LA MANGA TWENTY20 TORNEO GOES TO THE HOSTS
La Manga Cricket Club finally won their Twenty20 tournament at the 5th time of asking.The hosts went through the tournament undefeated and beat Sahara CC of Milton Keynes, England in the final.
Seven teams participated in this years event that has now been running for five years with the previous winners being Calon, Cataluyna and Falco from Spain, and Sinsen from Norway, the only time the trophy as been won by a club from outside Spain.
The draw for the group stages was done the night before the tournament started with the respective captains drawing out a letter from A-H.
The first group had an international flavour to it, with La Manga, Ostend of Belguim and Ullensaker from Norway drawn in Group 1.
Group 2 included 3 English teams, Sahara from the Milton Keynes area, Malandroits from London, and Buckhurst Broncos from Essex. The group was completed by the Spanish Southern section champions Combined Colleges.
The tournament got underway early Friday morning with Group 1 hopefuls Ullensaker and Ostend taking centre stage. Ostend took the first game to put the first points on the board. Second up in Group 1 was La Manga and Ostend with La Manga winning convincingly to state their intentions. Finally on day one La Manga played Ullensaker and again won without being troubled to top the group and get a semi-final place against the runners up of Group 2. Ostend qualified as runners up courtesy of their victory over Ullensaker.
La Manga P2 W2 D0 L2 POINTS 20
Ostend P2 W1 D0 L1 POINTS 10
Ullensaker P2 WO DO L2 POINTS 0
Group 2 proved to be a much closer affair. Malandroits arrived a day late because of an air traffic strike in France so had to play all three of the games on the Saturday. Earlier on the Friday Sahara had disposed of the Combined Colleges, and in return the Colleges had posted a victory over the Buckhurst Broncos.The final game of the day saw Sahara make it two wins out of two with a positive result over the Broncos.
Malandroits, a club formed out of friends from Charterhouse School came to the party Saturday morning and easily disposed of the spirited Buckhurst Broncos. Second up for the Malandroits was Spanish opposition, in the shape of the Malaga based, Combined Colleges. Again the Malandroits scored a victory to set up a top of the table clash between Sahara. The game was nip and tuck despite Sahara batting first and posting a formidable total of 182 from their 20 overs. Malandroits tired in their innings after their third consecutive game in hot conditions and finally succumbed to the side from Milton Keynes.
Sahara´s top spot ensured a semi final on Sunday with Ostend, whilst the Malandroits could be pleased with their days effort of a combined 120 overs of cricket that saw them take the runners up spot to face hosts La Manga.
Sahara P3 W3 D0 L0 POINTS 30
Malandroits P3 W2 D0 L1 POINTS 20
Colleges P3 W1 D0 L2 POINTS 10
Broncos P3 W0 D0 L3 POINTS 0
Saturday night the clubs enjoyed a Gala Dinner that included a raffle that raised over 300 Euros for Junior Cricket in Spain. Several players continued partying into the early hours of the morning, and not suprisingly that impacted a couple of individual performances the following day. The top pitch hosted La Manga and the Malandroits and the home side won by a convincincing 90 runs. Jimmy Morgan for La Manga played a sublime innings for the hosts to set the tome and this was embellished by Tanveer Iqbal, who came in late on for La Manga and smacked 50 not out off 16 balls. The daunting total of 194 proved way too much for the Charterhouse boys as La Manga cruised into the final.
On the bottom pitch the game between Ostend and Sahara was much closer and more tense. Ostend had shown signs of hitting form when the tied with La Manga in a 20Twenty overs friendly the day before, and they gave the British club some scary moments, but it was Sahara who made it through to contest the final.
La Manga 183 for 6 (20 overs) beat Sahara 130 all out (19 overs) by 53 runs..
So the final was played between the two undefeated teams in the tournament. La Manga batted first and they were once again indebted to Jimmy Morgan who scored a fine 58 to help the hosts post a competitive total. The game was effectively over by the 4th over when Sahara were reduced to 20 for 4 thanks to some excellent pace bowling by Talat Ali and Tariq Iqbal. The visitors rallied somewhat towards the end of their innings, but the damage had already been done and La Manga coasted over the line to victory and scenes of joy at the Murcia ground.
At the presentation ceremony Tanveer Iqbal edged the player of the tournament, ahead of Jimmy Morgan, also of La Manga, and Keiron Lampard of Sahara. It was left to the chairman of the La Manga Association to present the trophy to La Manga captain George Wambeek. The curtain closed on another La Manga 20Twenty tournament and it is hoped that the event will be back next year for the sixth consecutive time.
5TH ANNUAL LA MANGA 20TWENTY CHAMPIONS - LA MANGA CRICKET CLUB
Message from Ostend Cricket Club regarding the tournament....
I am writing this e-mail on behalf of me, my team and our cricket club: Ostend Cricket Club Belgium. I would like to thank you and your whole team who organized and invited us to be a part of this wonderful T20 cricket tournament.
We all want to thank you very much for the really good accomodation and facilities on that beautiful location of La Manga. Besides our comfortable appartments, the cricket grounds and facilities were really amazing. We got a chance to play against some really good teams and play some good cricket. Even though we lost in the semi-finals, we would like to thank you all for this amazing experience.
I would like to offer our appologise for our early departure, but we came there on cars and we had to be back in Belgium before noon. It is a very long drive from Spain to Belgium, so in order to be on time we had to leave early. Sorry again that we were not able to be a part of the finals.
This was our first tour to La Manga, but after having seen the quality of cricket we would like to be a part of any future coming tournaments . We would like you to invite us to the future tournaments and we will try our level best to make sure that we participate in those high class tournaments.
Our best regards
Sheikh Sheraz (Sunny)
Captain Ostend Cricket Club