Irish visitors Greystones beat Midi in T20 final over thriller

Irish visiting team Greystones secured a thrilling victory over Midi Cricket Club with the winning runs scored in the last over of their Twenty20 match played at Pouzolles on Saturday, 28 September.

 After the previous weekend’s near washout, conditions could not have been more different for the second of Midi CC’s autumn series of international friendlies.

After Midi’s victory over Clapham-in-cricket, Midi chose to bat against the County Wicklow club  on a perfect late September sunny afternoon. The visitors made an early breakthrough when opener Ben Morgan was deceived by a slower delivery and clean bowled in the second over.

Midi’s top order however recovered well from this setback, and a third-wicket partnership of over 60 between Shakeel Akram and Warren Dauncey took Midi to a score of 99 for the loss of just two wickets in the ninth over. Midi looked well set to post an imposing target, but then Shakeel, Dauncey, and captain Louis Parry were dismissed in the space of just six balls without a run being scored.

Returning Midi stalwart Marc Dalling was joined at the wicket by last week’s hero Joris Verdaasdonk. When Dalling was dismissed for a gritty 3, Verdaasdonk was joined at the crease by newcomer Faaiz with five overs left.

Together, they seized the initiative back from the Greystones bowlers.  With the support of Verdaasdonk (31 not out), Faaiz plundered 37 not out from just 15 deliveries, including three 6s and four 4s.

This set Geystones a target of 185, and their opening pair of Daniel and Sharma rose to the challenge, putting on 68 for the first wicket before Daniel was dismissed in the eighth over. Sharma and incoming batsman Harry Kirk continued to score quickly, and brought the total to 116 in the 12th over before Sharma was dismissed for 48.

Midi’s bowlers now put a little more pressure on the Greystones batsmen and wickets began to fall more frequently, with Dauncey taking three for 32 from his four overs.

It set up a dramatic finish with Greystones needing four runs from the final over. However, Kirk quickly removed any suspense by hitting the first ball of the 20th over for six, securing both his own half century and a four-wicket victory for his team.

Result: Midi CC 184 for 5 from 20 overs, Greystones CC 187 for 6 from 19.1 overs.

Mark Hayden

Midi CC triumph in last-ball thriller against UK touring side

Midi Cricket Club’s first match of their autumn series against touring UK side Clapham-in-cricket was washed out on Saturday, 21 September, but a second game the following day, with overs reduced by the wet weather, ended in a thrilling last-ball victory for the home side at their ground in Pouzolles.

Clapham batted first in the re-arranged T20 game in gloomy, overcast conditions, Midi’s opening bowlers, Sher Ahmad and stand-in captain Louis Parry, initially had difficulty in controlling the swinging ball. However, Sher soon found his line and length, and in the fifth over clean bowled Clapham’s opener, the dangerous Josh Shinner.

Thereafter, Clapham’s batsmen accumulated runs steadily, and when the 100 came up in the 15th over for the loss of only four wickets, they seemed well placed to set an imposing target.

But then Parry then turned to guest player Taylor, who took two wickets of the fifth and sixth balls of his first over. At this stage, the rain, which had been falling gently for most of Clapham’s innings, started to fall heavily, bringing a premature end to their innings, and denying Taylor the opportunity of recording the first hat-trick at Pouzolles.

After the rain stopped, the game was reduced to 16 overs each side, leaving Midi a target of 108. Their chase got off to the worst possible start, when Chris Dommett was dismissed first ball by a delivery that skidded off the damp wicket.

Shakeel Akram was joined at the wicket by Sher, and together they tried to counter-attack. However, the slow outfield made scoring difficult, and their dismissal in successive overs left Midi at 37 for three. Parry was then joined at the wicket by Taylor, for what proved to be the key partnership of the match. Together they brought the score to 91 before Parry sportingly retired on 20 not out, leaving Midi to score 17 runs off the remaining three overs.

His gesture risked backfiring when, in the next over, first Malcolm, and then Taylor (who top-scored with 36), were beaten by the flight of Clapham’s spinner Rich, and were both out stumped. Fortunately, Midi’s incoming batsmen were the experienced American import Ken Miller and the mercurial Dutchman Joris Verdaasdonk.

