Catus cut short Midi cup campaign with 118-run victory canter

Midi Cricket Club, bruised by Catus Cricket Club’s emphatic nine-wicket victory in their last
league match of the season, battled bravely against the same club at St Pons de Mauchiens
a week later, but still went down by 118 runs to end a short-lived Siddalls Cup campaign.

However their 2013 league and cup season ended on an optimistic note with Joris
Verdaasdonk and Midi’s man-of-the-match Joe Whitworth putting together an unbeaten 40-
run eighth-wicket partnership as Midi vainly chased Catus’ 257 target.

Midi finished on 138 for seven after captain-for-the-day Paul Rogers top scored with 39,
having turned round a disastrous Midi start which saw the four top-order batsmen back in the
pavilion with only 18 runs on the board.

Catus won the toss on a hot, fine Sunday and. with four players still making their way to the
ground, decided to bat first in the 35-over match.

With Midi’s attack still short of captain Dom George, recovering from a broken finger, Patrick
Dubois and David Mickleborough opened the bowling and it was the South African Dubois
who struck first with the score on 21, opener Rob Allen caught by the reliable French
youngster Pierre Zivanovic.

But having pegged Catus back in the early stages, Midi were left to rue two dropped catches
off Rahim, who went on to score 33, and a missed run out chance, allowing the visitors to
move past a century with only two wickets down.

Catus consolidated and moved past 150 for three wickets before Whitworth came on to
claim two victims in consecutive overs – Mark Beard, caught by Rogers on 21, then topscorer
Shafiq, bowled for 42. Whitworth lulled both batsmen into a feeling of security by
sprinkling six wides across the two overs.

Whitworth then picked up his third wicket with the score on 201, caught by wicketkeeper
David Amoros, to give him figures of three for 42 from his allotted seven-over spell.

The ever-dependable Ken Miller also picked up two wickets for 41 runs, with Verdaasdonk
(1-22), Dubois (1-60) and Ben Morgan (1-34), also chipping in, but Catus were able to set
the home side a formidable 257-run target for victory.

It all started very badly for Midi with Catus’ opening strike force, Karim and Rahim, sending
back the first four batsmen with only 18 runs scored. It was left to Rogers and Dubois to
steady the ship and they took the score along to 41 before Dubois (12) gave Rahim his
second wicket.

With victory slipping away, Midi were looking for respectability and Rogers, leading from the
front, grew in confidence and with support from Miller (13), Verdaasdonk (26 not out) and
Whitworth (12 not out), the home side were able to post 138 runs.

Rogers had looked well set in his second match after his return from his Central American
adventures but was sent on his way on 39 when given leg before by Shafiq bowling round
the wicket, a decision not often seen in Costa Rica.

Midi now go into their summer slumbers ahead of their September social season, launched
with the President’s Day festivities on Sunday, 8 September.

Thanks go to Joe Whitworth for putting together the tea at short notice and David Amoros
and Reg Gratton, for undertaking the mowing and, regrettably, giving Catus, a very fast
outfield.

Midi CC is now partnered with Cancer Support France (www.cse-languedoc.com), a local
organisation providing support in English for those affected by cancer.

Midi wind up league campaign with defeats on the road

Midi Cricket Club once again successfully defended their long losing streak on the road with
defeats against Noe-Gascogne CC and Catus CC in a weekend league double-header at the
Catus home ground near Cahors on 22 and 23 June.

The double loss keeps them rooted firmly at the bottom of the Midi-Pyrénées/South division
of the Siddalls Regional League with six defeats from six matches to wind up their 2013
league campaign.

After their confidence-boosting first win of the season the previous week in a friendly against
Bedouins CC, Midi CC were hoping for a change of fortune on the first road trip of the
season.

Batting first in both matches, Midi had the chance to give their bowlers scores to defend, but
despite (for Midi CC) lengthy stays at the wicket in both matches, particularly from the
dogged Jason Armstrong and captain for the weekend, Alex Lalljee, the runs simply did not
flow.

Armstrong was the backbone of the innings in Midi’s first match against Noe-Gascogne but
although his top score of 21 accumulated over 20 overs helped his team to a reasonable
score of 110, Noe-Gascogne ultimately cruised home by 4 wickets after an early scare when
three of their top order were back in the pavilion with only 44 runs on the board after half the
allotted 40 overs.

