MILAN CRICKET CLUB
I would like to start by thanking everyone for turning up early! We had the ground prepared and were doing catching practice almost an hour before the scheduled start time. Amazing.
An irritating fixture, insofar as Milan never win this one but could do—with just a little more disciplined batting ... would this year be any different?
A gentlemen’s agreement allowed Milan to field first— the opening bowlers took a while to settle (this is an editorial euphemism which means “too many “wides “) and the Kingsgrove openers just bided their time, taking the odd boundary here and there. Once the bowlers found a bit of line the scoring rate fell, and more importantly both opening batsmen were dismissed —both caught off Sunil’s bowling—Kingsgrove were on 45 for 2 after 7 overs. No. 3 batsman Arnold took the fight to the bowlers and the total moved on—how to stop the haemorrhage ? Cometh the hour, cometh the man—step forward the President, whose bowling tied down the batsmen and the run rate slumped to 5 an over—and a wicket to boot—Aftab Farooq, deceived by flight, was stumped for 23. After the Sweetman masterclass (6 overs, 2 maidens, 1 for 14 !!!) Kingsgrove never managed to restore the run rate to its early canter—a neat run out put top scorer Arnold back in the clubhouse having scored 45, and although Amjad remained unbeaten on 37the tail produced little, and the 30over innings closed on 168 for 6, but not before a brief moment of panic in the 28th over: Kingsgrove hit 20 runs off it—but surely Milan could get 168 ?
Openers Stephen Lockett and MJ started in careful enough fashion, but having got their eye in both succumbed to deliveries that perhaps should have been left alone: Farooq N. had
Stephen caught for 9 and then bowled MJ for 19—he then dismissed Naghman for 1 (caught & bowled ) and the other half of the family act Farooq A. had Irshad caught for 4... and Milan glumly found themselves on 35 for 4—4 entirely avoidable losses. Cometh the hour, cometh th.. did I already say that ? Captain’s innings required, and so Cap’n Craig, ably partnered by Sunil (and both apparently sponsored by Kookaburra !!) set about building a score—and for a while some impressive strokeplay led us to believe that Milan could do it—at 15 overs Milan were 75 for 4 but Sunil was caught for 19 ( Farooq N’s bowling again !!) no problem tho’, as Craig was looking good, and he now had an able partner in David Sweetman—the score moved on : the hundred was reached after 21 overs ...and disaster struck : Craig was bowled by Fernandez for 33: undeniably a good knock, but now Kingsgrove were through to the tail—and the tail did what tails do: scored very few!
And all of a sudden in the space of an over Milan were effectively out of it, nine wickets down with a mountain of runs to score—last man Venu had a go, but Milan were all out for 134.
So once again we batted our way into defeat—and consider this: if each of the 11 Milan batsmen had just scored 3 more each
Sic biscutus destructus est