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Rampant Rogers shines as Midi upset Catus

Vice-captain Paul Rogers produced a master class of swing bowling to inspire a shock victory for Midi over Catus CC on an away weekend which also brought defeat at the hands of Toulouse CC.
The strike bowler wrecked the Catus top order as the home side chased Midi’s meagre total of 113, returning season best figures of 5 for 28 in overcast conditions with slow bowler Gaurav Chatterjee mopping up the tail with a superb four-wicket spell which yielded only three runs.
But it was Rogers who helped erase the memory of the previous day’s thrashing by last year’s league champions Toulouse after Midi had crawled to 113 against Catus, reaching three figures thanks to captain Ankush Lal, who led by example, top scoring in both matches.
Catus went down by 52 runs as Midi turned round a poor performance in the field against Toulouse, with wicketkeeper Harshesh Bhatt outstanding in snapping up two catches and effecting a vital stumping.
Midi’s astonishing victory gives the club a chance of winning the ACCSO Regional League Southern Pool for the first time with a return match against Catus CC on 26 June now looming as the most vital in its 11-year history.
Sadly, if Midi win at home it could mark the last league match at St Pons de Mauchiens as the club must search for a new ground after the Mairie elected to lay a rolled earth Tambourin strip on the oval, making cricket almost impossible.
In gloomy conditions, with rain a constant threat, Midi won the toss and decided to bat against Catus, a team who had beaten the formidable Toulouse by five wickets in their only other league match this season and who had never lost to Midi at home.
The miserable record on the road looked set to continue with Midi’s top order crawling to 42 in 11 overs, bogged down by tight bowling from the home side, particularly Artik whose four-wicket haul included opener Rogers for 2 and club stalwart Dom George who grafted a dogged 8 as he and Ankush added a vital 53 runs after Midi had slumped to 49 for four.
It was Ankush who once again saved the day for Midi, moving to 53, with two sixes and five fours, before falling LBW to Rahim and triggering a dramatic Midi collapse which saw the last six wickets tumble for only 9 runs.
Harshesh was the only other batsman to make double figures (15) and Midi’s five ducks had the Catus team licking their lips at another dismal drubbing.
But the wily Rogers had other ideas. His first over removed the two openers and three overs later he despatched another two, supported by George who clean bowled the dangerous Rahim, who had top scored with 97 against Toulouse.
Catus slumped to 34 for six and looked hard pressed to make a half century. But their lower order batsmen Andy Pound and Steve Taylor staged a mini revival before Gaurav mopped up the last four batsmen with a two-over spell that yielded only three runs.
Midi’s stunning win was in sharp contrast to a lethargic display against Toulouse on the Saturday when Midi let the home side off the hook, conceding 170 runs in the last 20 overs. Ram Khumbar returned Midi’s best figures with 3 for 58.
Midi never looked like chasing the 294-run winning target and with half the side back in the pavilion with 124 runs on the board and 27 overs gone, respectability was the only option.
Ankush top scored with 44 in the 149-run total and only Gaurav (14), Harshesh (13), Rogers (12) and Marc Dalling (10), made double figures in the 144-run defeat.
Midi scorer Reg Gratton who has chronicled his team’s mostly painful league exploits on the road over the last six years promptly labelled the Catus victory as a high point and noted that this away weekend was one of the few when the club were able to field a full side on both days.
Midi also had both outgoing President Marc Dalling and Treasurer David Amoros on hand to watch Midi’s remarkable result. The victory follows the club’s record three league wins in the 2015 season – one over Catus at home – and confirms the view that Midi has the strongest squad in its history.
“This result makes it even more vital that the club survives and our top priority now is to find a new ground to allow the club to continue,” said President Dalling.

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Midi CC at the double against Andorra despite late resistance

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.

Pierre20/20 man of the match Pierre Zivanovic wearing the Andorra cap presented by captain Jon Houghton.

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.

 

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Midi’s hopes of a dream start doomed by a wides’ nightmare

Midi Cricket Club came tantalisingly close to a dream start in their 2016 campaign against last season’s league champions Toulouse CC but a plethora of wides at the end handed the visitors victory by one wicket in a thrilling see-sawing match.