Lalljee’s patient top score of 13 in his hour at the crease against Catus CC found support
from only Ken Miller (11) and the 46-run target took the home side only five overs to
overtake for an easy nine-wicket victory.

Midi were once again below strength for their trip away from St Pons with captain and
leading run scorer Dom George still recovering from a broken finger, Roger Hartill nursing a
strained calf muscle and David Mickleborough and Joris Verdaasdonk unavailable.

But at least they were able to welcome back Paul Rogers after his Central American
adventures, and he quickly repaid his return to the side with two slip catches – one a brilliant
take low down to his right – and a wicket, which gave Midi a smidgeon of hope that they
might break through eight-man Noe-Gascogne’s defences for a first on-the-road win.

But middle-order batsmen Pierre and Yoji steadied the Noe-Gascogne ship and a
partnership of 72 saw them safely home. Lalljee (1 for 10 in five overs), Patrick Dubois (1 for
21 in six overs) and Rogers (1 for 26 in four overs) were the pick of the Midi bowlers.

Midi had determinedly battled to 110, thanks to Armstrong, some middle-order support from
Miller (16) and Dubois (11), and some generous Noe-Gascogne bowling which produced 36
wides, nine in the first two overs.

The Sunday match against Catus was painfully one-sided thanks to the UMC (usual Midi
collapse) and a batting order that ended at nine, with scorer Reg Gratton bringing up the
rear.

After laboriously toiling to 31 for three after 26 overs, Midi lost their last five wickets for 14
runs, to leave the run-hungry Gratton on a neatly compiled 0 not out.

Catus CC man-of-the-match Richard Harris finished with 2 for 6, one a curious bowling of
Miller who was given out when a bail dislodged itself from the wicket with the batsman aware
of no apparent intervention by the ball.

Catus CC were in no mood to hang around and with both Dubois and Miller unable to find
the line and length of the previous day, Harris proceeded to hit an unbeaten 28 – the winning
shot a huge six off Dubois – to help seal an easy home side victory. Miller took the only Midi
wicket at the cost of 21 runs from his two overs.

Midi now face a Siddalls Cup match against Catus CC at their St Pons de Mauchiens ground
on Sunday, 30 June, and will be hoping that captain Dom George will make his return from
injury to provide some inspiration for his team after the disappointing away weekend.

Thanks go to Midi President Marc Dalling and Ken Miller for driving duties and the Cahors
Auberge de Jeunesses for providing a toilet flush in the team dormitory that would have
woken the dead and probably contributed to Midi’s abject failure against Catus. Also thanks
again to Colin Trickett for making the long trip and providing his usual impeccable umpiring
in the Catus match.

Ken Miller inspires a famous Midi victory over Bedouins

American import Ken Miller inspired Midi Cricket Club to a famous victory and the first of a
frustrating rain and injury blighted season with a quickfire 35 and a three-wicket haul to give the
home side sweet revenge over UK touring side Bedouins CC at St Pons de Mauchiens on Saturday, 15
June.

Man of the match Miller, nursing an infected finger, helped Midi to set a more than respectable
target of 203 – their highest score of the season – with a flurry of fours and sixes – and then opened
the bowling to help send the Bedouins crashing to 57 for six before a late stand helped them recover
to 131 all out.

Midi’s 71-run victory was their first in six matches and was all the more creditable as they took the
field without injured all rounders Dom George (broken finger) and Alex Lalljee (injured shoulder) and
veteran spinner David Mickleborough (dicky knee).

Marc Dalling, captain for the day in the absence of George, set the perfect example for his team with
another solid opening stand of 43 with Jason Armstrong, hitting 30, including five fours, before
unluckily hitting his wicket when the ball flicked off his bat, on to his helmet, then on to the stumps.
Midi’s scoring stalled but thankfully, but much to the surprise of their long-suffering supporters (Sid
and Doris Bonkers and a dog named Kevin,), who were expecting the UMC (usual Midi collapse), the
home side dug in.

