Midi CC put the disappointing loss against Toulouse behind them with two fairly comfortable victories over Andorra CC in a friendly double header at their St Pons de Mauchiens home ground on 14 and 15 May.
Paul Rogers, at the helm in the absence of captain Ankush Lal, steered Midi home by eight wickets in a 40-over game, then followed it up with a 36-run victory over the tiny Pyrenees principality in a 20/20 match on Sunday.
Harshesh was the key batsman in the first encounter, hitting an unbeaten 51 after openers Nick Allison and Jason Armstrong laid a solid foundation for his swashbuckling innings as the home team chased a 142-run target.
But it was Midi’s young Frenchman, Pierre Zivanovic, who stole the show in the second match top scoring with 45 in an unfamiliar role as opener and helping Midi set Andorra a formidable target of 179, a run rate of nearly nine an over.
In fine but windy conditions, Andorra opened the batting in the first match, and it was another teenager, 17-year-old Dan Carrington, who shone for his team going in at number 10 with the visitors in desperate trouble at 53 runs for eight wickets.
Skipper Rogers was the principal destroyer, removing three of the Andorran top order in his first four overs. Unlike the previous week in the match against Toulouse, he found immediate line and length, beginning his spell with a wicket maiden and finishing with superb figures of four for 20.
Rogers was supported by fellow slow bowler Allison who removed most of the middle order and finished with a miserly four for 12.
But it was Rogers who finally despatched the dangerous Çarrington with a caught and bowled after the youngster had figured in an 88-run partnership with Daniel Le Mare who was last man out, caught by wicketkeeper David Amoros for 29 off Allison.
With a fairly modest target, Midi’s openers Allison and Armstrong decided to dig in and lay a foundation for a later onslaught. The Midi innings moved ahead at a snail’s pace with 25 posted in the first 10 overs.
Armstrong, returning after a year’s sabbatical, played some of his trademark glances as he progressed to 18 before falling to spinner Harry Cull, ushering in American import Ken Miller who hit a cameo 13 runs, with one enormous six, before making way for Harshesh.
Harshesh decided he had already taken a look at the bowling and with the solid resistance of Allison at the other end, carved a brilliant unbeaten half century which included five 4s and two 6s, sealing victory with eight overs to spare. Allison also remained unbeaten on 40 which included five 4s.
Midi’s run-chase task was made easier after the drinks break at 20 overs when a rain squall made the strip fairly treacherous and prompted the Andorran bowlers to change their run-up.
There was no hint of rain for the 20/20 match the following day and under a perfect, cloudless sky, Midi sent in the young brothers Zivanovic to open the batting for the first time.
It was an astute move by Rogers, for while younger brother Lucas went to a controversial slip catch by Cull, Pierre went on to hit his highest score, supported by Rogers who belted three 4s and four 6s on his way to a solid 42.
After he was bowled by Dan Carrington, the ageless Dom George joined Pierre, and smashed a quickfire 36 before opting to retire and give the lower order the chance to have a bat.
Pierre was the last out, hitting five 4s and two 6s on his way to a best-ever 45.
Ram Khumbar (11) and Ben Morgan (10) took the Midi score from 156 for four to 178 in the allotted 20 overs.
It was a score that Andorra never looked like surpassing and at 86 for eight after 15 overs, the outcome looked like an emphatic defeat.
But Harry Cull, 58 not out, and Australian Steve Jerome, 43, served up the most exciting stand of the weekend, hammering 56 runs in just over five overs to take the visitors score to a respectable 142.
Andorra voted Pierre Zivanovic as their man of the match, not only for his innings but also for bowling Jerome and returning figures of one for 20. But it was George with three for 12 and Gaurav, two for 19, who did the principal damage, with Joris Verdaasdonk also contributing with two for 24.