Midi bounce back after Bordeaux loss with home win over Damazan

Midi CC put their heavy away defeat to Bordeaux behind them with an exciting four wicket victory at home over Damazan CC on Sunday to keep in the hunt for league honours this season and stretch their unbeaten record at the new ground in Pouzolles.

Midi made it three straight wins at Pouzolles and are in third place in the Blevins Franks Regional League thanks to a 134-run stand between the club’s man of the match Harshesh Bhatt and veteran Dom George who came together with the home team struggling on 21 for three wickets as they chased a 220-run target in the 40-over match.

There was a stutter when both George (54) and Harshesh (73) were dismissed with 57 runs still to make but Naeem Abbas and Louis Parry steadied the ship – Naeem hitting six fours in an impressive 27 not out, while Parry resolutely defended his wicket, ending with six not out.

Midi were in all sorts of trouble at the start of the innings with both opener Ripu and Captain Ankush Lal out for ducks to Damazan’s rampant strike bowler Gagan. With Paul Rogers also back in the pavilion for eight when he looked set for a big score, Midi’s faithful followers were expecting the worst.

But within 18 overs, Harshesh, who hit eight fours and three sixes, and George, with eight fours and one six, had moved the run rate from three an over to a comfortable six, leaving the remaining batsmen a comfortable target of four an over to seal victory. Naeem reeled off three fours in the 36th over to wrap up the match with four overs to spare.

Midi’s victory, which now gives them two wins out of three in their 2017 campaign in the Blevins Franks Regional League, was all the more meritorious after Damazan’s incredible start when, after winning the toss, they raced to 100 without loss after only 10 overs.

Damazan looked on target for a 300-plus score with their opener Shiraz Moby hitting the Midi attack to all corners of the ground. But after he was bowled by Ankush for a quickfire 81, the run rate slowed and up stepped Paul Rogers who grabbed three key wickets with his swing, for a niggardly 19 runs.

From 187 for two when opener Richard Lytton was run out for 53, Damazan collapsed to 219 for eight, their last 10 overs yielding only 14 runs. Both Naeem (2-68) and George (0-40) who opened the bowling for Midi and suffered at the hands of Moby, returned to help stem the run flow while Ankush with 2 for 48 from eight overs, and Ken Miller with a miserly 0-20 from his five overs, gave solid support.

For the latest results and current league table go to: http://www.cricket-sw-france.org/accso-tournaments/tournament-results-2017-1/

Midi have 56 points from their three league matches, four points behind Toulouse whom they play in a crucial match on Saturday, 3 June. 






Midi hit the wall after flying start to 2017 league campaign

Midi CC’s marathon journey to Bordeaux and back in one day was sadly punctuated by a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Bordeaux-Giscours CC who seduced the visitors into defeat with a sumptuous spread at the tea interval complemented by local wines from the chateau whose beautiful grounds provided the venue for Midi’s demise

After the thumping 137-run defeat of Mansle CC in the opening league encounter at Pouzolles the previous Sunday, Midi Captain Ankush Lal was optimistic after winning the toss that he would be able to set the home side a challenging target. He was also able to field a full side for the 14 May match, something of a rarity in Midi’s travels in previous seasons.

But his heady hopes of a first away triumph in the enlarged South West Regional League were soon dashed. After 10 overs Midi were 13 for four wickets, the top order gone at a giddy run rate of 1.3 an over.

The experimental opening pair of veteran Paul Rogers and Dutchman Joris Verdaasdonk fell to the potent Bordeaux strike force of Ramiz and Muhammad, both gone for no score with two extras on the board. Joris, who had promised so much with his 19 in an opening partnership of 78 against Mansle, followed Rogers, both surviving the first three overs before being cleaned bowled in the next two overs.

Ankush, Midi’s saviour on so many occasions, fell to an unfortunate run out with the score on six and when Midi’s other consistent run maker Harshesh Bhatt was caught on three, Midi were staring at a sub-50 score.

But young Bangladeshi Hasan Uddin dug in stoically, defending his wicket as if his life depended on it and allowing his partner Naeem Abbas to get the score moving along. At the 20-over drinks break, Hasan, who took almost an hour to get off the mark, had watched Naeem move the score along to 43 for four.

The drinks didn’t help Midi and Naeem (18), Louis Parry (0) and Hasan (5) all went quickly and only American import Ken Miller with a swashbuckling 18, including one almighty six, provided any late resistance.

Miller was the last man out, offering up an easy catch after realising that his last-wicket partner was club Secretary Reg Gratton. A frustrated Gratton was left stranded, needing only 100 runs for a maiden club century.  Bordeaux’s late-order destroyer was Luqman Safi who returned his team’s best figures of 4 for five.

Bordeaux’s run target was a relatively easy 73 runs and after an early scare when Midi snared the two openers for ducks, the home side rattled off the runs with 18 overs to spare and four wickets down.