Midi won the toss on a fine, sunny day but gloom quickly descended on the St Pons de Mauchiens ground when the decision to bat saw four batsmen back in the pavilion for a disappointing 31 runs.

Openers Paul Rogers and Nick Allison both went cheaply for 8 and 5 and when Toulouse’ dangerous strike bowler Chris Srikanth sent back Harshesh for 5 and Gaurav for a duck in the same over, Midi were looking at a sub 100 score.

But new captain Ankush Lal and the ever-dependable warhorse Dom George (pictured above during his innings) steadied the Midi ship to lay the foundation for a reasonable target in the 40-over match.

The pair, who topped the batting averages last season, put on 56 runs before Ankush was caught and bowled by Rayhan for 43, a superb innings which included four 4s and a 6.

George battled on and though losing partners and retiring hurt for a spell with cramp in his thumb (sic), he top scored with 83 not out, steering Midi to 214 all out in the 38th over.

George’s innings included 13 4s and three imperious 6s. Ram Khumbar (11), Joris Verdaasdonk (7) and Lucas Zivanovic (5) all provided gritty resistance at the other end to help Midi pass the 200-run mark.

Skrikanth was the pick of the Toulouse bowlers with figures of 4 for 34.

Toulouse started their run chase at a gallop, hitting 39 runs in the first five overs and with the score on 132 for three and under half of the allocated overs bowled, looked on course for an easy victory.

But the introduction of slow bowler Gaurav stemmed the run flow and with the support of George, Rogers and Ram, Toulouse were pegged back and the wickets started to tumble.

Toulouse lost five wickets for 44 runs with Gaurav fittingly trapping top-scorer Pankaj LBW on 68 to have the visitors struggling on 166 for seven wickets, still 49 short of the winning target.

Midi were smelling the sweet scent of victory when the eighth wicket fell. With only 10 men in the side, Toulouse last two batsmen needed 39 runs.

But somehow Midi contrived defeat. Wides had already given notice that they would have a hand in the result and this proved to be the case. Fourteen were presented to Toulouse in the last few overs, the winning run not surprisingly going to this irksome extra.

Midi’s two best bowlers, George (2 for 36) and Gaurav (1 for 14), conceded only four wides in their 14 overs of the 47 conceded by the home team. Ram also contributed with 2 for 38.

Captain Ankush was not too disheartened by the defeat in his message to the team ahead of the friendly double-header against Andorra CC on 14 and 15 May.

“We lost but it wasn’t an easy match. A lot of pressure from the beginning. We all tried our best and that all counts first.

“Hats off to Dom for the great innings with the bat and bowl. He made us able to give a good fight! Gaurav was just amazing today who gave us a great comeback in the game with Ram. It was very close in the end.

“We needed to be more disciplined in the bowling (specially me). Extra runs ruined the day for us. And we lost our major wickets in the beginning. Going forward, let’s try to have more patience in batting and rely more on singles, doubles and ground shots.”

Saturday’s match against Andorra CC at St Pons starts at 1pm.

Depleted Midi battle to brave defeat against Toulouse

Midi CC, stricken by the late withdrawal of two key players, went down bravely to
table-topping Toulouse CC on Saturday, 20 June, and will now have to wait until next
weekend and the result of Catus’ match against Armagnac-Bigorre to find out if it can
finish the season in a best-ever second position.

Midi, who went into the away match against Toulouse with a record three wins in its
league campaign, was confident of pulling off a surprise victory but the team, already
without anchorman Nick Allison, was reduced to 10 men when both seasoned
veteran Dom George and strike bowler Patrick Dubois were forced to withdraw.

Midi’s total of 125 all out in 34 overs after being put into bat by Toulouse was simply
not enough and the home side rattled off the runs in 25 overs losing only three
wickets in the process.

Midi started its 40-over innings on a fine, hot day at Seissan in disastrous fashion
with club president Marc Dalling falling first ball to a fine catch in the deep after
mishitting a full toss.

He was followed not long after by captain Paul Rogers who once again threatened a
big innings but fell on 13 runs to a juggling catch by Christophe Srikanth at deep
square leg.

