With the generous Alfas de Pi town hall hosting a Dog Adoption day for in need animals, the cricket took a back seat this week to allow needy dogs to find a home. As a result, Nomad’s in what turned out to be their last game on tour thanks to the rain the next day, took on the Alfas’s 2nds in a T20 blast that lacked some of the professional shine the players are used to seeing on their TV screens these days!
Alfas decided to mix things up a bit this week having been invited to set a target. By mix things up they decided not to go the normal route and totally tinker with the batting line up, instead they moved their customary mini collapse to the top of the order to give the on looking crowd some early entertainment.
Normal opening bat J. Perman strode out with J. Ahmed, promoted up the order due to the nature of the game to try and get the scoring underway with some big hitting. However, 3 balls later he was walking back to the hut having found Reeve with an attempted boundary buster, 0/1.
Abdul was next in and after a couple of entertaining shots was back with Ahmed in the hut in just the 2nd Over, Hussey at the other end getting another edge and Shakoor took another catch behind the stumps to leave Alfas on 10/2.
However, they don’t call them the experts of the mini collapse for nothing! In Shawl’s next over, with Perman looking on from the non-striker’s end, Fletcher (2) and Byrne (0) both found the ‘keeper’s gloves with lethal efficiency (for them anyway) and at the end of 3 overs, Alfas were 12/4 and staring down the barrel.
Waqer was next in and with Perman, they managed to steady the ship, see off Shawl and start getting the scoreboard to tick over without the whizzing whirr of the Wicket’s column.
However, it was nearly much, much worse for the Alfas. In Shawl’s final over, the 7th of the day, Perman chipped a slow lazy ball straight into the hands of K. Bradley. What happened next was one of those moments that can only happen in this great game. With the ball coming straight into his waiting hands, Bradley decided to confound and confuse the crowd by seemingly trying to hurdle the ball as he tried to catch it, letting the chance, and Perman get away. He could have been distracted by the car invasion that halted the proceedings for a couple of minutes as the last of the Dog Show participants finished packing away their paraphernalia! Umpire O’Reilly showing his calm demeanour allowing the cars to pass and wave to the watching crowd as they did so.
Perman meanwhile continued his charmed innings as he dragged Alfas up the scoreboard with a innings that swung between sublime shots and wanton catching! The next chance offered, again to Bradley came when the young opener was on 36. Off the bowling of Reeve, Bradley somehow managed to put down a catch that was easier than the 1st chance! Bradley however was unable to redeem himself much to the delight of the home crowd and his own touring party!
Perman then went on to reach his 50 with Waqer starting to join in the fun before the standard running mix up occurred. Off the bowling of Thornton, Waqer hit a straight one that had Perman calling for a single but Waqer unmoved, Perman reached halfway, turned, fell, got up, ran back, dove, bounced and saw the fielding team drop the ball beside the stumps before he managed to get back in.
However, that was Perman’s last life as on 76, he was finally got, in the unlikeliest of ways for this match as he was trapped LBW, O’Reilly striking two weeks in a row! Howver, thanks to his very enjoyable innings, Alfas had moved from 12/4 to 127/5, Waqer still in on 38. 4 Overs to go.
Marriner joined Waqer at the crease and hit a quick 14 (off 7 balls) and with the final ball of the innings, Waqer scored the 4 he needed to bring up his own 50, ending unbeaten on 52, Alfas posting a very credible 160 after their disastrous start.
However, having waited so long in the day to get to face the Alfas bowling, the Nomad openers of Orminster and Reeve were in no mood to play themselves in or wait around! They raced to 69 off just 6 overs before in the 7th over, Alfas finally broke the partnership, Marriner getting Orminster to sky one to D. Walker who has kept his impressive 100% catch ratio into his fledging Alfas career!
However, Alfas were unable to capitalise on their breakthrough and Reeve sauntered past his 50 without offering a single chance, boundaries being his preferred choice, indeed, in his innings of 80*, he hit 16 4’s and a 6 to put Alfas to the sword.
The home team did manage to pick up a 2nd wicket when Shakoor skied another chance to Walker, this time off the “now famous” Ransom long hop! Ransom becoming the first bowler in Alfas history to reach 5 wickets in 5 games, all to long hops!
However, Friday’s Centurion Shawl was next in and with a quick fire 19 alongside the flashing blade of Reeve at the other end, quickly ended the match as a contest, Nomads reaching the total off only the 14th over of what was an eventful day and a nice way for the Nomads to end their early 2017 tour. Alfas looking forward to welcome them back in the Autumn where a full game will give a greater account of all involved.
Sporting Alfas welcome Harpenden CC this weekend for 2 games (Friday 17th and Saturday 18th March) before the Gloucs Seniors come to town for 4 games spread over 6 days from Thursday 23rd March. All are welcome to enjoy some cricket in the sunshine in the lovely town of Albir with full bar facilities available all day