Day Three of the National Finals was contested between Sporting Alfas of the ECCL and Cataluyna Tigers with the winner knowing beforehand that a victory would see them crowned the champions of Spain.
On an overcast day and with rain in the air Alfas won what could have been a crucial toss and unsuprisingly asked the Cataluyna champions to bat first. Alfas should have had the perfect start but opener Muhammad Ilyas was dropped first ball in the slips. This was to prove somewhat costly because he went on to make 46 in Cataluyna’s total of 286 for 9.
However, the standout innings came from Nisar Ahmed who scored a fine 71 from just 54 balls. The innings consisted of nine fours and one six and was the backbone of the Tigers competitive total.
Runs also flowed at the end of the innings with Amir Zafri hitting 46 from 21 balls and Ahmed adding 33 from just 19 balls to put the Tigers in a strong position at the interval.
In reply, Alfas started off cautiously, looking to see off the initial new ball threat of Faisal Khan and Amir Zafri.
It did not go entirely go to plan as Alfas lost two early wickets and at the end of the tenth over they were struggling at 33 for 2 with boundaries proving difficult to come by. However, a century partnership followed between Wasim Butt (74) and Adam Alger (53) to put Alfas back into contention.
By the 26th over Alfas fans were begining to sense a remarkable comeback but the wickets of Butt and Alger on consecutive balls stunted any revival. When Munoz-Mills and Faran Afzal also fell in consecutive balls a few overs later any thoughts of an Alfas victory were extinguished.
Alfas were finaly all out for 190, some 96 runs shy of the Tigers total. The Chairman of Cricket Espana and the President of Sporting Alfas gave out the medals and Trophy to the runners-up and winners before all three teams involved in the weekend finals enjoyed a fantastic curry courtesy of the wonderful Alfas bar staff.
Special thanks also go to all at Sporting Alfas for being such gracious hosts, to the third team in the tournament St George of Lanzarote for adding so much to the event and to the scorers and umpires for their tireless work throughout the last three days. Finally, a special mention goes out to Ron Graham who was umpiring his final game for Cricket Espana and for both finalists for fittingly forming a guard of honour for Ron at the start of todays game.
Congratulations to Cataluyna Tigers – the 2016 Spanish National Champions.