After lots of work behind the scenes by the ECS and Cricket Catalan crews, the day finally arrived for the start of the biggest cricket tournament in the world this year. Sixty games over fifteen days in a T10 extravaganza.
The first two of the sixteen teams to enter the field of play were Badalona Shaheen and United CC of Girona. Two strong teams that would both be feeling they had a good chance of being crowned champions on October 30th.
Shaheen batted first and posted a total of 87 for 9. Opener and wicket keeper Babar Khan set the tempo with 22 runs off eight balls, and he received assistance from Sarjawal Khan (19) and Malik Ur Rehman (12) but the star of the first innings was the United bowler Sumair Safdar Khan who took three wickets for four runs in the solitary over that he bowled.
The United response was positive from the first ball and the openers did their job by putting on 78 runs for the first wicket. By the time Aziz Muhammad departed for 35 the win for United was not in doubt. His fellow opener Muhammad Ehsan (42 not out) and Sheraz Sheikh finished the job off with 13 balls to spare, to give the first points of the series to the Girona based club.
Match two saw Shaheen in action again, this time against the Hawks of Barcelona. Hawks batted first but made a dreadful start, losing their first three wickets for just seven runs. A sixth wicket partnership of 39 towards the tail end of the innings gave the Hawks score some much needed impetus and they ended on 98 for seven from their ten over allocation.
However, Shaheen paced their response to perfection and scraped home with five balls to spare. Babar Khan was again amongst the runs scoring a fine half century before being finally dismissed in the ninth over with the score on 83. It was left to Sajawal Khan and Dilawal Khan to see their side over the line, to give Shaheen a six wicket victory and their first points of the day.
Two new teams entered the frame for Match three, as Bengali entertained the Cataluyna Tigers. The Tigers batted first and roared past the century mark to finally end their innings on 129 for six. The platform was set by the openers Umair Aftab (32) and Jamsaid Afzal (35) who blasted 61 off just 19 balls. That good start was sustained throughout the innings as the Tigers posted the biggest score to date.
Bengali did not have the batting fire power to make substantial inroads into the Tigers total and finished their innings on 69 for 7. They never recovered from losing their opener Rahman for a duck in the first over, and despite a spirited effort from Omar Ali (25) they fell 60 runs shy of the required total.
The fourth match of the day was a real humdinger and it required the historic “Golden Ball” to split Fateh CC and Bengali CC. With both sides tied on 95 runs after their ten overs, the magic of the “Golden Ball” was served up to ECS viewers one more time. The brainchild of Vinny Sandhu, and the ECS, a not out batsmen must score two or more runs against any bowler from the opposition to win the game for their team. Kuldeep Singh did just that for the batting team as he and his batting partner Manvir Singh scurried the required two runs to give Fateh a dramatic victory, to close out a very eventful day One at Montjuic Cricket Ground.
You tube video of the full days play ..