Midi Cricket Club came very close to lifting the gloom of a bleak league season, losing by only 14 runs in a friendly match against UK touring side, Maids Moreton CC, at their Pouzolles home ground on Saturday.
Victory had seemed remote when half the side were out for 60 chasing an attainable target of 207 in the 40-over game but a vintage innings from captain Dom George, coming in at number 7, and a brilliant late cameo from American import Ken Miller, who had earlier taken three wickets and pouched the catch of the season at deep mid-wicket, saw the home side come tantalisingly close to their first win of 2018.
George top scored with 49 and Miller was left frustrated on 19 not out, as Midi were dismissed for 192 – deprived of a Maids deflowering.
Maids Moreton went in to bat under a clear blue sky but their two opening batsmen – Chris Coxill and Driscoll Ford-Gibb – had no time to enjoy the sun as Midi’s wily spin bowler Naeem Abbas had them both dismissed for 0 as the visitors struggled to reach 18 for three with pace bowler Wasim chipping in with an LBW of Arun Rajaraman,
Maids recovered from their early setback with Andy Norman (26) and Dan Fox (26) compiling a solid partnership of 47 before Louis Parry bowled Fox and Miller picked up the first of his three wickets by trapping Norman LBW.
The match seemed to be slipping away from Midi as the Maids middle order stepped up the run rate but then Miller bowled Mike Fisk for 38 and produced a miraculous catch in the deep to remove top-scorer David Wise for 42 off George’s bowling.
However, from 117 for seven, Wise had pushed the score to 184 helped by a late flurry from Maids captain Omar Khan (34) and aided by a dour 11 not out from Mike Heath. Maids were ultimately dismissed for a respectable 206. Miller finished with three for 57 while George took two for 12, Naeem two for 24 and his fellow opening bowler Wasim two for 22.
The run chase started at a limp with Midi losing two quick wickets, both victims of Fisk, but Ben Morgan (19) and Mark Hayden (14) moved the score along before both were dismissed with the score on 38.
With four wickets down, Midi were looking at a heavy defeat but a breezy 22 from Naeem, which included five fours, followed by a 72-run partnership between George and Joris Verdaasdonk edged Midi closer to the target.
But sadly victory was not to be – Verdaasdonk ran himself out on 26 while George fell to a mishit one short of a deserved 50. Miller, coming in at No.10, set about the bowling, hitting two fours and a six in his unbeaten 19 but he lost both Anton Banuski and Wasim for ducks as the home side fell short of the target.
The defeat against the Maids followed Midi’s poor season in the South West Regional League – bottom of the table with two defeats and two forfeits for not being able to field a side.
A post match teams photo with Maids Moreton in blue