CATALUYNA 184 FOR 6 BEAT VALENCIA GREEN 181 FOR 5 BY 3 RUNS
Last weekend at La Manga Club 8 teams battled out for the right to be champions of the Twenty20 La Manga Cup. The 5th season of the cup probrably produced the best cricket to date, and undoubtedly the most exciting final yet.
On Friday, two groups of four started the competition, with all the teams hopeful of making the final. Group A pitched Lanzarote, Cataluyna, La Manga and Howzatt of Tenerife together, whilst Group B saw Valencia Green entertain Albox, Rock Barbarians and Transylvania of Romania.
On the first day Lanzarote played and lost both games against La Manga and Cataluyna. A further loss against Howzatt the next day saw them play in the 7th-8th play off against Albox, who also lost all their games, against Rock Barbarians, Valencia Green and Transylvania respectively. Lanzarote avoided the wooden spoon and sent Albox home winless
The 5th-6th place play off was between Transylvania and Howzatt of Tenerife. The Roumanians, who won friends all weekend for the spirit in which they played the game were no match for the Tenerife based team, and the Spaniards went back to the Gran Canaria island claiming 5th place.
The two semi finals saw the two winners of each group play the two runners up in the two sections. Group A winners Cataluyna were pitched against Group B runnersup Rock Barbarians, and the Catalan side proved too powerful for a strong Barbarians side that included a couple of Gibraltar national players at senior and junior level. In the other semi-final Valencia Green disposed of La Manga quickly with clinical ease.
That set up a Sunday final that everybody wanted and the eager anticipation of the spectators for good cricket was well rewarded. Cataluyna won the toss and elected to bat and they scored 168 for six off their allocated overs. However, Valencia Green failed to bowl their overs in the time restraints set by the tournament referee, Don Macleod and they were penalised 16 runs for their tardiness in the field.
Undeterred, Valencia Green went to bat in buoyant mood and at 105 for 1 off 9 overs they had their destiny in their own hands. Cataluyna, also racing against time restraints pulled the match around with Raj taking the vital wickets of Attiq and Amin.With the arrival of the last over Valencia needed 20 runs for victory and two massive sixes early in the over renewed expectation in the Valencia Green camp.
Requiring 4 to win off the last ball Kashif Butt held his nerve to bowl a wicket taking ball that left Valencia Green frustrated at falling short by just 3 runs. It was left to tournament organiser George Wambeek to present the trophy to the champions, and Cataluyna became the 5th name to be inscribed on the La Manga Cup trophy. The umpires also determined the man of the tournament to be Craig Trapps of Lanzarote, for his consistent performances throughout the tournament with both ball and bat.Transylvania were also deemed the winners of the Spirit of Cricket by all concerned, and spectators and players went home the recipients of some excellent cricket throughout the weekend.
Cataluyna´s skipper with the La Manga Twenty20 Trophy
TEAM P W L POINTS
CATALUYNA 3 3 0 6
LA MANGA 3 2 1 4
HOWZATT 3 1 2 2
LANZAROTE 3 0 3 0
TEAM P W L POINTS
VALENCIA 3 3 0 6
BARBARIANS 3 2 1 4
TRANSYLVANIA 3 1 2 2
ALBOX 3 0 3 0
7TH-8TH PLAY OFF LANZAROTE BEAT ALBOX
5TH-6TH PLAY OFF HOWZATT BEAT TRANSYLVANIA
SEMI FINAL CATALUYNA BEAT ROCK BARBARIANS
SEMI FINAL VALENCIA GREEN BEAT LA MANGA
FINAL CATALUYNA BEAT VALENCIA GREEN
RUNNERS UP VALENCIA GREEN
5TH LA MANGA CUP CHAMPIONS CATALUYNA