MCC have overcome some extreme weather conditions to remain undefeated after the two opening games of their German tour.
Both of the opening two games of the tour were against the German national men’s team.
The last time an MCC team played Germany (2008) they were soundly beaten and the news that Germany had not lost a match in three years suggested the MCC team would have a tough task on their hands to upset the hosts.
With forecasts of blazing temperatures followed by intermittent thunder storms for the days MCC might well have been forgiven for thinking that fate might be conspiring against the tour.
This point was then made more apparent when the evening before MCC were due to fly with British Airways from Heathrow Airport news broke across all major news platforms of an apocalyptic computer failure that had caused both Heathrow Airport and British Airways to go into meltdown.
Unsure, whether the tour would be able to go ahead the party managed, miraculously, to slip through a sea of disruption at Heathrow and boarded the flight to Frankfurt unscathed by the disruption that countless others were experiencing.
Once arrived, the team set about the task of exploring the city of Frankfurt and getting to know one another over dinner at a restaurant serving local cuisines.
First match - MCC vs Germany national side, Monday 29 May:
The day of the first game of the tour dawned and as advertised was a scorcher.
However, this did not dampen the spirits of the MCC team and with the tarmac bubbling in the road the team boarded the bus to Frankfurt Cricket Club.
After the loss of an early wicket MCC piled on the runs with skipper William Vanderspar (83), wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien (96) and all-rounder Nick Anderson (57) putting the German bowling to the sword.
MCC posted a total of 323 in their allotted 50 overs and in reply Germany looked good before two identical caught and bowled wickets from MCC Young Cricketer Ashley Sivirajah’s first over.
This seemed to swing the game in MCC’s favour before an almighty effort from veteran Germany batsman – Brandon Ess – who blasted 85 off 84 balls.
However, it was not enough. With the score at 247, left-arm spinner Daniel Pascoe took the final German wicket, to complete his five-for and seal a 76 run victory for MCC.
Pascoe finished with figures of 9.5 over, 1 maiden, 41 runs, and 5 wickets.
Ess, 45, is the oldest and arguably the fittest of the German team. However, his exertions in the heat lead to him being taken to hospital in an ambulance after the conclusion of the match where medical staff were able to rehydrate him.
In the evening following the match the MCC touring party enjoyed some celebratory drinks and dined at an Irish pub that was recommended by secretary of dinner reservations, Niall O’Brien.
Scorecard from the match can be seen here.
Second match - MCC vs Germany national side, Tuesday 30 May:
MCC arrived early the next day at Frankfurt Cricket Club for the second of the two scheduled games against Germany.
The team news from Germany was Ess was healthy but rested for the match as a precaution.
Coming into the side were two big hitters in the shape of Muhammad Mudassar and Asad Mohmmad.
MCC lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. Unfortunately, MCC were a man down early doors.
Opener Gareth James became the second man in two days to visit the hospital, splitting his hand attempting to take a catch in the outfield.
It was a case of déja vu for Germany after a good start to the innings they lost key wickets to the left-arm spin of Sivirajah.
The feeling that it was truly Groundhog Day was heightened for Sivirajah who took the wickets of three batsman using the same method of dismissal for each wicket as the day before (two were caught and bowled, and the last was caught at mid-on).
To complete the reproduction Sivirajah finished with identical figures to those he had finished with the day before (10 overs, no maidens, 48 runs and 3 wickets).
Germany were 142/6 before Asad Mohmmad came to the wicket and set about the bowling with nonchalance.
Mohmmed took the fight back the MCC bowlers to score 66* off 48 balls before the forecast thunderstorm struck.
The storm struck swiftly and with ferocity. The wind whipped across the ground demolishing the tent that had housed the scorers and blew down the scoreboard.
Players and spectators scrambled for their respective possessions and dashed for cover.
It was agreed an early tea would be taken to give the storm a chance to subside.
However, after tea it became apparent that it would be unsafe to continue and with lightning still flashing around the ground the umpires decided the match would be abandoned. Germany had accumulated 236/7 off 45.3 overs.
Scorecard from day two can be seen here.
In the evening MCC were hosted by the German Cricket Board at a local brewery.
An exquisite meal and excellent beer was accompanied by impromptu speeches by MCC captain Will Vanderspar, MCC tour manager Jim Love, Chief Executive of the German Cricket Board Brian Mantle, President of Frankfurt Cricket Club (who are due to play host to every game of the MCC tour) Salim Khan, and finally President of the German Cricket Board Brian Fell, who spoke of previous MCC tours to the country.
The evening was one of positivity and thoughts of what German cricket might achieve in the future - wind and weather permitting.
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