MCC v Wales 2013
Members of the Senior Cricket Council learnt, at their meeting on January 27th, that the annual fixture with MCC will be played at Lord's Cricket ground on Monday 22nd April this year. Alun Evans will captain the side once again in 2013.
Wales v MCC 2012
Rain the Victor
The Wales XI - Captained by Alun Evans
The annual fixture between our senior team and the MCC proved to be a damp squib at Pontarddulais on 11th & 12th July recently. The second day's play was totally lost to the monsoonal showers that are such a feature of our "summer" although some play was possible on the first day.
Wisely, given the weather forecasts, the organisers had agreed to play two separate games, given the pessimistic weather forecasts, but even this was not a complete success, with heavy rain causing the abandonment of the first scheduled match with MCC in a strong position.
Earlier, with the Pontarddulais ground looking immaculate, our openers, Jason Davies and debutant Arwel Thomas made good progress against the MCC attack, with Barbados-born Ruel Braithwaite (now Durham CCC) looking particularly lively. Jason's effort came to an abrupt end when he edged Braithwaite to the former Somerset 'keeper, Rob Turner.
The Pontarddulais ground - Looking immaculate before the rain!
Skipper Alun Evans and Arwel Thomas played pretty well and made steady, though unspectacular progress until Arwel's dismissal for 40. A flurry of wickets followed (Evans 49) but Matthew Fisher (28*) plundered some late runs to give the home team a respectable total of 179-6 wickets in 50 overs.
The MCC reply was positive and impressive: although the Cricket Wales boys snatched a couple of wickets, the MCC batsmen looked as if they might overtake our total in pretty short order. However, a downpour about 4pm made a resumption very unlikely.
Further rain overnight ensured that there would be no further play. All we can do now is look forward to next season when there will be a one-day match at Lord's.
Gratitude must be expressed to the officials of Pontarddulais Cricket Club: they really know how to set up a cricket match of this status. The groundstaff and the catering staff (am I allowed to call them Tea Ladies these days?) did everything they could to make the event a successful one. It's a pity the Weather Gods were not as efficient!
The Wales XI 2011
The annual fixture between a Wales XI and MCC took place at Abergavenny Cricket Club on Wednesday and Thursday, 13th and 14th of July. Our team, led by Alun Evans of Ammanford CC, ran out winners from the final scheduled ball of the game, by one wicket.
When the 9th wicket fell a further 31 runs was required for victory. At this point, Paul Rees was joined by Jonathan Hubschmid who was nursing a muscle injury. What followed was the stuff of comic book heroes: Jonathan smashed the ball to all points and completed the victory with a glorious boundary, bringing a famous victory to the home side, when all had seemed lost.
The game relied on three declarations before MCC left Wales to score 212 for victory in what turned out to be 45 overs. Alun Evans and Sion Morris had shared a stand of 76 in the first innings and both completed half-centuries. Alun took 5-58 in the MCC first innings and followed up with a solid 31 in the second innings to make a good claim for ‘Man-of-the-Match.’ Jason Davies, Andrew Beasley and Garth Slade also made significant contributions to the second innings total.
There can be no finer setting for such a prestigious match than Abergavenny and, as usual, the ground looked a picture. Arrangements are in hand for the 2012 fixture - a two-day game will be played at Pontarddulais CC; the 2013 fixture is due to be played at Lord’s.
MCC's Andrew Davies in action
The Wales v MCC match has been one feature of the WCA’s contribution to cricket in Wales in recent years and following the merger of the WCA and the CBW to form Cricket Wales the Senior Cricket Council of Cricket Wales was keen to ensure that the tradition continues into the distant future. Because the Wales Minor County XI tends to be used as a means of developing young players, there have been limited opportunities for club cricketers to turn out in representative games at this level. It is hoped to expand the fixture list if funds allow.