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MCC vs Geneva – September 29th 2012
By Jonathan Legge

The Mayans say we are all going to perish late December this year ( normally when my liver packs up anyway ), so if you didn’t play the final game EVER, then tough.

A miracle the game took place in any case : I turned up  at ten to eleven (just before  the rain turned up), and with 10  minutes to go before the start of the game I was still the only person at the ground ! But gradually some damp souls emerged out of the trees, and at 1 p.m we were still standing around disconsolately wondering what to do – even Gino the barman, not the most commercially-minded man at the best of times, had already locked up and gone home.  Geneva wanted to play some sort of game having travelled the 400 kms to get here, so as the rain had stopped we opted for a 25 over game - Milan lost the toss and soggily took to the field.

1st over : Sunil to bowl : dot ball, wide ball, then WICKET ! LBW. Next ball : a spilled catch at backward point.  A cracking start nonetheless. 

Sadly Sunil was unable to continue having damaged a back muscle, and neither Brian nor Ramesh  could inflict further losses despite plenty of perseverance : Geneva found their feet and some runs, some 7 an over, and built a score – not Milan’s best day in the field, it must be said. By the time we got to drinks Geneva were on 85 for 1, looking at a 140 / 150+ score, and change was urgently needed - and boy, did we get it – Bhupi and Irfan  came on as the 2 bowling changes and tore into the batsmen – being scorebookless as usual does not allow me the luxury of names and figures, but Bhupi struck twice in one over, clean bowling his victims, and Irfan bowled one and then ran out another, courtesy of a sharp return throw from Brian at deep mid on – and that’s the way it continued : the run rate slumped from 7+ to around 5 and Geneva continued to shed wickets – their opener was finally out playing across the line once too often  - I know he reached his 50 just after drinks, so he must have got to about 60 or so – the final over, bowled by Sandeep sporting  a General  Anthony Hogmanay Melchett-type moustache, went for 11 runs, leaving Geneva on 135 for 8. Great work by Bhupi ( 4 wickets I think, and Irfan ( 2 wickets ), slow bowling triumphing over pace.

So having reined in Geneva with a succession of quick wickets and thus restricting the run flow, surely Milan could get 136, given the batting line-up? Cap’n Ramesh went for an unconventional opening pair, new boy Prem with ol’timer Jonathan – and it worked : Prem’s first scoring shot was six over cover, Jonathan’s a 4 through mid wicket – none of this “ take-it-easy-play-yourself-in” stuff with these two ! And after 5 overs a good platform had been built : 51 on the board. The two openers were then bowled ( in the same over I believe ) , and the  next two batsmen didn’t last long : Irfan was run out for 2, and Ramesh was out, bowled for just 6 ( I think ). 51 without loss was now 69 for 4. Saqib and Bhupi were the next two in, and they seemed to building a useful partnership when the rain came back with a vengeance, and so play was abandoned with Milan on 89 for 4.

Season over – Champions of the Zuoz tourna.. festival and Lombardy League champions ! Roll on 2013 ( Mayans permitting , of course !!)


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