The race for the title of Champions of the Cataluyna Premier League (CPL) is hotting up after the completion of five of the group stage matches.
The opening game of this season’s CPL was between the current champions Barcelona Qalanders and newcomers Boom Boom Badalona.
Badalona batted first and scored a total of 126 all out. Yasir Ali continued his fine form and top scored with 36. For Qalanders Umair had a five wicket haul that yielded just 22 runs. In reply the Qalanders were bowled out for a meagre 107 runs. Several of their batsmen got starts but did not progress with a telling innings that would have won the match for their side. M Dar ended up with three wickets for Boom Boom as Badalona won the game by 19 runs.
Game two was a confrontation between Cataluyna Kings and Tarragona Gladiators and it was the Kings that tasted victory. Gladiators batted first and posted a very competitive 145 for 9 from their 20 overs. A fine unbeaten 61 from Heera Lal was the foundation for that score whilst former Spanish Captain Tanveer Iqbal took three wickets for his team. Kings overtook the Tarragona total with five balls to spare. Samar Jaspar’s 58 not out off 50 balls turned the game the way of the Kings and despite the efforts of Pardeep Singh who took four wickets the Gladiators went down to a four wicket loss.
Next up on the Montjuic pitch were Girona Royals and Lleida Lions and it was the Lions who completed an easy one sided victory as the Royals batting let them down. Girona were bowled out in the 16th over for just 93. It took Lleida just under 13 oves to chase down the total, with Naseer Ahmed’s fine 40 the highlight of the innings.
Match four was a contest between Barcelona and Tarragona and it was the Qalanders who got their first CPL points. Current Spanish captain Christian Munoz was the star of the show with a fine all round performance. He top scored in the Qalander innings, hitting 62 runs off 43 balls in an effort that included three fours and four sixes to help his side post a total of 164 for 6 off their over allocation. He then took two wickets without conceding a run to mop up the Gladiator’s tail as they were bowled out for a paltry 80.
Match five saw Badalona make it two wins out of two with a close victory over Lleida courtesy of Duckworth Lewis. Batting first Badalona hit 185 for 5 with Almadar Abbas notching 74 of those runs. Lleida could only manage 132 for 3 from the fifteen overs bowled to fall just shy of the required run rate.
The final game last weekend was between the Kings and Royals and it was the Kings that came away victorious. Kings hit 192 for six in their innings to register the top score to date in this years CPL. In reply Royals put in a spirited effort, ending on 164 for 4, some 28 runs short of their required target.
The weekend of December 15th and 16th sees the semi finals and finals take place with the final taking place on Sunday afternoon at 6pm .All games will be played at Montjuic Stadium and it is free entry to the stadium.