Struggling with availability, Alfas made the trip down to La Manga with 10 for the latest match in the league campaign, knowing that 20 points was required to keep the breathing space at the top of the league.
A good start by winning the toss and inserting La Manga got even better in the 3rd Over as Abdul got the dangerous Simpkins. With a cunning plan, Abdul decided to bowl a wide which Simpkins could not resist having a swing at and dragging back onto his stumps! Not the prettiest wicket but they all count!
Perman nearly made it 2 in his next over as he took a very low edge from James' bat which the 'keeper took off his toes. With the batsman walking, a last look at the Umpire led him to believe he had got away with it and confirmation came with the "Not Out" call that had him turn about and come back!
Alfas did not have to wait long for their next wicket however as Abdul struck again in his 3rd over, Hawkins giving a much thicker edge behind and the 'keeper made no mistake. It was nearly an amazing over for the opener as he got Vine to edge one to slip as well but a diving Muddy could not hold the catch.....the 1st normally goes down!
3 maidens followed and then, a wayward over from Abdul was followed with another big breakthrough as Perman got the skipper. A lovely ball that had a faint legside line had Vine step away to club it but could only edge behind giving the 'keeper another catch. New man in Patel got a rousing warm welcome from the fielding team as Perman tried to take a personal hat-trick between the two men but just failing to get him that over.
He did not have long to wait however as 2 overs later, Patel turned away from a straight one and Mr. O'Reilly had no hesitation in putting up the finger to reduce La Manga to 27/5 as the opening bowlers bowled themselves out brilliantly.
Waqer was 1st change and finally got the wicket of James, hanging around since the start and on his 3rd life but the slower ball got him in the end, clean bowling the young opener.
Hamza, 2nd change was not going to be playing catch up for long, bowling well and with lovely swing, tempting young Hunt into a rash swing that just went up and straight down Muddy's throat in Slip, Byrne leaving it to the big man.
Hunt Sr. and Osman tried to get on top of the bowlers and did so for a while, many a played and missed, a few shots falling short of the fielders and some good running had them double the score for La Manga before they tried one quick single too many. Hunt pushed one out to Mid On where M. Perman was able to gather, aim and score a direct hit with the batsman just short of his crease.
53/7 was 56/8 in the next over as Hamza tempted another big slog from the batsman and this time Osman put it up and backwards left, giving Ahmed another good catch in a similar position to last week's effort.
The stickers were in now, Brimble and James who gave Alfas trouble before with their resolute defending and shot picking. However, the Alfas Brain Trust had a plan and Skipper Perman came in under Brimble's nose and 2 balls later, J. Perman gave the ripper of a delivery that Brimble could only pop up to the skipper's waiting arms.
Perman wrapping up the innings in his next over, clean bowling Clarke and La Manga ending up on 66.
There was time for 6 overs and a bit of drama before the teams broke for tea, As M. Perman and J. Perman strode out to start the chase. 2nd Ball of the 2nd Over, J. Perman misread the ball and skied it well up over covers. Osman made up some good ground to get himself under the ball but could not take it on the 1st or 2nd attempt and somehow, Perman got away with a terrible shot.
Calming down after that little mishap, both batsmen went well until Osman, as 1st change bowler, finally got young Perman, this time, the batsman could only look on in horror as he placed a perfect shot into Vine's waiting hands just beside Square Leg.
However, Muddy joined the skipper at the crease and they were able to knock off the remaining 20 runs needed to give the Alfas 10 a great victory and 20 points to bring back with them.
Next Saturday, the 2nd September, sees Madrid travel down to take on Alfas in their penultimate game of the season, all and sundry welcome for some entertaining cricket, light refreshments and tasty tipples.
SPORTING ALFAS CC