iron Gloves, and after changing ends upon the instance of the Bionic Man (not successful sadly) he was taken out of the attack after 3 overs.
The most bizarre incident happened earlier in the innings whilst we were fielding. Debutant Vishv ‘Vishi’ Bhatia ran over to the boundary to collect a ball that had been hit for 4 and whilst attempting to return the ball to the wicketkeeper, managed to thrown the ball so far backwards that it ended up in the Isar!! He was therefore handed the gloves so that he couldn’t cause any further damage.
Last up, Phil ‘Pie Man’ Bowes was thrown the ball and bowling some of the slowest deliveries anyone has seen since the legend of Harit Khanna, finished with figures of 1.5-0-8-3 with 2 catches in the covers and one on the boundary.
CCB’s batting XI finished with 177 off 39.5 overs.
Anyway, I have just realised how much I have written so far so I will keep the batting short and sweet.
Vishi batted really well, applying himself on the flicx, playing some glorious pulls and cover drives, taking his chances when they came and running really hard between the wickets. He got 36 very hard earned runs. Well done mate!
Arun ‘The Secretary’ Karthik batted well for his 10 runs, contributing to an opening partnership of 45 runs with Vishi.
The Bionic Man got a peach of a delivery, Iron Gloves missed a straight one, Davies was triggered by Bowes (it was out), Mishi and Jemas both batted well focussing on getting the strike back to Maxi, but both got bowled.
Praf topped off a great day of cricket, having injured his knee and not bowled a single ball, by swinging wildly at his first ball and getting his off stump removed – he was doing it for the team though, so good on you Praf, you could have done a Craig!!
Maxi almost carried us over the line, playing a sensational knock, reminding us that he is more of a batsman than a bowler. Some really powerful hitting down the ground, including almost decapitating umpire Karthik who had to immediately leave the field sporting a war wound on the chin, Maxi got to 50 before being sacrificed by Craig who decided against running a 2 to get the dangerman back on strike. Craig, along with Maiwand, required 19 from the last over, so Craig very admirably blocked the last 2 balls of the game, defending his average.
All in all it was a great day out, MCC being the true winners because we only had 11 players and CCB had 16. We went to Fraulein Grüneis for a beer and fines (details on this to follow later) and then a few of us headed for a curry.
On a beautiful Sunday morning the touring party assembled at the Hirschhanger ground for yet another one day tour match against SCV which has now become a season opening tradition for both the clubs involved. Bhatia and Toke were supposed to join the touring party directly at the match grounds. However Toke had to rush to Munich from his weekend break in Stuttgart for “car emergency” and therefore joined his teammates on their way to Stuttgart.
After reaching Stuttgart both Toke and car expert Shaikh disappeared to cater to the ailing Toke’s car which meant MCC were left with 9 players at the start of the game.
MCC lost the toss and was inserted in the field. Openers Khan and Khan bowled in good areas and kept the run rate in check. At 10 overs the host team had carefully amassed 35 runs without any casualty. Both the SCV openers played with caution and respected the good deliveries from the MCC pace duo. As soon the first change bowlers (Naveen and Toke respectively) positive intent was made by the SCV openers to increase the scoring rate. Whilst Toke was unlucky for not dismissing the clear caught behind of opener Kohli , Naveen on the other end dropped regulation catch of opposition skipper who went on to score 56. At the 20 over drinks break the batting team was cruising at 104 for 0. First breakthrough came for MCC in form of runout when MCC skipper Deshpande ran out his opposite number. The other opener decided to retire as well with score 124 for 1. MCC bowlers Karthik and Zeeshan were given the bowl to give breakthrough which they did. Karthik got rid of the number four batsman for a well made nought. Skipper Deshpande affected another runout leaving SCV with score of 181 for 4 after 30 overs. MCC pulled the breaks and bowled some good spells. Shaikh and Toke got the breakthroughs of their main hitters with Shaikh ending with 3 scalps against his name. SCV were restricted to 229 after 40 overs on a good batting surface.
MCC openers Toke and Karthik started cautiously and withered good spell of fast bowling from SCV seamers. Karthik slashed a wide delivery which was caught well at backward point. Debutant Vishy Bhatia was rightly adjudicated LBW for 0 on a good in swinging delivery from bowler Sharir who has managed to copy Indian star Bumrah to perfection.
