MILAN CRICKET CLUB
“It’s a cricket pitch, Jim, but not as we know it”
(Captain James T Kirk just before the annual grudge match against the Klingons)
A number of factors demanded immediate consideration — perfect weather conditions — about flippin’ time an’ all — a wicket that had reportedly been flattened by someone driving a car up and down it a few times and a paucity of players — only 8 MCC players made it — and clearly Mr Longrass was going to be something to be reckoned with !
If truth be told, Milan really wanted to field first, but in order to encourage the opposition Cap’n Ross decided to lose the toss — which he did and Milan were put into bat — both openers made a good start : Craig got 21 and Ramesh got 18 — it is safe to say that these totals would have been considerably higher if the grass had been considerably lower!!! Tarun came in and went on to top score with 26, the middle order added not much, but the tail resisted somewhat with Ross Gower Senior hitting an important 14 — the “scorebook” — more of which later — will show that that almost all the Milan batsmen were bowled as the “interestingly variable” bounce and movement took their toll — Milan closed their innings on 111 all out worthy of note are the 4s that were hit by Messrs Craig, Ross Gower Snr, guest player Mainda and Tarun — no mean feat given the state of the flora ! For Euratom of the 5 bowlers used Sumit did most of the damage accounting for 4 Milan batsmen.
So : they’re chasing 111, are they ? Milan’s destiny was clearly in the hands of the bowlers — a good economy would surely ensure success … wouldn’t it?
The opening bowlers did what had been asked of them — and the run rate was kept under control — the two first change bowlers took a while to find their feet (all that long grass, you see) but Milan kept chipping away, and it must be said that some very good keeping was an important element in keeping the game within Milan’s grasp. Opener and top scorer Sameer was dismissed for 23, but throughout the innings the scoreboard moved along at the required run-rate, and for while it looked as if Euratom would overhaul the total — the turning point came when Sumith was needlessly run out for 23, and the game swung in Milan’s favour — Satya had threatened to take over where Sumith had left off but Sunil despatched him shortly afterwards — and now who was this making his way to the crease ?? — Vipul — yes, Vipul, a Milan player ( or so we thought ) who was given a slightly intimidating guard of honour which clearly paid off as he was out shortly afterwards — that’s what happens to people who decide to play for the wrong team — then Tarun came back on to finish off the tail end, leaving Euratom all out, a dozen or so runs adrift. Tarun pick of the Milan bowlers with 3 for 13.
A finely balanced game which could have gone either way right up to the final, er, whistle. Talking of which… Milan (the other one) won the derby!
(Editor’s apology — thanks to the express DHL link between North Wales and Monza, the new score book, despatched over 3 weeks ago, has yet to appear and is probably living it up in Terminal 5 . This is why I do not have more precise figures)