MILAN CRICKET CLUB
Monday — rain, Tuesday — rain, Wednesday — rain, Thursday — a lot of rain, Friday — rain
Saturday… Sunshine. And so we played. Who said God wasn’t a cricketer?
“It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts” … is a phrase which, quite frankly, irritates the hell out of me — play to win: end of story — this special day was different — it marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another, and so I confess that just being there was what it was all about… the day had absolutely everything: a big crowd, champagne, 2 matches that went right to the wire, local dignitaries, cheerleaders, samosas, people with swords — heavens, we even had too many players. So a big thank you to everyone who turned up, a bigger thank you to those of you who have paid your annual subscriptions, a ginormous thank-you to those of you who pledged money to finance the pitch (ginormous may not be in the Shorter Oxford but it can only be a question of time) and an even more ginormouser thank you (with ribbons on) to the President, the one and only David Sweetman, who engineered the whole thing — I urge you all to continue to support the club to ensure that his efforts do not go to waste.
And so to the cricket… a triangular 15 over tournament against Lodi and Euratom.
Match 1 : Milan C.C. vs Lodi
Being suspicious of the new pitch (there’s gratitude for you!) Milan wanted to win the toss and field first, bowl out the opposition for 30 runs or so, knock off the runs and then have a beer.
We won the toss, decided to field but bowled very shabbily at first, gifting all sorts of extras to Lodi — the legendary 1st ball strategy yielded naught for Milan (but one for the total) and the run rate scampered away — no figures to hand but if memory serves me well Lodi moved along at about 9 or 10 an over with the Milan strike bowlers uncharacteristically ineffective — the first and second change bowlers eventually reined the scoring in, and the Lodi innings closed on 103 .
Milan started out brightly enough, openers Ramesh and Jonathan with 20 and 23 respectively creating a good platform — Craig ( 16 ), Sunil (14 ) and Ross ( 11*) then took over and it all seemed to be going so well …. but then it just petered out – the runs inexplicably dried up (one over produced one paltry run!) and the stroll turned into an uphill struggle, and Milan were left needing 4 off the last ball but were unable to produce – Lodi won by 3 runs.
Match 2 : Milan C.C. vs Euratom
Well let’s have another go, shall we? Milan fielded first again and in spite of some more wayward bowling got immediate reward in the first over, Ramesh trapping Saranga LBW with just 6 on the board. Euratom sent in a sequence of batsmen who all contributed to the score but Milan seemed more together in the field this time round — new boy J Thomas bowled a couple of middle order batsmen whop were threatening big scores, the fielders combined well to run out two more, and Sunil claimed a couple for himself as Euratom closed their innings on 103, as had Lodi!
Despite losing opener Atul very early on (Jonathan running out his second partner of the day!) the top order did their job, but once Jonathan (1 ) Craig (37) and Sunil (12) had been and gone once again the match appeared to be heading in exactly the same direction as the previous game — Milan had 97 on the board with just 2 balls to go: hearts in mouths we all watched as Miles, seemingly unconcerned by the whole situation calmly swatted the penultimate ball for 6 over mid wicket — last ball to be faced — the field closed in like a Venus flytrap: up comes the bowler, decent looking down the off side, Miles chose his spot well pushing the ball out into the covers past the flailing ankle of Dai Berry (well that is how he fields!) and trundled home to win the day by just one run!(I must just mention Venu’s glorious 6 smashed back over the bowler’s head earlier in the innings.)
Match 3 : Lodi vs Euratom
Due to all the short speeches the final match was reduced to 10 overs each: Lodi scored 65 and then crushed Euratom allowing them little chance to score — again no exact figures to hand, but I believe the score was just over 30. Lodi tournament champions having won both their games.
Roll of honour
Atul — for getting the first wicket
Ramesh — for hitting the first 4
Jonathan — for hitting the first 6
Craig — for getting the first catch (I think)
Ross — for captaining the victory (in spite of his vague field placings)