As the rain started falling again, Midi needed seven runs to win off the last over. Miller managed to strike a single off the third ball of the over, and Verdaasdonk struck a boundary off the fourth, leaving Midi needing two runs off the final two balls of the game.

Verdaasdonk was unable to make contact with the fifth ball. Off the final ball of the game, his cover drive initially seemed to be placed too close to the Clapham fielder, before he lost his footing on the slippery outfield, allowing Midi’s batsmen to scamper home for two runs and a dramatic victory.

Next Saturday, 28 September, Midi’s autumn series continues with a match at Pouzolles against Greystones, from Ireland.

Result: Clapham-in-cricket -107/6 (16 overs),  Midi – 108/5 (16 overs).

 

Mark Hayden

 

Damazan beat Midi by 61 runs to end unbeaten league run

Damazan CC ended Midi CC”s three-match unbeaten league campaign with a 61-run victory at their home ground on Sunday, 16 June, but the Herault’s only cricket club remain at the top of the ACCSO southern pool of the Blevins Franks Southwest Regional League 10 points clear of their nearest rivals.

However, with only two matches played, compared to Midi’s four, unbeaten Damazan are now the biggest threat to Midi winning their first-ever league title.  

In the bucolic surroundings of their ground, Damazan won the toss and chose to bat first on a perfect afternoon for cricket. Midi’s opening bowlers gave little away, restricting Damazan to just 27 runs from the first 10 overs, which featured an opening spell of three consecutive maidens from Waseem Akhter, who finished with figures of 0 for six from 6.2 overs.

Midi’s change bowlers proved more to the Damazan batsmen’s liking, however, and the opening partnership passed 50 before Louis Parry struck twice in one over, the first with the help of a superb one-handed take from captain Naeem Abbas at cover, the second when Dutch import Joris Verdaasdonk safely pouched a steepling catch at mid-on.

Damazan’s batsmen continued to score rapidly, however, with Ahmed (58) and Shahid (22) making full use of some loose Midi bowling.

At 106 for three wickets after 18 overs, Damazan seemed set to post an imposing total, but quick wickets either side of the drinks break saw Midi reduce them to 126 for seven. The Damazan tail then wagged, to leave Midi facing a target of 171 from 41 overs.

Midi’s run chase got off to the worst possible start, when Chris Dommett was bowled for 0 off the third  ball of the first over. Ben Morgan and the prolific Shakeel Akram brought the score to 37 from 10 overs before Damazan’s Gagandeep Singh tempted Morgan into an overly ambitious lofted drive, and then bowled Verdaasdonk in the same over. Singh would finish with figures of five for 16 from seven overs.

Midi’s in-form batsmen, Shakeel and Sher Ahmad, found it difficult to make progress against some accurate Damazan bowling, with just two boundaries coming between the 7th and 19th overs, and Shakeel progressing from 20 to 30 entirely in singles. Nevertheless, they had brought the total to 64 before Sher was dismissed on the stroke of the drinks interval.

Midi’s hopes of reaching Damazan’s total suffered a further blow when Shakeel pulled a muscle running a quick single, and had to retire hurt, having scored 38. Nevertheless, Warren Dauncey, with support from Parry, brought the score to 106 for five before he was out to a smart stumping.

This brought the injured Shakeel back to the wicket with Midi still believing they could pull off a victory and keeping their unbeaten league record intact. Unfortunately, Shakeel was bowled first ball on his return, and Midi’s remaining wickets fell rapidly to finish 109 all out, giving Damazan a comfortable victory.

Overall, too many of Midi’s batsmen got out too cheaply: while seven of Damazan’s batsmen reached double figures, seven of Midi’s did not.

The return fixture against Damazan at Midi’s home ground in Pouzolles on Sunday, 7 July, is likely to be crucial in deciding who wins the southern pool of the ACCSO league in 2019.

Mark Hayden 

Midi make it a hat-trick of league wins and stay top of the table

Midi CC made it three league wins out of three as striker bowler Sher Ahmad blew the TCC Bears away with six wickets for 18 runs after new recruit Chris Dommett laid the foundation for the victory with a top score of 56.

