It was a weekend of contrasts at the Woodbridge Oval as Alfas took the first game easily on the Saturday and then Madrid gained revenge with a ten run win the following day. Both league matchs were played in an excellent spirit and had a competitive edge.
Alfas chairman Kevin Laundon, reports on game one
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club Sporting Alfas 1st X1 176 for 1 beat Madrid 1st XI 175 for 9
SACC chase 175 and lose only one wicket, Another good bowling performance gave SACC first eleven the chance of gaining ground on the La Manga table toppers, only 3 points in the top two places and all even in games played. Although SACC did not get the full 20 points credit must go to a the Madrid team who played a good game to stop SACC gaining full bowling points.
After the first three batsmen failed to get going and the score at 18 for 3 from 9 over´s SACC followers expected a quick win but Daniel and Mohit played a patient game and stayed together for 14 over´s and 74 runs before Fell bowled Mohit(40). Khan(4) came and went in his usual manner, well taken in the deep by Fletcher off Taylor´s bowling then Fell got Daniel(39) caught by Crompton and Fletcher caught his second as Woodward gave him a simple catch.
110 for 7 from 26, a huge task for the tail. A stubern stand between Awan and Hakim kept SACC in the field until Spencer caught Hakim(8) off Taylor then wiped up Awan for only 18 from 45 balls. game on with 1 wicket needed and 3 over´s left, Stirton took control and along with Nettiariachi added 22 runs and kept SACC out until the finish of the 45 over bowling spell. 175 for 9, a good days work by the Madrid team.
SACC openers started slowly and only 8 runs came from the first 4 overs, then Spencer decided to ride his luck after being dropped by Hakam whilst on a duck, and this proved expensive as he began to take the bowlers apart scoring runs to all corners at over 8 an over,
Pennick kept giving him the strike and was on the wrong end of a Umpires finger when the score had reached 88, LBW for 20. Crompton(39) and Spencer(109) then saw the home side to victory with 20 overs to spare. The nine wicket victory gave SACC 19 points and Madrid CC 3 points
Sunday the tables were turned as Madrid secured at rare victory on Alfas soil by a six run margin. Again batting first Madrid posted 211 for 8. Alfas responded positively with openers Tasker and Pennick building a solid platform up until the 15th over drinks break. Tasker fell soon after the restart of play and a quick slurry of wickets put Madrid back in the game. Pennick departed for 77 and with him Alfas chances of winning appeared to disintegrate. Alfas could not get the ball of the square to get the much needed boundaries and despite batting out all their overs they lost out by 10 runs with 2 wickets still in hand.
Madrid took 17 points from the game and Alfas 7 points. La Manga now look strong favourites to claim the ECCL Premier league title with a few games remaining.
Report on the second game from Alfas chairman Kevin Laundon
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club Sporting Alfas 1st X1 205 for 8 lost to Madrid 1st XI/home 211 for 8
SACC need to win this one to pile on the pressure. Madrid win the toss and again bat.
Today though the bowling of Laundon and Pennick failed to take wickets. After 10 overs and only 34 on the board it was decided a change of pace might bring a bit of good fortune to the desperately unlucky SACC bowling attack. Fletcher replaced Laundon and Fell replaced Pennick. Fell with his first ball surprised Langham(22) who completely missed a full toss and was bowled. Fletcher bowled 6 overs without luck for only 20. Taylor then showed why SACC rate his skills so highly and bowled his 9 overs taking 5 for 46 runs, a great days work. Fell failed to add to his wickets tally and Crompton turning the ball at right angles only managed to get 1 wicket. 211 for 8 from 45.
When Pennick and Tasker took to the field a repeat of yesterday looked on the cards as 211 is not above par at the Woodbridge Oval, Madrid though had done the job of talking about the game and bowled very tight lines at both ends, runs very hard to come by and 4 an over seemed to be the most SACC bats could accomplish, again a change of pace did the trick and Tasker gave away an easy chance on 31.
Crompton and Fletcher then fell quickly leaving Laundon and Pennick needing to bat through for maximum points, no wickets fell and with 70 runs from 10 overs needed it was time for the two players at the crease to get going, but the return of Hakeem proved to be a challenge and Pennick played around one and was out for a excellent 77. Has always things come in 2´s and Laundon(27) was caught, this gave youngsters Sunderland and Pakiem the chance to shine but inexperience showed as Sunderland and Brown ended up at the same end as Pakiem and both were run out,
Fell was given LBW after a few well taken runs but the chase favored Madrid although a valiant effort came from the lads SACC fell short by six runs to lose an important game. Madrid 17 points, Alfas 7 points