Göggingen vs MCC 1st XI (11 Aug 2018)

Vague rumours regarding the dimensions of Göggingen’s ground were revealed to be true as MCC arrived at the site. It turns out the ground is a baseball pitch that has been artfully repurposed for cricket. This means that the boundaries behind the wicket are extremely short, to the degree that the 30-yard circle was only charitably 30 yards at third man (with the boundary – and the batting side, with a great view from what was literally hutches – only a yard beyond it). Local rules meant that hitting the fence behind square was two runs but clearing it would constitute a very petite six runs. The wicket itself was coconut matting laid on bare hard-packet earth, something which appeared extremely village, but actually played surprisingly well – basically like a road.

How many roads must a cricketer walk down the pitch to? (Picture: Pierre du Plessis)

So much for the wicket. MCC arrived knowing we had to win to (probably) win the league. We won the toss and were glad to stick them in to bat. Their opener took the sensible option first up, trying to clear the longest boundary at cow corner off Waqas and only managing to pick out Max. Waqas continued to bowl impressively, hitting good areas at pace, and being rewarded with four wickets. (One of whom claimed to have played Bangladesh U19s, but if you believe that, you’ll believe anything!). Macca backed him up well and was unfortunate not to take any wickets, suffering two dropped catches off his bowling.

With the score passing 50 and a partnership between their opener and their number 6 beginning to build, Imtiaz and Pierre were brought into the attack to keep the pressure on. This they did ably, Pierre creating several chances that did not stick. Nevertheless, Göggingen reached 90-4 at drinks and seemed set for a reasonable total. However, the drinks break allowed us to regroup and take three quick wickets after the break, Imtiaz taking two of those including the danger man, their opener, and a catch finally sticking for Pierre.

Waqas and Macca were brought back to finish the innings off. However, this didn’t entirely go to plan, as Göggingen’s 9 and 10 proceeded to give us a display of horrible slogging, with them swinging so hard at so many balls that by law of probability some simply had to fly to the boundary. Macca did eventually dismiss the number 10, and Waqas was unfortunate not to end with 5 wickets as another catch went down off his last ball.

With JD warming up to bowl, Pierre demanded another spell and quickly cleaned up the tail in unorthodox fashion with two caught by Varun at fly slip. Overall, a fine performance from our seamers (in which, from memory, at least 16 chances for wickets were created) meant that Göggingen ended on 139 all out after 31.2 overs.

Our openers, Wembo and Mudi, opened in assured manner against a pair of left armers. One of them had a bit of pace but had a strange obsession with bowling the bouncer (a tad unwise when the third man boundary is 20 yards). It is hard to escape the conclusion that Germany would have a fine battery of pacemen with a bit of coaching, but at grassroots level that coaching is sadly lacking! Regardless, it was nice to see some pace – Wembo and Mudi particularly enjoying it, their partnership quickly bringing us to 64, with Mudi smashing four sixes (well, two were guided over third man, but anyway) before falling for 30 on the boundary while trying for another.

With Wembo anchoring the innings (despite evident frustration at several times creaming the ball through point and hitting the very last part of the fence denoting “two runs”), Macca stuck around for 13, taking the overall score to 100 and effectively breaking the back of the chase. Maxi then came and went cheaply, but JD and Wembo looked like they would comfortably see us home. However, Wembo fell on 48 (with just 5 runs needed) to a good delivery that nipped away, leaving him disappointed at missing out on the half century – nevertheless, it was a fine innings. Despite Varun trying his best to hole out to long on, we quickly made the final runs with no further wickets lost.

Bases loaded (Picture: Pierre du Plessis)

After a fine team performance, we made our way back to the Hirsch to see the end of the tour match (proper cricket, with whites and red balls!). The beer suddenly tasted all that much better when the news filtered through that CCB had lost to Würmtal, making MCC the Regionalliga Süd [or whatever it is] champions! As we contemplated the prospect of Bundesliga next year and reflected on a season of fine team and individual performances, there was beer and trips to the Eisbach aplenty.


MCC II vs Opposition (Donauwörth) (21 Jul 2018)

MCC II vs Opposition
Due to Data Protection I shall be removing the names of the opposition team and players. Should you have any issues with this please contact me at: dataprotection@mcc.fu.

Cricket is very well known for being a game the Germans do not yet quite grasp, lasting longer than a football game, only being played when its dry outside and the general consensus is that there are 22 people on a field who don’t quite seem to know what is going on.

Today’s game disproved the former and the latter. In between all the rain breaks we managed to play a grand total of roughly 90 minutes of cricket (plus stoppage) and there really were 11 people on the field that didn’t quite seem to know what was going on.

As this writer begins to mull over today’s events, he begins to fear that the match report may very well be longer than the game itself, but I shall keep the details as brief as possible. All (majority) of our team turned up on time and we had everything set up for the allotted starting time. However, because rain, umpire for the day Ravi decided to hold off on the first ball, much to the pleasure of the opposition who had 10 minutes earlier made said umpire aware that they didn’t particularly fancy playing anyway.

After a short delay we stepped out onto the field in very, very light drizzle much to the protest of the opposition. Opening bowlers for the day were #59 and Abhijit, both bowling their preferred right arm medium-fast. But then, the downpour began. Not from the heavens but from the right hands of the 2 bowlers. The first wicket fell in the 1 st over of the day; a fantastic leg cutter* from #59 taking out middle and off stump. *when I say leg-cutter I actually asked #59 what his action was and he explained to me that it just comes out of his hand like that.

