MILAN CRICKET CLUB
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Played two, won two. And so to the third fixture of our quest to be the inaugural Lombardy league champions.
Milan assembled a strong line-up featuring no less than 3 Aussies ( it was ANZAC day after all – but isn’t three contravening some EU quota ? ) – the sun finally decided to make an appearance, and the game started more or less on time .... Although losing the toss Milan got to do what the skipper wanted to do, i.e bat : with Damith bowling very economically from one end and Sunni 2 doing wayward things from the other Milan openers Stephen and Sonu started building a total. Milan made it to the 9th over without incident and posted a total of 42 without loss ... as the song goes : Summertime, and the living is easy..... and then it all fell apart in the blink of an eye !! A very much in–form Sunni1 bowled Sonu for 18, Haq had Stephen caught for 21; matters took a turn for the worse when Craig, having barely settled at the crease was caught at mid on for 3, Sunni1 had the hapless Jonathan caught behind first ball : four wickets down for the paltry addition of just 11 runs – 53 for 4 off 14 overs. Four overs later Sunil was out for just 5, caught at wide deep(ish) mid on off Dushanta’s bowling – the run rate was now down from 4 an over to just over 3 but more seriously was the loss of 5 wickets for just 63 runs – and it had all seemed to be going so well .......... at the crease now were Ross, making his first appearance of the season and David
David was out caught for 6 a few overs later ( Milan now 75 for 6 – next man in
was Vikhi (who had played such an important role the previous week against
Kingsgrove ) – well boys, lots to do here... both set about building scores and
something of a rally was staged – the Idle bowlers ( I’m sorry : that
sounds so bad !! Can I call them “Lodi bowlers ? ) - the Lodi bowlers were
unable to capitalise on their crushing successes and runs were added - as the
two innings progressed a note of cautious optimism returned to the Milan camp as
at least some sort of score was in the offing : a 3 figure target has a
different psychological impact ... both batsmen rode their luck as they were
both dropped, but the run rate crept back up and a vital partnership of 40 runs
was constructed before Sunni 1 comprehensively bowled Vikhi for 21 ( as payback
for having been hit for 6 the previous ball ! ) – so now Milan are 115 for 7 off
31 overs - Yogesh picked up from where Vikhi had left off, and he and Ross added
another 25 runs before Ross was bowled for 29, top score of the day – it was
left to new boy Will to hit a 2 off the final ball of the day to leave Milan on
142 for 8 – a decent score considering the shocking middle order collapse but
more pleasingly once again Milan batted out the overs. Pick of the Lodi bowlers
were Sunni 1 with 3 for 23 off 7 and Haq and Dushanta with 2 apiece – I note
that 23 extras were conceded....
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143 to win. Not a huge score, and......
... with some familiar batting faces on show. Bowlers: show’ em what you’re made of.
And they did – 3rd over, good catch by Will at mid–on, Sunny1 out for 6 off Sunil’s bowling ( always a relief to know you’re not going to lose by 10 wickets ! ) – 5th over Sunil bowls Umair: 19 for 2. Next over Pintu caught behind without scoring off Yogesh’s bowling: 21 for 3 – wait a moment Milan, this means you’re back in it! Silvio and Alberto steadied the batting ship for a while, Silvio helping himself to four boundaries, but the bowlers clearly fancied their chances, and in the 9th over Alberto was caught by Ross at slip off Will’s bowling – 38 for 4. And so in comes Shanta – I have said this before, but for those of you who don’t know him Shanta can win a match on his own with his lusty trademark shots. Silvio and Shanta both moved on into the 20s, and it seemed that the tide was turning back in Idle’s favour – and there was a fair old battle of wits going on between Shanta and David – Shanta seemed unperturbed by the variety of deliveries coming down and we wondered how we were going to outfox him – in the 14th over Milan wrested the initiative back with 2 wickets: Silvio was stumped on 21 (which has a nice symmetry about it, don’t you think ? ) and next ball Haq was caught by Stephen at mid-on - this now means that with 14 overs gone Idle were 69 for 6 – it’s there for the taking, boys, if you want it !!!!
Sunil came back into the attack and claimed his 3rd: the priceless wicket of Shanta, caught by Sonu for a (top scoring ) 27 – 7 down and still 20 short of the 3 figure mark. Dushanta and Damith edged the score closer to 100 but their shots were far from convincing and in the 21st over Dushanta was given out LBW for 7 (after a long hard think by umpire Silvio) – 97 for 8 now, with the target of 143 looking an awful long way off. Two overs later Sunni2 was theatrically caught at point by Sunil off Yogesh’s bowling and then David Bowled Damith in the 26th over, Idle all out for 111 ( of which 29 - !! – were extras) with almost 10 overs still in hand. Sunil finished with 4 for 20, David with 3 for 25, Yogesh 2 for 22.
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So Milan are “played 3, won 3” – final League fixture against the Settimo Indians two weeks hence. Some more consistent batting would be a help, and while the bowling is definitely our strong point we are still conceding an awful lot of extras.......