The Evanston Cricket Club split its final two games of the season, winning its final home game at James Park against CCI but then losing one of the most exciting games in Midwest Cricket Conference history on the final ball in the 40th over by one run, 322-321, to the Titans. The Titans matchup featured a true cricket rarity: a double century in a 40-over match recorded by the league’s leading batsman, Evanston’s Donique Perrin.
The home finale took place on a chilly late-August afternoon, with sounds of reggae coming from a sound system powered by a gasoline-powered generator. Crowds filled the hill in James Park. On the field, Evanston’s side triumphed over the second place (by virtue of net run rate) CCI. The final: 115-9 for CCI to 167-8 for Evanston. Old veteran Donald Blackwood contributed two wickets to wrap it up. Mr. Perrin busted out of his shoe and could not finish his overs.
Two weeks later, the team traveled to Hammond, Ind., for its final game against the Titans. After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Evanston posted a colossal 321 runs for the Titans to chase. Perrin scored 205 runs, one of the highest totals in the history of the Midwest Cricket Conference, according to team manager and Conference official Magnus Huggins, bashing 24 boundaries and 4 sixes along the way. His partnerships with Micheal Allan (37) and Rizwan Malik (59) seemed to post an impossible total. But not on a pitch that numerous players and observers called “a batsman’s paradise.”
Evanston’s bowlers simply could not contain the Titan bats as the runs flowed and kept flowing throughout Titan overs. The match came down to the last ball in the final over, with the Titans netting 322 in what might be the highest scoring cricket match in the Midwest Cricket Conference history, Evanston fell by one run on the final ball.
It was the story of Evanston’s season. While the team led the league in scoring, posting 1,913 runs in 416 overs, they also allowed by far the most runs in the league, giving up 2,070 runs in 385 overs. The result: a disappointing 2-9 record. “Very disappointing,” said Coach Michael Allan. “Over the last 4 or 5 years, this is one of the worst. We just couldn’t get it together as a unit this year. One week we would bowl great, but the bats would not do anything; the next week we would bat great and bowl terribly. But the pieces are definitely in place for a rebound next year.” Mike Cox insists he will not be around for it. “I am retiring,” he said. “I am leaving [the team] to the younger folks.”
Team Manager Magnus Huggins is not so sure. “He retires every year,” he said.