#59’s second over also brought a wicket with batsman #5 from the opposition smashing the ball straight up in the air where a very confident Bowes screamed ‘MINE’ (this is actually the incorrect way to call for a ball in the air. In order for all confusion to be eliminated it is always recommended that one shouts one’s own name making the remainder of the team aware exactly who is underneath the catch).

Anyway, Bowes caught the ball and what followed was a deluge of complaints from the square leg umpire (I believe player #11) who claimed that Bowes had actually dropped the ball, mainly due to the fact that having made the successful attempt Bowes then threw the ball in the air in celebration and let that hit the floor. The batsman who had hit the ball (#5) then chimed in with his two cents before umpire Ravi made the executive decision to award the wicket to MCC. Please note: According to the rule book the above mentioned ‘drop’ constitutes a dropped catch and therefore Bowes was not awarded the catch.

Abhijit then got his second moment of glory (moment 1: provided his spare shoes to a rather forgetful Bowes) when he uprooted the off stump of #18. #59 then claimed his third wicket of the day – I believe Praf took a catch, but the scorebook isn’t fully correct due to the opposition failing to utilise the laminated instructions kindly provided by father-to-be Wembridge (who later became rather infuriated after the opposition decided to mark the letter ‘W’ for a wide ball).

At 20-4 the opposition had had enough and sent #11 on to the field to complain to Ravi about the rather light drizzle coming from the sky. Light drizzle is defined as: a light liquid precipitation consisting of liquid water drops smaller than those of rain – generally smaller than 0.5 mm (0.02 in) in diameter. We were barely able to see said rain, but umpire Ravi made yet another executive decision and off we went.

3 hours passed between the last ball and our return to the game. Multiple events happened during this time, I have highlighted some of the more eventful happenings:
 We got to meet Wembos brother and sister-in-law and their wonderful twin girls.
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 Des turned up, started 3 sentences with ‘this wouldn’t have happened back in my day’ and then went home before we got back out again (thanks for coming Des, it is always a pleasure to see you!!)
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 Arun was very keen, put his full kit on and we managed to have a 1 hour long practise in the middle of the field (because there was no rain!)
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 We watched the end of the GCTV Super series
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 Ravi did one of his 17 rain checks
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 Harry enquired as to why streakers go streaking – TBC
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 Ravi did another rain check and informed us at 1600 that we would soon be going out
 The opposition refused to leave the changing room
 Praf very subtly reminded Ravi that if the shoe were on the other foot and we were 20-4 then the opposition would be begging to go out and play.
 5 minutes later we were back out in the field at 1615

Upon returning to the crease MCC’s attacking openers continued with Abhijit claiming his second wicket of the day very quickly, bowling the opposition captain, who got a rather loud send off where he was informed by the majority of the on field players that we ‘definitely didn’t drop that catch’.

2 bowling changes brought Praf and Ankur in to bowl. Ankur really was not messing around and took 3 wickets in his 2.2 overs. I did later however have a word with Ankur for his bowling performance as, upon reviewing the scorebook, it appeared that 100% of his runs conceded were from wides (all 1 run). Please improve for next week Ankur. He did take a splendid C+B and cleaned up 2 batsmen by bowling straight.

From the other end Praf was also running wild taking 2 wickets, the first caught by Bowes at mid-on and the second caught by Doug. A great wicket actually. Batsman spooned the ball in the air to Doug at square leg followed very loudly by a cry of ‘oh f*** o**’ from Doug, who could be heard from the Chinese Tower as the ball came very gently towards him! He took a very good catch, watching the ball into his hands above his head causing commotion from the MCC players who were just ripping the opposition apart.

The innings ended with the opposition 43 all out. 16 of those came from wides. We did however
take all our catches, apart from Bowes who dropped his and the 12.2 overs we were out in the field really were thoroughly enjoyable and the team spirit, lead by captain Praf, really is brilliant to be a part of!

MCC ran off the pitch with the opening batsmen informed that they were to be padded up and back out on the field in 5 minutes. Fortunately Arun hadn’t taken his pads off after his half time net session, so we were just awaiting the entrance of Faf du Plessis.

Out we went, 44 required to win. I won’t write too much about this, but the long and the short it that it started raining again, so Pierre kicked on and after some glorious cover drives sadly departed for 20 from 26 balls. He later informed me that ‘that would have been worth 40 in South Africa’.

Arun was solid. Having been asked to anchor the innings (I am still disappointed that captain Praf didn’t send Ankur to do this job) he departed the crease for a very well made 7 from 21 – great stuff mate, keep up all the training!

Next in was ‘good omen’ Busby. Paul has now played 3 games for MCC and we have won all 3 of them! Real pleasure to have you in the team mate, good enthusiasm and great banter. Sadly, he decided that with 2 to win he would try and smash Helmuts van. He missed the ball. He lost his off stump. We all got a good giggle out of it though!

Praf and Faraz completed the innings, Praf got 1, Faraz (very proudly) announced that this was his second not out in a row (adding a further 3 runs to his average!). In all fairness, the opposition took it all very well, everybody shook hands and nobody got hit by a cricket bat.

Cricket was the true winner today, followed closely by us.

We hung around to clean up, Praf paid for all the beers (lad) and at 1930 we waved farewell to Helmut for another Saturday and went our separate ways.

Scorecard can be found online (thanks Shashi!):

Highlights: Ankur 3-1, Faraz 3-17. Pierre 20
MOM: Everyone.


(Your correspondent with yet another screaming Wembridge.)