The Cataluyna League kicked off last weekend with eight matches at various grounds in the region.
Defending champions Cataluyna CC got the ball rolling with a comfortable eight wicket victory over Pak Montcada. Asim Javeed took four for 29 as the bowling team restricted Montcada to 122 all out. Cataluyna just lost the wickets of Rauf Zaman and Khurram Shahzad in chasing down the total by the fifteenth over.
The second match in the league programme was a contest between Minhaj and Badalona Shaheen and it was the latter who emerged victorious in an high scoring game. Batting first Minhaj made 185 for nine from their 25 overs, which was chased down in the eigthteenth over by Shaheen. Hamza Saleen Dar, a newcomer to the Spanish National squad, hit an unbeaten 52 off 34 balls for Badalona.
Match Three was forfeited by Punjab Lions who failed to muster a team against Pakcelona, whilst Farners Cricket Club proved too strong for Olot Tigers in Match Four and secured a three wicket victory.
Match Five was played at the Sabadell ground between Raval Sporting and Cataluyna Tigers. The Tigers were in scintillating form chasing down 184 for the loss of just one wicket. Opener Umair Aftab scored an unbeaten 113 off just 67 balls to register the first century in the league this season.
Match Six was also at Sabadell and featured Gracia and Hira Cricket Clubs. It was Gracia who took the spoils with another nine wicket victory. Kuldeep Lal and Pardeep Singh both notched up half centuries in overcoming the 134 run total set by Hira.
The penultimate match of last weekend pitted Friends and Empuriabrava together. Friends scored the highest total of the day by hitting 191 for 5 and securing a victory with one ball to spare after the hosts had posted the very demanding total of 185 all out in their over allocation. A fine 78 by Spanish international Zulqrnain Haider was the cornerstone of the Friends innings and the pivotal reason for the Friends victory.
The final match of the first weekend of league cricket in Cataluyna was a contest between United Cricket Club and Ripoll Warriors. Both teams are anticipated to be major players in this years league, but it was the Warriors who got off to the better start, beating United by eight wickets. United started well with opener Mirza Basharat Aziz hitting 54 of just 41 balls but his team mates offered little support and United were finally all out for 147 in the 23rd over.
Ripoll had few worries in bagging the points and with solid battiong from Mirza Asim Maqbool (73 not out) they surpassed their required total in the 21st over.
Twelve league games will take place next weekend, (four on Saturday and eight on Sunday) as the league looks to complete its 253 league games by September. All matches are free to watch and will be taking place at Videres, Shujah, Sabadell and Empuriabrava next weekend.
Match One : Cataluyna CC 126 for 2 beat PakMontcada 122 all out by 8 wickets
Match Two : Badalona Shaheen 187 for 5 beat Minhaj 185 for 9 by 5 wickets
Match Three : Pakcelona CC beat Punjab Lions. (Punjab Lions forfeited the game)
Match Four : Farners Cricket Club 154 for 7 beat Olot Tigers 153 for 9 by 3 wickets
Match Five : Cataluyna Tigers 185 for 1 beat Raval Sporting 184 for 6 by 9 wickets
Match Six : Gracia 137 for 1 beat Hira Sabadell 134 all out by 9 wickets
Match Seven : Friends 191 for 5 beat Empuriabrava 185 all out by 6 wickets
Match Eight : Ripoll Warriors 148 for 2 beat United CC 147 all out by 8 wickets