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.