On the hottest day of the year Sporting Alfas and La Manga played out the hottest finish this season. SACC set la Manga a target of 288 to win and the southern team got within 9 runs of it.
Batting first Shafique and Pennick faced the quickest bowler in Spain, Talat, and he looked unplayable in his first over, the ball flying through to the keeper very sharply. Sajid at he other end looked tame in comparison. Talat struck in his second over removing Pennick with a beauty, stumps every where,
Shafique then fell into a well rehearsed trap, holing out to deep square leg again becoming Talats 2nd of the day. Howe came in at 4 and the score reached 55 from 8 overs before he edged one from the rapid Talat which the keeper failed to hold but dropped tamely into first slips reach, 55 runs and Talat had claimed all three.
Crompton came in at 5, and with Nadeem, took the score to 78 before Atif got one right and Ravi took an easy catch to remove a very comfortable looking Nadeem out for 35.
Fletcher joined Crompton and the batsmen looked at ease against a tamer bowling attack until Spanish under 19 youngster Ravi came on and got a hat trick in his first over,
Lupson then joined Fletcher and the pair set about the bowlers with runs coming quickly as niether batsman fancied running in the stifling heat. A partnership of 121 took the score to 248 before Lupson (60) gave Wambeek a bit of catching practice.
Taylor came in faced 4 wides then was bowled by a corker from Ravi. Alfas player Brown also just back from under 19 duty with Spain, took some verbals from his Spanish team mates but kept his calm and helped the score along to a very respectable 287 with Fletcher ending unbeaten on 86.
After a leisurely tea and a good chat, Laundon opened the bowling for Alfas, and was unlucky not to claim a few wickets beating the batsmen time and time again but it was Lupson who got first blood when Crompton caught Joel Brook leaving La Manga at 51 for 1 from 10 overs, leaving La Manga up with the run rate at this stage.
In the next over Laundon got one to jump at Munib and Lupson took a easy catch at short backward square leg.53 for 2. Farhat came in and wanted to get on with it but a bowling change worked and he gave Howe a huge challange in the deep, which he took to the delight of the crowd. 83-3 from 15.
Atif came in spanked a 6 a 4 and then left the arena Lbw to Crompton without playing a shot. Talat then proved his worth with the bat as he and opener Sajid took the score to 213 before the tired opener was out Lbw to Crompton.
Talat then watched as his team mates fell to the bowling of t he spin duo,Crompton and Taylor, but the pivitol moment came at 271 with 6 overs left and 3 wickets remaining.
Talat charged Crompton and was left well out of his ground, Shafique removing the bails, a well struck 99 with some of the biggest 6's hit at the Woodbridge Oval.
With only 9 runs needed and 1 wicket required Wambeek decided that power would win the day and had a mighty whack at one from Taylor. Youngster Brown held his nerve at mid on and pushed the ball up, grasp it into his chest at the second attempt ending the game to give Sporting Alfas 20 very well earned points, keeping their league challenge going.
One more win for the Alfas club should give them its first league title in 4 years.
The other Alfas v La Manga game scheduled for the weekend at Albir involving both second teams was cancelled earlier in the week as the La Manga outfit were unable to get a team. Alfas got 17 points from the cancellation and La Manga were deducted 20 points from their current league total.
Kevin Laundon - Sporting Alfas captain