SPAIN V SPENCER CC
The date was set to have the Spanish Senior squad fully re-united after the ECC trophy two years ago where the team put in a good effort and ended up coming 3rd in the tournament.
This year the team has seen the need to combine it skills as a squad and also build a compact unit to be able to pursue the goals of 2007. Players were brought in from all over Spain, the UK and Holland and Italy to have the strongest team possible to take on the challenging Spencer Cricket Club.
The team spirit was at a high as all players were delighted to see each other together once again. The team was chosen for the Sunday game and players were prepared for the challenge. Team captain lost the toss...once again, and Spencer CC decided to bat and have Spain chase the runs.
Spencer Cricket Club had a fantastic start but as we are use to the Spanish team in situations similar to these showed what they are made of and turned the game around. Faran and Wasim reduced the run rate and some great fielding by the rest of the players was something to be seen. Phil Beal was then put on to bowl and two quick stumpings by Shafiq gave Spain a target that could be achieved with Spencer all out for 186 runs.
Spain was sent out to bat after lunch. Spanish lunches are not as light as the good old British sandwiches and it took the team to score some runs. Wickets were tumbling at first but then a great partnership between Pedro Venus and Graham Howe put the team back in the chase. After these two wickets had fallen it was difficult for the team to find a similar partnership. The Spanish Cricket team fell short of the score required and were all out for 165 runs.
The Monday game was of total different calibre compared to the Sunday game. Players were sent into field once again with the captain having a 9 game losing streak in losing the toss. Opening bowlers Ben Fletcher and Sam Lupson got Spain off to a great start with a few quick wickets but then the team seemed to relax and Spencer CC were able to bring the run rate up.
Once again Wasim and Chris did a fantastic job by getting a few wickets before drinks which had Spencer CC on the brink of a collapse. Wasim and Z Abbas were then able to slow the Spencer CC run rate right down and Spencer were bowled out for 162 runs.
The Spanish Cricket team had decided to have a light lunch and get back into action as quickly as possible as it seemed to be a target easy to achieve. Shafiq's wicket fell in the first over but then an incredible innings by Antonio Barca scoring 61 runs was the turning point. Graham Howe was also doing another good job in the middle when he had to be taken off after a ball smashed through his face guard and possibly broke his nose. The team went after the runs in a discrete manner but with wickets falling. When all seemed tight Wasim was able to unleash the animal within him and hit a few sixers. At the end Wasim and Manny Fernandez were able to get the last runs.
All in all it was a great two days, team motivation is at a high as the team can see the hard work coming together after 6 years.