SPANISH REGIONAL FINALS AT LA MANGA RESORT
November 24th and 25th.
SEMI FINALS DAY.
Once again we have come to the final games of cricket at the end of a long season in Spain. The teams who took part at the La Manga Resort were the top two of the northern region against the top two of the southern region playing off to find the National Champion of Spain in a two day event.
La Manga Cricket Club, champions of the southern region took, on Cataluyna Cricket Club from the northern region, in the first semi finals, when the home team elected to bat first on a very wet outfield due to the heavy overnight dew. Unfortunately due to maintenance/reseeding the ground staff were unable to “sweep” the ground to break up the dew, making it difficult for batters and fielders until two hours later when the sun had helped to clear the dew.
La Manga were fielding an under strength side having their top 4 all-rounders missing from the game due to a wedding in Pakistan, but the replacement players took up the challenge to play at this level. The team got off to bad start having Neil Brook caught in the 3rd over of the day for nought, and David Williams our other opener soon followed when the score was 31. The top scorers Nassir Runjh and Attif Ali put on 51 but the rest of the team fell apart with some lazy batting and they were bowled out for 99 in 30 of the allocated 40 overs.
Two Catalunya bowlers bowled well to get 5 wickets between them with F Iqbal 3 for 25 off 6 overs and R Ali 2 for 16 off 6 over’s.
Catalunya got off to a bad start when K Bhutt hit the first ball for 4 and then got bowled the very next ball by A Ali. The next pair put on 43 and again A Ali removed S Khan who was bowled for 32. Then A Runjh was brought into the attack bowling leg spin in the 5th over of the day and finished off with 3 wickets. The La Manga bowlers kept the pressure on but defending such a modest total proved to be too big a task. Catalunya CC went on to win with 5 wickets down and knocking off the runs in 18 overs to give Catalunya CC the final spot for the Sundays Game.
La Manga CC 99 All out Cataluyna CC 103 for 5
2nd Semi Final
The 2nd semi finals took place on the 2nd pitch at La Manga resort under the same conditions, when Minhaj CC from the northern region took on Alfas CC from the southern region. Minhaj winning the toss put in Alfas CC to bat first thinking that with a wet track they could knock a few quick wickets before the sun dried the pitch, but they were wrong, as the two openers Pennick and Ali put on 116 for the first wicket before S Ali was caught and bowled by Dilsher for 47, in came Nadeem and went quickly for 9, Gary Crompton then got a fast 31 before getting himself run out, followed by another 4 wickets going down very quickly, but the batting of A Brown 26 kept their hopes up and the score at the final over was Alfas CC 212 for 8 in 43 overs.
The Best Bowler for Minhaj CC was Nadeem Ullah 3 for 30 off 7 overs.
In reply to Alfas CC total, Minhaj didn’t have a good start when Pennick took the wicket of Ahmed for 1 and then the next wicket went down at 44, that of Khalid for 32, only Nadeem and Lamir with 47 gave any resistant to the bowling of Paul Taylor 4 for 25 off 9 overs and Crompton 3 for 18 off 9 overs, his best bowling figures in years - no doubt he will put this in his scrap book! Minhaj batting was no match for the Alfas bowlers when they were all out for 152 off 39 overs, which took Alfas to the finals on the Sunday.
ALFAS CC 212 for 8 Minhaj CC 152 All out
SPANISH REGIONAL FINALS AT LA MANGA RESORT
November the 24th and 25th.
Sunday the 25th Regional Finals Day - the Spectators’ at La Manga Resort took their seats for an exciting game with Alfas Cricket Club v Catalunya Cricket Club, to see who could win the battle of the giants of Spain. Catalunya CC won the toss and elected to take the field, on again, a wet outfield with the heavy overnight dew.
Again the openers from Alfas CC, Pennick and Ali, put on a slow but good partnership of 55 for the first wicket. When Ali was out for 31, in came Crompton, put on a slow 15 run partnership, and went. 15 runs later Nadeen went, adding another 16 runs, and then Pennick went for 30 which started a slow slippery path with wickets going down steadily and Alfas being bowled for 123 all out.
The best bowler was the 7th bowler for Catalunya, Raz Ali, who took 5 for 19 off 7 over’s, and at this stage the Catalan Team thought they had clinched the final from Alfas and they were going home with the Cup, but little did they know of Paul Taylor, 70 years young, and did he surprise them all!!!
When the Catalan batsmen went into bat, with the confidence that they had done all the hard work by bowling out Alfas and were chasing a modest target that was gettable - no one could write the script that followed!!
The first pair put on 35 in 5 overs when the first wicket went to a run out . With Pennick and Roper bowling, going for 35 in the first five overs, skipper Ben Fletcher brought his two spinners - Paul Taylor and Gary Crompton into the attack. With the first over from Gary Crompton turning balls sideways, he had his first wicket caught by Pennick. 3 overs later Paul Taylor struck the 3rd blow to the Catalan batting, with the Captain Nizar, who had taken 16 off 4 balls, was stumped whilst charging down the wicket to Taylor thinking he could finish this game off single handed, but was he wrong as he was back in the pavilion!! Taylor then went to bowl the next batsman for a duck, and in his next ball he got his hat trick - but he didn’t stop there - his fourth wicket came with the very next ball. By this time Catalan batting was in disarray and when Taylor took two more wickets and Crompton taking two more to finish the match, the Catalan team were well beaten by two Alfas bowlers who take the title as Champions of Spain.
Paul Taylor as the MOM with 7.1-4-19-7. Gary Crompton 6-1-26-2.
Congratulations to Alfas Cricket Club, Champions of Spain 2012.
Finally may I thank La Manga Cricket Club, the CE and officials for their help in organizing the the 2 day event without them there would be no cricket played at these tournaments. A great lunch was served at the ground for all the players and guests, courtesy of the ECCL and the Cricket España.
Cricket at La Manga Resort, please contact George Wambeek on 0034610006783
Report courtesy of George Wambeek and Dave Moore.