Levante were due to travel down to La Manga last weekend for a three game session, a league game on Saturday and two 20/20 games on the Sunday. Madrid Utd cancelled at the last minute meaning we had to make a decision and as the hotel was booked, the curry was planned and the beers were calling we decided to go down on the Saturday anyway with twenty points already in our pocket but wishing we had been able to play.
The drinking might not have been a good idea for being in form the next day but a it was a great idea from a team bonding point of view and we also had a good laugh with Madrid who were coming off a defeat in Alfas and looking forward to their defeat at the hands of Valencia Stars the next day
Sunday came and the challenge of Pinatar Pirates and as usual Barry lost his fifth toss out of five. Levante were offered the chance to bat on the notoriously difficult to score on La Manga outfield and a disastrous start saw them on 24-3 after four overs. It could have been worse, Rob got two but was dropped at slip first ball. Graham and Rowan started the rebuild and ran a half marathon each in their stand of 75 as nothing got to the boundary.
Graham was hit on the hand and continued his legacy of injuries at La Manga, one dog almost killed, one broken finger and now a severely bruised hand. The innings fell away after the quick dismissal of the partnership as they tried to up the scoring rate and after 20 overs 120-5 looked a bit short. Extras and Rowan top scored with 35 each.
The Levante bowlers did a great job in general but 59 from opener Amrit Singh, a quickfire 20 from Balwant Singh won the game in the 17th over.
A quick half hour break and six large bottles of water later and Barry actually won a toss. We batted first again though for some reason. This time scoring was even more difficult and despite everyone reaching double figures only Rob has a scoring rate over 100 as his 36 was top score in an under par 111-4 off 20 overs but again he was dropped second ball this time on a duck. Brilliant bowling from Pinatar especially at the death meant that only 20 runs came off the last 6 overs where Barry and Tony couldn't work out how to deal with right arm round the wicket yorkers into feet expertly delivered by the Pinatar bowlers!
However Levante were stunning in the field, or rather their bowling was stunning as they still dropped three catches in the first two overs all from the bat of Shah who wasn't going to die wondering. Once Jaggi got the breakthrough though, the best Singh in our opinion, wickets fell regularly with only a late 20 by Happy Singh putting up any resistance. Hero of the bowling was Roger with 3-9 off 4 overs of bouncy medium pace but he was supported well by all the bowlers with Rowan taking 3-22 off his four, and Faiz 2-22. Pinatar fell short at 93 all out in the final over.
So honours even and excellent performances all round in the field but not so much in the batting.