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.