MILAN CRICKET CLUB
Milan played their home game against Zuoz boys at Lodi ground, while Lodi was playing West Linton at our home ground in Settimo.
Its always a great pleasure to play against Zuoz boys, as one can see how young boys some of them who have no previous experience of cricket do achieve a level of expertise in the sport with continued practice. It was snowing in Zuoz almost till beginning of May and the cricket in Zuoz started only two weeks back. This was their second game of the season, first being the one against Lodi on Saturday.
The weather was great and both captains Nand (Milan) and Henry (Zuoz Boys) decided for a short 25 over game as the boys had a three and half hour drive back to Zuoz. Milan won the toss and opted to bat.
Ramesh and Nand opened the innings. Both openers gave a flying start to the innings. The opening bowlers of Zuoz Henry and Charlie, had pace and bounce, but were bowling quite wide of the stumps. Very few balls were on the stumps, and this gave ample opportunity for both the batsman to play their shorts. Milan was cruising at 66 for no loss in 8 overs. Nand was first one to go. A fulllish delivery outside off, tried to strike it hard, took a thick edge but went high up in air, Curt Schmitt the Zuoz Schools sports headmaster took a splendid catch way over his head at backward point. First time in the season Nand got his bat speaking, and scored 30 odd runs at a good pace. The running between wickets was especially good and both openers converted many ones into two runs.
As we have seen over the years Milan always have tendency to create funny and panic like situation of nothing. Though being so well placed we saw next four batsman perishing at regular intervals – Will 3, Mark 0, Vijay 0, Sunil 2. Ramesh meanwhile was playing steadily and scoring all along. Mark was leg before to a full length delivery, which was a very well bowled Yorker as per the standing umpire. Mark was of the opin, that foot before wicket is not the same as leg before wicket, and got one more rule clarified. Better late than never Mark. From 66 for no loss Milan were suddenly at 88 for 6. However all was not gone and Umer (9) and Narayan (17) supported to in form Ramesh. Ramesh went on to score 81 not out, though with three lives. However he showed aggressive shot making in the last five overs, though cautiously. This is the first time for Ramesh to carry his bat thru the innings, and his highest score playing for Milan. And to every ones delight Milan ended at a strong note at 197 for 7, Narayan also remaining not out at 17. Must mention here Narayan was stroking and playing his shots quite well, however got hit on his elbow by a rising fast delivery and suddenly got cocooned and stopped playing his strokes. But he kept his wicket and rotated the strike very well.
ZUOZ BOWLING AND FIELDING
In few weeks time we might be facing them in Zuoz and am almost certain they will have improved much more. Zuoz boys started playing cricket only two weeks back. Some of them have played for long but most are new. They practice every day for few hours. It was very well evident the way they approached the game. Boys were fast, fielded far better than Milan, however they erred in dropping few catches, which unfortunately went to some weak hands. They also took two splendid catches, and wicket keeper did a decent job. Opening bowlers were fast and had very good length. However they erred in the line and bowled too far from the stumps. None of them also cut the ball in, and they were just moving the ball away. Too many extras were given – 42 wide (2 wide balls going for 10 runs) balls and 2 No balls. Total 36 extra balls were bowled, making a 30 over game anyways. Hans was pick of the bowler 3 for 33. But in Zuoz I think Henry and Charlie will be key bowlers if they improve upon their line. Surprisingly Zuoz did not rely on any of the spinners, which at our level of cricket can be very useful. They definitely lacked some good spinners in their bowling attack.
MILAN BOWLING - ZUOZ BATTING
Sunil started the innings with a new ball, which was infact swinging a lot. With Lodi wicket providing so much bounce, Sunil enjoyed pitching it short and intimidating the openers. Many of the short balls were no balled and one went way over keeper for 5 runs. However openers could not do much with Sunil’s pace and bounce. Will who opened from other end, had absolutely no control over the new Kookabara ball, reminding us he is an Australian but not born and brought up in Australia. Will bowled 5 wides in his first over. Captain decided not to give the new ball for first few overs to any one accept Sunil and promptly bought himself with the new ball, Spin from one end. Nand bowled the three overs with just 5 runs scored of It and Sunil also finished his spell of five overs, giving away 10 runs mainly in extras. He then went on to keep for rest of the innings. Zuoz had lost just one wicket but were now already behind in the run rate. Will and Dolat came back to the attack, and bowled on good line and length and also got couple of wickets. Narayan also spun the ball very well and took 2 wickets. However to every ones surprise was Vijay’s bowling, who looped and spun the ball in line and length. His first two overs went for just two runs and got him two wickets. Third one however went for 3 boundaries. Mark developed cold feet while bowling his last delivery of his first over, being hit for 2 fours and a six. He bowled 5 no balls in the last ball, all over waist. Finally he finished the over quite perturbed and shaking. It was clearly a mind thing for him, get over it Mark, just remember what u did on Saturday against West Linton. Zuoz saw some good lusty hitting from Charlie and Kevin. Charlie scored a chanceless 46, before getting caught in deep. Hans showed the best all round performance, showing good batting skills and scoring 31 runs, and played straight most of the time. Most Zuoz boys seemed quite upset when given out either by the umpire or by themselves, need some kind of anger management training it seemed. Zuoz ended the inning at a respectable score of 151. However the game seemed to have been sealed around mid way through, when at the end of 12th over Zuoz boys were 54 for 3.
It was definitely a very enjoyable day of cricket with all getting a chance to do something. Special thanks for the splendid curries and sandwiches provided by Sunil, Mark, Nand, Ramesh, Vijay and Narayan really lightened up the atmosphere and all had a very cordial and friendly game. Zuoz were more than happy with the occasion and practice they got, and has promised to visit us and play against us in our new ground in Milan soon. To end it, this was eighth game of our season and eighth win. Well done MCC. Next target winning the finals in Zuoz…….see u all in 2 weeks time….
(Report by Nand who finally batted)