Midi CC rewrote its record books on Sunday, 14 June, with an unprecedented third victory in its 2015
league campaign to move to the giddy heights of second place in the Midi-Pyrenees/South division.
Midi secured 28 points in its 17-run triumph over the formidable Catus CC on its St Pons de
Mauchiens home ground and with one match remaining – away to table toppers Toulouse on 20
June – has a chance to secure a best-ever finish in its 10-year history.
Midi can once again give thanks to trusty opener Nick Allison whose carefully grafted 38 provided
the bedrock for Midi to post a season highest 255 for only three wickets with all the top order
contributing solid scores led by Harshesh Bhatt who remained unbeaten on 49.
In reply, Catus started disastrously but a run surge by Rahim (67) and Rob Allen (65), who put on 108
in a fifth wicket partnership, took the visitors uncomfortably close to the 256-run target. However,
captain Paul Rogers and wily warhorse Dom George both picked up three wickets to help dismiss the
visitors for 238.
Midi won the toss under a thundery, grey sky and Rogers decided to bat. Under the clearing skies,
Allison and Rogers painstakingly put together a solid opening partnership of 55 in 10 overs with
Rogers first to go, departing for 30 with seven fours, from a catch well taken in the deep.
Rogers, who had threatened a huge score in Midi’s last match success against Armagnac-Bigorre,
was on top of the bowling from the start, but once again managed to pick out a fielder when the
stage seemed set for a season-defining innings.
In contrast, the indomitable Allison again settled into his anchor role, allowing first Ankush Lal, who
hit seven fours in his 44, then Harshesh (49 not out, with six fours and a six) and Dom George (30 not
out with five fours) to set Catus a formidable target in its 40-over run chase.
Allison, who top scored with 61 against Armagnac, was again at the crease for nearly two hours for
his 38 runs. While Allison held the innings together, Catus did not help its cause with extras taking a
bow as the highest scorer – led by wides on 50 as the largest contributor.
Catus began its innings disastrously with second slip Ben Morgan taking a superb catch a whisker
from the ground off inspirational veteran George’s first ball.
It quickly got worse for Catus when Rogers had Australian opener Ken Sutton brilliantly stumped by
returning wicketkeeper Martin Eede for only four to have the visitors in trouble at 13 for two.
When Rahim and Rob Allen came together with the score at 78 for four, Rogers had to juggle his
bowlers to stem the run flow and it was only Ram Kumbhar who seemed able to keep them in check.
Ram, who finished with miserly figures off one for 31 off eight overs, got his reward when top scorer
Rahim (67) edged a catch to Eede to bring an end to the century partnership and set Midi on course
for an historic victory.
Allen however remained a threat and with Midi’s fielding suffering the jitters, with a missed run out
and a couple of dropped catches, Catus moved inexorably closer to the winning target.
But in what was a defining moment of the match, Midi’s talented young fielder Pierre Zivanovic took
a sensational running catch in the deep from an Allen hook off the bowling of Patrick Dubois to send
him back to the pavilion with 19 runs to win and only 12 balls remaining.
It was a reflection of Midi’s great current spirit that the whole team ran towards Zivanovic, Dubois
leading the way and going down on his knees to salute the brilliant catch.
With Allen now back in the pavilion, it was left to the dependable George to finish off the job. He
removed the last two wickets in successive balls in the 39 th over, both clean bowled, to finish with
figures of three for 36.
But it was captain Rogers who took the bowling honours with figures of three for 32, in particular
removing the dangerous opener Sutton who has in the past feasted off Midi’s bowling and proved
the cornerstone for previous victories.
“Another great team effort” was how Rogers described Midi’s triumph and looked forward to the
match the following weekend against Toulouse with what is arguably the strongest team Midi has
fielded away from home.
Midi President Marc Dalling was on hand to watch his club’s latest triumph and will be in the squad
next weekend for the last league match against Toulouse.