THCC 3/94 (Murali 29, Israfeel 20*, Daub 1/11, Murugan 1/16) def. Göttingen 90 (A. Mustafa 34, Kamaladin 3/21, Cam 3/23)
Match details on CricHQ
There can be no doubt that back on February 2, Punxsutawney Phil saw a shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. Well, that must have been some shadow, because it was still winter in Germany when the first ball was bowled in the 2016 NDCV Bundesliga.
A short pre-season, with little chance for outdoor training, meant the THCC first XI travelled to Göttingen with little preparation, but with a lot of clothing. Snow was forecast, and it came, along with rain, hail and a chilly northerly wind. For many, the match marked the first time playing cricket in snow.
Safiullah and Israfeel guide the team to victory as the snow falls
The new-look THCC team included Murali and Chandan, playing their first games for the club, while Henrik debuted for the first XI. It meant the team comprised players from Afghanistan, Australia, Denmark, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa, with a 12th man and scorer from Germany.
Cam lost the toss, with Göttingen electing to bat, perhaps hoping conditions would improve during the day and the temperature might rise from 3° to 6°. So, THCC took the field, literally shaking with excitement. Bipin started proceedings, bowling with the arctic wind and finding a rhythm early. He had an LBW turned down, which looked about as good as an LBW can, but then got the rub of the green next ball, when a good-pitched delivery kept (very) low and hit the bottom of the stumps.
The Mustafa brothers then batted well to defy Israfeel and Bipin, taking the score up to 36 until G. Mustafa was well caught by Safiullah at point, with Bipin getting a second wicket. Israfeel followed soon after with a searing ball that cut back on Germany U19 player Oliver Markus and took the top of off-stump. From there, Kamal and Cam teamed up to cut down the runs and pick up six wickets. Celebrating his 23rd birthday, Kamal dislodged the stubborn A. Mustafa, brilliantly caught by Bipin at first slip, then had Prem out next ball, this time with Murali taking a sharp catch at short leg, but couldn’t get the hat-trick.
Murali and Steve combined well for a run-out, Henrik took a great catch at extra cover, and after 26 overs, THCC had managed to dismiss Göttingen for 90. In the break, the Göttingen team, always generous and welcoming hosts, put on an excellent lunch of sandwiches, home-made cake and hot drinks.
With the temperature having dropped, debutants Murali and Chandan opened the innings, cautiously taking the score to 25 before Chandan was out LBW. Murali and Cam got to 50, before another LBW sent Cam packing for 16. As the weather started to turn bad, with blustery snow falling, Murali swung the bat some more, hitting a succession of fours before trying one shot too many and getting bowled by the Göttingen captain, Raja Murugan. Israfeel and Safiullah weathered the storm (hah!), getting the runs in the 23rd over, with Israfeel finishing in style with a big six over long on.
The low scores, matching the day’s temperatures, shouldn’t take anything away from this being a hard-fought match. Göttingen is a team showing a lot of promise, especially Z. Jamali, the young left-arm bowler, and Mahel Daub, who dismissed the THCC captain, while Oliver was solid behind the stumps. THCC wishes Göttingen all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season, and extends a big thank you for your warm hospitality and a great day of cricket. Thanks also to Moritz for scoring in difficult conditions.
Scorers Moritz and Thomas look more like they’ve camped out while en route to the top of Mt Everest
THCC 139 (Marvin 48, Wides 29, Arun 3/43) beat HICC 76 (Ayush 34, Israfeel 5/20)
It was a case of back to the beginning for the last game of the Bundesliga season: bad weather. The first match against Göttingen was played under grey clouds with intermittent snow. The last match against HICC was delayed for 90 minutes by rain.
When play finally got underway, with THCC’s new sightscreens in place, the match was reduced to 40 overs. Batting first, THCC struggled to reach 139 as four of the team’s top six batsmen were given out LBW, with skipper Cam getting an inside edge and the ball hitting him on the right hip, and still being made to walk, out LBW.
