MILAN CRICKET CLUB
Well – if you weren’t there, you missed it all : we had a century, we had a hat trick, we had bizarre happenings with the stumps, we had gentlemanly conduct – what else ? Somebody got a pair, there was strange fruit , and maybe the sharp-eyed ( and –eared) of you will have seen / heard the green woodpecker that flew across the pitch, there was a thrilling finish on day one - and there was also Mike De Morgan’s cowboy hat.
Saturday : 35 overs
David Sweetman, Chris Morgan, Mike De Morgan, Jonathan, Mark, John Thorpe. Sunil, Pradeep, Shanta, Rob Hassan, Steve Osbourne, Paolo Riccaboni.
The bushmen are a BBC based team who call in on us every few years, succeed in making me feel intellectually inferior as they casually drop famous names into the conversation and
then try to beat us at cricket - Milan put together an invitation XI for the occasion and on paper looked pretty strong – but it always refreshing to play a side we know less well as you never know where the surprises are coming from !!
Milan won the toss and fielded : very good bowling saw the Bushmen openers looking anything but comfortable and Jackson gifted an easy catch to mid off in the 3rd over, Bob Ancil following 2 overs later , bowled for 0 : Bushmen on 4 for 2, Rob Hassan with 2 for 1 !! Chris Ancil took to the crease and started a commendable innings playing some good straight shots ( mid on and mid off were kept particularly busy ! ) - the score rate moved very, very slowly indeed : the batsmen played cautiously and rarely added more than 2 an over – credit here to all the bowlers who generally bowled good line and length - next to fall was Reynolds, LBW bowled Thorpe for 6 with the score on 30, but Chris Ancil was looking good at the other end – David Sweetman bowled Cockerell for 14 with the score on 52 and still no increase in the run rate - the Bushmen only managed 5 boundaries in their entire innings – and then David bowled Gretton for 3 – something of a decent partnership then emerged as Hornsey and Ancil put on 40 for the next wicket but the bowling was really much better than the stuff we have seen of late – Bushmen now on 102 for 7 with something like 30 overs gone : and then Steve Osbourne came on and swept through the tail with a hat-trick :
1) Hornsey caught behind for 17
2) Prize scalp Bushmen Captain Clive Jeavons bowled first ball
3) Ancil, bowled, having made a very creditable 56
…… and then he added a fourth ( so that’s 4 in 5 balls !! ) having Keighwin caught at point by Shanta – Pradeep dispatched the final batsman for 0 as well to wrap up the innings . Bushmen 111 all out – only 3 batsmen making it into double figures. Good accurate bowling : Rob finished with 2 for 1 off 3, Chris 0 for 3 off 3, John T. 1 for 15 off 4, Shanta 0 for 11 off 5, Sunil 0 for 17 off 5, David 2 for 15 off 5, Pradeep 1 for 30 off 5 and Steve 4 for 17 off 3.3 –
“ Repeat after me : I must not bat like a tw*t, I must not bat like a tw*t, I must not ba….”
It has been mentioned more than once that we need to bat intelligently and craft innings ( I am guiltier than most as I never seem able to do this ) - but SURELY 111 was gettable whatever kind of form Milan were in ??!?
