MILAN CRICKET CLUB
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Another season beckons – the coming months will see Milan not only trying to defend its status as defending champion of the Lombardy league tournament but also take part in the Italian Serie C for the first time ever, so it’s “ all aboard” for the rollercoaster ride that is Milan cricket ! Are we up for the challenge(s) ?
Resplendent in their new kit Milan took to the field on time, no mean feat given that the clocks hand sneakily gone forward in the early hours ( did nobody tell the opposition ? obviously not ! ) – and there were bails, a new score book and kit !! And a full team at the appointed hour. Almost.
So : the usual 30 overs, with a weather forecast that was anything but promising - would rain stop play ??
My customary caveat – the score book ( theirs, not ours !! ) shows no Settimo scores nor any Milan bowling figures, so we will just go with what my beer-fuelled Sunday evening brain can recall – the opening bowlers Sunil and Sonu were looking sharp – good line and length gave the opening batsmen little to work with - and Settimo seemed disinclined to bide their time and play themselves in - there were few, if any, defensive shots on display – with the score moving on at a little over 2 runs an over, Settimo were 10 for 2 after 5 overs – I can sum up their innings by saying that with the exception of Sandeep ( a score in the low twenties before holing out to Sunil’s safe hands at deep mid on ) Settimo batted poorly throughout, and although Milan put down 3 difficult chances in the field the bowling and fielding was, as a rule, tidy, allowing Settimo to score only four boundaries in their entire innings, their batsmen all going for the big shots and mainly being bowled or stumped ( which says a lot about their stroke play ) – their dismal innings concluded with the unimpressive score of 58 all out after 20 or so overs, wickets being shared out amongst almost all the bowlers ( David, Vijay, Ramesh, Bhupi, Sunil, Sonu and Chris on display today ).
59 to win – surely ...........
Jonathan and Mark opened the batting ( and here the score book springs to life !! Thanks Chris !! ), and I should say here that Settimo at least contrived to bowl better than they batted ( not so difficult really ! ) – the openers stayed together for 10 overs, the score limited to a couple an over due to a recurrent back problem restricting Mark’s running abilities – Jonathan was caught at deep mid on for 6 with the score on 23 in the 10th over, and while Mark battled on, Gautam ( bowled for 7 ) Ramesh and Vijay ( both bowled for nought ) meant that at least the game seemed exciting for a while !! However the second string Settimo bowlers were unable to maintain the pressure ( 18 wides contributed to the Milan score !! ), and once Mark was caught at mid wicket for 14 in the 17th over with the score just shy of 50 it was left to Sunil and Sonu to complete the formalities to leave Milan winners by 5 wickets. Sandeep bowled tidily
( 0 for 4 off 3 ), but Naresh was statistically the best of the Settimo bowlers with 2 for 15 off 4.
Mission accomplished in very undemanding circumstances – and not a drop of rain. Mission to Malta is next – today’s performance does not suggest how Milan will fare in the coming weeks as the opposition was so weak - but knowing when to deploy a defensive shot could be a starting point for most !
I forgot an exteremely important word in the last match report - see if you
can spot it ( Karthik : can you help them ? )
A small correction…not a great deal but would make
me feel better. I had surely scored a single with a lofted shot towards mid-on.