But Midi was given hope by its two new recruits, Ankush Lal and Harshesh Bhatt,
who once again came together in a time of a crisis with the score on 22 for two, and
steadily took their side to a measure of respectability.

Ankush had looked well on the way to his second big score of the season following a
century against Armagnac-Bigorre, when a rush of blood saw him clean bowled by
Toulouse skipper Brett Trudgett for 36 with 71 runs on the board.

Phillipe Fermanel, who took five wickets in Midi’s home defeat against Toulouse in
May, was again the danger man, following up the wicket of Rogers with the LBW
removal of Martin Eede, who compiled a gritty 16, and then Harshesh who was
caught for 26 with the score on 108.

With half the side gone and the tail now wagging furiously, Midi scratched, scraped
and scampered in a bid to set Toulouse a competitive target.

Talismanic Frenchman David Amoros provided an unexpected anchor, and after the
quick exit of Ram Kumbhar, the Zivanovic brothers, Pierre and Lucas, all out for 0
with the score on 110, he was joined by official scorer Reg Gratton, who put away
his pencils and rubber, to help push the score along to 125, with a last-wicket
partnership of 15.

Gratton put the UMC (usual Midi collapse) behind him and rolled back the years,
drawing one wag to comment that he must have been pretty ordinary back then. His
neatly compiled five runs helped Amoros to a creditable and undefeated 11 which
included one scintillating boundary.

Naga mopped up the Midi tail taking four wickets for 38 runs while Fermanel ended
with three wickets for 21.

Even though the outfield was slow, the 126-run target seemed easily attainable and
openers David and Rob Johnson patiently accumulated 42 runs in the first 11 overs
before Ram struck to give Midi its first scalp – a running catch behind the wicket from
Marc Dalling at second slip.

But it was hardly a sniff for Midi as all of the Toulouse top order posted creditable
scores to push the score past the 126 target.

Lucas Zivanovic, while bowling a raft of wides, was Midi’s best bowler with two
wickets for 32 in his four overs.

Captain Paul Rogers was deeply disappointed after the match. “I am not a happy
bunny,” he told his team and hopped, or rather limped, off back to the team hotel.
He had said more than once during the Midi innings that there were hundreds of runs
to be made on the benign track. But evidently no-one listened.

Rogers’ pronounced limp (ankle tendon), was compounded by injuries to Harshesh
(upper leg muscle), Ram (upper leg muscle) and Gratton (First World War wound),
so it was a ravaged side that faced Armagnac-Bigorre in the 20/20 competition the
following morning.

While club president Dalling once showed his consistency with another duck after his
side lost the toss and was sent in to bat by Armagnac on another fine and hot day,
Midi once again had to thank Ankush and Harshesh for posting a competitive target.

Ankush played superbly and hit 12 fours and a six in his 76 and Harshesh was on 36
not out alongside Eede with nine as Midi finished with 148 for only three wickets
down.

Midi’s stint in the field was not a pretty sight with runs conceded as injured players
struggled to return balls and the young Zivanovic brothers being asked to cover
every blade of grass on the oval.

Captain defiant Rogers, who had elected not to bat, bowled a courageous four overs
and took one wicket in conceding 22 runs while Pierre Zivanovic snared two wickets
for 31 runs supported by brother Lucas who took one for 14 in an attempt to peg
back Armagnac.

Lucas also took two brilliant catches to remove the openers and it seemed that a
miracle was in the offing when Midi went into the last two overs with four wickets
down and 19 runs needed.

But, having been earlier warned by the umpires that penalties would be exacted if
Midi could not meet the over rate requirements, Midi suddenly found themselves with
Armagnac facing a new target of 14 runs when five runs were added to its score.

It was a body blow and arguably turned the match in Armagnac’s favour. The
winning runs were scored in the last over with three balls to spare.

Dalling, who had taken over as captain from the ailing Rogers, decided to forfeit the
following 20/20 match against Toulouse concerned that his players might compound
their injuries and that Midi were not in a position to make a match of it.

