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HARPENDEN WIN, LOSE AND DRAW ON ALFAS TOUR

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Thursday, 14th February

SACC MW 109-7 (35 overs)
Harpenden CC 111-4 (22 overs)

The Midweek XI welcomed back the first touring side of the season in
the form of Harpenden CC, who were returning to the Costa Blanca for
the tenth consecutive year. However, owing to the late arrival of the
visitors from Luton due to airport delays, the game did not start
until 1.30pm and was reduced to 35 overs.

On a chilly, overcast day, the home side won the toss and elected to
bat first. A tight burst from the openers reduced SACC to 25-4 after
12 overs and it was left to makeshift middle-order batsmen, Taylor
(29) and Perrins (45), to consolidate. Pegged back initially by
accurate bowling and some exemplary sharp fielding, some lusty late
blows took the score to within reach of respectability, but the pair
were never sufficiently on top to enable a really challenging total to
be posted. The pick of the visitors’ bowlers were Roe, who finished up
with 3 for 10 off 7 overs, and Darwin (1 for 4 off 5).

Despite a miserly opening spell from Lewis (1 for 17 off 6), the
Harpenden batsmen made short work of the meagre target, romping home
with 13 overs to spare for a deserved six-wicket victory.

Saturday, 16th February

Harpenden CC  184-7 (40 overs)
SACC 1st XI  186-3 (26.5 overs)

Fancying that they had a strong side, Harpenden won the toss and chose
to bat first. Run-scoring, however, was far from easy in the face of
some accurate SACC bowling, and when the first wicket fell with the
score on 62, it had taken the visitors 18 overs of their allotted 40
to compile. If credit must go to chairman Pennick for breaking the
partnership, greater praise was due to Crompton, who ripped the heart
out of the Harpenden batting line-up in the very next over with two
quick wickets. Further tight bowling saw Harpenden settle on 184-7 in
40 overs, with an honourable mention for opener Sprowson, who carried
his bat for a fine 85. SACC bowling honours were shared between
Crompton (3-42) and returning club member J.Catala (3-37).

In reply, S.Ali and Pennick made steady progress, bringing up the 50
partnership in the 10th over. From that point onwards, the home side’s
batsmen began to make hay, swiftly taking the score on to 102 in 16
overs before Pennick was trapped in front by the bowling of Makower
for 40. Despite Makower quickly snapping up a second wicket, S.Ali and
new batsman Howe added 42 runs in quick time before Ali was run out
having just brought up his century, a fine knock in typically bullish
fashion. Victory was by now all but guaranteed, and Howe together with
Crompton closed the match out, reaching the target inside 27 overs,
despite the best efforts of Makower (2-30).

Having lost the game, Harpenden then took to the bar in determined
fashion and emphatically trounced the home side with an awesome
display of tinny sinking, accompanied by a fine selection of family
favourites sung in good voice by the entire squad. Many thanks must go
to the visitors from everyone at the club, and we look forward to
their 11th year of touring in 2009!

Sunday, 17th February

SACC 2nd XI   220-3 (30 overs)
Intellectuals CC  182-5 (30 overs)

A chilly day in overcast conditions saw the Sporting Alfas CC 2nd XI
take on regular adversaries – the Intellectuals CC from Alicante – in
a game reduced to 30 overs per side. The home side won the toss and
chose to bat first, a decision vindicated by some brisk scoring by
B.Marriner who fell for 28 in the 9th over with the score on 50.
Despite another quick breakthrough, the visitors were never able to
keep a lid on the run rate, with J.Sunderland blazing his way to 51 in
33 balls (before falling leg before to M.Khan) and C.Muñoz, who
plundered 96 before being caught in the deep in the final over, also
to M.Khan, who finished with figures of 3-35. A quickfire 23 from
S.Ur-Rehman from just 8 balls ensured an imposing final total of
220-3, leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb.

In reply, the Intellectuals were soon in trouble; accurate bowling
from the home bowlers and 2 quick wickets to S.Cowley (who finished
with 2-17) left the score at 39-2 in 7 overs. The picture rapidly
changed with the arrival at the wicket of M.Khan who, together with
J.Hersh, added 97 for the 3rd wicket in 13 overs to hand the visitors
a real chance of victory. The game turned once again, however, firstly
when experienced campaigner P.Packiam produced a peach to uproot
Hersh’s off stump and remove him for a fine 38 and, secondly, when
talented junior J.Roper forced Khan to pick out Sunderland at long on,
removing him for an excellent 87 in double quick time with a catch as
fine as the innings that it ended. At 167-4 in the 24th over, the
Intellectuals had no answer to such body blows, and the home side were
able to control the game and close out a hard fought victory by 38
runs.

As has become the trend for the start of the season, the juniors were
once again to the fore, with Sunderland complementing his fine knock
with 1-14 at a crucial stage in the game and J.Roper (1-28) dismissing
the visitors’ danger man at a crucial moment to tilt the balance back
in the home side’s favour. An excellent game of cricket enjoyed by the
choice few who braved the elements produced over 400 runs in 60 overs,
and thanks must go to the Intellectuals CC for the part they played.

Junior coaching

Junior cricket coaching takes place most Sunday mornings at the
Woodbridge Oval, Playa Albir, starting at 10.30am.

For all those cricket lovers wishing to watch, play, umpire or score
please contact either Director of Cricket Steve Lewis on 660246351 or
Chairman Phil Pennick on 620409173, 96 686 5792, e-mail
pennick88@yahoo.co.uk. or visit the club’s webpage at
www.tyarth.com/sacc.php

Or, just come down and watch!

Coming up:

This weekend sees the return of Tottenhoe CC with games on Friday,
Saturday and Sunday.

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