See scorecard here
The BICC 12-man squad arrived for their fifth Menorca tour across the Friday night and Saturday morning, chasing two victories to take their tally to ten games unbeaten against the Menorquins. The squad included three newbies, birthday boy Mohan ‘our favourite Indian’ Reddy, David ‘Big Joe’ Evans and Nakul ‘Nockles’ Vyas, along with the long awaited return of ex-President Rob ‘I’ve lost my sunglasses’ Paterson. With rain forecast all of Friday night and much of Saturday there were worries we wouldn’t get a game. Fortunately, the sun came out and a delayed, over-reduced game could begin at about 2 o’clock.
Supreme Leader Nawaz won the toss and elected to bat. With President Damien having graciously offered to sit out this match, he was cruelly denied the opportunity to sit in the sun soaking up the cricket (amongst other things), after being volunteered to umpire all 70 overs. Mohan and Umer Razi opened, but it was not to be a birthday debut to remember for Mohan as he fell early. Keeper Alex ‘Saffer’ Wallauz joined and they formed a solid partnership, taking BICC to 76-1 before Alex was caught for 29. This began a mini collapse, as three wickets fell for just eight runs, including a duck for Stu Boyd and a harsh run out for Rob (despite including the least gracious dive you’ll ever see on a cricket pitch). Fortunately, everyone’s favourite South African Warren Meredith joined Umer at the crease and scored a quickfire 30. After he edged behind, it fell to Sid Tewari to help fire some quick runs as the innings drew to a close. In the penultimate over, opener Umer finally fell, having scored a fine 50 where he was the backbone of the innings (he’ll tell you he scored 81, mind). BICC eventully set a total of 169-7 off their 35 overs.
The skipper decided to open the bowling with himself and Nakul, who both managed to keep it tight. They didn’t manage to get a breakthrough until the sixth over though, when Nakul had Julian Hagger caught by his opening bowling partner. The score was just 13 and the next wicket would take just two more overs before Nakul struck again, bowling Adam Cockroft. The score was now 28-2, as Mallorcan guest Ali Mujhid walked out to the crease. He formed a formidable partnership with keeper Andy Tysoe as the pair of them reached the 40s. First change bowlers Dave and Sam were unable to continue the opening pair’s pressure, nor take any wickets (albeit not helped by a dropped catch off Sam’s bowling). Eventually, Warren and Sid were bought on. Warren had quick success, taking the wicket of the dangerous Ali (48) in his first over, caught in the deep with quite possibly the finest running catch ever seen on a cricket pitch* by yours truly. The next wicket would come in the very next over, with Sid relying on the skipper’s safe pair of hands to dismiss Grant Wilson for a duck. Still, with the score now 103-4 off 21 overs, Menorca were getting dangerously close to their first win over BICC, although looking far less secure than they had done on 102-2 just seven balls earlier. When opener Andy (41) finally fell a few overs later after missing a straight Sid ball, BICC got their tails up. From this point, 44 were required off the final eight overs, with the Menorca’s fast scoring skipper Simon Cotton walking to the crease. Fortunately, for BICC, no one was able to hold down the other end and give him support, with Stu, Umer and a run out from Dave dismissing Pavan Nerella, Akter Husain and Russell Day with none of them scoring more than six. In amongst these rapidly falling wickets, Simon was “dropped” after yours truly again took another great catch in the deep, only to end up falling over the rope. Despite the quick wickets, MCC had gotten themselves into a position where they only needed 10 off the final two overs. Step up Stu, who brilliantly bowled a maiden in the penultimate over, including the run out from Dave.
Still 10 needed off the final six deliveries. Mohsin vs Simon. Skipper vs skipper. Three results still possible. Who would come out on top? First ball, dot. 10 off five. Second ball, wicket! Mohsin bowled Simon and BICC could smell victory. Ten off four, with numbers ten and eleven at the crease. Between them, they could only muster three singles and a dot ball, meaning BICC won by six runs in one of the tensest and most exciting matches between the two sides thus far. The two teams dusted themselves down and discussed BICC’s latest MCC win over a beer or two. Following this, BICC headed out for the now traditional curry at Rainbow Spice before hitting the town.