He was also aggrieved that Midi had lost on a penalty-runs decision that was more
akin to a one-day international than a friendly club match.

“We know that there are rules, but we feel that this was not in the spirit of the game
and we will accordingly be writing to the Association des Clubs de Cricket du Sud-
Ouest (ACCSO) to express our concern and disappointment that the umpires should
act in this manner.”

Dalling was impressed by the team spirit shown at the weekend despite the injuries.
“Congratulations everyone for this weekend,” he said in an email to the players. “We
may not have won but I was impressed by your courage, your motivation and your
refusal to give up when all seemed to conspire against us.

“Special thanks go to Paul, Ram and Harshesh for playing through the pain barrier,
Reg for his efforts, Ankush for showing us how it’s done with the bat and last but not
least the Zivanovic brothers who fielded in everyone else’s place.”

On-fire Midi moves into second place after dramatic victory over Catus

Midi CC rewrote its record books on Sunday, 14 June, with an unprecedented third victory in its 2015
league campaign to move to the giddy heights of second place in the Midi-Pyrenees/South division.

Midi secured 28 points in its 17-run triumph over the formidable Catus CC on its St Pons de
Mauchiens home ground and with one match remaining – away to table toppers Toulouse on 20
June – has a chance to secure a best-ever finish in its 10-year history.

Midi can once again give thanks to trusty opener Nick Allison whose carefully grafted 38 provided
the bedrock for Midi to post a season highest 255 for only three wickets with all the top order
contributing solid scores led by Harshesh Bhatt who remained unbeaten on 49.

In reply, Catus started disastrously but a run surge by Rahim (67) and Rob Allen (65), who put on 108
in a fifth wicket partnership, took the visitors uncomfortably close to the 256-run target. However,
captain Paul Rogers and wily warhorse Dom George both picked up three wickets to help dismiss the
visitors for 238.

Midi won the toss under a thundery, grey sky and Rogers decided to bat. Under the clearing skies,
Allison and Rogers painstakingly put together a solid opening partnership of 55 in 10 overs with
Rogers first to go, departing for 30 with seven fours, from a catch well taken in the deep.

Rogers, who had threatened a huge score in Midi’s last match success against Armagnac-Bigorre,
was on top of the bowling from the start, but once again managed to pick out a fielder when the
stage seemed set for a season-defining innings.

In contrast, the indomitable Allison again settled into his anchor role, allowing first Ankush Lal, who
hit seven fours in his 44, then Harshesh (49 not out, with six fours and a six) and Dom George (30 not
out with five fours) to set Catus a formidable target in its 40-over run chase.

Allison, who top scored with 61 against Armagnac, was again at the crease for nearly two hours for
his 38 runs. While Allison held the innings together, Catus did not help its cause with extras taking a
bow as the highest scorer – led by wides on 50 as the largest contributor.

Catus began its innings disastrously with second slip Ben Morgan taking a superb catch a whisker
from the ground off inspirational veteran George’s first ball.

It quickly got worse for Catus when Rogers had Australian opener Ken Sutton brilliantly stumped by
returning wicketkeeper Martin Eede for only four to have the visitors in trouble at 13 for two.

When Rahim and Rob Allen came together with the score at 78 for four, Rogers had to juggle his
bowlers to stem the run flow and it was only Ram Kumbhar who seemed able to keep them in check.

Ram, who finished with miserly figures off one for 31 off eight overs, got his reward when top scorer
Rahim (67) edged a catch to Eede to bring an end to the century partnership and set Midi on course
for an historic victory.

Allen however remained a threat and with Midi’s fielding suffering the jitters, with a missed run out
and a couple of dropped catches, Catus moved inexorably closer to the winning target.

But in what was a defining moment of the match, Midi’s talented young fielder Pierre Zivanovic took
a sensational running catch in the deep from an Allen hook off the bowling of Patrick Dubois to send
him back to the pavilion with 19 runs to win and only 12 balls remaining.

It was a reflection of Midi’s great current spirit that the whole team ran towards Zivanovic, Dubois
leading the way and going down on his knees to salute the brilliant catch.

