Toulouse too strong for Midi in league opener

Midi CC finally emerged from a rain-deprived start to the season but the sun did
not shine for them on their opening league match on Sunday, 21 April, and they
went down to Toulouse CC by 73 runs.

Short of practice and with two matches cancelled and one abandoned, Midi were
hoping that a late switch of venue that brought Toulouse to St Pons would give
them a home ground advantage in the 40-over match.

But as so often in the past, Midi failed to rein in Toulouse’s Australian captain,
Brett Trudgett, whose man-of-the-match undefeated innings of 71 steered his
team to 159 runs after 34 overs.

On a cloudy, cool day, Midi could take heart from a tight bowling performance
which saw the opening strike force of Patrick Dubois and David Mickelborough
peg back the Toulouse top order, restricting them to 20 after nine overs, with
both openers back in the pavilion without scoring.

Captain Dom George joined Mickleborough and Toulouse were five down for 53
before Trudgett steadied the ship with some obdurate defence before unleashing
a raft of sixes to help his team post a reasonable target.

While George was the pick of the bowlers with three for 25 from his miserly
eight-over spell, Mickelborough and Miller both picked up two wickets and
Dubois, Alex Lalljee and Joris Verdaasdonk chipped in with a wicket apiece.

The stand-out performer in the field was wicketkeeper David Amoros with five
catches. The mercurial Frenchman has made the position his own since taking
over from Steve Field last season and his authority behind the stumps lifted the
whole team, exemplified by a brilliant reflex catch in the slips by Marc Dalling.

Midi started the run chase in determined fashion. Exhorted by captain George to
play themselves in, openers Alex Lalljee and Jason Armstrong took him at his
word and Midi crawled to 20 without loss after 15 overs.

Against an accurate bowling attack which made runs difficult to score, it was
only after Lalljee went for 10 and Armstrong for seven, that Midi started to
accumulate runs with Dalling and George giving the home team some hope with
a jaunty partnership of 52 runs.

But when Dalling was bowled for 23 by Srikanth, one of Toulouse’s Sri Lankan
contingent, Midi once again provided their long-suffering supporters (Syd and
Doris Bonkers and a dog named Kevin) with the UMC (usual Midi collapse).

Verdaasdonk was the first to depart, run out without scoring, which started a
plunge from 78 for five to 86 all out, the last six batsmen boasting a total of one
run. George was the last batsman out, top scoring with 33.

Toulouse’s young fast bowler Samuel Johnson wrapped up the Midi tail with
figures of four wickets for seven runs.

Midi’s next game is on Sunday, 12 May, a home league match against Noe

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