Obaid fell for 1 bowled playing a very rash shot leaving MCC 16 for 3 after 8 overs. Skipper Deshpande walked in and played two lovely drives and gave MCC a bit of hope of a good partnership however he was force to return to the changing rooms thanks to yet another rash shot leaving MCC 47 for 4 after 13. Shaikh, Toke, Naveen and Nag soon returned to the pavilion out to rather forgettable shots. MCC was reeling at 61 for 8 after 20 overs. An early close to the match was looking highly probable. Bhatia and Imtiaz Khan however had other ideas. In an amazing partnership of counter attack both the batsman played some very good shots to give some respectability to the score. While Bhatia was playing his usual lofted drives and sub continental wrists shots, Imtiaz was determined to hit the ball out of Stuttgart. Both the batsmen stitched a 78 run partnership and ensured that MCC had something to rejoice after long day in the field. Imtiaz took one risk too many and was bowled for a well made 26. Waqas Khan was caught napping on the field when he was runout where the MCC chase ended at 142 after 29 overs. Bhatia Khan partnership definitely made the top order think what if we would have hung around a bit more!! Typical MCC top order collapse!
After having some friendly beers with the opposition, the group sat together and recounted the funny moments of the game. There was a close contest between Toke for his late arrival, Karthik for his amazing throw attempt (the throw travelled the entire distance of 2 cm) and Vishy’s hilarious drop behind the stump. Despite the defeat the touring party had some good laughs at the end and returned home.
MCC vs SCV in Stuttgart
SCV won by 87 runs
Zeeshan Shaikh 5-0-41-3
Waqas Khan 8-0-25-1
Arun Karthik 3-0-14-1
Prafull Toke 8-0-53-1
Ankur Bhatia 33 not out
Imtiaz Khan 26 bowled
Prafull Toke 14 caught
Varun Deshpande 11 bowled
MOM : Ankur Bhatia
On a brilliant spring afternoon, a friendly XI made its way to the edge of the Innenraum. The beautifully quiet village of Planegg is home to DJK Würmtal, who are incidentally going to be hosting the first round of the Pokal T20 competition in a couple of weeks.
What was scheduled to be 30 overs a side, following a football induced delayed start time, we turned up to the ground excited to get going. There was only one problem, there was no pitch laid!
Only 45 minutes following the anticipated start time, Shashi was the successful tosser and MCC had elected to bat first. The game was reduced to 25 overs, giving rise to the question of whether Würmtal had delayed the start to have a closer look at MCCs T20 capability.
Mudi and Wembo were chosen to open the batting with Wembo being on the back of a successful knock in Malta and Mudi high on confidence after his Lions trial.
Würmtal opened the bowling with a slingy left arm pace bowler, hooping it around. After a couple of attempted cut shots to balls that didn’t get up, Wembo got one that came back into him, there was allegedly an edge, the fielders passionately appealed and following a short consultation with Maiwand at square leg, Shahzad gave Wembo out Caught Behind.
Macca arrived at the crease to join Mudi and they went about trying to build a strong base for the MCC innings. Macca, in typical fashion, pushed the good ball into space and punishing anything too straight or too wide. Mudi at the other end was at his destructive best. When he’s on form he is fun to watch and watch you must… especially as an umpire or non-striker. Mudi started taking aim at Macca and there were repeated missiles hit straight causing permanent damage to the stumps at the bowlers, with the off stump cleanly split in half. Macca found himself ducking or hitting the deck on at least three separate occasions. The score was racing along, until there was one too many “Yes, no, shit, sorry” calls between the two of them and Macca found himself being sold down the Würm and run out by about 6ft.
Busby joined Mudi at the crease and struggled to get going with a number of dots and a was dropped at long off early on. Thankfully Mudi was seeing it like a beach ball and started targeting a leg spinner bowling consistent leg stump half volleys. He hadn’t learnt from Mudassir repeatedly putting him onto the adjacent football pitch. After both batsmen had hit him for 6s in an over, he moved to bowling seam up. It didn’t change the outcome as Mudi came down the wicket and launched him for a monster 6 into the nearby factory. That brought up a drinks break after 17 overs, which may seem slightly generous on a comfortably warm day, but those 17 overs had taken 2 hours.
Shortly after the drinks break, Paul chipped a tame cut shot to cover for 12, bringing Mr Barrett to the crease. After nurdeling his way to 9 and beginning to look comfortable, he played all around a straight ball much to the delight of the bowler.
Shashi came to the wicket and looked to keep the scorecard moving. Timing wasn’t quite on his side but thankfully the Mudi train kept on rolling, stopping only when the fielding side had to go fetch the ball. After a flurry of boundaries, including another massive 6, Mudi went for another big hit straight. A shot that had it carried would have brought up his hundred, ended up being pouched by long off running in. A disappointing end to a fine innings that deserved a hundred.