Man-of-the-match Sher also contributed a handy 39 as Midi compiled a solid 257 runs for eight wickets from their 40 overs after being sent in to bat on their home ground in Pouzolles on Sunday, 19 May.

The result puts Midi at the top of the southern pool table in the Blevins Franks South West Regional League on 30 points – 20 points ahead of second team Catus CC who have played two and lost one.  Midi’s next match is a return against the Bears at Toulouse on 9 June.

Sher blasted out the Bears’ top order in a devastating opening two overs  which reduced the visitors to 12 runs for four wickets.

Though they recovered after a fine  72-run sixth-wicket stand between Michael John (52) and Darshan Ramesh (46) which took the score to 127, two late wickets from American import Ken Miller, a brilliant catch in the covers from Shakeel Akram off the slow bowling of Dom George, and two more wickets from Sher mopped up the Bears’ innings. They were finally dismissed for 149 to lose by 108 runs.

Miller finished with two for 27,  Shakeel with one for 29 and the wily George with one for 37.

But it was the contribution of Midi’s batsmen led by Dommett and Sher which set up Midi’s victory.

Going in as opener Dommett lost Abdul Adnan (4) and Naeem Abbas (6) cheaply but was joined by the prolific Shakeel who scored 27 before being bowled, then by Sher who helped move the score along past 130 before getting out LBW to Michael John.

Dommett hit five 4s and two 6s before being bowled by Darshan.  A late cameo innings of 30 from Safi Kashifa helped by an unbeaten 18 not out from a dogged Joris Verdaasdonk took the Midi score along to 257 – a target which proved impossible for the Bears to run down.

 

Midi win one, lose one, in triangular T20 and fail to reach final

Mid CC’s triangular T20 tussle with the Wolves and Bears from Toulouse CC in the ACCSO Southern pool ended in a three-way tie on Sunday with each team winning and losing one match.

But based on runs per over, the Wolves mauled their opponents and made it through to the Blevins Franks T20 finals on 2 June and will play Damazan CC from the Northern Pool.

After the Wolves had beaten the Bears in the Toulouse derby, Midi took the field against the Bears. Midi’s captain  Dom George won the toss and decided to bat. Clean striking from Joris Verdaasdonk (34), supported by Ben Morgan (17) and Kashifa Safi (13), saw Midi race to 61 for one after just six overs.

Midi’s Dutch import Joris Verdaasdonk strikes a four in his innings of 34 v the TCC Bears

However, Midi’s middle order found it difficult to come to terms with the variations in line and length sent down by the Bears’ bowlers, and the middle third of the innings produced just 38 runs for the loss of four wickets. Mark Hayden’s dismissal for a painfully-compiled six allowed the tail to wag in the final overs, with a quick-fire 14 not out from Waseem Akhtar helping Midi to post a reasonably competitive total of 146 from their 20 overs.

Midi’s quick bowlers then made good use of the skiddy plastic pitch at Toulouse to reduce the Bears to 37 for three after eight overs. The Bears’ batsmen found Midi’s medium pacers more to their liking, however, with fully one-quarter of the required runs coming off just two overs from Naeem Abbas and Verdaasdonk.

The Bears’ Rama (51), supported by Michael (42 not out ) brought the score to 140 before Rama was run out in the 19th over with the Bears just six short of their target. Possibly a little belatedly, Midi brought the field in to cut off easy singles, but Michael responded by striking two boundaries off the final over to give the Bears victory with three balls to spare.

Midi’s narrow defeat left the team a little deflated. The Wolves took advantage of this, opting to bat first in the day’s third and final match, and they put a 100 runs  on the board inside the first 10 overs, for the loss of just one wicket.

Helped notably by Waseem’s tidy spell of one for 26 from his four overs, Midi managed to stem the flow of runs somewhat in the second half of the Wolves’ innings, to restrict them to a nonetheless challenging total of 173 for two. Wolves opening batsman Peter Jarvis added an unbeaten 82, building on his undefeated score of 95 in the earlier match against the Bears.

Midi started their innings briskly, with Morgan (28) at the top of the order again providing a solid foundation. While keeping up with the required run rate of almost nine an over proved not to be a problem, the loss of two wickets through run outs left Midi on 66 for four after eight overs, raising the prospect that they might be bowled out inside their allotted 20 overs.