With Allen now back in the pavilion, it was left to the dependable George to finish off the job. He
removed the last two wickets in successive balls in the 39 th over, both clean bowled, to finish with
figures of three for 36.

But it was captain Rogers who took the bowling honours with figures of three for 32, in particular
removing the dangerous opener Sutton who has in the past feasted off Midi’s bowling and proved
the cornerstone for previous victories.

“Another great team effort” was how Rogers described Midi’s triumph and looked forward to the
match the following weekend against Toulouse with what is arguably the strongest team Midi has
fielded away from home.

Midi President Marc Dalling was on hand to watch his club’s latest triumph and will be in the squad
next weekend for the last league match against Toulouse.

Historic Midi league victory to mark 10th anniversary season

Talismanic Frenchman David Amoros helped guide Midi CC to a dramatic last-gasp
one-wicket victory against Armagnac-Bigorre on its St Pons de Mauchiens home
ground on Sunday.

The triumph marked the first time the club had won two league matches in a season
in its 10-year history and sealed what captain Paul Rogers described as “a great
team effort where every single player chipped in with a contribution, especially in the
field”.

Armagnac won the toss on a fine, sunny day and looked set to take its score past the
300 mark with top-order batsmen Hemchandar and Sriram compiling a 164-run
stand on a super quick outfield after Patrick Dubois had struck early with no score on
the board thanks to a sharp second-slip catch by Rogers.

But Midi did not panic and an inspired Dubois removed Hemchandar (64) and new
batsman Satish in successive overs, both again snaffled by Rogers, his third effort
an incredible one-handed effort on the boundary.

Dubois then had top-scorer Sriram (80) leg before with the score on 181 to give him
impressive figures of four for 42 from his allotted eight overs.

A late cameo from Chaitanya who hit five fours in a breezy 26 pushed the Armagnac
score along to a competitive 246 for seven wickets.

While Dubois took the honours with the ball, it was club stalwart Nick Allison who
provided the foundation for Midi’s victory with the bat.

His two-hour stay at the wicket as opener yielded 71 runs, with 12 fours, and when
he was out fourth wicket down in the 34 th over with the score on 214, Midi looked to
be heading to victory.

Allison was ably assisted by Harshesh who hit 39 which included the game’s only
six.

With Allison gone and 32 runs to win off the remaining six overs, Midi hit the self-
destruct button.

Last-wicket partners Joris Verdaasdonk and David Amoros were presented with the
nailbaiting task of scoring 10 runs for victory after two disastrous, some would say
farcical, runouts which sent grizzled veteran Dom George and Ram Khumbar back to
the pavilion.

Amoros, whose wicketkeeping had been exemplary, was untypically cool headed as
he dispatched a boundary to set up victory from a wide ball, an appropriate finale as
Armagnac generously gifted Midi 46 wides to help the home side achieve its target.

Midi’s triumph followed an away win over Armagnac in early May where new recruits
Ankush (108) and Harshesh (28) provided the backbone for a score of 231 and a 60-
run victory.

Midi’s next game will be at home on 14 June against Catus CC who won by 53 runs
at Seissan last month.

It’s a game that Rogers is desperate to win. “Everybody who went to Catus was
gutted. We definitely have a point to prove to them but more especially to
ourselves. On the 14th we will have no excuses.”

Club President Marc Dalling was also enthused by Midi’s performance. “This is the
first time we have won two league matches in the same season and bodes well for
the future. We need to keep the momentum going against Catus now on the 14th.
We know that victory is possible and we must do everything possible to beat them.”

Midi open season with a win and loss against Andorra

Midi CC launched their 10th anniversary season against an invitation X1 from the
tiny Pyrenees principality of Andorra with a stirring 53-run victory in a 40-match
on Saturday and a dramatic last-ball defeat in a 20/20 match on Sunday,
watched by arguably the biggest crowd ever seen at their St Pons de Mauchiens
ground.

The weekend proved a fitting start to Midi’s historic season, the weather
behaved, the atmosphere was festive, fish and chips were served, the wine and
beer flowed, and Midi CC performed as per expectations, brilliant one minute,
mediocre the next.