The runs didn’t dry up with Mudi’s departure as Shashi hit his stride and Pratik, in his first game for MCC, showed the kind of power hitting that was evident in the indoor training. Between the two of them, they put on about 40, with Pratik accounting for ‘around’ 30 of them . As well as his power hitting, he’s also an accomplished scorer, so it’s no surprise that when he was batting the recording of his runs was a little unclear.
MCC finished on a very strong 222-5 off their 25 overs. It was deemed a defendable total but the ground isn’t the biggest and it still required discipline to keep them at bay.
‘Powel’ Scott and Maiwand were chosen to open the bowling. As ever, the miserly Scott honed in on a length and took advantage of the natural variation you get with boards and coconut matting. Maiwand bowled a floaty first over but once he blew the cobwebs out he found pace and bounce off a length with the ball moving away nicely. The opening batsman’s Kashmir willow was no match as a chunk flew off after a particularly full delivery.
The first wicket was generated by a solid piece of fielding from Craig, turning and throwing, whilst simultaneously shouting for Busby to take the bails off. The batsman was short of his ground and MCC were on their way.
Shahzad was brought on to replace an unlucky Maiwand and was unlucky to not finish with at least two wickets. Srikant, Würmtal’s leg spinner was brought in at number 3 to try and close his personal deficit of around 50. He edged through first, second and third slips repeated as well as being dropped by Busby on his way to 10.
Pratik was brought on to replace the ever consistent Paul Scott, who was unlucky to see a thin edge dropped by the other Paul stood up to the stumps. Pratik, a self proclaimed “medium fast” bowler, took a wicket on his first delivery, beating the batsman with pace or lack thereof. A gentle inducker saw the batsman trapped on the crease, giving Pratik his first MCC wicket.
He followed up his first wicket with his second a few balls later, having Srikant caught by Shahzad at backward point.
A change of bowlers saw spin twins, Shashi and Usman brought on. A brave decision with short straight and leg side boundaries, they would need to be on their line and lengths. As always with a pre season game, there was still some rust in the fingers and a few loose balls found their way clearing the boundary.
With Würmtal starting to gather momentum and MCC only having 10 fielders, the gaps in the field were starting to widen as balls were squirted away, flying over the quick outfield for 4. Mudi, fresh off his jug avoiding 94, was diving and sliding around at cover to make up for the missing fielder. Clearly his runs had shaken off the injury he’d sustained the day before. A push to wide mid off, saw him swoop round, off balance on one foot and facing the wrong way, throw the ball under his armpit straight over the stumps. What would have been an easy single anywhere else on the field ended with the batsman 2 feet short of the crease.
Craig ‘moon ball’ Barrett was brought on to really tighten the flow of runs. His ‘flighted’ off breaks excited the Würmtal batsman and they duly took on the challenge of clearing the front leg and swiping at every ball. After a couple of slogs found their way to the fence, he cleaned up Rohit with one that turned and took the stumps.
Pratik shortly followed that wicket with another one, his third, with another gentle inducker flummoxing the well set Suraj. The procession continued as Craig enticed another swing, this time being caught by Paul Scott at a floating slip, gully, third man kind of position.
The skipper brought back Maiwand, who had stayed loose through the innings by patrolling the cow corner boundary. When the batsman finally made contact, he squirted a ball out to cover and took on the arm of Mudi. With two and a half stumps to aim at the non-strikers end he picked the ball up on the turn and hit the stumps with ease. The batsman again a long way short of his ground.
Maiwand finished off by getting a well deserved wicket with a sharp full ball that the batsman didn’t see and the final overs passed by without much of note happening.
Würmtal finished on 168-9, MCC winning the game by 54 runs.
Overall a successful run out for the players involved, against what won’t be the strongest side we’ll face this year. Still, everyone will take away things they need to work on as we swiftly move towards the season start.
MOM – Mudi – For his 94 and two spectacular run outs
TFC – Busby – For my 4 dropped catches and 1 shit shot
This year we started our season a little early. It was unusual for many MCC members to play cricket already in March. Some traveled to Malta for their Cricket tour and the rest planned to visit Karlsruhe for a pre season friendly match. Cars were arranged, travelers were distributed in group of 4-5 and all other necessary arrangements were already made. MCC decided to travel with 13 of its members for a friendly match to Karlsruhe under Skipper Varun Deshpande´s lead. The journey started at approx 7.45am from Munich with the travelling party making up good time to reach Karlsruhe at around 11:45am.
