Sporting Alfas Cricket Club Sporting Alfas 2nd X1 170 for 8 beat Intellectuals CC 169 for 9
Sporting Alfas welcomed “local” rivals Intellectuals, who according to their own report were “likely to overtake both Torrevieja and La Manga” before the end of the season.
Intellectuals lost the toss and were invited to bat by Alfas hoping to restrict them to a moderate target. However, Altaf had other ideas and came out like a house on fire! In only the second over of the match, he blasted a long straight six (after offering a difficult chance in the first over) and went on a rampage in the opening overs. The same could not be said however for his opening partner who in the third over, departed for a duck, offering home skipper M. Perman a nice catch off Abdul.
Altaf however was not worried about the bowling and continued to rain boundaries until the seventh over, when, with the score on 43 and Altaf on 42, he mistimed one from Abdul and popped it up for Perman to take his second of the game, somewhat shocked at the gentle catch he had to take, given the fireworks over the last few overs. Seven overs gone, Intellectuals 43/2.
Waris came and went without troubling the score too much, falling for four ,once again skipper Perman taking the catch, this time off Ali and Intellectuals were 71/3 off 14 overs. Naveed in next but with a bowling change, J. Perman had him dropped and then caught behind in the same over, Naveed departing for seven, Intellectuals 82/4 off 18.
A long partnership then took over as the “wall” McGarry joined the Intellectuals’ skipper at the crease and brought the score on to 113 before new bowler Ashraf struck with his very first ball, a nice slow straight delivery, slowest of the day. that the intellectuals’ Skipper could not handle,totally playing all around it and being clean bowled for 35.
Ashraf’s next over yielded another wicket and another catch for skipper Perman, Ahmed falling for four and then two overs later, Dell got McGarry’s edge with the ‘keeper taking the catch and Intellectuals were 132/7 off 31. Incoming batsman Dale had one idea in his head when he came in and played it to perfection, smack everything and back up every ball. With the aid of Wasley and then Prior, Dale added a very entertaining and vital 27 to the Intellectuals’ score bringing them to a final score of 169, Wasley clean bowled by Abdul and Prior falling on the very last ball of the innings to a catch, yes YOU READ THAT RIGHT, a catch from J. Perman off his brother’s bowling.
After tea, Alfas continued their grooming of young Perman with the experience of Ward to open the batting making this the first match in living memory that McKinstry had not opened and the plan went to plan in the early stages. Both batsmen seeing off the initial ten overs, helped in no small part by extras. However, first change bowler, Altaf, brought the fireworks with the ball as he did with the bat and with only his second delivery, got Ward to inside edge onto his stumps. Alfas 29/1 off 11.
Abdul joined J. Perman at the crease but never really got going and finally fell, swinging at one well above his head and edging to McGarry for six. 40/2 off 15.
Alfas feared a wobble as had happened in the last few matches and their fears were confirmed when in the next over, J. Perman, after an hour at the crease and 15.3 overs, sent a tired looking drive straight to the Intellectuals’ sub fielder who held the catch easily. Two overs later, Alfas were another down as McKinstry was castled by Ahmed and the Intellectuals’ had their tails up. 59/4 off 18
However, as they say, form is temporary and class is permanent and with the team in trouble, the “mature” head of Cooper went in to join K. Perman and between them, and extras, brought the score up to 95, before Perman was caught off the bowling of Dale for twelve, 95/5 off 26.
Byrne joined Cooper at the crease but Altaf was not finished making his personal mark on the game and in his last over had Cooper caught for a valuable 20. 104/6 moving to 113/6 by the second drinks break and leaving the Alfas knowing exactly how much they needed to win the game.
Byrne and Ashraf both moved into the 20’s over the next 8 overs in a match changing partnership, Ashraf with his custom grace under fire, Byrne offering “a few” chances to the opposition, the pick of which saw him hit one straight up in the air. While the ball was 2 feet from the ‘keeper’s grasp, the Intellectual’s skipper, bowling at the time, decided the chance was his and ran the length of the wicket only to drop the catch and allow Alfas get a second run rather than a wicket.
Byrne finally ran out of steam trying to keep up with Ashraf in the 38th Over and was run out for 30. Bash Ali went in and after another drop got 2 before his second edge was taken by the safe hands of McGarry. Skipper Perman went in and got bat on ball to leave the game balanced on the last over. Alfas were 160 chasing 169 as Wasim, seeing Alfas were not going for the draw, came in to “bowl”.
Single to Perman, single to Ashraf, single to Perman, Ashraf hit 2, followed by a 4, leaving the scores tied with one ball to come. The field came in, the bowler sent the ball down and Ashraf hit….air.
However, Perman was already motoring and, as a fumble from the ‘keeper allowed the winning run to be obtained by a bye, Ashraf finishing on 29 not out and Perman, also another not out to leave him without an average this year in the league on four.
A thrilling finish to a hard fought game, Alfas take the 24 points for the win, completing the double this year over Intellectuals, who remain behind La Manga and Torrevieja, contrary to their predictions at the beginning of the game.
Sporting Alfas match report.