MILAN CRICKET CLUB
So here we go after the August break - what sort of condition are we in after all the summer excess ? A manageable fixture to start with, as normally you would fancy your chances against Euratom, wouldn’t you ? Milan had a strong enough squad, but Euratom announced they had a near-perfect line-up : game on !
Although Milan lost the toss they got to bat, which is what the Captain said they would have done anyhow ( we will believe him just this once ) - a very dry field, short grass – all looked very fast. 35 overs : should be looking at a score in excess of 220 on a pitch like this.
To be fair to Cap’n Craig he did tell everybody what to do : plenty of runs available, just take your time, no need for any risks – openers Stephen and guest all-rounder Gormail batted sensibly for the first 3 overs keeping out the good deliveries and putting away the bad ones, but then both were given out LBW in successive overs – so Milan were on a disappointing 32 for 2 after 5 overs – a lot depended on the next few batsmen as it was unclear exactly where the Milan tail started ( a worrying thought after just 3 overs ! ) – we now had Craig and Sunil at the crease : what could they do on such a surface ? Well – they both set about building scores, Craig the more cautious of the two ( of the 41 singles scored by Milan he scored 14, which says a lot ) - sensible batting saw the score move along at about 6 an over until Sunil was caught off Roland’s bowling for 22 with the score on 67. Ramesh came in and was bowled soon after, which brought the second guest of the day Yogesh to the crease – but he only lasted slightly longer than Ramesh before becoming the 3rd LBW of the day - was everybody going to get out playing across the line ?!? ) – and suddenly the awful realisation that with the core on 87 for the loss of 5 we may be through to the tail – with only 14 overs bowled – what a waste. Craig was still there biding his time, taking no-risk singles and putting bad balls away to the boundary – but would (or indeed could ) the remaining batsmen take a leaf out of his book ?
After a nervy start Jonathan settled down and started building a score with some punchy, if slightly lucky, strokes – he and Craig moved the score into 3 figures but Craig was next to fall, LBW having scored 32 with the score on 124 : Milan now 6 down, 22 overs gone. Sandeep from the feline fraternity ( that’s “Tigers” to you and me ) came in , and he and Jonathan dished it out to the bowlers : the score moved on apace ( one over produced 19 runs ! ), but Jonathan was bowled in the 27th over with the score on 167 having hit a career-best 42(of which 4 sixes ) , and Sandeep could only stand and watch as the tail gracefully folded, leaving him unbeaten on 30 –Milan’s innings closed on 186 with an irritating 6 overs still left. Roland the pick of the bunch of the Euratom bowlers with 3 for 37.
Not enough attention paid to the Captain’s words of advice ? No – and although the fact that we saw 4 LBWs given did raise a few eyebrows it must be said that Milan wasted an opportunity to build a big score – I am led to believe that the Euratom bowling was not so special, and for sure the fielding was, at times, not good.
So Euratom had a lowish total to aim for – and Milan just had to bowl well – very well.
Sunil and Yogesh opened the attack, and while Sunil was having an off day ( neither of his spells reaping any reward for his 7 overs ) hats off to Yogesh for bowling 4 maidens in his first 5 overs – Euratom openers Ashanta and Saranga, however, were in no rush and patiently waited for loose deliveries – and it was the 16th over before the first wicket fell, Ashanta bowled for 35 by Atul with the score on 87.
It was at this point that Milan regained partial control, however –after the drinks break three wickets fell for 20 runs or so – Ayus taking a smart catch at mid on off Jack’s bowling to dismiss Sumit for no score, Atul got his second of the day with Sameeda caught low at point by Sunil, and Cap’n Craig bowled Kyle for 9 to wrest the game back – Euratom were now 112 for 5, but their opener Saranga was still there, taking advantage of the mostly innocuous bowling with some big blows : still – another couple of wickets and who knows ? Yogesh then got his reward by bowling Mahinda for 1 ( final figures : 1 for 12 off 7, of which 5 maidens !! ) and then hallelujah !! – Saranga was beautifully caught by Ramesh for 81 off Atul’s bowling – but the damage had been done, and the next two Euratom batsmen calmly saw Euratom past the wining post with 6 overs and 4 wickets in hand. ….. Milan needed to bat more intelligently and bide their time – and looming over the horizon are the big boys Kingsgrove . ……..