Üpon arrival, the weather was beautiful, lots of sunshine, nice calm wind and the beginning of summer feeling in the Air. Our Skipper won the toss and decided to field first on an amazing batting pitch.
Imtiaz was handed the new ball and new MCC member Naveen joined him as an opening pair. Both bowled well and hit the right areas, but it was Naveen who got the first break through, his first wicket for MCC. The third ball of his second over saw the Batsman misjudge the Swing and Bounce of the ball, Sagar edged the Ball and it landed in the safe hands of Skipper Varun. On the fifth ball of same over New batsman heaved ball, which took a top edge and went straight in the air into the hands of Frenchboy Zeeshan at point.
First bowling change was Mahmoud and Rahul, another good combination. Both kept the score low but were unlucky not to pick up a wicket. Although there was one drop catch of KCC captain Talha at mid wicket by Usman Sandhu on Rahul Dave´s bowling. After 10 overs it was time for some spin. Aditya Dube like his reputation started with his Dominance over ball. In his 3rd over, He grabbed Talha as his first victim for the season. From the other end Praful toke also took his first wicket for season as one of the opener Tahir.
Next bowling change was Usman and Shashi. Usman troubled the opponents with his magical spell. He bagged 2 wickets but dropped 3 catches off his own bowling. Unfortunately Shashi was expensive hence he decided to stop after his 2nd over. Zeeshan replaced Shashi and was successful in his second over. Rahim mistimed Zeeshan´s legspin and got caught at long on by Shashi.
KCC survived till 35th over and were all out for 145.
MCC opened the innings with Obaid and Mahmoud. They started steady and looked confident while batting. Mahmoud was the first wicket to fall for MCC. On last ball of 4th over, Mahmoud edged ball to second slip : MCC 18/1 After 4 overs
Praful came one down replacing Mahmoud. He also started steady and confident. He got caught behind on Rahims 2nd and inns 10th over : MCC 45/2 after 10 Overs.
At the other end, Obaid was playing some nice shots and kept the scoreboard moving. He was joined by Paul B. He started his innings with style. After adding 10 more runs to scorecard Obaid had to depart due to a Run out. (Nice umpiring Praful Toke). : MCC 55/3 after 13 Overs.
Skipper Varun joined Paul and then there was a change in the Tempo of the game. This Duo dominated KCC bowlers. Runs were coming all around the wicket. Just when we thought that the game would be over soon, Paul got bowled on Harjits bowling in 22nd over : MCC 128/4 .
Shashi walked in and walked out with a golden duck, Leg before wicket in the same over. : MCC 128/5 after 22nd overs.
Next was Zeeshan to depart : MCC 141/6 after 23 overs.
MCC concluded match in 25th over for their First win for the season.
Scorecard as follows
KCC Vs MCC
Away Friendly Match (35 Overs) Summary
MCC won the Toss and elected to field first.
KCC 146 Allout in 34.1 Overs.
Bowling Card : O-M-R-W
Imtiaz Ahmad 7.0-0-26-1
Naveen Krishna 4.1-0-6-3
Mahmoud Khan 5.0-0-36-0
Rahul Dave 3.0-1-7-0
Aditya Dube 4.0-1-13-1
Praf Tk 4.0-0-14-1
Shashi Gaikwad 2.0-0-20-0
Usman Sandhu 3.0-0-15-2
Zeeshan Shaikh 2.0-0-8-1
MCC 147/6 in 24.2 Overs
Batting Card :
Ohh Badd Run out – 21
Mahmoud Khan Catch out – 3
Praf Tk Catch out – 8
Paul Busby Bowled – 48
Varun Deshpande Not out – 38*
Shashi Gaikwad LBW – 0
Zeeshan Shaikh Bowled – 6
Aditya Dube Not out – 1*
Varun Deshpande – 2 Catches
Shashi Gaikwad – 2 Catches
Ohh Badd – 1 Catch 1 Runout
Paul Busby – 1 Catch
Zeeshan Shaikh – 1 Catch
Imtiaz Ahmad – 1 Runout
MCC won the match by 4 wickets & 10.4 overs remaining.
Arriving at the ground for the final match it was immediately obvious that two things were different:
- We were now bathed in warm sunshine, with barely a breeze. Perfect cricket weather.
- Everybody was broken.
