MILAN CRICKET CLUB
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A fantastic day – there’s nothing like being outside on a warm day with a blue sky and small, white fluffy clouds …….
And in fact our first match day was nothing like that – it was cold and windy - and we all spent most of the afternoon wondering at what point the rain would sweep in from the East.
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where you bat , it’s the way that you bat it”
So : game one of the new Lombardy League competition featuring the newly official “Associazione sportive Milan Cricket Club” – two complete teams, a mat that appeared to have survived the rigours of a particularly long, harsh winter and a somewhat sluggish outfield….
Milan won the toss and elected to bat. On paper the line–up seemed sound enough, but the first wicket fell in only the third over : with the ball hit to backward square leg non-striker Craig called for an easy run but Ramesh inexplicably stood rooted to the spot and so on deciding to run failed to make his ground at the supposedly safe end : 11 for 1. Sunil came in, and both he and Craig started to build a score, but Sunil was given out LBW with the score on 38, Nand was bowled without scoring – so there we have 3 recognised batsmen back in the pavilion, er bench, before the 10th over – smiles all round on the Euratom faces as they realised what had been achieved thus far.
The nature of the Milan batting tail was something of an unknown quantity, so it was essential for some sort of target to be established – next in was Jonathan – more runs were added and the total moved cautiously on past 50 : important to remember here that only 3 or more runs an over were being added – then disaster of disasters – Craig was out for 16,LBW – new boy Giovanni came and went just before drinks to leave Milan on 71 for 5 with 20 overs gone. Not good - a whitewash in the offing ? Read on ….
Vijay batting at number 7 came and went for 4, with a weak shot caught at square leg – now it’s 80 for 6 – and next to fall was Jonathan playing a dreasdfukl shot ( if you can call it that ), bowled by a long hop having top scored with 21 ( and with two of Milan’s 3 boundaries of the day !! ) – so the score board now showed 85 for 7 – would Milan even make it to three figures, never mind bat out the overs ??? Bad turned to worse as Mark was despatched shortly afterwards. Euratom were positively euphoric – but wonder of wonders the young ‘uns of the day Jack and Atul not only saw the total past the 100 mark but actually built the highest partnership of the day with 28 invaluable runs with some classy shots ( i.e anything hit to off or that goes nowhere near cow corner !! )
Jack was out caught at point for a career-best of 13 : congratulations to him - and so the innings closed on 115 for 9.
Hmmm. Not a big ask, I hear you say – only 3 boundaries scored, and of the 115 scored 33 were extras – so 82 runs off the bat in 35 overs. More worryingly only 4 batsmen into double figures ……but at least Milan finally batted out the overs.
Pick of the Euratom bowlers : Mahinda with 3 for 9 off 4, Kyle with 2 for 12 off 6 and Gabriel with 2 for 16 off 5.
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At time of writing I don’t have the Milan bowlers stats to hand so if the following account is erroneous my apologies.
A good, pacy and accurate start produced an early wicket for Atul as the Euratom opener ( their keeper ) was comprehensively bowled – from the other end Sunil bowled very economically, but batsmen 2 and 3 dug in and seemed content to bide their time, and once they had their eye in they started scoring more freely, Atul taking the brunt of the onslaught as he was hit for a 6 and a 4 off consecutive balls. Ramesh was brought into the attack and his high-quality deliveries immediately brought results : 2 wickets in 1 over ( 1 caught behind, 1 bowled, and one bail smashed to smithereens ) – a setback for Euratom yes, but the score board was ticking over at a reasonable rate and by the time we got to drinks Euratom were 47 ish for 3 with plenty of overs in which to reach the target.
There then followed an incredible session in which Euratom just collapsed in domino fashion – the Milan fielders had nothing to do but watch as the bowlers, in particular Nand, pinned back the batsmen and then just blew them all away – 7 wickets were lost in very quick succession for the addition of just 18 runs : and if you needed proof that the track was playing true take into consideration that Nand finished the day with a hat trick - all LBWs – and Dai was the umpire in case you are interested ! Euratom all out for 65. Nand pick of the Milan bowlers with 4 ( possibly 5 ? ) wickets.
Compliments then, to all the Milan bowlers who produced an above-par performance – good captaincy from Craig who always believed ( and more importantly made us believe ) that we could do it …….but Milan’s batting is still suffering from that widespread, ugly ( and often fatal ) medical condition known as “Playingacrossthelineitis” ……