However, a magnificent innings of 80 from Ahmad Sher, including eight sixes and five fours, turned the innings around. When he was dismissed with the total on 154, Midi needed just 21 runs from the final four overs. As the evening shadows stretched across the pitch, captain Dom George nudged and French cut his way to 17 not out, before Louis Parry achieved a career first by striking the winning run from the second ball of the final over.

Mark Hayden

Midi CC win again to maintain unbeaten start to season

Midi CC’s batting star Shakeel Akram once again guided his team to a second successive victory, his 90 not out providing the foundation for a convincing seven wicket win over the TCC Wolves on Sunday.

Midi, who beat Catus CC in the opening match of their 2019 league campaign, won the toss at their wind-blown Pouzolles ground and captain Dom George sent the Toulouse side in to bat.

A three-wicket haul from Ahmad Sher, another two from Shakeel and two stunning runouts by Waseem Akhtar, limited the visitors to a moderate 179 runs all out from 35 overs.

The home side lost Warren Dauncey (4) and Naeem Abbas (4) cheaply but Shakeel, coming in at number three, shored up the innings, and unlike his rampaging century against Catus the previous weekend, he studiously compiled runs at the start as he sized up the bowling.

With able support from Sher Ahmad (28 not out) and Abdul Basu Adnan (20), Shakeel hit 12 fours and four sixes to ensure that Midi would start their campaign in the Blevins Franks South West Regional League with two wins out of two.

With TCC Wolves batting first, opening strike bowler Sher got Midi off to a great start by removing TCC Wolves’ opening bat Peter Jarvis with a vicious swinging first ball then followed it up in his second over with the wicket of Edrees Zahiry to reduce the visitors to 8 for two wickets.

The Wolves then started piling on the runs and looked capable of setting Midi a competitive 200-plus target but the veteran campaigner George then removed Tanjil Haque LBW on 32, Shakeel had Sriram Balasubramaniam leg before on 21, then Waseem executed an incredible underarm direct hit from fine leg to run out top scorer Sharif Uddin on 32. With slow bowler Warren Dauncey removing Uchchhal Bandyoppadhay on 3 for what can only be described as a donkey drop, Wolves were struggling at 129 for six.

Sher and Shakeel picked up another wicket apiece, Waseem then removed young George Jarvis for a patient 21 and finally wrapped up the innings with a brilliant run out from his own bowling. Sher ended with a creditable three for 26 while Shakeel followed up his six-wicket haul against Catus, with two for 23.

George used eight of bowlers to give as many of the team as possible a chance to participate but it was the strike bowlers – Sher and Shakeel – who did the damage.

Midi’s run chase started bizarrely with opening bowler Raffi Seyal conceding 12 runs with a mixture of wides, a no ball and loose deliveries.

Raffi finally pulled his bowling together in his third over to remove Naeem Abbas for four after Warren Dauncey had been caught also for four off the bowling of Sam.

Shakeel then came in and with support at the other end from Adnan and Sher the score moved towards the winning target, the Wolves not helping their cause by having three bowlers removed from play for bowling over shoulder height after receiving a warning from the umpire.  

Midi CC open league campaign with victory over Catus

A fine century and a six-wicket haul from all-rounder Shakeel Akram spearheaded Midi Cricket Club to an impressive 105-run victory on Sunday, 21 April. over old rivals Catus CC and marked a perfect start to their 2019 campaign in the Blevins Franks South West Regional League.

On a damp, rain sodden day in Catus, Midi captain Dom George won the toss but quickly wondered if the decision was the right one as he saw his top order fall on the willow, slumping in true Midi fashion to three wickets for 16 runs –  Sher Ahmad (1), Akhter Waseem (0) and Syed Naeem (2), all removed by strike bowlers Karim Khan and Ahmed Imran.

The Catus ground, so often a graveyard for Midi in past seasons, had initiated the last rites and an early drive back to the Herault on Easter Sunday seemed the only bright prospect for the visiting side who were playing with only 10 men.  