The good news for Midi is that the club remains in second position on the league table, behind St Aulaye who have won their first two matches. Because Midi were dismissed cheaply, Bordeaux picked up no batting points, while Midi picked up one bonus bowling point putting them on 29 points. Bordeaux who were docked 28 points pre-season after a breach of discipline in a match last season are in seventh place, ahead of bottom-placed Catus CC who have lost their first two matches.

For full details of tournament results so far this season, go to the ACCSO link on their website: http://www.cricket-sw-france.org/accso-tournaments/tournament-results-2017-1/

Midi’s match against Damazan CC at Pouzolles on Sunday is vital to keep Midi in the hunt for honours this season. The visitors have won their only match and sit in fourth place on the ladder, five points behind Midi. The start time is 12 noon and the bar will be open.



Midi CC celebrates new ground at Pouzolles with two victories

Midi CC made the perfect start to the 2017 season at its new ground in Pouzolles with two emphatic victories – a 137-run defeat of Mansle CC in the expanded South-West Regional League on Sunday, 7 May, which backed up an easy win in the annual friendly against Andorra CC the previous day.

Midi, so used to heartache and pain in its league campaigns, can now travel to Bordeaux next weekend for a first away encounter with confidence high and cheered by the form of the club’s debutants.

Young Bangladeshi batsman Omit Iqbal helped lay the foundation for Midi’s crushing win over Mansle with an opening stand of 78 with Joris Verdaasdonk, who relished the rare opportunity of striding out at the top of the order after Midi won the toss on a blustery, cloudy day.

Omit smashed 75 runs, seven of them sixes, in his 10-over partnership with Verdaasdonk, who compiled 19 runs before being bowled by Rubesh.

Omit’s top score allowed Captain Ankush Lal (20), and two other debutants, Ripu Mohamed (30) and Syed Naeem Abbas (27), the breathing space to take the home team’s score to a formidable 220 for five wickets after 25 overs.

Though Mansle pegged Midi back in the latter stages of the 40-over match with some fine bowling from Captain Remi Rocher and Rubesh Muraleederan, the final score of 288 in 39 overs proved too daunting for the visitors who were rueing their wayward bowling which yielded a frightening 64 wides in an extras total of 85. Thirty of the wides came from boundaries.

Mansle started the run chase slowly and two early wickets had them struggling at 17 for two after seven overs.  Captain Rocher’s run out dismissal for the second wicket was bizarre.  The ageless Dom George took what looked like a spectacular diving catch at square leg only for the ball to spill out of his hands behind him. Rocher thought he was out, started walking and Ankush Lal taking a throw from wicketkeeper Harshesh Bhatt, who had retrieved the dropped ball, performed the simple task of taking off the bails.

Though opener Rob Tilbury tried to push the score along, after he was dismissed for a top score of 23, no other batsmen made double figures as Mansle slumped to 151 all out in 24 overs.  In contrast to Mansle, Midi conceded 30 extras, 23 of them wides.

Ankush followed up on his three wickets against Andorra the previous day with 4 for 39, supported by a late cameo from American import Ken Miller which yielded 2 for 6 in eight balls, one a sharp stumping by Harshesh. Strike bowler Naeem posted figures of 2 for 41 from his seven overs.  

Midi’s solid 162-run victory over Andorra CC the previous day was helped in large part by man-of-the-match Ankush who led by example hitting a brilliant 103 not out and taking three wickets for a miserly 11 runs as the home team set a formidable 283 run target in the 40-over match.

The visitors from the tiny Pyrenees Principality, who have made the opening match of the season a regular event on Midi CC’s cricket calendar, had no answer to Midi’s four strike bowlers, Naeem, Louis Parry, Ahsan Uddin and Ankush who had Andorra reeling at 50 for six before a late revival. A solid 30 from tailender Mike Howard pushed the score to a more respectable 120 in 30 overs.

Ankush was the pick of Midi bowlers while debutant Parry, a recent arrival in the Herault from Brighton in the UK, took 2 for 16 and also chipped in with a useful 21 in the Midi innings.

Lucas Zivanovic, a product of Midi’s youth programme, who has now won a regular place in the senior team, was the second top scorer behind Ankush, the young Frenchman spending over an hour at the crease for a well-crafted 25 runs.

The victory over Andorra, an annual game always played in great spirit, provided a good test for the home side ahead of their league match against Mansle.

The new Playrite track which had been laid a fortnight before, played well despite the lack of rain which hampered the setting of the concrete base. A dedicated group led by the new President James Luckes and former President Colin Trickett had toiled for more than a month to lay the foundation for the new track as well as mowing and rolling the huge outfield.

Go to the Midi Cricket Club site on Facebook for a gallery of photos from the weekend matches