After a lot of preparation and anticipation the big day finally arrived at East Drive on Sunday when the MCC arrived to play Largo as part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations. The day began with Largo captain Hughes Gillin winning the toss and asking the MCC to bat first on what thankfully after the summer we have all witnessed was a beautifully sunny day. Pre Match a Largo cap was also presented to former Largo CC player Safyaan Sharif who was guesting for the home side on the day in recognition of recently becoming Scotland’s highest ODI wicket taker.
With the ball Largo opened with Sharif and Aidan Brown and it was Sharif who managed to make the first breakthrough on the day with Simpson pinned LBW for 12 with the score on 27. Hardie joined Davidson at the wicket and it was Davidson in particular that showed the class that Largo were going to have to contend with on the day moving to an entertaining 50. He would however lose his partner in a mini fightback from the Largo side when Hamish Sneddon dismissed Hardie (23) caught by Ryan Brown, another ex-Largo player who is now starring for Heriots who was returning to Largo colours for the game, before dismissing ex-Scotland star Fraser Watts for just 3 well caught by Gillin just before Lunch.
Following the amazing lunch provided by club sponsor Pratis Barns, In the now unusual timed game format that was being played in the game Largo continued to take regular wickets in anticipation of a declaration from the MCC to set Largo a target. Barclay would dismiss Hearn, stumped well by Ben Coates for 11 with Cusick then removing Davidson bowled eventually for a very well played 91. With the score now on 160/6 MCC captain and former Lancashire county cricketer Deakin arrived at the crease and along with Beattie who would go on to score a run a ball 50, moved the MCC past 200 before a final wicket for Sharif prompted a declaration just before tea to give Largo a target of 231 for victory.
Largo would have a tricky period just before Tea to negotiate with Cusick and Warrender opening the batting and this did prove to be the case with Warrender falling to a good catch at 2nd slip by Watts off the bowling of Maksimczyk for just 4. Das though would help Cuscik see off the opening bowlers before tea at which President Duncan and Deakin gave speeches to the crowd amassed highlighting the joy and good that cricket can give and the hope that cricket in Largo will continue on for many more years to come.
After tea Largo went about chasing the target and moved steadily against mainly a trial by spin towards the target with just the further loss of Cusick for 12 stumped off the bowling of Beattie as they passed 50. Captain Gillin joined Das and managed to increase the scoring rate a little before a collapse in the middle order off the 50 makers from earlier of Beattie and Davidson meant Largo lost both set batsman as well as Brown and Sharif for single figure scores to leave the home side in difficulty at 80/6.
Sneddon (19*) and Aidan Brown (17) would come to the crease and move the Largo score past 100 but with light fading it would be the MCC who would run out victorious on the day when Scott was caught behind for 9 leaving Largo 138 all out, 92 runs short of their target and off to enjoy post game hospitality by our club sponsor the Crusoe.
The real winner as the cliche goes however on the day was definitely cricket itself and at Largo CC we thank everyone involved who made the game happen from club volunteers, to the MCC for coming to Largo, the umpires on the day including Largo’s very own Willie Anderson and for everyone including many new faces as well as old from Largo cricket’s history who came down to East Drive to make the event such a special celebration of cricket in our little part of the world. Here is to the next 40 years and many more after that of cricket in Largo.