Midi falter again against Catus after solid start

Midi CC looked set to prosper on the confidence of a narrow defeat to Toulouse CC in their previous
league match but after posting their best opening partnership of the season, the home side
foundered once again with Catus CC cruising to an eight-wicket victory on Sunday 26 May.

After several changes to the fixture schedule, what was supposed to be a double header ended up as
a league match only, with the Siddalls Cup game against Catus now to be played on Sunday 30 June.

Put into bat first, Midi started in solid fashion with a 55-run opening partnership but then the
wickets tumbled and Catus were set a moderate target of 136 runs.

The visitors’ Catus top order were in no mood to hang around and with their youthful side fresh
from a recent victory against perennial league champions Noe Gascogne, they took the game to
Midi from the first delivery, sealing victory in only the 16th over of the 40-over match.

The fourth defeat of their league campaign was disappointing for Midi who were bouyed by the
return of their injured captain Dom George and were in the mood to post their first victory of the
season

The rain of recent weeks had stayed away and openers Jason Armstrong (24) and Dalling (43) made a
solid start under blue skies. Their partnership of 55 provided a decent platform against some pacey
and accurate bowling from Catus’s opening bowlers. Armstrong was eventually dismissed just before
the drinks break.

Dalling and Lalljee (11 took the score along to 82 until Dalling was caught in the deep following a
flurry of boundaries. Next in was captain George (28) who picked his way through the first few
deliveries with well-placed singles as the scoreboard ticked over at a reasonable rate.

When Lalljee was bowled by Rofik, the ball ricocheting off his pads, Midi were in need of a solid
middle order partnership but as so often in the past, wickets tumbled and Midi lost five batsmen for
12 runs, including two first-ball ducks.

A late flurry of boundaries from the resilient George and Mickleborough helped push the scoring
rate up late on as Midi finished on a below par 135 all out.

A delightful tea was provided by Ken Miller, highlights including some deceptively tangy chicken
wraps. The hope was this would give Midi a kick at the start of their session in the field and make
some early inroads into the Catus top order.

Midi began with focus, but with Catus eyeing up the short boundaries square of the wicket they
quickly took the game away. They raced to 50 in five overs with Shafik (36) throwing the bat with
abandon.

Keeble (52 not out) at the other end played a fine innings, with some beautiful off-drives and several
clips behind square leg for four.

The Midi bowlers were quickly rotated to mix things up in an effort to stem the flow of runs. There
were also several big efforts in the field, George and Patrick Dubois launching themselves to make
stops as Catus peppered the outfield.

Catus reached their target of 136 in 15.4 overs with Midi left rueing a few early chances that didn’t
go their way, and which may have made a difference in slowing the Catus charge.

Onwards and upwards, Midi’s next game is against touring team Bedouin CC on Saturday 15 June. A
victory would see off those mid-season blues and give some confidence for the away weekend
double header on 22/23 June.

Practice continues…

Dubois spell brings Midi close to victory over Toulouse

Patrick Dubois produced Midi CC’s best bowling spell of the season to bring his
team close to an upset victory over Toulouse CC in a league match at St Pons de
Mauchiens on Saturday 18 May.

Dubois, who spearheaded the bowling attack in the absence of injured captain
Dom George, removed two of the visitors’ top-order batsmen in his first three
overs to send the visitors crashing to 16 for three wickets as they chased Midi’s
moderate score of 141.

When American import Ken Miller struck in his second over with the score on 38,
Midi seemed set to produce their first win of a disappointing, rain-blighted
season.

But a vital dropped catch on the boundary and a few grounded half chances
enabled Toulouse youngster Samuel Johnson and veteran Neil Warren to steady
the ship and, with a seventh wicket partnership of 53, they helped steer their
team home by three wickets.

Dubois, who rarely strayed from a tight line and length, returned his season’s
best figures of three for 21 in a seven-over spell while both Miller, with two
wickets for 27 and the returning David Mickelborough, with one for 22, gave him
able support.

