SPAIN FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS AGAINST VOC
A strong VOC side made their annual trip to La Manga to play against the Spanish national side but returned back to Holland on this occaision winless against "La Seleccion". The Rotterdam club that finished mid table in last seasons Topklasse, and who can count Dutch international Bas Zuiderant amongst their ranks, frequently visit Murcia for a pre-season curtain raiser and as always brought a strong side to test the national side.
Having split the series last year when the VOC team had to travel back 22 hours to Holland by coach because of the volcanic ash problem Spain were hoping to go one step better this year and win both Twenty20 games. VOC, whose ground achieved one day international status in 2006, had six players with regular first team experience in their ranks including Australian Chris Free, the Everdingen brothers and B D Goedgebour who was the 7th top wicket taker in the Topklasse last year with 25 scalps in 14 matches.
Spain too were missing key players because of work commitments, and as a result the former Spanish skipper Graham Howe came out of retirement to bolster the home sides batting and give the side some much needed experience . With newly named skipper Jim Morgan also unavailable Sporting Alfas opener Mark Spencer was asked to perform the captain´s duties for the day.
In the first game VOC won the toss and elected to bat. Aussie born captain Chris Free came out to bat for the visitors along with fellow opener Schooenheim. Talat Ali soon at the latter back in the pavillion for 5 with only 18 on the board. The Spaniards continued their mean bowling with Ali and Armaghan Khan being especially economical in their opening spells. When first change Christian Munoz had Ruijers caught behind by Shafique Ali with the score on 35 in the 9th over things looked even rosier for the local team. The departure of Ruijers bought Lersmot to the crease to join Free and the two batsmen steadily turned the game back onto an even keel. A fifty one run partnership in 4 overs gave the Dutch score more respectability but when Free was clean bowled by Farhat for 42 the momentum swung again the way of the home side.
Goedgebour played a nice cameo innings for 12 before falling victim to Talat in his third over (the teams 17th) and when the same bowler had the excellent Lersmot caught for 45 in the penultimate over with the score on 129 the scales seemed to be swinging back the way of Spain. The final over yielded 9 runs to leave Spain chasing 136 for victory.
The usual opener and captain for the day Spencer was unable to open the batting, having jarred his knee when catching Goedgebour in the deep so Spain opened with the untried partnership of Munib Runja and Armaghan Khan. The decision proved fruitful as the pair smoked 49 off the first 4 overs before Munib was given lbw for 36. Armaghan was caught off the bowling of Boers with the score also on 49 but the introduction of Alfas pair Shafique Ali at 3 and Christian Munoz at 4 ensured the continuation of the belligerent batting.
With the score on 104 Munoz was stumped for 34. Six overs left and 40 required. Early exits for Khan, Akmal and Howe created unwanted pressure for the hosts but Shafique Ali kept positive and saw the hosts to within 10 runs of victory before he was out stumped with 14 balls left. It was left to Farhat and Talat to see the home side home, something they did convincingly enough, with Talat finishing the game with a six when there were 7 balls to spare. First blood to Spain with a 3 wicket victory.
C Free Bowled Farhat 42
J Schoonheim Ct Farhat B Talat 5
T Ruihers Ct Shafique B Munoz 7
M Lershot Ct ? B Talat 45
B Goedgebour Ct Spencer B Talat 12
M Singh Ct Akmal B Talat 6
B Williams Stumped Shafique B Talat 6
D Everdingen Not Out 3
T Boers Not Out 2
K Everdingen Dnb
M Vis Dnb
Subtotal 127 Extras 11 Total 135 for 7 wickets
FOW 1 - 18(Schooenheim)(3rd) 2 - 35 (Ruijers)(9th) 3 - 86 (Free)(13th) 4 - 122 (Goudgebour)
(17th) 5 - 129 (M Singh)(19th) 6 - 133 (Lershot)(19th) 7 - Williams (134)(20th)
A Khan 4-0-25-0
C Munoz 4-0-23-1
M Khan 4-0-43-1
M Akmal 1-0-11-0
M Runja Lbw Goedgebour 36
A Khan Ct ? B Boers 10
S Ali Stumped ? B Williams 29
C Munoz Stumped ? B M Singh 34
M Khan Ct ? B Schoonheim 0
M Akmal Bowled M Singh 1
G Howe Lbw Williams 0
Farhat Not Out 17
Talat Not Out 6
M Spencer Dnb
J Sunderland Dnb
Subtotal 133 Extras 8 Total 141 for 7
FOW 1 - 49(Runja)(4th) 2 - 45 (Armaghan)(5th) 3 - 104 (Munoz)(14th) 4 - 106 (M Khan)(15th)
5 - 111(Akmal)(16th) 6 - 111 (Howe)(16th) 7 - Ali (134)(18th)
B Williams 3-0-27-3
T Boers 3-0-25-1
B Goedgebour 3.5-0-22-1
M Singh 4-0-25-1
M Vis 2-0-17-0
J Schooenheim 3-0-24-1
SPAIN WON THE FIRST GAME BY 3 WICKETS
The second game got under way straight after lunch with Spain batting first. Manny Fernandez came in for the injured Mark Spencer and Graham Howe rolled back the years to assume captaincy one more time for La Seleccion.