Marvin was the best with the bat, hitting 48. Israfeel, Imran, Kamal and Saied also did well to take the score from 7/78 to a more respectable 139, which gave the bowlers something to defend.
That defence started brilliantly, with Israfeel clean-bowling two HICC batsmen in his first over, and bowling another in his second over to leave HICC reeling at 3/5. Kiran and Ayush steadied the innings, but when Imran got Kiran and Saied had Herry out, THCC could sense victory.
Some big hitting from Ayush bolstered the score, but when he was bowled by Israfeel, the resistance was gone. Marvin took a great catch at first slip to remove Rajvinda, off Cam’s bowling, and Israfeel took the last wicket to complete his 5-for.
After a season of ups and downs, the 63-run victory against HICC means THCC squares they ledger, with five wins and five losses, to finish fourth in the NDCV league.
Thanks to Chris and Alan for scoring, and thanks to the supporters who braved the weather to watch the game.
Can we see clearly now the rain has gone? THCC’s sightscreens are up, as grey skies hover over Hamburg (thanks for the photo Steve)
THCC 88 (Extras 32, Ammar 3/20, Hamid 3/22) lost to SG Findorff 2/89 (Ahsan 25*)
This was a very disappointing effort from THCC. To be bowled out for 88 meant the team was never in the game.
Sent into bat after Cam lost the toss, Khalil, Murali and Steve all tried hard to fend off the barrage of (rather short) bowling. Indeed, Khalil and Murali did very well to steady the innings after Marvin and Guru fell early, taking the score to 2/48 before Murali was run-out by an excellent piece of work by the fielder at short leg.
From there, wickets fell quickly, with runs hard to get and batsmen doing their best to defend, perhaps batting too cautiously as the Findorff fielders got closer and closer to the bat.
Needing only 89, the Findorff openers came out swinging. Hamid was brilliantly run-out by Khalil, and Emil held a catch at third man of Israfeel’s bowling to dismiss Shafqat. But Ahsan and Aziz got the runs barely breaking a sweat, as THCC tried seven bowlers in 12.3 overs.
Well done to SG Findorff, who were deserving winners. Many thanks to Moritz for scoring and substitute fielding. And thanks to Kiran and Raj from HICC for umpiring.
Khalil shows great character and mettle to open the innings and bat for 19 overs.
THCC 204 (Bipin 67*, Kamal 33, Murugan 3/28) beat Göttingen 186 (A. Mustafa 42, Daub 41, Asad 3/33, Bipin 3/34)
Back in April, in the first game of the season, when THCC beat Göttingen, the match report included this prescient line: “Göttingen is a team showing a lot of promise, especially Z. Jamali, the young left-arm bowler, and Mahel Daub.”
Göttingen recently beat HICC, and pushed both MTV and SG Findorff to the brink, only to lose by close margins. So it was just right that this young, up-and-coming team, well led by Raja Murugan, would provide such a challenge for THCC. It was a very strong challenge, in what turned out to be a fantastic game of cricket.
THCC skipper Cam won the toss and decided to bat. Jamali removed Asad early. Keith and Guru built a small partnership, before Keith was well stumped by Sangari, standing up to Murugan. From 1/38, THCC crashed to 5/62 and then 8/104, before Bipin and Kamal swung the momentum THCC’s way with an impressive hundred run partnership. Bipin’s 67 not-out saved the innings for THCC, and gave the bowlers something to defend.
Bipin smashes another ball to the boundary during his match-winning 67 not-out
That defense started well, with Bipin and Kamal following up their great batting effort with an early wicket each to leave Göttingen at 2/6. But Daub and A. Mustafi fought back, putting on 66 for the third wicket before Cam broke the partnership, Kamal taking the catch. Daub then teamed up with Sangari to bat Göttingen into a winning position. At 3/113 in the 26th over, the match was theirs to win.
Enter Bipin, swung around to the other end and taking two important wickets, including Sangari for 18, and Daub for a finely crafted 41, with keeper Steve nabbing both catches. Marvin chimed in to take the sixth wicket, but G. Mustafi and Marimuthu fought back to take the game away from THCC, with G. Mustafi hitting a solid 38. It took an exceptional piece of individual brilliance to remove him and put THCC on course for an exciting win.
