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Lombardy League Cup
Milan C.C. vs.  Euratom 1st May 2011

by Jonathan Legge

Match photos

“History recalls how great the fall can be ... “ 

A line from a Supertramp song to get us under way today – here we are, then, in the latter stages of the 2011 Lombardy Cup – Milan have not made it through to the finals to defend their title that they so convincingly won in 2010, being undone arguably a) by statistics but b) mainly by themselves  - yes, if we had scored more runs or taken more wickets at certain moments we could have put ourselves in a stronger mathematical position, but the long and the short of it is that we are a good team that can beat anyone – so when we lose it’s almost always because we lose it for ourselves. Look at the number of wides we bowl : 20 to 30 an innings. Look at the catches we drop , think about the sometimes lackadaisical fielding which gifts singles where there shouldn’t be any – scoring boundaries is great, but we need to think about our game plan more – I really believe we could be so much better. 

Ok : here endeth the lesson. 

Milan, then, against the other “auld enemy” Euratom for a 35 over game on a warm and sunny day. Milan won the toss and elected to batting batting, er, sorry, bat.

Openers Gurmel and Bhupi set off at a merry pace, pushing the score along at 5 to 6  an over right from the word go. In the 9th over Bhupi was out lbw for 21, sadly Sunil made very little impact, misjudging the bounce of a straight one and being bowled for just 3 two overs later with the score on 67. Down the other end Gurmel was in fine form, the Euratom bowling troubling him not one jot – briefly partnered by Pramod ( bowled for 6 ) and then ably supported by Nand, he went on to score 75 before being caught – the next 3 batsmen were all bowled for single figure scores, Nand contrived to run himself out

( try putting your bat down Nand ! ),  but runs were scored by all and at a healthy rate – Milan batted out the innings ( note for Craig ! ) and finished on 218 for 8, of which 39 (!!) were extras ( of which 25 were wides !!!!!!!!!!!!!) 

Euratom’s batting style from the word go suggested they didn’t think they would make it – plenty of bash was on show, in particular from opener Saranga, Euratom’s wicket keeper, (dropped twice in consecutive balls by Jonathan at cover !!), as he tried to bash the ball to the offside boundary time and again – but such a strategy was doomed to failure , and Euratom only ever got more that the RRR in three of their overs  - the top four batsmen failed to score 40 between them, Yogesh’s customary line and length causing all sorts of difficulty – Nand had basher Saranga caught on the deep mid wicket boundary for 19, so at that point ( 47 for 4 after 14 overs ) it was really already over, 170+ runs still needed in 21 overs and little batting nous ( to rhyme with “mouse” !! ) to convince anyone that this was possible  - big strokes aimed at scoring big boundaries continued to bring about wickets, Pramod being the main architect of Euratom’s downfall with 3 for 18 off 4, and this despite plenty of Maltesers (=dropped catches, remember ? ) – Duleep offered some resistance batting at no. 5, but he was caught for 31, Sathya was caught  for 16, and the tail then decided to unhurriedly see the innings out with some intelligent batting, in the sense that  one man scored 35% of the total singles scored – had the others done so then it might have been a different story. Milan at least secured a victory, bowling comparatively fewer wides ( “just” 15). 

Serie C now beckons with all its administrative tomfoolery – Milan will need to be in top form on and off the field for this ! I urge you all to come along and support your team :  “Come out of the shadows, you boys and girls”  ( and thus I close with a line from “London calling” by The Clash !