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MCC got off to a winning start on their tour of Mozambique, winning their first two matches.
After running a coaching session in neighbouring Swaziland on February 6, MCC got down to business the next day with a five-wicket win over Maputo club side Equipa Anfitria.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat first in the Twenty20 match but were restricted by tight bowling from openers Neil Waite (1 for 13 from three overs) and Tom Kopelman (1 for 5 from four). MCC’s bowlers shared the wickets around as they dismissed Equipa Anfitria for 72 inside their 20 overs. Extras were the highest scorer, with 22.
In reply MCC made a poor start, losing Ben Debenham with just two on the board. Some fine bowling from Lily (4-1-8-2) and Bineesh, the captain, meant MCC were never comfortable until youth and experience came together in the form of Andrew Clarke and former Northamptonshire wicket-keeper Toby Bailey. Both finished unbeaten on 21 as MCC knocked off the runs with eleven balls to spare.
The following day, MCC took on an Association of Mozambique Cricket (AMC) XI in a 40 over match. Batting first, several MCC batsmen made starts but none could go further than Crampton’s 21 as the AMC XI bowled out the Club for 139, opener Zeeman the pick of the bowlers taking 4 for 28.
AMC made a good start, reaching 42 for 1 before Zeeman was run out for 10. Although Irfan made the game’s highest score with 41, none of his team-mates could stay with him for any length of time and MCC bowled AMC out for 104, winning by 39 runs. Kopelman (4 for 19 from seven overs) again found success and Dan Woods came on at the end to mop up the tail, taking three cheap wickets.
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.