Captain Paul Rogers won the toss and elected to bat in the first match and
having drafted in two new players, the lack of practice in the run-up to the
double header wasn’t in evidence as Midi steadily accumulated a competitive
score after losing Rogers cheaply for 3.

Under blue skies, new boys Ankush and Harshesh quickly demonstrated that
their contribution to Midi’s 2015 campaign will be an important one, Ankush
scoring 43 and Harshesh 33, helping taking the score to 134 for four with club
stalwart Nick Allison providing firm resistance at the other end with a highly
focussed 11.

American import Ken Miller’s 35-run contribution was the cameo the St Pons
faithful have come to expect – sixes and fours sprayed over and through deep
mid-on and deep mid-wicket, baseball style, sheer pleasure to watch, impossible
to defend.

Miller was joined by former captain and respected club pro Dom George whose
brilliant 78, which included four sixes, took Midi’s score to 248 before he was
unfortunately run out by Ram Khumbar.

Andorra’s bowlers found it hard to stem the late run flow with only Roger Hyldon
(2-41) and Mike Shaida (2-37) able to prevent the score topping the 300 mark.

Andorra needed a run rate of over six runs an over and made the worst possible
start with both openers back in the pavilion with the score on 14.

Mike Shaida, who top scored with 46 and Harry Cull, who hit eight fours in his
38, helped to push the score along but miserly bowling from man of the match
Ken Miller (1-21 off eight overs) and Ram (0-7 off six overs, including four
maidens) meant the target never looked within reach.

A late flurry from John Houghton who ended unbeaten on 43 took the visitors’
score along to a respectable 196 but well short of Midi who went into Sunday’s
20/20 match confident of a weekend whitewash.

But that heady optimism was cruelly exposed under overcast skies with a
catastrophic start after Rogers once again won the toss and chose to bat.

The scorer had hardly finished sharpening his pencil when three Midi batsmen
were gone, Rogers again failing with 1, Miller succumbing on 3 and President
Marc Dalling caught for 3.

Talismanic Frenchman David Amoros provided some light relief with a jaunty 12,
Ram chipped in with an entertaining 17 and Dutchman Joris Verdassdonk helped
to set the Andorrans with some sort of target with an unbeaten 17 which
included three (scorer’s verdict) or two (Joris’s view) dropped catches.

Andorra, lulled into a false sense of victory with a target of only 92, set about
falling on their sword with an early top-order collapse which saw four wickets fall
for 37 and 11 overs gone. Pierre Zivanovic piled on the misery with an incredible
direct hit from the deep which left Andorra floundering on 44 for six after 14
overs.

Fortunately for the mountain men (and one woman), Daniel Carrington (17),
Mike Nicholson (10) and Harry Cull (11 not out), steadied the ship but there was
still high drama as the ninth wicket fell in the final over and it was left to the
nerveless Cull to heave a huge four off the last ball to win the game.

Watched by a crowd nearly a 100 strong, the winning runs were greeted with
whoops, cheers and yells and the sight of the Andorrans running on to the pitch
to congratulate their teammates led George to comment: “You couldn’t write the
script.”

The Andorrans have already messaged their thanks and expect to be back. Their
fixture organizer Arnout Kok wrote: “Thanks very much for a great weekend of
cricket. We had a great time and everyone is looking forward to a return trip
next year.”

Midi venture into the unknown with Siddalls Cup quarter-final win

Midi CC, boosted by the return of senior pro Dom George and top-order batsman
Nick Allison, beat Damazan CC by five wickets at their home ground on Sunday to
move into the semi-finals of the Siddalls Cup.

Midi’s first cup win in the club’s history was appropriately founded on an 80-run
opening partnership between Allison (24) and Jason Armstrong (44), the club’s two
leading run scorers this season.

Chasing a target of 164 after losing the toss, Midi threatened to implode after the
openers departed when they lost three quick wickets but George and Neeraj Obhrai
dug in and eased Midi home with eight overs to spare.

Midi, whose league campaign ended dismally with a fifth consecutive loss at the
hands of Catus CC, were desperate to go into the summer break with a victory to lift
spirits but Damazan’s leading batsmen Gogan Singh and Marcus Harris hadn’t read
the Midi script.