Touring is tough on the body for many reasons. Pain killers, liniments, strapping and plasters were being liberally distributed. Also the wisdom of the signs that read “Do not drink the tap water!” was now becoming pitifully plain to some…
Unless you really do want to visit every toilet on Malta, do not drink the tap water.
Figure 1 – Day three patched up XI pose for team photo
The toss was tossed and lost and so the assembled biomechanical tragedy that was the remnants of the MCC touring side, stumbled uneasily on to the field.
Jonty Altmann’s first ball was accompanied by the words “Oh Jesus!” and something like, “Foxtrot me!” from P Bowes, behind the stumps.
Jonty warmed to his task, gently. As did Pierre Du Plessis from the other end. Many catches were shelled the day before, but then the side had collectively caught “Catching disease” and the ball had begun to mysteriously stick in the hands. The illness was happily still infectious and Jonty picked up both openers, one caught by “Sat Nav” Naveen, the other by Finchy. Pierre had thrown off his accumulated aches and pains and was bowling with real pace and purpose, but simply nothing was working for him. The closest chance being a rib-tickler that nearly dropped on to the stumps. He finished wicketless.
With the score on 60 for 2 after the first eleven overs, Gattinger and Deverill took up the “Brian” mantle. Veith was getting good swing and despite a few wild’n’windy ones was causing the batsmen some issues. A good catch from Craig Barrett being the reward.
JD’s first over was expensive, but he tidied it up and it was only the all-too-crucial umpire who didn’t hear the blatant snick through to Bowes. Importantly, the run rate had been slowed. 101 for 3 after 20 overs and drinks.
Owen Davies replaced JD and Craig Barrett on for Veith. Owen won’t want much said at this point, but Craig collected two, one (thanks to “Catching disease”) a snick on to the shoulder of Jonty (Now keeping wicket), snaffled by JD. The second a straight full toss, flush in front. Thank you very much, LBW.
Craig might have had a third had Veith held on to one smashed in to the covers? The result was still a wicket however, as the batsman risked a run on the miss field only to see Veith gather neatly and get the return in sharply for Jonty to remove the bails. Gone!
Harit was on, bowling with even more air than Craig and “Sat Nav, Nav-man” Naveen, replaced a struggling Owen (Blame the water). Both bowlers went wicketless, but the run rate was still not escalating on a pitch designed for automobiles.
Phil had an over that went for ten and saw him fielding at the next opportunity, which meant the moment everybody had been looking forward to had come. George (Captain my Captain) Michahelles was on!
George’s two overs went for a respectable run-a-ball at a point in the game where the opposition must have been looking to get a wriggle on. Hazza handed the ball to Ian Finch at the golf course end. Apart from his catch, Finchy hadn’t had the best of tours thus far. Such are the wonders of cricket however that just as one good performance can be followed by misery, so can misery be followed by redemption. Finchy closed out with three quick wickets in his four overs. The first, an LBW from his first ball, a bowled top of off and a lovely catch from Owen completing the trio. Finchy was all smiles again!
One last over from Veith saw their number eleven caught in the deep by JD and the MARSA side had been bowled out for 199 off 19.2 overs.
Bowling stats: Overs Mdns Runs Wickets
Jonty Altmann 6 1 28 2
Pierre Du Plessis 5 0 25 0
Jon Deverill 5 1 17 0
Veith Gattinger 6.2 0 29 2
Owen Davies 2 0 13 0
Craig Barrett 3 0 9 2
Naveen Arunachalam 3 0 16 0
Harit Khanna 2 0 13 0
Phil Bowes 1 0 10 0
Ian Finch 4 1 19 3
George Michahelles 2 0 12 0
Catches: Nav 1, JD 2, Finchy 1, Barrett 1, Owen 1,
Run outs: Veith 1.
Lunch was a welcome and pleasant affair, as it had been throughout the tour. Liniment, strapping, pain killers and plasters distributed, Jonty and Pierre set off to make the necessary inroads. Four balls later Jonty returned with the score on nought. Caught behind.
Nav took over and it would be fair to say that a steady start was made. The confidence of scoring a 50 N.O. in the first game had been eroded by a duck in the second for Nav and Pierre, who had remained wicketless all tour, was also on a pair. Everyone but the fines master was nervous!
Both began to find the middle of the bat and once off the mark the runs began to flow with increasing fluency. By the eighteenth over we had reached 82 for 1 and the race looked to be on. It was an unfortunate time for Faff to pick out deep midwicket and he left on 27, when more was on offer. A good knock, still.
