BADALONA 20/20 CHAMPIONS OF SPAIN.
Badalona were crowned the new 20/20 champions of Spain after winning a nailbiting final against their local rivals Shaheen. Mojacar took third place in the tournament that had an unprecedented 12 Spanish teams competing .
Play started early Friday morning with Group A matches. Group A comprised of Shaheen , Badalona, Intellectuals and Lanzarote. Ironically the first game of the tournament was Shaheen v Badalona and on this occaison Shaheen came out winners. Lanzarote, playing for the first time in the competition disposed of the Intellectuals easily. In the second phase of the group stages Shaheen beat Lanzarote and Badalona overcame the Intellectuals. The final group A encounters saw Shaheen finish top with three victories out of three after easily disposing of the Intellectuals. The game between Lanzarote and Badalona was a much closer affair with the spoils going narrowly to Badalona. It was a much improved performance from the Lanzarote Select XI and they can be proud of the way they conducted themselves on and off the pitch during the whole tournament.
Group B was also a close affair. Mojacar and Barcelona both won their opening games against Bengali and La Manga respectively. The crunch match of the group came when Mojacar played Barcelona in the last match of the Group B stages. Current champions Barcelona started slight favourites, but it was the much improved Mojacar who prevailed victorious to qualify for the semi-final stages. Barcelona would have to wait to see if the progressed courtesy of the best runners-up position.
Group C was the closest group of all, with all teams winning one match. Going into the last matches all 4 teams were in with a chance of progressing. Combined Colleges saw off Albox whilst Tenerife won a close game against Madrid. This left Combined Colleges and Tenerife with 2 wins each, but because Combined Colleges had a superior net run rate the were declared winners of Group C. Some quick calculations by the tournament referee, Don Macloed showed that the best runners up from the 3 groups were Badalona.
The semi final draw pitched Shaheen v Combined Colleges and Mojacar v Badalona. Shaheen were always in control against the Malaga based club and progressed to the final comfortably. Badalona were pacing themselves well in the tournament and were now playing some of the best cricket on show all weekend in defeating a plucky Mojacar side, who can be well pleased with their efforts in this years tournament.
Mojacar accepted third place as Combined Colleges defaulted and a good sized crowd headed to pitch 1 to see the final between Shaheen and Badalona. In a Carribean style atmostphere the game got under way and it was soon pretty obviously it was going to be he bowlers day. Badalona were reeling with seven wickets down until a timely 50 partnership for the 8th wicket saw the Badalona side reach an unexpected 131 all out of the full allocation of their overs.
Pick of the bowlers for Shaheen were Banaras with his left arm Malinga style action and the feilding of Shaheen should also be mentioned as Badalona were also victims of 3 run outs.
Shaheens reply started well and they looked comfortable until the introduction of Khasif. The youngster secured an impropable hat trick and playing on ´full adrenaline the Badalona side sprung an upset and turned the tables on the Shaheen side who had beaten them in the first match of the tournament.
Badalona finally bowled Shaheen all out for 115, just 16 runs short of victory. The match ball and the man of the match award were given to Khasif at the closing ceremony and Badalona celebrated well into the evening, joining Calon, Sinsen, and Barcelona with their name on the 20/20 trophy.
Barcelona 131 all out off 20 overs .Extras 26