Levante returned to the La Manga resort for the second successive year and started their weekend of cricket with a nervy victory over one of Spain’s top clubs, La Manga CC.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat. Skipper Neil Brook opened with the evergreen Kevin Buckley. Both players were looking to stay at the crease to stave off the dangerous opening bowlers that Levante have in their midst. This they managed to do but at the expense of runs as the total was kept under two runs an over up to the first drinks interval.
With a different mindset after the break, La Manga lost their first wicket as Buckley was clean bowled by Usman for 14. The tempo increased when newcomer Elliot Banks came to the crease and the Kiwi played some classy looking shots before being caught behind off Aussie Bruno Nunges for 30.
Skipper Brook continued to play the pivotal role at one end as wickets fell with more frequency at the other. The introduction of Scott Burchill into the Levante bowling attack proved a turning point as La Manga failed to combat his spin threat. The hosts finally ended up with a total of 170 for 6 with Burchill bagging four wickets for the visitors.
The visitors started off well with Morgan and Little putting on 35 for the first wicket, before debutant teenager Amit Singh got his first ever wicket for La Manga, trapping Morgan lbw for 14. Both Khakkad and Hunt played well to put the game within striking distance for Levante but when both players got out in quick succession the nerves began to show in the visitors camp.
A flurry of quick wickets saw Levante enter the final few balls with one wicket and a couple of runs required. Number eleven Bruno Nunges kept his cool to score the winning runs and give Levante the victory their endeavour deserved.
Levante can be proud how far they have come as a cricket club in a short time and if they progress at the same rate next season they could well be challenging for the premier division title.
Photos by Pete West – Levante Cricket Club