The Cricket Espana National Cricket Finals started today and the triangular competition kicked off with Sporting Alfas seeing off a spirited challenge from Lanzarote CA.
The hosts won the toss and batted first in the 45 over competition. Openers Phil Pennick and Gary Crompton started cautiously but with every over gained in confidence. They eventually put on 84 for the first wicket before Crompton mistimed a ball from Nick Holmes into the waiting hands of Gilly Singh at mid-off when on 45.
Pennick went soon after for 37 to leave the game evenly poised at 92 for 2 in the 17th over. The Alfas batsmen Adam Alger and Faran Afzal then set about putting the home side on top with a fine third wicket partnership of 74. The stand was finally broken in unfortunate circumstances when Alger (35) was run out at the non strikers end, after a straight drive from Afzal was flicked onto the wickets by the bowler Ropum Haque.
Afzal then went on to top score for Alfas with 46 but a batting collapse at the bottom of the innings saw the home side slide from 187 for 3 to 243 all out in the penultimate over.
The visitors had several good bowling performances. The openers Gilly Singh and Monesh Tahilan bowled economically at the begining of the innings but the stand out figures belonged to the left arm spin of Rob Smith, who finished with five wickets for just 33 runs in his spell of 7.3 overs.
Lanzarote started poorly and lost their two openers for just 18 runs on the board. Adam French and Gilly Singh then did a fine job of consolidating the innings and brought Lanzarote back into the game with scores of 20 and 45 respectively.
The visitors were well placed to cause an upset with the score at 161 for 5 and fifteen overs to get the additional 83 runs required. The return of Faran Afzal to the bowling attack led to the removal of Haque but Webb was still looking a major threat at the other end if his team mates could stick with him.
Unfortunately for Lanzarote they could not and their wicket-keeper batsmen was finally the last wicket to go for a battling 41, as he was stumped waltzing down the ground, trying to smash a much needed boundary.
Saturday Pak Barcelona, the Cataluyna representatives start their campaign with a match up with Lanzarote CA and then on Sunday Alfas and Pak Barcelona clash in what could be a winner takes all confrontation if the Catalan side win tomorrow.
Sporting Alfas (19 points) beat Lanzarote CA (8 points) by 42 runs.
Sporting Alfas 243 all out (F Afzal, G Crompton 45, P Pennick 37, R Smith 5 for 33)
Lanzarote CA 201 all out (G Singh 45, M Webb 41, R Singh 39, F Afzal 2-21)