Midi venture into the unknown with Siddalls Cup quarter-final win

Midi CC, boosted by the return of senior pro Dom George and top-order batsman
Nick Allison, beat Damazan CC by five wickets at their home ground on Sunday to
move into the semi-finals of the Siddalls Cup.

Midi’s first cup win in the club’s history was appropriately founded on an 80-run
opening partnership between Allison (24) and Jason Armstrong (44), the club’s two
leading run scorers this season.

Chasing a target of 164 after losing the toss, Midi threatened to implode after the
openers departed when they lost three quick wickets but George and Neeraj Obhrai
dug in and eased Midi home with eight overs to spare.

Midi, whose league campaign ended dismally with a fifth consecutive loss at the
hands of Catus CC, were desperate to go into the summer break with a victory to lift
spirits but Damazan’s leading batsmen Gogan Singh and Marcus Harris hadn’t read
the Midi script.

With opener Gary Stark putting up a brick wall at one end, eking out an unbeaten10
runs in two hours,of dour defence, first Singh on 36, followed by Harris on 72,
helped take the visitors to 150 for two wickets, before the wily George picked up
three quick wickets to limit the score to 163 for five after the allotted 35 overs.

Captain Paul Rogers, standing in for Alex Lalljee, who selflessly decided to rest
himself , called on George after he had produced a typical miserly opening spell
which removed opener Sanja Seth, smartly taken by George at first slip.

George elected to bowl spin and after Ram Khumbar had removed Singh, well
caught by Ken Miller at deep mid-on, he struck three times in two overs which
included the vital wicket of the dangerous Harris, who blasted eight fours and five
sixes.

George posted figures of three for 20 from his six overs while Rogers was the pick
of the other bowlers with one for 17 from seven overs which included two maidens.
Ram was also niggardly with one wicket for 21 runs.

With a confidence-boosting performance in the field, Midi went in to bat with openers
Allison and Armstrong knowing that the match-winning target would be helped by
Damazan only having eight men in the field.

Both batsmen made good use of the fast, dry outfield with cuts, snicks and glances
behind the wicket and the score moved easily along to 50 after 10 overs and in
quick order to 79 after 15.

When Allison departed with the score on 80, followed shortly after by Armstrong who
hit seven fours in his 44, Marc Dalling and Ken Miller kept up the run rate, Midi’s
American import hitting an imperious six as he bludgeoned his way to 19.

But it was Dalling who ensured that the openers’ good work was not in vain and
despite a mini collapse of three wickets, he was the last batsman out, hitting seven
fours in his jaunty 35 before leaving Neeraj , nine not out, and George, eight not out,
to steer the home side to a semifinal encounter against Eymet on 10 August.

With rested players Lalljee, David Amoros and Joe Whitworth all there to support
Midi, the victory was truly a club affair. Club President Dallling wrote in an email after
the match: “Well done to all the players, umpires, scorers, bar manager,
barbecuer & supporters not only for the victory but also for making this
afternoon such an enjoyable and convivial game.”

Midi wind up league campaign in spectacular style

Midi CC wrapped up their league campaign in spectacular style on Sunday going
down to table-topping Catus CC by 10 wickets for their fifth successive loss.

Midi, who had beaten the formidable Catus by one run at home in a dramatic and
unexpected start to the league season, cemented their position at the bottom of the
Midi-Pyrenees/South Division after setting their opponents a dismally low target of 34
runs.

An away trip to Catus without the injured Paul Rogers, senior pro Dom George, top-
order batsman Nick Allison, strike bowler Patrick Dubois and young French
international Lucien Calkin, was always going to be an uphill battle. But the task
quickly become a lost cause when after winning the toss, Midi sank to 11 for four
wickets.

Midi had no answer to the most lethal opening bowling spell faced all season. Karim
and J. Patras, with two wickets apiece, clean bowled Jason Armstrong (2), Marc
Dalling (8), Ram Khumbar (0) and captain Alex Lalljee (1).

When Joris Verdaasdonk (5) and Joe Whitworth (0) both fell with the score on 16,
Midi were staring in the face of their lowest ever league score.

But a late flurry from Ken Miller (7) and David Amoros (6), ably supported by
occasional batsman Reg Gratton, with a neatly compiled 0 not out, eased the Midi
score to 33 in 16 overs.

Midi’s opening bowler Ken Miller quickly expunged any dream of a sensational Midi
victory with two wides and a six in a first over which conceded 13 runs. It was all
over in 2.3 overs with Rahim on 13 not out and Shafiq on 21.

