Alfas and Madrid, 2 clubs who faced each other in the 1st Division the day before, both travelled down to La Manga to contest the 2nd Division clash, with both teams featuring players from the day before, sportingly agreed between both teams during the preceeding week.
With Alfas winning the toss, they invited Madrid to set a total, as Madrid had plundered over 300 the day before including Centurion V. Jain, the Alfas fielders knew they had to be on their game to prevent a long afternoon.
Both Alfas openers, Abdul and Waqar however had not read the script or seen the game the day before and started on fire. Both bowlers getting Wicket maidens in each of their 2nd Overs! Abdul started the ball rolling with a fine ball that straightened at just the right time and trapped Telton LBW and Waqar made his breakthrough next over, getting Stirton to edge one to Alger in Fly Slip. 10/2 off 2
Abdul was at it again in his next over, getting Wilson to edge through to the 'Keeper and Waqar followed his lead just 3 overs later, getting Medina to pop one to J. Perman. 18/4 off 8.
They each had 1 more wicket a piece as they bossed the Madrid top order in a devestating opening spell. Abdul getting Jain thanks to a fine catch from "Fingers" Tocher at deep Mid Off. Jain finally getting caught this weekend after getting about 7 lives the day before and another 1 today as a sharp edge was put down behind in the same over as he was finally removed.
Waqar had one more in him as well before he finished. Drifting one towards the leg side, Perumalsamy thought he was safe before the ball came back in and clipped the top of leg stump much to the shock and delight of the fielding team. 35/6 off 12 before Madrid President Woodward came to the crease to prop up his team.
Woodward and Sarangapani got on top of the change bowlers and added a fine 61 between them to raise the score and ease the Alfas early pressure. Both batsmen gave the odd chance but were able to get Madrid to just about 100 before Woodward fell to the Perman show. Kieran with some tough bowling shook and then shivered Woodward who could only find J. Perman with a slight miscue.
Coward was next in but K. Perman had warmed up and could not keep out his pace for too long, falling for 5 and Babu was unable to help the score along as Roper, who had nearly got Sarangapani in the last over, finally got his wicket as Babu edged behind.
Last man in Bancroft came with the intention to help Sarangapani push on and indeed, the number 8 reached his half century in a very handy 33 run partnership for the last wicket before final bowler Alger was able to get Sarangapani to pop one up and Roper, extending his catching streak to 3 games, took the catch to leave Madrid all out for 161.
There was a tricky 10 over spell for Alfas to get through before tea so Skipper Perman and J. Perman strode out to get the chase underway.
The batsmen handled matters well until the obligatory chance came from J. Perman. As is his custom, he tried to hit the ball to the moon but as it dropped back to earth, in the swirling wind, Medina was deceived at the last instant and the chance went begging. A let off for the young opener on 14. To add injury to insult, in the next over, Perman struck one with real venom to the same fielder, nearly breaking his hand in the process!
Tea was approaching but before the break could be taken, the breakthrough was made. J. Perman, having given 2 chances in quick succession, picked out the tall frame of Coward at Mid on and no mistake was made. 53/1 off 8.
Muddy went out to join the skipper who used some wiley stroke play to rotate the strike. Both batsmen placed the ball with ease until tea with little dabs, poor Medina being the fielder both men kept picking out, knowing that he was in discomfort. That "secret" was revealed as the bowler and 'keeper decided to discuss it with a loud proclamation of "HE'S INJURRRRRED" giving the batsmen their first clue!
10 overs gone, tea called, Alfas 66/1. Some confusion reigned during the drinks break as the Umpire declared play would resume in 3 and 22, both teams breaking out the protractors and graphic paper to see if they could decipher this strange code. Eventually it was declared that play would resume at 20 to 3 and the teams, slightly balder with all the head scratching resumed.
Perman and Muddy contined where they left off, both looking in control as they neared the target and going through to their 50's. The Skipper was first to get his, off a fine 56 balls but eventually fell on 64, just unable to carry his bat.
Muddy, with 8 needed to win and 8 needed for his 50, was sportingly assisted by Tocher who steadfastly refused to take any single or runs during his short stay. In the end, Muddy was able to flick a 6 and follow it with a 4 to bring up his own 50 off 51 deliveries and secure the win and 20 points for Alfas.
Alfas would like to extend their thanks to Madrid for 2 great matches this weekend played in the right spirit and over 1,000 runs scored between the 2 matches, 3 Centurions, 5 half centurions and rumour has it, 37 dropped catches over the course of the weekend!!!