Khalil, playing his first Bundesliga match, swooped from square leg to run-out G. Mustafi with a direct hit. It all happened very fast, and the players surrounded Khalil to congratulate him for his effort.
But the match wasn’t over. Göttingen needed 27 runs and still had three wickets in hand. It was tight, and heading for a close finish. Asad took one wicket, with Silva holding on to a ball that went very high in the air. And then he took another, bowling Marimuthu, and finished the job trapping Jamali LBW.
The match was played in a great spirit, and was well umpired by Sami and Tavseef. THCC won by just 18 runs. But make no mistake: something is happening in Göttingen, with this young group of players improving with every game and set to provide some very stiff competition for the rest of the league.
Many thanks to scorer Moritz (and also for the fantastic pre-match gardening work). Thanks also to all the supporters and club members who came to the ground and lent their support.
And well done to the THCC Regionalliga team, getting their first win of the season against HSV Tigers.
THCC 186 (Israfeel 92) lost to MTV 9/300 (Potharlanka 119, Khan 53, Asad 4/40)
Cricket is a game of centimetres: a ball can miss the stumps by such a margin or fall just out of reach of a fielder’s hand, and a batsman can be run-out or stumped by a centimetre. It’s also a game of luck: the toss of a coin to start the match, the inside edge that misses the stumps and goes for four, the batsman swinging with his head in the air and somehow connecting, and the umpiring decisions that can impact the course of the match.
“I don’t know why, but around the fourth over, I had the sense that it wasn’t going to be our day,” said THCC’s captain Cam, exhausted, drained and dejected, after the match. “It was a bad toss to lose, and things just didn’t go our way in the field. Credit to our players, who fought hard despite the circumstances, especially Asad, who bowled really well, and credit to MTV, who were deserving winners. But I thought a centimetre here or there, and a bit of luck, and we would have been well in the game.”
MTV won the toss and decided to bat. Bipin was tight, getting Suraj LBW early with a ball that swung back in. Israfeel was a bit wayward for three overs, and his replacement Cam was no better, going for 26 in three rubbish overs. Hosen and Potharlanka got set, with MTV’s number three batsmen making a fine century. He was also well supported by Israr Khan (53).
Unfortunately, as the runs piled up, THCC couldn’t take a break in the field. Some sharp chances went down, while there were plenty of lofted shots that were just out of reach. Henrik, Chandan and Murali were the standout fielders, as THCC tried very hard to limit the runs. But it was a long day in the field and frustrations started to show at the end.
Having reached 2/140 from 21 overs, MTV were on target to make 400. THCC did well to keep that total to 300, taking nine wickets in the end. The pick of the bowlers was Asad, who showed so much heart to bowl nine straight overs and take 4/40. Israfeel also showed great character and determination to come back and bowl a second spell that improved on his first.
Two weeks earlier, THCC put up 303 from 47 overs against the top team in the league. So, there was a strong sense that 300 was a reachable target. But as it was in the field, THCC felt the ire of centimetres and bad luck. Only Israfeel showed fight, hitting every shot in the book on the way to 92. His lone hand was not enough, and THCC were all out for 186.
THCC wishes MTV all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season. Many thanks to scorer Moritz (and his book of laws).
Cam wonders where it all went wrong.
THCC 6/303 (Asad 107, Murali 58, Steve 34*, Israfeel 32, Zaheer 2/44) beat HSV 132 (Raju 29, Bipin 5/60, Cam 2/27)
The Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has often said that cricket is a simple game. “Just go out and play.” This is precisely what THCC’s young opener Asad did, starting his innings in light rain against undefeated HSV. Asad kept it simple, and just went out and played – all the way to his maiden century.
It was a fantastic innings, including 13 fours and 5 sixes, and it was great to watch, especially as Asad is a U19 player. It’s always very satisfying to see the club’s young players do well.
