Toulouse Wolves v Catus, 7th August 2022
This fixture required another trip to Sordelo, home of the two teams of Toulouse, on another roasting day, for a double pointer league game after the corresponding match at Catus was cancelled due to the previous ‘canicule’.
After winning one of the main raffle prizes, a coolbag donated by Hui, I was confident I wouldn’t be required to eat warm butties again at the break. Having looked at the team selected, I was also confident the batting would be stronger with the return of Ken Sutton who contributed a solid 1 not out at the end of the innings.
Captain Atik managed to get the team together for the 11am start and duly won the toss and confidently chose to have a bat. Openers Badshah and 19 year old Ijaz Noor strode to the middle and the innings literally took off. Another reduced overs game of 30 overs meant drinks would be taken twice after 10 and 20 overs. 84 runs were on the board at the first break with Waheed and Ijaz Khan well into their stride. A stand of 92 between this pair was added in only eight overs and by the time the second break came around, the score had progressed to 194 for four.
Nearly everyone contributed; Ijaz Khan top scored with his personal best of 62, Waheed scored a classy 60, skipper Atik hit a rapid 26 and Ulfat also added a handy 27 before Sutton appeared from the shadows at the end of the innings which closed on 289 for nine.
At the interval a cool drink and nosh was enjoyed and the target set felt too big for Wolves to chase down. Ken Sutton cannily decided he was more valuable to the team as scorer in the shade and sub Ali was asked to take to the field in his place.
Bobby opened with the only maiden of the match and it was clear Wolves were going to struggle. Always behind the run rate, they were eventually bowled out on 226 in the 28th over. All eight bowlers used bowled well, barely a catch was dropped and skipper Atik chose to rest himself concentrating on his field placement for what is a very difficult ground to defend. Best bowling performance was once again Bobby who conceded 32 runs from five overs taking two wickets. It was good to see young Ijaz Noor taking his first wickets for the club also, he will take many more.
Clearly Ken’s overall contribution was vital to the successes of the day, the two hour trip home was skilfully negotiated and cool beers slipped down, oblivious of Erling Haaland’s brace for the Blues.