LEVANTE CC II VS SPORTING ALFAS II
Sweltering heat greeted Sporting Alfas’ 2nd XI at the Valencia Cricket Ground on Sunday as they were to face locals Levante CC. Levante CC Captain and Club Chairman Dave Tivey showed why he got the vote at the AGM by winning the toss (something no other Levante captain has been able to do for some time now) and decided to bat first… well, he was probably thinking more about putting the opposition out into the heat first to tire them out.
Levante was planning to open the batting with Damien Garvey and Shakeel Sultan, but the latter was running late, so Tony Little stepped in to take his place at the top of the order (one swash-buckling batsman for another really).
Play began on time with Jamshaid Ahmad and Danny Walker opening the bowling for Sporting Alfas II. And they both quickly made inroads into the Levante top order as Garvey was caught and bowled by the former and his replacement Sharad Brahmbhatt was clean bowled by the latter.
Tony Little was next to fall to a cracking yorker from Jamshaid after a breezy 22 leaving Sultan and South African powerhouse Kyle Richardson at the crease with the score only 35 and 4 wickets already down. Despite the situation, Richardson decided to counter attack hitting 5 enormous sixes in his 39 before being caught on the boundary. Ben Fletcher took the wicket after going for 52 runs in just 3 overs. Meanwhile, Sultan continued to bat aggressively and with score at 159 for 5 off a mere 18 overs of the 40, Levante CC were looking capable of posting a very big total.
However, Sultan was caught on the boundary for an excellent 64 off the bowling of Jack Perman, who then turned the match on its head by clean bowling a further 4 Levante batsmen to end with figures of 5 for 17 off 4.5 overs. Levante CC ended up with a sub par total of 181 all out and knew they would have to bowl Sporting Alfas out to win.
Knowing they had plenty of time to get the runs required, Sporting Alfas opening pair Waqar Ashraf and Mark Perman batted intelligently and compiled a partnership of 69 runs for the first wicket, despite some accurante bowling from Levante openers Richardson and Brahmbhatt. Ashraf was LBW to Brahmbhatt for 27 and Perman made 39. A special mention here for Levante CC’s Pete West who took a blinder of a catch at square leg diving forward and to his left despite the fact that Perman was already walking back to the pavilion having hit his stumps with the bat when playing the shot!
Levante then got back into the game with 2 quick wickets and Sporting Alfas were starting to rock at 111 for 4. However, Jack Perman came to the crease with other ideas and despite the Levante bowlers creating several chances, the catches went down and Sporting Alfas only lost one more wicket on the way to a comfortable victory. Jack Perman finished on 81 not out in a match-winning individual performance following his five-for with the ball. Brahmbhatt was the pick of the Levante bowlers finishing with a very tidy 2 for 33 off 8 overs.
Finally, as always when these two teams meet, the game was played in great spirit and a nice cold beer was enjoyed by all afterwards (except those driving of course).
Tony Little - Levante CC
ECCL DIVISION TWO - ONE DAY LEAGUE
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