He got brilliant support from Murali, who crafted a half-century of his own. The pair put on 166 for the third wicket against the league-leading HSV team, and helped THCC set a formidable total. Steve and Israfeel also batted well to get the score up to 303, setting HSV the challenging task of maintaining six an over for their 50 overs.
They didn’t start very well, with Usman caught by Murali at short leg in Bipin’s opening over, and N. Ahmed out LBW in Bipin’s second. Dushant and Umeer played aggressively, putting on 48 in six overs, with Umeer looking particularly dangerous. But skipper Cam made amends for an earlier dropped catch to nab an Umeer lob, for Bipin’s third wicket. And when Henrik caught Dushant off Bipin, there was a strong sense the match was almost over.
This turned out to be correct. The next three wickets fell for just 11 runs, with Cam picking up two and Bipin completing his “Michelle”. Raju hit some big shots for a quick-fire 29, but it was not nearly enough, with Safi and Henrik getting the last two wickets.
Earlier in the season, THCC lost to HSV on the back of a superb one-man performance by Bilal Jafar. Today, it took an all-round team effort from THCC to hand HSV their first loss of the season. Shane Warne would be proud, because THCC kept it simple: the batsmen made the runs, the bowlers took the wickets and the fielders held the catches (eight out of nine wickets were caught).
In the annals of THCC history, this win goes down as one of the best. In years to come, people will say that they were there when Asad scored a ton, when Bipin took five-for, and when THCC beat HSV by 171 runs. A great day of cricket, also well-umpired by Khalid and Samiullah from SC Europa.
THCC wishes HSV all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season. Many thanks to lone scorer Moritz, and to Frank S. for the big umbrella. Thanks also to all the supporters and club members who braved the bad weather and lent their support.
The scoreboard tells the tale: Asad 107, Bipin 5 wickets, THCC setting a target of 304
THCC 6/141 (Israfeel 26, Murali 23, Vohra 2/35) beat HICC 140 (Vohra 22, Marvin 3/36, Israfeel 3/50)
A mix-up in the schedule saw two Hamburg teams travel to Bremen, with SG Findorff kindly allowing HICC to use the Bremen ground for their home game. Even better: SG Findorff supplied two outstanding umpires who did a fantastic job, ensuring the game was played fairly and in the right spirit.
Under blue skies and with the warm temperature promising a batsman’s wicket, HICC won the toss and told THCC to put on hats and sunscreen, and go out to field first. Israfeel and Marvin opened the bowling, generating good bounce on the dry wicket. The HICC openers came out swinging, taking 26 from the first two overs, before Shanthaian was well caught by Henrik of Marvin’s bowling and Israfeel rattled the stumps of the hard-hitting Khan.
The doctors are in. Steve and Murali steady the innings and put THCC on course for victory
From there, wickets fell at regularly intervals, with all the bowlers getting amongst it. Vohra hit some big shots, getting to 22 from just 9 balls, but was caught on the boundary by Israfeel off a clever slower ball from Safi. Cam dried up the runs down as Manjunath and Pal Singh tried to stop the flow of wickets. THCC were a bit sloppy in the field, letting some fours and overthrows get through, and dropping a few catches. But Guru was excellent in the gully, and his second catch removed Manjunath.
Cam had an interesting battle with Pal Singh. The HICC captain survived a few LBW appeals (which was good, because none of them were out), and swung and missed a lot. Cam eventually clean bowled his opposite number by a ball that was only just outshone by the one Marvin bowled to skittle K. Singh’s stumps, out for a golden duck. THCC ground out the last few wickets, with Israfeel completing a one-handed caught-and-bowled, and Cam getting the last.
Chasing 140, the heat was on early, with Cam and Chandan both mis-hitting pull shots to be caught at mid-wicket, and Sandeep nicely nabbed at first slip by Manjunath. At 3/17, Murali and Marvin built a small partnership, with Marvin cracking a few big hits on his way to 18. The THCC middle order, a weakness last year, got the job done, with Steve batting through to finish 20 not out, Murali making 23, Israfeel contributing 26 and Guru hitting the winning runs. Extras top-scored with 37 and THCC got the win with four wickets to spare.