Sunil and Mark opened, and while Sunil started building a score Mark looked anything but comfortable and in the 7th over top edged the ball back to the bowler for just one run, Milan on 19 for 1. Still – Milan were on the way, runs coming and plenty of overs in hand. Pradeep was next in – and next out : bowled for 6 as he caught the Milan disease “acrossthelinitis” – 30 for 2. Jonathan caught chronic “acrossthelinitis” and was bowled for 4 – Milan now on 38 for 3 after 14 overs. Still no reason to panic…….. Shanta and Sunil built a partnership of 32 and Milan breathed a sigh of relief but then Sunil was stumped for 38 – you would still say that with only 42 runs needed and 6 wickets and 17 overs in hand that that situation was far from desperate - but you have reckoned without Milan’s capacity to throw it all away, haven’t you ?? Paolo Riccaboni came and went scoring an awkward one run, Shanta was ( unfairly ? ) judged LBW for 18 - so Milan are now 74 for 6 !! And 2 runs later Rob Hassan was bowled for 1 as Bushmen Cap’n Jeavons added a fourth to his haul of day – Chris Morgan was heard muttering dark words about what would happen if we actually went ahead and lost this one – 76 for 7…… David Sweetman steadied the ship for a while, and the score moved tantalisingly close to the 100 mark- but he, too, was bowled for 14 ( playing across the line ? Surely not - he claims it didn’t bounce ( we’ll believe you just this once David ) – Milan still 15 runs short and 8 wickets down – then THE incident : Chris Morgan is facing, face awash in grim determination – ball is hit out to backward of square : first run is completed and a second is called for after a moment’s hesitation – Steve Osbourne makes his ground but Chris appears to be beaten by a n accurate throw and is adjudged to be out – while he departs a-muttering under his breath the Bushmen gather to celebrate – and lo !! From out of the blue a doubt is expressed as to whether the keeper actually gathered the ball cleanly – consciences are examined, and Chris is duly called back – we all then watch with hearts in mouths as Chris and Steve then steer Milan over the finishing line …. What a game ! Victory by 2 wickets.
Sunday : 40 overs
Gurmel, Sonu, Sunil, Jonathan, Dev, Pradeep, Mandeep, Sandeep, Bo Peep ( only joking ) Dolat, Mark and Yogesh
The Bushmen Captain insisted on playing 40 overs, much to the consternation of his team who were suffering from having been a little “ tired and emotional” after the previous evening’s proceedings, which saw us enjoy a good dinner and some bad jokes – but how come the rabbit joke didn’t even make an appearance?
This is the
The Bushmen won the toss and opted to field - the bowling was not as good as the day before and Milan openers Gurmel and Sonu made a solid start – The Bushmen were however denied a crucial wicket as early as the 4th over when Sonu played an uncharacteristically bad shot ( yes –youìve guessed - across the line ) and the ball neatly passed between middle stump and leg stump, leaving the bails undisturbed and the bowler bewildered !!! How important would that prove to be?
Gurmel was LBW for 19 in the 8th over with the score on 34, which brought two big guns together – and they set about outcompeting each other : the Bushmen bowlers laboured away without reward and the overs + runs ticked by – the 100 mark was reached in the 20th over, 6 overs later Milan reached 150 – and once the partnership of 150 had been reached Sunil graciously retired – 8 runs short of a century !! Sonu did the same thing once he had reached his century, Milan now close on 190 with 11 overs to go and 7 ( effective ) wickets in hand and 2 new batsmen at the crease – Dev and Pradeep came and went scoring 10 and 2 respectively ( Pradeep across the line AGAIN !! ) and it just remained to be seen whether Jonathan could remember the “bat/tw*t” mantra for a change – he did, and partnered by Mandeep they saw out the overs for 22 not out and 24 not out respectively, Milan’s total a massive 281 for 5.
I will honestly say we all knew it was over before it had started : the youthful Milan bowlers unleashed some pacy deliveries – Opener Chris Ancil was bowled for 0 by Yogesh, Naresh made a go of it, but his stroke play was always going to offers something to the fielders behind the bat and he was caught behind for 16 - I don’t have accurate figures with which to tell the story, but there was no way the Bushmen were ever going to get anywhere the Milan total,and so it was just a question of how much they would lose by – few runs were forthcoming – the next 4 batsmen came and went scoring very little between them –Opener Bob Ancil survived half the allotted overs before Sunil had him caught - Jeavons went first ball again, caught at slip – Cockerell dug in and seemed determined to put up some resistance before being bowled for 14 – bear in mind that this put the Bushmen on something like 70 for 8 – matters were brought to a conclusion as Gretton was easily run out, leaving Milan victors by the huge margin of some 200 runs thanks to some good, aggressive bowling and some weak batting.
A supremely enjoyable weekend – thanks to everybody for participating but in particular to Mike and Chris for masterminding the whole show.