Nav was starting to make hay. Some excellent running and lusty blows were doing real damage to the MARSA total. Craig was happy to play the supporting role as Nav found the boundary with regularity. Nav passing fifty for the second time in three days. One six hit the top of the pavilion, followed by another soaring in to the tennis courts only to hole out at the third attempt. Nav gone for a wonderful 68. The score 137 for 3 after 30.
6 an over was gettable on this ground, but early season rustiness and tour weariness makes itself known. Phil joined Craig and although every effort was made to find the boundary, the necessary clean hitting eluded them. Craig left, caught on 22. JD came and went for one from two balls, stumped (Fittingly) trying to come down the track on one leg. Phil was caught on 12 and Hazza made 10, before being caught on the boundary whilst attempting the first of the three sixes required from the last three balls.
Owen had connected with one nicely and looked like he could bat all day if it weren’t for the scoreboard pressure. He was triggered LBW on the penultimate ball, for 10. Finchy played an immaculate forward defensive off the only ball remaining as a hapless Veith looked on from the other end, never to face.
MCC 181 for 8 from 40 overs. The closest game of the tour, but in truth we were never quite ahead of the game.
Speeches and platitudes were given, Nav Man receiving the player of the tour award from the MARSA CC. MCC once again forgetting to bring something to give the opposition for their hospitality.
Figure 2 – Nav receives his man of the series award, while Craig and Abigail accept the Marsa pennant
Drinks, fines, drinks and then a splendid dinner at the Greek restaurant on the seafront was just what was needed to round off a tour of camaraderie and spirit.
Morning had us pack our bags before saying our good byes to each other and Malta too. No wins on tour, but that should galvanise us as team mates and as individuals. There were various good performances and lots of hilarious tales, both from on and off the pitch. If you haven’t heard about Veith’s romantic walk along the jetty, I’m happy to provide pictorial evidence to accompany the tale! For those of us who were there, we will never be short of a reason to smile or break even out in to hysterics, just at the thought of it.
A collective “Thank you” from all of us who benefited from MARSA CC’s hospitality and to Craig Barrett for getting it all organised. We look forward to seeing some of the MARSA players at the Hirsch in September.
Cheers to All!
After the opening day defeat in the T20, the MCC tourists woke up with optimism as the rain and cold temperatures that had greeted them upon their arrival appeared to have subsided. The wind continued to blow, but not quite with the ferocity of the previous days as the famous warm Maltese weather was slowly but surely beginning to make an appearance.
Andrew Wembridge, who had arrived late to the opening day T20, promised captain of the day Barrett that he would be the first to arrive at the ground and he truly delivered, arriving a mere 45 minutes before any of the other touring party. Upon their arrival at the Marsa Sports Club, the covers were off (thanks to Wembridge), the sun was shining and the good spirits continuing.
Captain Barrett, met Johnnie Grima, the delightful skipper who would be captain of the day for Marsa. Barrett continued his record as a useless tosser, calling “Republic Francaise” as the “€2” face fell sunny side up with Grima electing to bat. Les White, who so kindly umpired the T20 was also present again to officiate along with Paul Bradley for this “clash of the titans” as MCC and Marsa had agreed to play strong XIs for the day.
Figure 1 – Marsa Representative XI
Figure 2 – Munich Bumblebees Malta Tour Day 2 XI
Scott and du Plessis bowled excellently without much reward early on. Marylebone Cricket Club (the other MCC) member Khosla and his partner Tuck survived one or two scares. A play and miss here, a drop there, but somehow managed to avoid getting out before amassing a 50 run opening partnership. Tuck the first to go, bowled by Scott for 25. Du Plessis was removed from the attack after 7 unfortunate, wicketless overs, the real MCC couldn’t believe he hadn’t picked up a wicket. Barrett went for the change, bringing on a change of pace with himself and the usually miserly Altmann, who unfortunately struggled to find his lines and was expensive in his 2 overs for 25 runs. At the other end, Barrett had the new man Khan in all sorts of trouble, Khan complaining he couldn’t see the ball. It seems he had never seen anything like Barrett’s gentle flighted off ”spin” before. Khan was dropped by Khanna attempting a sweep shot before Khanna eventually redeeming himself by snaffling a thick outside edge at the second opportunity. The score 96/2.
