MALLORCA RETAIN THE BALEARIC CUP
The Mallorca Cricket Club squad and its supporters returned home from Ibiza exhausted, a little ragged, but triumphant on Sunday night after retaining the Balearic Championship Cup. This year’s tournament was unanimously deemed to be a tremendous success with the three matches played in the true spirit of the game.
Mallorca’s first match against Ibiza was played on Friday in miserable conditions although the intermittent showers failed to interrupt proceedings. Ibiza won the toss and put Mallorca in to bat. Two splendid diving catches by Stewie Brown and a run out saw Mallorca lose three early wickets with 40 scored, but a tremendous fourth wicket stand of 202 from Steve Bell and Wes Walker put Mallorca firmly in the driving seat. Bell hit a splendid 92 before skipper Martin Makepeace held a catch off Sam Feasey to deny the big hitting Yorkshireman his century with the score on 242 in the twenty ninth over. There were more celebrations when Makepeace took another catch to end Walker’s exemplary innings of 132 which included a dozen sixes; six of which he hit off one over. This was the second occasion on which I have scored a player performing this impressive feat and both have been at Ibiza’s San Jose ground in the Balearic Championship. Walker, who has now earned the sobriquet ‘Golden Boy’ (or perhaps it was another word beginning with ‘B’) told me that this had been the fulfilment of his boyhood dream and that he’d called his parents in South Africa to give them the news.
Sully Khan hit a swift 30 before being bowled by Jordan Van ByLevelt. George Burdon accounted for Morris and Yaseen’s wickets as Jon Barratt added 20 finishing unbeaten with Mallorca’s final tally a hefty 347 all out.
Ibiza had quite a daunting task ahead and losing an early wicket when Sam Feasey was run out with the score on five was a bitter blow. The ever reliable Bob Short made a solid 34 in a fifty partnership with Jordan Van ByLevelt before Ben Vickers claimed his wicket. The Van ByLevelt brothers went on to record a splendid stand of 122; Brad had just notched up his half-century when Barratt took a great catch off Walker to end his lucrative stint and in the same over Walker claimed Jordan’s wicket, bowling him for 78 with the score on 183. Davies’s innings of 22 was ended by Hijazy Yaseen who went on to add a further 2 scalps to his belt. Jon Barratt claimed a couple of wickets with a stumping by Bell; dismissing George Burdon for 1 and bowling Stewie Brown also for 1. When Muckleberg held a catch to dismiss Makepeace off Khan over Ibiza’s quest was over. Ibiza: all out for 215 in 34.1 overs.
Mallorca’s figures: Vickers: 8-3-18-1. Barratt: 4-1-20-2. Yaseen: 1.1-0-1-3.
On the second day there was an excellent attendance at the Ibiza v Minorca game where the hosts bowled out Minorca for a modest 132. Jeff Barker top scored with 31 before being trapped LBW by George Burdon and Ian Sahu finished not out on 27. Ibiza, who were at the top of their game, knocked off the required runs in just twenty five overs with Bob Short finishing unbeaten with a splendid knock of 64.
Ibiza’s Sam Feasey had an excellent day recording bowling figures of: 6-0-16-3 and making 56 with the bat. Jim Harvey’s figures: 8-4-15-1. George Burdon took three wickets.
Mallorca’s men were up for the challenge when they came face to face with Minorca on Sunday, the final day of the competition. Nothing was being taken for granted; complacency is the enemy as many teams have experienced in the past. Skipper Eric George won the toss and put Minorca in to bat. Opening pair Chris Phillips and Ted Williams had posted 43 when ‘keeper George held a catch off Qamar-Shahzad to end Phillips’s innings of 18. Minorca’s captain Roy Sturgeon was out for 1 bowled Qamar-Shahzad with the board showing 54. Jeff Barker was unamused when the umpire’s finger went up to an appeal for LBW by Hijazy Yaseen with one added to the score. Enter the dashing Adam Cockroft who I’m told is a relative newcomer to the game of cricket. He opened his account with three fours and a six then went on to make what was his first century in an uninhibited display of batting. Opening attack Ben Vickers, who after four overs had left the field for treatment on an injured shoulder, valiantly returned to the fray in the thirty fourth over and in his second over dismissed the troublesome Cockroft with the score on 141. Dan Osterbery failed to trouble the scorer as Jon Barratt unceremoniously skittled his stumps but Ian Sahu made a worthy 21 before being trapped LBW by Barratt. Vickers neatly wrapped things up for Mallorca bowling David Nuttall and Emanuel Day for 3 and 1 respectively. Rob Day and Hussein finished unbeaten on 2 and 1 with the final tally 207 for 9 from 40 overs.
Mallorca’s bowlers returned excellent figures. Vickers: 8-2-23-3. Qamar-Shahzad: 8-1-28-2. Yaseen: 8-0-26-1.
Mallorca’s opening pair Vickers and Qamar-Shahzad had made an encouraging start posting 59 by the tenth over when Sturgeon held a catch off Rob Day to dismiss Vickers for 33. Qamar-Shahzad hit a splendid shot to the boundary off Rob Day, but Emanuel Day kept his cool taking a great catch to end Qamar-Shahzad’s valuable innings of 32 with Mallorca’s score at 72 for 2. A solid third wicket partnership from Barratt and Bell pushed the score to 137 with some clever running between the sticks, but Minorca’s illustrious veteran Nuttall made another breakthrough when he had Barratt caught and bowled for 36. There was jubilation in the Minorca camp when Friday’s man of the match Wes Walker was bowled by Phillips for nought; Walker who like Osterbery accepted his fate with equanimity has to be admired.
Cockroft held a catch off Hussein’s second spell ending Sully Khan’s innings; the ebullient Khan enjoyed twenty three minutes in the middle contributing 30 including a couple of sixes. The scoreboard showed 186 for 5 from thirty three overs. With just twenty two runs needed for a win and Minorca under pressure there was an uncharacteristic four over throws. Four byes also assisted Mallorca’s cause as Bell who was still going strong having notched up his half-century appeared invincible until Hussein rearranged his stumps in the thirty seventh over. Mallorca: 204 for 6. With four runs required and the words, ‘no pressure’ ringing in his ears Yaseen strode to the middle, Morris pushed for a single and when Yaseen dispatched a Barker delivery to the boundary off the third ball of the thirty eighth over it was a satisfying moment. Both teams had given a good account of themselves in what was an excellent match. Ibiza’s skipper Martin Makepeace presented the trophy to the victors’ Captain Eric George who thanked Minorca for a fair and sporting game; Minorca’s skipper Roy Sturgeon replied reiterating what everyone agreed had been an excellent tournament played in the finest traditions of the game.