Again Spain opened with Munib and Armaghan and again they set about their business with ferocious intent. First the 50 and then the 100 were passed as VOC had no answer to the openers domination. The cracking start got its first hiccoup in the 14th over with the score at 128 when Munib was caught off the bowling of Singh for an excellent 81. His contribution included 13 fours and 1 six in his 55 minutes at the crease.
Shafique Ali, Farhat and Christian Munoz came and went throwing the bat with various degrees of success before Talat Ali and Maina Khan added a final onslaught to push the Spanish total over the 200 mark for 20 overs.
A daunting task for the shellshocked Dutch side. A steady start by the visitors was knocked sideways when Schoonheim and D Everdingen went in successive overs. Reeling at 22 for 2 the Dutch needed an innings of substance from someone and they got it from the other opener Williams. His 84 was pure quality and he single handedly kept the tourists in the game. Only one other player managed to get double figures as Munoz, Armaghan and Farhat chipped in with 2 wickets a piece to restrict the total to 149 all out off 19.5 overs.
Spain made it two victories out of two with a 52 win success and now can look forward to putting out on paper what should be a stronger side later this month when they host a triangular tournament with Belgium and Gibraltar.
Many thanks once again to VOC for providing stiff opposition and for being excellent tourists and socialites off the field of play. La Manga and Spain look forward to hopefully seeing their familiar faces again in 2012.
M Runja Ct ? Bowled M Singh 81
Armaghan Ct ? Bowled M Singh 37
S Ali Ct ? Bowled Boers 10
F Mahmood Ct ? Bowled Boers 17
C Munoz Bowled Williams 2
Talat Not Out 13
M Khan Not Out 23
G Howe Dnb
M Fernandez Dnb
J Sunderland Dnb
M Akmal Dnb
Subtotal 183 Extras 18 Total 201 for 5
FOW 1 - 128 (Munib)(14th) 2 - 138 (Armaghan) (16th) 3 - 142 (Ali) (17th)
4 - 158 (Farhat) (18th) 5 - 178 (Munoz) (19th)
B Goedgebour 3-0-18-0
M Singh 4-0-24-2
B Williams 3-0-40-1
M Vis 2-0-26-0
D Everdingen 2-0-22-0
J Schoonheim 3-0-41-0
T Boers 3-0-22-0
B Williams Run Out (A Khan) 84
J Schoonheim Bowled M Khan 5
D Everdingen Ct ? Bowled A Khan 5
K Everdingen Ct Sunderland B Munoz 16
B Goedgebour Ct Shafique B Munoz 6
M Singh Run Out (Munoz) 6
C Free Ct Sunderland B Mahmood 3
M Lershoot Bowled Mahmood 0
T Ruijers Ct Ali B Talat 2
T Boers Bowled A Khan 6
M Vis Not Out 7
Subtotal 141 Extras 8 Total 149 all out in 19.5 overs
FOW 1 - 12 (Schoonheim)(4th) 2 - 22 (D Everdingen)(5th) 3 - 47 (K Everdingen)(9th)
4 - 58(Goedgebour)(11th) 5 - 117 (Singh) (16th) 6 - 122 (Free) (17th) 7 - Lerschot (17th)
8 - 132 (Williams) (18th) 9 - 134 - (Ruijers) (18th) 10 - 149 (Boers) (20th)
Talat Ali 4-1-18-1
M Khan 2-0-15-1
J Sunderland 4-0-29-0
C Munoz 4-0-27-2
F Mahmood 3-0-34-2
A Khan 2.5-0-24-2
SPAIN WON BY 52 RUNS