Figure 3 – Marsa Cricket Club in all its glory
With Marsa sitting pretty only 2 down at drinks, the instruction came out for Khosla and his new partner Mughal to practice their T20 skills. Both being members of the Maltese National Team due to take part in an ICC T20 tournament the week after. At this point, the runs began to flow and ominously for MCC, the drops began to mount, Brooks was unlucky to see two dropped off his bowling. The score was 190/3 when Khosla fell for an excellent 81, taken by Wembridge off the bowling of Deverill. Barrett having turned to his most disabled bowler in a bid to pry a wicket! Of course, this is a little churlish of the author, Deverill bowling excellently to eventually pick up 4 wickets by the end of his spell, all this despite being unsure how his knee would react after the recent surgery.
Runs continued to flow quickly and wickets followed as Marsa pushed in the last 10 overs. Bowes picking up Mughal for 57 with a perfectly planned wicket at deep backward square leg. Prasath added a quick fire 31 before being well caught at deep long on by Barrett who had to make up some ground to get there. Two excellent pieces of fielding by Wembridge and Arunachalam resulting in a couple of run outs, before Arunachalam finished off the innings. Marsa 268 all out off the last ball of the innings.
In total, 9 catches were dropped, if half of these had been taken, MCC would have been looking at a much lower total to chase. Despite this, MCC were confident. The batting friendly astroturf pitch and strong line up adding to the optimism.
Figure 4 – Phil Bowes still wondering how he dropped it…
For the chase, Barrett elected to stick with the same top 3 as had batted so well in the Friday T20. Karthik and Altmann opening the batting again, putting on 44 before Karthik was needlessly run out calling Altmann through for a second run. Altmann was joined by Wembridge, putting on 14. Altmann out to the bowling of Prasath for 26. All eyes were on Arunachalam as he joined Wembridge at the crease. His 50* almost won the game for MCC on the Friday, but alas, the great leveler cricket struck again as he was out for a duck, 59/3 and the good start was beginning to be undone.
Figure 5 – MCC Bumblebees unimpressed with the pace of the innings
Wicket keeper Khanna joined Wembridge and the pair accumulated runs nicely, repairing some of the damage, but as the run rate began to climb, risks had to be taken. Khanna out for 24 and then Wembridge to the very next ball, a catch at wide third man for the second day running. His run a ball 40 a good knock. Bowes came and went for 1 and du Plessis for a duck to confound a luckless day for him. With du Plessis gone, the hope of a win had all but faded as Barrett joined Deverill. The first target of avoiding the 100 run defeat was surpassed, the pair putting on 45 before Barrett (8) threw his wicket away in order to give the next man Scott a chance to bat with a couple of overs to go. Deverill finishing with 41* including being caught off a waste high no ball and then bowled off the subsequent free hit! MCC’s total of 185/8, respectable, but unfortunately nowhere near enough to force a win.
Figure 6 – Deverill bowled off his first ever free hit!
Post-match, Owen the fines master took charge and all fines were taken in good spirits, Craig lost the pint race to Jonty, Pierre lost the spinning pint race to Naveen and the tourists headed off back to St Giljan for a team dinner very much looking forward to round three of the Malta tour!
Match Summary: Marsa Representative XI (268ao) beat MCC (185/8) by 83 runs.
MCC Man of the Match – Jonathan Deverill (4 wickets and 41*).
Champagne Moment – Jonty’s catch off Phil due to its planning.
Thanks for Coming Award – Pierre du Plessis (an unlucky day all round for him).
Quote of the Day – “This type of game was my cricketing heaven” – Craig Barrett.
Match in Numbers:
9 – Catches dropped by MCC.
18 – Number of wickets to fall (27 if you count MCC’s drops!).
80 – All overs bowled in the match.
19 – Number of bowlers used by both teams.
3 – Number of drops by Pierre alone!
Figure 7 – Pierre finding out dropping 3 catches on tour was not a good idea!
Cassandra of Troy
Munich Cricket Club in Malta – Match 01, T20 vs Marsa Representative XI, Friday 22 Mar. 2019
Munich CC 138/7 (20 overs) (N. Arunachalam 50*, J. Altmann 29) defeated by Marsa CC Representative XI 139/6 (18.1 overs) (P. Scott 3-22, O. Davies 2-32)
Man of the match: N. Arunachalam
Malta has been inhabited since around 5900BC with the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. Around 8100 years later, the sweet little island, whose name is thought to have been derived from the Greek word for ‘honey’ (μέλι), was invaded by sixteen representatives of the Munich Cricket Club who attempted to infiltrate the former British (and at times French, Aragonese, Norman, Arab, Greek, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman) territory with their brilliant red touring shirts, foul interpretation of cricketing skills, haphazard match arrival times and generally poor standards of personal hygiene.