Midi CC after the 105-run victory over Catus

But Shakeel, playing his second season with the club, had other ideas and brandishing his bat with venom, provided the ideal anchor. Almost from the first ball he faced, he advanced down the wicket to show the opposition that he was up for an onslaught on the Catus front-line bowlers.

With able support at the other end from Ben Morgan, who crafted a studious 9,, the battle-scarred warhorse George (17)  and new South African recruit Warren Dauncey (17), Shakeel  set about the Catus bowling.

Before falling to a catch in the deep for 109 runs, he blasted eight sixes and seven fours, to help Midi post a competitive 183-run target from 38.1 of the allotted 40 overs..

In reply, Catus lost three early wickets for only seven runs with Sher and Naeem doing the early damage before Shakeel stepped in, removing the danger man, Rahim Khan for 25. He then despatched the last five batsmen for a total of nine runs – three clean bowled and two caught. With man-of-the-match Shakeel proving to be almost unplayable, Catus slumped to 77 all out.

Shakeel finished with impressive figures of six for 15 and with the other three strike bowlers all contributing, captain George was looking ahead optimistically to Midi’s league season in the revamped Southern Pool which now has five teams in the league competition. “Catus are never easy to play on their home ground, and we showed with both bat and ball, that we will be competitive this season,” said George.

Midi’s next match in the Blevins Franks South West Regional League is at the club’s Pouzolles ground against TCC Wolves on Sunday 5 May. Start will be at 1pm.

 

Midi loses unbeaten home record in 83-run loss to Toulouse

Fortress Pouzolles is no more.

After going through its first season unbeaten at the club’s new home in Pouzolles, Midi CC suffered a first defeat in the Blevins Franks South-West Regional League, going down to old rivals Toulouse by 83 runs on Sunday, 20 May.

Midi scored a record 375 runs in the home win over Toulouse last season but was never in the hunt in this match after the visitors posted 280 for nine wickets from its 40 overs.

Midi, who finished a respectable fourth in last year’s league campaign, had gone into the first game of the 2018 season on the back of some regular practice under the expert tutelage of its American marquee player Ken Miller but some early wayward bowling and a few dropped catches allowed Toulouse openers Darshan and Rayan to lay the foundations for an emphatic victory.

It took a brilliant catch from resident Dutchman Joris Verdaasdonk off his own bowling to break the opening partnership sending back Rayan on 52 with the score on 110.

Darshan was next to go bowled by Miller with the score on 130 but with a run rate of nearly eight an over, Toulouse looked set for a formidable score. Miller, who took 2 for 22 off his five overs, Verdaasdonk (1 for 20) and captain Dom George (1 for 19) slowed the run rate down with the veteran all-rounder taking the vital wicket of Tanjil after a quickfire 48.

However, with grey skies moving in and thunder rumbling in the distance, a middle order burst produced eight sixes and took the Toulouse score to 280. It could have been more but for pace bowler Sher Ahmad who took three wickets in two overs in his second spell and ended with three for 50.

The rain threatened but never materialised and Midi, with four new players in the side, decided to play themselves in, the openers Biff Batstone and Shakeel Akram grafting a studious 35 in the first 10 overs before Batstone fell for three.

Shakeel stepped up the tempo in his first match for the club but Midi was always behind the run chase. When Shakeel departed after a solid innings of 63, which included four sixes, it was left to Ben Morgan (18) and Louis Parry (17) to shore up the innings and step up the run chase. But once they were gone and with the score on 152 for six wickets, Midi faced the nigh impossible task of scoring 129 runs off the last nine overs.

Miller (13) and George (19) edged the score towards respectability but Midi finally fell for 197 with George clean bowled and Mark Hayden stranded on five not out.

The match was technically a home match for Toulouse as their own ground was unavailable and it could be argued that as Midi was therefore playing an away match its unbeaten home record was still intact. But that’s ridiculous. Fortress Pouzolles is no more.

Midi will now have to lift its game for the second league match of the season, a home fixture against Eymet CC on Sunday, 27 May, but to be played at the Catus CC ground to lessen the travelling distance.

Harshesh says farewell with top score to spearhead win over Catus

Harshesh Bhatt, a leading run scorer for Midi CC over the last three seasons, bade farewell to the club with a blistering 96 runs to spearhead a 59-run victory over old rivals Catus CC in a home friendly on Sunday 1 October.

