Rogers’ 66 not enough to save Midi from home league defeat

All-rounder Paul Rogers finally found form with the bat but his breezy top-scoring 66
was not enough to save Midi CC from their third league defeat of the 2014 season,
going down by 51 runs at home to Armagnac-Bigorre CC on Sunday, 18 May.

Opener Rogers, whose tight, consistent bowling has been in sharp contrast to a
disappointing run with the bat, thrashed four sixes and eight fours to put Midi in a
strong position in chasing the visitors’ target of 241 in the 40-over match.
When he left, LBW to Sudhir with the score on 92, it was left to the dependable Nick
Allison to steer Midi to victory and revenge for their defeat to Armagnac-Bigorre by
five wickets the previous weekend at Seissan.

But in a rerun of a familiar script, while Allison provided the bedrock for Midi’s
innings, the team imploded once again at the other end with the Usual Midi Collapse
(UMC), plummeting from 139 for four to 143 for eight.

Midi CC, who opened their campaign in the Midi-Pyrénées/South Division with their
first win in four years, are now in danger of once again propping up the table in the
four-team competition after three subsequent losses.

While they still sit in second place on 38 points after four matches behind Armagnac-
Bigorre on 54 points, Toulouse CC (29 points) and Catus CC (30 points) have played
only twice.

Midi went into the match at St Pons de Mauchiens against Armagnac-Bigorre
confident they could reverse the result of the previous Sunday with the return of
some key players and home ground advantage.

After losing the toss on a sunny day, Rogers once again provided the bowling
spearhead, and supported by fellow spin bowler Neeraj Obhrai, pegged the visitors
back, limiting their openers to a scant 28 runs after eight overs for the loss of one
wicket.

But opener Sriram, top scorer the previous week, once again emerged as Midi’s
nemesis, steering Armagnac-Bigorre to 201 for four before falling LBW to Patrick
Dubois for 89.

He was ably supported by Preetham who clouted 45 before becoming Dubois’ third
victim when Ram Kumbhar took a stunning catch on the boundary rope.

The visitors progressed to 240 for seven wickets, and while it was Rogers (1-34)
Neeraj (0-32) and Ram (0-35) who were able to contain the scoring from their
allotted eight overs it was Dubois with four for 67 and Dom George with two for 53
who did the damage.

Midi started their innings steadily, openers Rogers and Jason Armstrong taking the
score along to 27 before Armstrong went for six. Allison joined Rogers and the pair
moved the score quickly along to 97 before Rogers went.

Senior pro George then went quickly for a duck, followed by Neeraj who fell to a
wonder catch by bowler Sudhir for five.

Captain Alex Lalljee stopped the rot, dug in and compiled a handy 13 before being
bowled by Preetham with the score on 139.

The UMC then put paid to any hopes of a Midi victory, Martin Eede (0), Ram (0) and
Dubois (0), all falling to Tony Hands within the space of two overs.

Some late support for Allison from Joris Verdaasdonk (9) and David Amoros (six not
out) took the score along to a respectable 189 but well short of the 241 target. Allison
was the last wicket to fall, bowled for 60 by Gohel Abishek, his innings including 10
fours.

Midi now have to regroup for a vital home match on 31 May against Toulouse CC
who beat them by only one wicket in the match at Seissan on 10 May.

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