GIBRALTAR CRICKET TEAM VS ANDALUSIA XI
Gibraltar beat Andalusia XI by 25 runs at the Victoria Oval in the one-off T20 match.
The best players from the coast were selected to represent an Andalusia XI against the Gibraltar National team for a practice match before the ICC tournament in the Netherlands. Gibraltar captain Matt Hunter won the toss and elected to bat first and the captain decision proved right for the team as openers BA Pai and K Ferrary put on 86 runs for the first wicket in 8.5 overs.
Ferrary was brutal and he smashed Andalusia bowlers for 8 boundaries and was dismissed on 49 while he tried to clear the mid-off fielder and the ball just fell short of Nasir Dar who quickly threw the ball to the non-striker’s end as Ferrary was caught short of his crease.
After Ferrary’s heroics, BA Pai scored an half-century for the visitors. Andalusia’s fielding was below their standards as they gave away too many runs and none of the bowlers were spared as Captain Matt Hunter and BA Pai punished Andalusia as they put up an unbeaten partnership of 65 runs for the fourth wicket. At the end, BA Pai was unbeaten on 87 off 57 balls with 8 boundaries and 2 towering sixes off Nasir Dar. Captain M Hunter scored an unbeaten 23 off 17 balls. Asif Tarar was the pick of the bowlers with 1-20 off his 4 overs.
Andalusia had a daunting task and the openers didn’t really click as the top order consumed too many balls at the top. By the eighth over Andalusia was struggling at 54-4, and with Matt Hunter bowling some thunderbolts, run making had become very difficult. Nasir Dar and Chris Batten put up 46 runs for the sixth wicket and it looked like Andalusia might just pull this off.
However, he middle order stumbled against a disciplined attack, and although Chris Batten fought till the end and smashed four boundaries and two monstrous sixes (40 off 21 balls) it ws just not enough. BA Pai good day on the field continued as he ran out L Turner with a direct hit from point. He then took the prized wicket of C Batten by getting an edge to the keeper. Once C Batten was dismissed it was all over for Andalusia.
The lower order were then blown away without any fight. R Hatchman was economical as well as threatening as he finished with 2-16 off 4 overs. Andalusia ended up on 160-8 off 20 overs falling short by 25 runs.
Gibraltar got the much-needed match practice before the ICC tournament and Andalusia got a chance to face the best best players from the rock.
Balaji Avinash Pai was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant 87 off 57 balls and 1-13 off 2 overs.
Steven Egan Dantis