Midi’s away weekend was to have opened on Saturday at Seissan with a new T20
tournament involving league opponents Toulouse CC and Armagnac-Bigorre CC.
But the triangular tournament was reduced to one match when Toulouse pulled out
at the eleventh hour.

Nine-man Midi lost the toss and Armagnac, led by captain Tony Hands who hit 76
not out, set the visitors an imposing target of 175 after their allotted 20 overs.
Armagnac’s score was augmented by Midi’s bowlers who generously conceded 43
wides.

Pick of the Midi bowlers was once again Paul Rogers who took two wickets in his
first over, but then after a three-over spell which yielded only six runs, he tweaked a
calf muscle tripping over a divot and was unable to complete his four overs.

Midi started their run chase disastrously with Rogers and Ram back in the pavilion
with only five on the board but Joe Whitworth and Jason Armstrong combined to
take the score past 30 and when Whitworth went for 10, captain Alex Lalljee joined
the South African for a partnership of 57.

But the run rate was against Midi and although Armstrong hit 30 with four fours and
Lalljee top scored with 33 and five fours, they went down by 52 runs. A late run
flurry was highlighted by Pierre Zivanovic who hit a best ever 18 in helping take the
Midi score to 122 for seven.

Midi’s focus is now on the Siddall’s Cup with a home match against Damazan CC
on Sunday, 22 June. With a number of key players back in the team, Midi will be
hoping to put the Catus loss behind them.

Midi stretch beaten run to four after bright start to league season

Midi CC gave opposing Toulouse CC Captain Brett Trudgett the best possible
farewell on Saturday – a six-wicket league victory at St Pons de Mauchiens and the
gracious gift of two successive sixes to seal a win for his side and send him back to
Australia with the warm memory of another job well done.

Trudgett, who has scored hundreds of runs against Midi over the last five years,
provided more of the same in his last match on French soil, scoring 42 not out,
including four sixes, as he and partner Neil Warren, 60 not out, combined to ease
past Midi’s total of 189 with 11 overs to spare.

Midi, who lost by only one wicket away to Toulouse three weeks previously, have
now slipped to second last in the Midi- Pyrénées/South Division after briefly topping
the table when they surprised everybody, particularly themselves, by registering their
first league victory in four years, defeating the formidable Catus CC in the season
opener.

Midi, hoping to stop the rot of three successive losses, won the toss on a cloudy but
dry day and Captain Alex Lalljee chose to bat, a decision he quickly regretted when
he and fellow opener Paul Rogers both went cheaply to send the home side tottering
at 14 for two.

But Nick Allison once again showed grit and determination and supported by senior
pro Dom George, the pair ground out the runs taking the score to 41 before George
fell to Presanth for 12.

Midi’s France U19 international Lucien Calkin joined Allison and the pair pushed the
score past 100 to raise hopes of a solid target for Toulouse to chase.

But when Allison fell for 19, caught and bowled by Neil Warren, followed by Calkin
soon after, another Warren victim, for a classy 38, an encouraging 114 for four was
transformed in familiar Midi fashion to 137 for seven.

Joe Whitworth and Joris Verdaasdonk both went for ducks but Midi found a saviour
in Ram Khumbar who held the rest of the Midi innings together, hitting seven fours in
his 34, and aided by American import Ken Miller, who bludgeoned 20, the home side
were able to set the visitors a respectable target of 190.

Toulouse set about their task slowly, Rogers and George restricting the openers to
only 17 in the seventh over when Rogers struck to dismiss Paul Lawrie leg before.

When Ram snared opener Michael Fitchett for 22 caught behind by Calkin after a
wayward wide-filled start to his spell, followed by Amit who was brilliantly caught
behind by Calkin off Patrick Dubois, Midi had the smell of victory in their nostrils with
the visitors struggling at 49 for three.

But Derek Blackham and Warren steadied the visitors’ ship, and when Blackham fell
for 14, bowled by Dubois with the score on 104, Trudgett came in to help overhaul
Midi’s score, wrapping up the win with two sixes off the first two balls of Whitworth’s
spell.

While Dubois took two for 39, it was once again Rogers who proved the hardest to
get away, finishing with a miserly one for 21 off his allotted eight overs.

Midi will rue three missed chances, two off Warren, one a straightforward catch at
cover with the score on 104 for three, the second in the 28 th , a skied shot to deep
square leg.

Now Midi have to regroup for their final league match on 15 June away to Catus,
who doubtless will still be smarting from their defeat at St Pons.