New Cártama Oval
Inaugural six-a-side tournament
The New Cartama Oval cricket ground welcomed a host of cricketers and supporters on Sunday 7th November for the inaugural six a side tournament. It was billed as a fun day of cricket but packed with an ambitious programme of six teams cramming in a total of nine matches. Tight for time, but achievable was the aim.
First came the group stages with three teams per group playing a round robin. The necessarily early start of 10:00 saw some dew remaining on the grass after a clear cloudless night. It was of course the soapy ball which led to a minor glut of wides in the early matches. A different reason doubtless exists for the wides bowled in the middle and late parts of the day but your correspondent hasn’t found it yet.
Fuengirola, Malaga and Marbella Riders (your correspondent believes the last named to be the provisional Red Wing of Combined Colleges) formed Group A. In the first match Fuengirola got off to a blinding start with Jake Malka taking the wickets of big hitter Ashan Alwis and high scoring Azard Thajudeen with the first and third balls of the first over. Malaga took the group honours followed by Marbella Riders then Fuengirola.
Top marks go to Cordoba for making their way to the ground despite terminal car failure on the autovia and their persistence, plus a bit of good cricket, was rewarded by first place in their round robin followed by Bocanegra (provisional Black Wing of Combined Colleges?) and Cartama.
Match 7 saw Cartama take on Fuengirola in the battle of the third placed teams. A low scoring but tight game ensued with Cartama emerging victorious by just one run. The battle of the supporters was easily won in this match by the Cartama fans who caught the spirit (about 17% proof) of the fun day.
Match 8 was between the runners up of the two groups and it just had to be the differing factions of Combined Colleges slugging it out. Marbella Riders skipper Nushan Alwis was in no mood to take prisoners and hammered a not out 67 runs of the five overs, including six sixes and five fours. Bocanegra appeared to reverse their batting order yet still made a creditable 61 runs to come second to their red shirted splinter group.
Match 9 was for the coveted trophy (well, who knows, it might be one day). Tight for time it was indeed and with the late sun streaming straight down the wicket at a height to defeat any sight screen Rule 17(d) was invoked - all overs in the final would be bowled from the eastern end, into the setting sun. Malaga batted first. Opener Kazim Ali had scored quickly in the two group matches for scores of 26 and 12 so it was with evident relief that Shoaib Hussain held a difficult catch out of the sun at mid on to send Kazim back for just 9. The ever dangerous Asif Tarrer Muhammad was in aggressive form but fell early, stumped as he advanced down the wicket. Muhammad Afzal plundered 37 runs to take Malaga to 59 for 2 off their five overs. With Malaga’s tight bowling having conceded just 71 runs in their two group matches their score looked a good one and Cordoba clearly had a hard task ahead. Cordoba opened with Waqas Ali and Shoaib Hussain. Both were still there at the start of the final over and had moved to within 7 of a winning score. And win they did, with just two ball to spare and no wickets down. Well done both teams for putting on a final match worthy of any such competition.
So the tournament trophy went to Cordoba and it is to be hoped they will be back to defend it in 2011. Most wickets were taken by Jake Malka of Fuengirola with figures of 3 overs, 4 wickets for 23.
Most runs were scored by Shoaib Hussain of Cordoba with 128, with a mention in despatches for Nushan Alwis of Marbella Riders with 124. The best innings was 67, a score made by both Shoaib Hussain and Nushan Alwis. The choice of Player of the Tournament was made by the umpires and the trophy went to Shoaib Hussain.
All in all a very successful opening tournament and congratulations to all involved. Attention now turns to other matches including the forthcoming season of the Southern Spanish League. Watch this space.
All cricket at the New Cartama Oval is organised by Spanish Cricket Tours. See www.spanishcrickettours.com or call Previn on 0034 606 526 618