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
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.