MSCC 201 for 5 declared. Mike Simpson 59*, Sathya Vadivale 49*
Rainmen 70 all out. Jason Williams 5 wickets for 38 runs
MSCC Win by 131 runs
The damp early season weather relented for the arrival of The Rainmen.
We were delighted to see that Marcus Berkman was playing this year, as his delightful description of the ground at Middleton remains framed alongside our Bar.
The popularity of this fixture was reflected in a strong Middleton team, containing the full complement of Simpsons, with Mrs Simpson sharing the tea with The Groundsman’s wife, as he was making his season’s debut.
Middleton opened their innings in steady mode, until Dan Simpson missed a straight one, 17 for 1, and Stevyn Jackson was joined by Richard Simpson. The pace quickened and at 54 for 2, Richard departed trying to add a third 6 in his 34 off 18 deliveries. Tight bowling restricted matters for a while and the wickets of Jackson, O’Neil and The Groundsman fell at regular intervals.
85 for 5 was a pivotal moment, but fortunately the balance shifted to MSCC due to the application of Mike Simpson and Sathya Vadivale. The run rate increased exponentially so that by tea, Mike (59 no) and Sathya (49 no) had enabled us to post a total of 202 for 5. Noteworthy were the four 6 s from father Simpson (usually the preserve of his son), and Sathya’s inability to lay a bat on anything outside his off stump. But pulling straight deliveries to leg proved a piece of cake.
There was plenty of baking evidence at Tea which was delicious.
The Rainmen may have been surprised at our opening attack, as cries rang out “C’mon Warnie” when Jason Williams marked out his run up. Our Captain knew a man in form though (hasn’t bowled a ball for 9 months) as he set about The Rainmen’s innings.
4 wickets was the result with a stumping highlight by Jon Springer. 4 other wickets fell to spinners, but as we strained for the win, our leg spinning star returned to the fray to dismiss Marcus with a plumb LBW.
Jason’s “Champagne Day” award was thoroughly deserved and he maintained his cheerful composure when presented with a miniature bottle of Prosecco.
Many thanks to The Rainmen who enjoy the game of cricket and provide excellent company during and after the match.