Roger Hartill, playing his first game of the season, scored a resolute 17 before retiring hurt with a
torn calf muscle, and supported by Joe Whitworth, who put in his best batting performance for the
club, paved the way for Miller to produce the cameo innings of the season.

Traiteur Miller, who said afterwards his innings was one for the kipper, smashed five fours and two
sixes for his highest score of the season and the best entertainment seen at the home ground since
Marc Dalling’s brilliant 94 last September.

Whitworth, at the other end, provided an ideal foil and rarely looked like getting out, finishing not
out on 28, by far his highest score of the season. Talismanic Frenchman David Amoros chipped in
with a jaunty 17 to help take the Midi score past 200.

For once Midi were able to take to the field with a score to defend, and with an inspired Miller, the
Bedouins, who beat Midi by 34 runs last season, were soon in trouble.

Patrick Dubois, celebrating his first year with the club, removed opener Rob Gillam in his second
over, then French youngster Lucas Zivanovic produced a fine throw from the deep for keeper
Amoros to run out fellow opener Peter Williams and find the Bedouins struggling at 27 for two.

In stepped Miller and in a three-over spell he sent the rest of the top order back to the pavilion at
the cost of only five runs. The Bedouins crashed to 57 for six when Lucas’ older brother Pierre
tempted the threatening Hardy into a rash shot to give Dalling one of two catches.

With half the allotted 35 overs gone, the Bedouins were looking at scoring over 10 runs an over for
victory and while a seventh wicket stand of 86 gave the score some respectability, the visitors never
looked like chasing down Midi’s target.

In the absence of George, Lalljee and Mickleborough, occasional bowlers Armstrong, Whitworth and
Dalling all stepped in to provide back-up for Miller (three for 15) and the miserly Dubois (one for 20).
Armstrong picked up two wickets for 25 in his four-over spell, while Whitworth, his confidence
boosted by his innings, produced a consistent line and length to record figures of 0 for 25 in his six
overs. Dalling’s five overs also conceded only 26 runs.

Midi’s victory was the ideal preparation for two tough matches on the road on 22 and 23 June,
against the formidable Noe-Gascogne CC and Catus CC.

Many thanks to Colin Trickett for his usual impeccable impiring, to Jason Armstrong for providing the
tea and to Reg Gratton for his seven-hour stint on the mower. Don’t ask him the difference between
2.5, 1.5 and 0.5.

Midi CC youngster is picked for France U19 tour

One of Midi’s youngsters has been selected for the France U19 squad to
play in an international tournament in Germany in August following trials
in Damazan in Aquitaine in early June.

Midi CC President Marc Dalling who took four Midi youngsters to the trials
on the weekend of 1 and 2 June, reported that 15-year-old Lucian Calkin
was one of seven players from the south west selected in the 14-man
national squad.

“This is great news for Midi and I am also proud to say that our three
French youngsters, Pierre and Luca Zivanovic and Rashid Hriri, all
acquitted themselves well.”

Lucian, a batsman/wicketkeeper, attends St Laurence school in Wiltshire,
and has parents with a home in the Herault. He has already shown great
potential in the English cricket arena and was a member of the Bath
Cricket Club U15 squad that won the clubs’ national finals tournament last
August.

He showed great quality in the two limited over matches organised for the
trials, top scoring with 31 in the first game.

He played under Marc’s guidance with the Midi juniors a few years ago
and should be available to play in Midi’s friendlies after the Germany tour.
Lucian will be playing practice matches during a training camp in early
July in the Dordogne against St Aulaye, Aquitaine and Poitou selections
before the international tournament in Germany from 9-11 August.

More than 20 youngsters took part in the trials and Dalling felt that Midi’s
three French juniors gained invaluable experience in coming up against
players who were better than them.

“They knew they didn’t have a realistic chance of being selected. They
were playing against youngsters who grew up with cricket and they have
only been playing two or three years. But they were very eager and
showed great enthusiasm.

“What was promising was to see Rashid bowling on both days and getting
a couple of wickets. And the fielding of our French trio was outstanding.
They are second to none in the field. They now need to spend more time
in the nets and work on their batting and bowling.”

“It was great to see that half the squad of 14 were from the southwest so
that is very good for us. Hopefully it reflects the progress of the junior
development programme in the region.”