THCC wishes HICC all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season. Many thanks again to Moritz for scoring. Thanks also to SG Findorff for supplying excellent umpires and allowing HICC to use their ground in Bremen.
THCC 56 (Chandan 14, Wardak 6/21) lost to SGF 181 (A. Ashraf 61, Safi 2/16)
This will be an unusual match report. The names and numbers above show that SG Findorff won by 125 runs, and well done to them. But really, after the way the match went, who cares?
Normally, this space is used to describe the swings of momentum, fine play, pieces of luck, snippets of humour and bits of misfortune that pepper an exciting and enjoyable game of cricket. But the takeaways from the match had nothing to do with the 22 players involved. All anyone could focus on and talk about were the two gentlemen in white coats.
These umpires so utterly ruined this game of cricket that it should have been abandoned halfway through SG Findorff’s innings. It became not so much a contest of bat on ball, bowler against batsmen, but a cricketer’s worst nightmare, where two umpires who didn’t know the laws exerted so much influence over the game that their decision-making and behaviour are all that can be remembered from a match that pitted the NDCV’s top two sides from last year against each other.
Safi showing excellent bowling form (thanks for the photo Bianca)
In cricket, as in all sports, bad umpiring rewards bad play. And when it comes to cricket, it cannot be emphasised enough how destructive this can be.
– Players being given out BBW (“bat” before wicket) or caught off the foot
– A batsman being given out LBW and having the umpire admit that the ball “pitched outside leg, but it was swinging in”
– Having the umpire justify a decision by saying all the players appealed really loudly and marched on the batsman, so it must have been out
– Having an umpire smiling and giggling as he raises his finger to give a batsman out
– Having an umpire talking on his phone or listening to music, and singing along, during the entire match
It was just not cricket. It was farcical, like some nightmarish version of cricket. The kind of cricket not a single one of us wants to play, with both teams on the receiving end of wrong decisions and the game getting completely ruined.
It won’t happen, but this game should be replayed. SG Findorff can even keep the points. Can we just play a proper game of cricket with proper umpires?
At a cricket game, as in all sporting contests, no one plays or attends as a spectator to watch the umpires officiate. Players participate for the love of the game, while spectators watch to see an exciting match and some good cricket. The umpires should be, as much as possible, invisible. At the very least, they should know the fundamental laws, show interest in the match, and not be singing along to music on their mobile phones.
For a Sunday that started with such promise, with two strong teams, excellent weather and a fantastic turf pitch (thanks to Steve and Safi for pitch preparation), it ended in misery, with the players from both teams left to rue what might have been. At the end of the match, Findorff got the points, but not a single player was happy.
There has recently been a lot of press coverage of Germany experiencing a boom in cricket, but there’s not much point in getting more people playing if two people in white coats then destroy the game and take away all of its joy, to the point no one wants to play anymore.
THCC wishes SG Findorff all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season. Many thanks to Chris Hong for scoring.
THCC 165/9 (Steve 81*, Farooq 2/15, Pradeep 2/20, Ujwal 2/32) lost to MTV 212 (Farooq 63, Bipin 3/15, Cam 2/33, Tina 2/36)
It was almost like the start of a joke: an Afghani, an Australian, an Englishman, an Englishwoman, a German, four Indians, a Pakistani and a Sri Lankan go to Oldenburg to play cricket.
But this was no joke. This was the THCC first XI, arguably the most diverse team ever to take the field in German cricket, and they represented the club (surely Germany’s most diverse cricket club) extremely well. The team was competitive all day, played with great spirit and had lots of fun. If a few catches had been held and there had been some more sensible batting, THCC might have pushed for an unlikely victory.
In many ways, it doesn’t matter. Yes, when players take the cricket field, they play to win. But when a team gives their collective best, plays in the true spirit of the game and gets lots of enjoyment from the match, then even in defeat, they can walk off the field with their heads held high.
