A week after Pinatar’s resounding home victory, the two teams faced off against each other once again, this time at the home of Alfas where the home side knew nothing but a victory would suffice if they wanted to keep in the race for the league, even after only 4 games played.
Like last week, the toss went the way of the home side and the visitors were asked to set a target. It was very nearly the perfect start as in the 2nd over, Perman got Singh to sky one to deep backward Gully where Ahmad was waiting for the ball. However, instead of taking the regulation catch, Ahmad impressed us all with his one handed Juggling skills and eventually let the chance slip away, not the last time we would see that during the day!
The reprieve was short lived though as in the next over, Abdul delivered one of his Trademark away swingers that Singh could only nibble through to the ‘keeper.
Singh and Panchal saw out the spell of Perman but 1st change Walker came and made an immediate impact. First B. Singh could only glove one behind that reared up on him sharply and then Amrit followed Singh back to the pavilion with another edge behind to Byrne. Walker finished off the top order in his next over, getting Panchal to flash hard at one that ended up embedded in 1st Slip’s chest, without him knowing much about it as it seemed!
After a very tidy spell, Abdul made way for Ahmad from the top end and got another of the visitors in his 2nd over, Gopi edging yet again behind and Byrne took his 4th of the game.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man they say and S. Singh saw that he had to do something special in order to drag his team out of the mire and he flashed and battered his way to a very good 50, getting a couple of lives along the way but making the most of them. He was assisted well by Adeel, both men clearing the ropes with big 6’s during their stay.
However, Ahmad had a solid end to his spell, picking up the wicket of Adeel and then Usman in his last over to leave Suki Singh, at that point still looking for his 50 and with just the tail for company.
The introduction of J. Perman brought the much needed wicket eventually of Suki Singh for a well-made 58 and he was also able to mop up the last two wickets, clean bowling both J. Singh’s to leave Wambeek not out on 4, after surviving a sharp edge behind.
Pinatar bowled out for 140, not quite the 60 they reduced Alfas to last week but a chaseable target for the home side.
After tea, the Perman opening pair strode out for the last time for a while as Jack goes to try English Cricket for a few weeks and the partnership did not have time to get of the ground before J. Perman was back in the pavilion. Driving hard and straight at an Usman delivery, the bowler somehow threw his arm up and behind him to take a stunning one handed C&B. Most of the players and all spectators could just marvel in silence at the catch, spectacular.
However, that was more or less as good as it got for Pinatar on a hot humid day in the field. M. Perman rotated the strike well with Muddy who went through to his own 50 off 59 balls before he eventually fell to a sharp stumping from S. Singh of Panchal, the two men having swapped positions during the innings so both could have a bowl and a keep!
However, that 2nd wicket partnership had added 98 runs to the total and with only 24 runs left, it was just a matter of time at that stage. Fletcher joined Perman at the crease and made 13, Perman getting stranded Not Out on 47 as a few too many wides took his chance of a 50 away from him.
Over the course of two games, the teams ended up level on points taken from their rivals and a few drinks were enjoyed together after the game in the relaxing Alfas bar before the Pinatar men made the trip home.