The victory kept Midi’s unbeaten record at their new ground, ‘Fortress’ Pouzolles – five wins from five matches, three in the Blevins Franks Regional League and two friendlies.

Harshesh, who will be leaving the area to study for an MBA in Nice, was cruelly deprived of a deserved century when, going for a big hit, he skied an easy catch to a close fielder. But his innings, which included three sixes and 11 fours, helped set Catus a respectable target of 193 in the 35-over match.

Catus, who were a few players short, opened their innings at breakneck speed, racking up 100 runs in only 10 overs but wickets started to fall when Midi captain Dom George brought on spinner Naeem Abbas and medium pacer Tahir and the away side fell short, dismissed for 133.  

Catus, who had dramatically lost to Midi at home by one wicket in a league match this season, put the home side in to bat and got their reward when Naeem was caught for 12 with the score on 29.

But Harshesh joined Louis Parry and the pair put on 29 runs before Parry was run out going for a second run with the score on 58. He scored 25 runs, which included five fours, and, along with George (11) and Shebaz (16), stayed with Harshesh to help Midi move to 192.

Catus were soon in trouble at four for two wickets, both falling to Sharjah. But he then proved expensive as Farouk join Peter Stirling and the pair looked set to take the away side to victory, ably assisted by a rash of wides, before Naeem came on to bag Stirling for 18 and Farouk for 29.

Naeem mopped up the tail, taking four wickets for 39 off six overs, ably supported by Tahir who took two for 22 off six overs. Sharjah finished with 2 for 40 off three overs.

Midi will be aiming to keep their unbeaten run at home when they wind up the season with a double-header against Catalan visitors, Barca Internationals – a 40-over match on Saturday, 7 October, and a T20 on Sunday. Both games start at midday.

Eymet shatter Midi’s dream of second-place finish in league

Midi CC’s dream of a second-place finish in the Blevins Franks Regional League was brutally shattered by Eymet CC on Sunday 30 July with a nine-wicket mauling which gave them the title at the expense of Bordeaux-Giscours.

Midi CC came into the match on neutral territory in Toulouse in fourth position after a dramatic one-wicket win over Catus CC the previous Sunday.

Once again, after deciding to bat first, Midi’s lower order came to the rescue after their three leading run scorers failed to fire and half the side were out for only 47.

But this time the recovery led by Shajar Abbas who top scored with 35 and Tahir Mohammad, who was undefeated on 25, was not enough and Eymet, who had been sitting one above Midi in the league table, chased down the 156-run target with more than half of the allotted 40 overs remaining.

Midi had won the toss but the decision to bat backfired when both Captain Ankush Lal and Naeem Abbas fell for ducks and Harshesh Bhatt was bowled for 15. Only dogged opener Paul Rogers provided any resistance and it was his resolute defence of his wicket at one end which allowed Midi to post a reasonable score.

The Midi stalwart was finally out for 21, the eighth wicket to fall, having stayed at the crease for nearly two hours, caught at deep mid-wicket off spin bowler Tim Chancellor who returned Eymet’s best figures of five for 24.

It was Rogers who gave Midi some early hope when he had Eymet opener David Horlock caught by Shamraiz Arif Muhammad with the score on 19 but sadly that was all the opposition could offer Midi as wayward bowling provided them with a feast of runs.

Opener Ed Nicolson hit an unbeaten 70, which included four sixes and eight fours, supported by Ahmed Jewel who was not out 62.

Midi’s bowling figures do not make for pretty reading and your correspondent will not be sharing them with his readers.

The defeat however should not detract from a very successful Midi season, the first in the expanded eight-team league ended with Midi finishing in fourth position with four wins and three defeats – three wins coming at the new ‘fortress’ home in Pouzolles where Midi are now undefeated after also beating Andorra CC in a friendly in early May.

High points of Midi’s season were the one-wicket victory away to Catus where all seemed lost until the tail wagged and the incredible home win over Toulouse where Midi racked up a record 375 runs which included a record 232-run partnership between Naeem (119) and Harshesh (130).  Sadly, the match was curtailed by rain with Midi eventually winning on superior run rate.

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