With opener Gary Stark putting up a brick wall at one end, eking out an unbeaten10
runs in two hours,of dour defence, first Singh on 36, followed by Harris on 72,
helped take the visitors to 150 for two wickets, before the wily George picked up
three quick wickets to limit the score to 163 for five after the allotted 35 overs.

Captain Paul Rogers, standing in for Alex Lalljee, who selflessly decided to rest
himself , called on George after he had produced a typical miserly opening spell
which removed opener Sanja Seth, smartly taken by George at first slip.

George elected to bowl spin and after Ram Khumbar had removed Singh, well
caught by Ken Miller at deep mid-on, he struck three times in two overs which
included the vital wicket of the dangerous Harris, who blasted eight fours and five
sixes.

George posted figures of three for 20 from his six overs while Rogers was the pick
of the other bowlers with one for 17 from seven overs which included two maidens.
Ram was also niggardly with one wicket for 21 runs.

With a confidence-boosting performance in the field, Midi went in to bat with openers
Allison and Armstrong knowing that the match-winning target would be helped by
Damazan only having eight men in the field.

Both batsmen made good use of the fast, dry outfield with cuts, snicks and glances
behind the wicket and the score moved easily along to 50 after 10 overs and in
quick order to 79 after 15.

When Allison departed with the score on 80, followed shortly after by Armstrong who
hit seven fours in his 44, Marc Dalling and Ken Miller kept up the run rate, Midi’s
American import hitting an imperious six as he bludgeoned his way to 19.

But it was Dalling who ensured that the openers’ good work was not in vain and
despite a mini collapse of three wickets, he was the last batsman out, hitting seven
fours in his jaunty 35 before leaving Neeraj , nine not out, and George, eight not out,
to steer the home side to a semifinal encounter against Eymet on 10 August.

With rested players Lalljee, David Amoros and Joe Whitworth all there to support
Midi, the victory was truly a club affair. Club President Dallling wrote in an email after
the match: “Well done to all the players, umpires, scorers, bar manager,
barbecuer & supporters not only for the victory but also for making this
afternoon such an enjoyable and convivial game.”

Midi wind up league campaign in spectacular style

Midi CC wrapped up their league campaign in spectacular style on Sunday going
down to table-topping Catus CC by 10 wickets for their fifth successive loss.

Midi, who had beaten the formidable Catus by one run at home in a dramatic and
unexpected start to the league season, cemented their position at the bottom of the
Midi-Pyrenees/South Division after setting their opponents a dismally low target of 34
runs.

An away trip to Catus without the injured Paul Rogers, senior pro Dom George, top-
order batsman Nick Allison, strike bowler Patrick Dubois and young French
international Lucien Calkin, was always going to be an uphill battle. But the task
quickly become a lost cause when after winning the toss, Midi sank to 11 for four
wickets.

Midi had no answer to the most lethal opening bowling spell faced all season. Karim
and J. Patras, with two wickets apiece, clean bowled Jason Armstrong (2), Marc
Dalling (8), Ram Khumbar (0) and captain Alex Lalljee (1).

When Joris Verdaasdonk (5) and Joe Whitworth (0) both fell with the score on 16,
Midi were staring in the face of their lowest ever league score.

But a late flurry from Ken Miller (7) and David Amoros (6), ably supported by
occasional batsman Reg Gratton, with a neatly compiled 0 not out, eased the Midi
score to 33 in 16 overs.

Midi’s opening bowler Ken Miller quickly expunged any dream of a sensational Midi
victory with two wides and a six in a first over which conceded 13 runs. It was all
over in 2.3 overs with Rahim on 13 not out and Shafiq on 21.

Midi’s away weekend was to have opened on Saturday at Seissan with a new T20
tournament involving league opponents Toulouse CC and Armagnac-Bigorre CC.
But the triangular tournament was reduced to one match when Toulouse pulled out
at the eleventh hour.

Nine-man Midi lost the toss and Armagnac, led by captain Tony Hands who hit 76
not out, set the visitors an imposing target of 175 after their allotted 20 overs.
Armagnac’s score was augmented by Midi’s bowlers who generously conceded 43
wides.