Midi, who went down to Toulouse by 73 runs in their first league match of the
season, won a vital toss on a rain-affected ground and captain for the day Alex
Lalljee wisely elected to bat, quietly confident that the Toulouse opening strike
force would struggle on a slippery run-up.

Samuel Johnson, who had blitzed Midi in their previous match with four wickets
for seven runs, quickly shortened his approach after sending down two wides in
his first over and Midi’s openers Marc Dalling and Lalljee were able to capitalise
on the opening bowler’s uncertainty.

Marc Dalling, whose aim this season is to reach double figures in every innings,
kept to his target once again while Lalljee provided the solid foundation for Midi’s
best start of the season.

Midi put on 38 runs before Dalling was bowled for 14 by Toulouse’s best bowler,
Philippe Fermanel, while Lalljee helped push the score along to 76 for two before
going for 12.

George, whose ankle injury precluded him from fielding and the captaincy, had
shared a partnership of 29 with Lalljee but when he departed after top scoring
with a brisk innings of 30, Midi then provided their faithful supporters (Sid and
Doris Bonkers and a dog named Kevin) with the UMC (usual Midi collapse).

From a creditable 90 for three after 20 overs, Midi sank to 109 for eight, three
wickets falling to Fermanel who finished with four for 26.

Only Miller resisted the Midi surrender, hitting three fours and an outrageous six
for a creditable 27 in what he described afterwards at his media conference as
his longest-ever stay at the wicket (plate appearance).

Miller was the last to go, leaving Reg Gratton, who had handed over scoring
duties to brother Terry, stranded on a neatly compiled 0 not out.

Midi, in low spirits after the thumping 147-run home defeat by Noe Gascogne
the week before, visibly lifted as they pressed Toulouse from the start of their
innings for a first win of the season.

The whole team responded to wicketkeeper David Amoros’ inspired performance
behind the stumps and the enthusiasm shown in the field by the two French
youngsters, Pierre Ivanovic and Rashid Hriri.

Thank you to Dom George for providing the splendid tea and Colin Trickett for
his expert umpiring.

Midi crash at home despite George’s swashbuckling 82

Dom George slammed a swashbuckling 82 as he led the Midi CC run chase
against Noe Gascogne CC on Sunday 12 May but his captain’s innings was not
enough to stave off a second league defeat of the season.

The visitors posted a formidable score of 334 after winning the toss on a cloudy
but dry day.

While Midi for once avoided the usual mid-order collapse, they still went down by
147 runs with only Ken Miller, 20, Marc Dalling, 16, and Ben Morgan, 12,
providing George with support.

Midi’s bowling frailty, without absent stalwarts Paul Rogers, John McBurnie, Dave
Mickelborough and Nick Allison, was exposed by Noe’s top order with all four
batsmen posting 50-plus scores as they cruised to three figures with only four
wickets down.

Midi’s fielding seemed at times to be in a parallel universe, highlighted by two
failed run-out attempts when it seemed easier to hit the wicket than miss, and a
brilliant catch in the deep by American import Miller who then calmly sank back
over the boundary rope, blissfully unaware that he had conceded six runs.

Patrick Dubois, Alex Lalljee and Miller each picked up a wicket but all were
expensive and George, usually the most miserly of the Midi bowlers, gave away
59 runs in his eight wicketless overs.

Midi started their innings badly with Lalljee going for nought after spooning an
unplayable ball into the slips in the first over but Ben Morgan joined Dalling and
they took the score to 37 in only six overs before Morgan fell LBW for 12.

George then joined Dalling and while they only added another six runs, the
captain provided the foundation for an entertaining but ultimately unsuccessful
run chase.

Midi were finally dismissed in 28 overs for 187 after George’s jaunty
partnerships of 42 with Miller and a last-wicket 47 with Rashid Hriri whose
dogged two not out enabled his captain to flay the Noe bowlers.

Midi are still looking for their first win of the season, having lost to the No Hope
XI in a friendly and Toulouse CC in their first league match. They entertain
Toulouse again on Saturday 18 May.

Thank you to President Marc Dalling and Vice President Reg Gratton for mowing
the ground on Saturday afternoon and to Marc and wife Christelle for providing
the excellent tea.