Dehesa El Saler on the outskirts of Valencia was the venue as Levante Cricket Club used their new Notts artificial wicket for the first time. Paid for partly by Cricket Espana but mainly through self funding the wicket had arrived from the UK just a few days before.
The inter club match pitched the Presidents XI against a Levante select side. The Presidents XI elected to bat and Abid Hussain faced the first ball from opening bowler Rich Graham. Only one run from the first over as the batsmen got to grips with the bounce and pace of the new wicket.
A steady start by Hussain and fellow opener Rhys Morgan slowly gained momentum.Morgan took 17 balls to open his account and Hussain survived a vociferous lbw appeal but then confidence in the pitch grew and the runs began to flow in abundance. A century partnership was brought up in the 14th over. Morgan retired, whilst Hussain batted on hoping to reach his half century.
With his personal score on 51 and the total on 105 the first wicket fell as Hussain was stumped of the bowling of Adam. Little went without troubling the scorers before cameos from Oglivie and Pilkington helped push the final score to 149 for 9 off the allocated 25 overs.
The Levante XI had the worse possible start as Noon was clean bowled for 0 and when fellow opener Mark Green went for 9 the Select Xi were already facing an uphill battle to achieve victory.
Middle order batsmen Graham Hunt and Rich Graham offered some resistance scoring 17 and 39 respectively but once they had fell the writing was on the wall. Four of the last five batsmen were out for ducks as the Select XI were finally out for 91 in 23 overs.
Abid completed a good day all round by bagging 3 wickets for 10 runs off 5 overs to a Sdd to the earlier half century. Finally, a mention must go out to former Sporting Alfas and Spanish international Scotty Burchill. Now living in Valencia Scotty rolled back the years to bowl four economical overs of spin for the cost of only 2 runs.
It was a great day all round with cricket back once again in Valencia. Levante travel to the Woodbridge Oval on Good Friday to play against Sporting Alfas in a friendly.
Levante Presidents XI
A Hussain stumped Eaton bowled Adam 51
R Morgan bowled Green 48
T Little ct Tivey bowled Noon 0
S Olgilvie bowled Graham 11
A Pilkington ct ? bowled Graham 17
D Fisher ct Eaton bowled Tivey 0
M Ellis ct Thacker bowled Tivey 0
S Burchill run out (Noon) 0
S Dent run out 8
A N Other dnb
A N Other dnb
Total 149 for 9 off 25 overs
R Graham 5-0-11-1
D Tivey 5-0-14-2
M Green 4-0-26-0
G Hunt 2-0-15-0
J Noon 2-0-15-1
Levante Select XI
Mark Green ct Dave bowled Abid 9
J Noon bowled Abid 0
G Hunt ct ? bowled Little 17
B Eaton ct Morgan bowled Stuart 5
R Graham bowled Pilkington 39
D Tivey ct Pilkington b Bellis 0
Lofty ct Bellis b Pilkington 0
Dan ct ? bowled Abid 12
Adam bowled Dent 0
S Thacker bowled Little 0
Fraser not out 2
Total 91 all out off 23 overs
A Pilkington 4-1-16-2
Abid Hussain 5-0-12-3
T Little 5-0-24-2
S Burchill 4-2-2-0
M Bellis 3-0-14-1
S Olgilvie 2-0-19-1
S Dent 2-0-8-1
Levante Presidents XI won by 58 runs