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.

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