Gallery 2: Malta’s primary exports in 2018 were previously understood by the MCC to be cute doggies and deliciously light chocolate balls
The tourists arrived by aeroplane in dribs and drabs, the majority of whom eventually immersing themselves deeply in Maltese culture on Thursday evening with a visit to The Cork Irish Bar to watch the football. A visit to the 7000 year old, UNESCO world heritage-listed Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum was a must for selected members on the Friday morning, with others electing to remain in bed after misinterpreting the side-effects of the, er, cocktails served at the White Palace Gentlemen’s Club, where hand-jobs were allegedly discovered to be a staggering 100€ each.
Gallery 3: Tour organiser Craig Barrett 1) expressing his complaints about the quality of morning meal available at the Cavalieri Art Hotel in St. Ġiljan and 2) expanding his understanding of Maltese history with an unwashed holiday-maker
Naveen Arunachalam, the highly-respected and deeply-loved MCC member tragically wrenched away from Munich at the end of 2016, was appointed captain of the day after everyone else was too shit-scared to take on the role for fear of being overthrown if we won. Philip Bowes found himself armed with a biro at the helm of the trusty scorebook, with Jonty Altmann and Arun Karthik saluting the crowd as they headed out to battle in the opening T20 fixture against the Marsa CC Representative XI.
The openers got off to a fine start with a partnership of 53 before Karthik was bowled for a reasonable 18 from 28 deliveries. Altmann departed ten runs later for an almost run-a-ball 29 after the bowler managed to successfully juggle a very jolly return catch, despite non-striker Andrew Wembridge attempting to put him off his stride with repetitive flatulence. The shorter-haired Australian clobbered a six but was dismissed the very next ball at deep backward point after a stunning catch in heavy swirling winds by the Maltese-Australian birthday-boy G. Sant.
Gallery 4: The Munich Cricket Club opening partnership beginning the campaign
By this stage, Jaymeen Amin had paddled around a few but the scene was set for ‘O captain! My Captain!’ Nav, who crunched 2 fours and 4 sixes in an unbeaten half-century with the limited overs available, bringing up his 50 off 27 with the final delivery of the innings. With Amin gone for 5, Veith Gattinger had been washed away for a golden duck, George ‘Michael’ Michahelles fell LBW for 2, Ian ‘Baker’ Finch for 1 and Paul ‘Two Pullovers’ Scott remained on 0*. MCC had posted a defendable 138/7.
Scotty opened the bowling at the golf-course end, breaking through with his usual consistency with two catches behind the stumps well-snaffled by the barely conscious Altmann. Adrian Brooks at the other end was unlucky to miss out on a scalp of his own, finishing with 0/34; Scott finishing with 3/22.
The first-change bowling attack consisted of captain Nav and Owen Davies, who took one and two wickets respectively. Davies’ third over was a highlight for both Marsa and Munich Cricket Clubs, with 20+ runs scored and the wicket of the dangerous opener ‘Boy’ George snared with some deft glovework behind the stumps. Even more chuffed was Mr. Joe Vella of Regency Panel Beaters who received an estimated 1400€ of new business from three new customers unfortunate enough to park within a 120m radius of Davies’ bowling.
Gallery 5: Letter of thanks from the President of Malta to Owen Davies for stimulating investment in the national automotive industry and the celebratory dinner held in his honour that evening, where Arun Karthik indicates how many vehicles were smashed.
In the meanwhile, ‘Mike’ Gatting(er) and Baker-Finch tried their luck rolling their (own) arms over, unfortunately with limited success; Veith conceding 0/16 from three overs and Ian being whalloped with 0/29 from two. After having his attempt at a sky-high catch brutally interrupted by a later-very sheepish and apologetic Wembridge, Michahelles bowled the final ball of the afternoon to see Marsa tiptoe over the line with 10 balls to spare.
An enchanted Friday evening was to follow, with burgering, steaking and wining preceding a return to the infamous Cork Irish Pub for yet another viewing of some other sport-related event. Munich-born Veith Gattinger concluded the night’s proceedings with a romantic pierside stroll, where, being far from the comfort of his native inland lakes, he was rather callously introduced to the concept of currents and tidal patterns of the Mediterranean Sea.
Gallery 6: The MCC Schatzmeister challenges the notion that it takes two to tango
Fed, watered and eventually dried, the tourists returned to the comfort of their respective Hotelzimmer to rest up for the sunny adventures awaiting Saturday’s big 40 over match of the morrow. Scorecard