Pick of the Midi bowlers was once again Paul Rogers who took two wickets in his
first over, but then after a three-over spell which yielded only six runs, he tweaked a
calf muscle tripping over a divot and was unable to complete his four overs.

Midi started their run chase disastrously with Rogers and Ram back in the pavilion
with only five on the board but Joe Whitworth and Jason Armstrong combined to
take the score past 30 and when Whitworth went for 10, captain Alex Lalljee joined
the South African for a partnership of 57.

But the run rate was against Midi and although Armstrong hit 30 with four fours and
Lalljee top scored with 33 and five fours, they went down by 52 runs. A late run
flurry was highlighted by Pierre Zivanovic who hit a best ever 18 in helping take the
Midi score to 122 for seven.

Midi’s focus is now on the Siddall’s Cup with a home match against Damazan CC
on Sunday, 22 June. With a number of key players back in the team, Midi will be
hoping to put the Catus loss behind them.

Midi stretch beaten run to four after bright start to league season

Midi CC gave opposing Toulouse CC Captain Brett Trudgett the best possible
farewell on Saturday – a six-wicket league victory at St Pons de Mauchiens and the
gracious gift of two successive sixes to seal a win for his side and send him back to
Australia with the warm memory of another job well done.

Trudgett, who has scored hundreds of runs against Midi over the last five years,
provided more of the same in his last match on French soil, scoring 42 not out,
including four sixes, as he and partner Neil Warren, 60 not out, combined to ease
past Midi’s total of 189 with 11 overs to spare.

Midi, who lost by only one wicket away to Toulouse three weeks previously, have
now slipped to second last in the Midi- Pyrénées/South Division after briefly topping
the table when they surprised everybody, particularly themselves, by registering their
first league victory in four years, defeating the formidable Catus CC in the season
opener.

Midi, hoping to stop the rot of three successive losses, won the toss on a cloudy but
dry day and Captain Alex Lalljee chose to bat, a decision he quickly regretted when
he and fellow opener Paul Rogers both went cheaply to send the home side tottering
at 14 for two.

But Nick Allison once again showed grit and determination and supported by senior
pro Dom George, the pair ground out the runs taking the score to 41 before George
fell to Presanth for 12.

Midi’s France U19 international Lucien Calkin joined Allison and the pair pushed the
score past 100 to raise hopes of a solid target for Toulouse to chase.

But when Allison fell for 19, caught and bowled by Neil Warren, followed by Calkin
soon after, another Warren victim, for a classy 38, an encouraging 114 for four was
transformed in familiar Midi fashion to 137 for seven.

Joe Whitworth and Joris Verdaasdonk both went for ducks but Midi found a saviour
in Ram Khumbar who held the rest of the Midi innings together, hitting seven fours in
his 34, and aided by American import Ken Miller, who bludgeoned 20, the home side
were able to set the visitors a respectable target of 190.

Toulouse set about their task slowly, Rogers and George restricting the openers to
only 17 in the seventh over when Rogers struck to dismiss Paul Lawrie leg before.

When Ram snared opener Michael Fitchett for 22 caught behind by Calkin after a
wayward wide-filled start to his spell, followed by Amit who was brilliantly caught
behind by Calkin off Patrick Dubois, Midi had the smell of victory in their nostrils with
the visitors struggling at 49 for three.

But Derek Blackham and Warren steadied the visitors’ ship, and when Blackham fell
for 14, bowled by Dubois with the score on 104, Trudgett came in to help overhaul
Midi’s score, wrapping up the win with two sixes off the first two balls of Whitworth’s
spell.

While Dubois took two for 39, it was once again Rogers who proved the hardest to
get away, finishing with a miserly one for 21 off his allotted eight overs.

Midi will rue three missed chances, two off Warren, one a straightforward catch at
cover with the score on 104 for three, the second in the 28 th , a skied shot to deep
square leg.

Now Midi have to regroup for their final league match on 15 June away to Catus,
who doubtless will still be smarting from their defeat at St Pons.