To say that winning is everything is to undermine many of the reasons we start playing sport to begin with. As children, we hit cricket balls, kick footballs and bounce basketballs for enjoyment. It’s fun. Unfortunately, this is something that gets lost in adulthood, as more emphasis gets placed on winning.
For the Ancient Greeks, sport played an important role in education and personal development. They held the belief that sport helps to make better people. It promotes excellence (what the Greeks called aretê) in individuals, and this excellence could then be applied to almost any endeavour in life.
“Excellence” and “winning” are different things. Wanting to be a better person is not the same as wanting to be a winner. In fact, striving to become a better person is a far loftier goal than simply wanting to win a sporting contest by any means necessary.
The records of German cricket will show that on 9 July, 2016, MTV beat THCC by 47 runs. But what those records won’t show is the sheer enjoyment of the THCC players: Imran’s surprise after executing his missed-caught-and-bowled-one-hand-falling-down run-out; Bipin bowling with guile and smarts to finish with 3/15 off ten overs; Emil running into bowl with the biggest smile ever seen on a bowler; Tina out-smarting a crease-hopping MTV batsman to clean bowl him and send him scampering from the field; Steve staging a one-man “Occupy Oldenburg” protest, to bat 47 overs and finish not-out on 81; Steve and Moritz’s entertaining and unbeaten last wicket stand of 40; and even after nearly 100 overs of cricket, on a day that started with a two-hour journey just to get to Oldenburg, the THCC players were still smiling and laughing and enjoying the day. Fantastic.
Well done to MTV. Many thanks to Kashyap and Pavithira for scoring, and for supplying laughter and smiles from the scorers’ desk. And thanks to Abdullah and Asad from Göttingen who did a really great job umpiring.
Steve and Moritz defy MTV right to the end, as a very attentive mid-wicket watches on.
THCC 186 (Steve 50, Israfeel 37, Marvin 31, Jafar 3/11, Kahn 3/28) lost to HSV 260 (Jafar 148*, Bipin 3/44)
A cricket team has eleven players, but sometimes one of those eleven can be so dominant as to single-handedly take the contest away from the opposition, to the point where his ten teammates are rendered almost obsolete.
Such was the case when HSV’s Bilal Jafar made 148 not-out, on HSV’s home ground in Mümmelmannsberg, with the rest of his team combining for just 83. His innings was made more impressive by the fact he came in when the score was 4/14. Umair and Bilal steadied the HSV innings, after they were put into bat when Cam won the toss. The pair put on 66, then Zaheer stuck around long enough for a partnership of 65. Bilal continued to smash sixes, but eventually ran out of partners, when Safi bowled Raju for the last wicket. HSV all out for 260.
Marvin winds up and prepares to hit another ball over the power lines
Credit should be given to Bipin (3/44) and Israfeel (2/33), who got THCC off to a very good start and bowled out their 10 overs economically. New player Marvin also bowled admirably, picking up two wickets, as did Safi (2/16). But THCC had no answer for Bilal, which is a shame because take his innings away and HSV would have had a mere 112.
Chasing 260 on a field where the grass slows the ball down and where adventurous hitting reaps more rewards than considered stroke-play was always going to be difficult, not to mention on a pitch where many different things can happen when the ball lands on a good length. After Chandan and Cam fell cheaply, Marvin hit some big shots on his way to 31. Israfeel and Steve also showed some middle-order fight, putting on 65 for the sixth wicket, with Steve going on to make a fine 50.
But it was Bilal again, coming on as the eight bowler to dry up the runs, dislodge Steve and take three wickets, including the last, to cap an outstanding one-man performance.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for THCC to take from the game, including new player Marvin (our first West Indian!), some good catching in the field, improved middle-order batting, and excellent spells of bowling from Bipin and Israfeel. It was also good to see the team show some fight, even as wickets fell and the game started to slip away. Unfortunately, coming away with the win today was a Bilal too far. Sorry, that should be a bridge too far.
THCC wishes HSV all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season. Many thanks to lone scorer Moritz for the impeccable coloured scoresheets.