Cricket galore as Alfas prepare to defend league title
With games last week against Merchant Taylors School and Cryptics CC
and with heaps of fixtures coming up over the next two weeks against
Montenotte CC, Westminster School and J.Braithwaite’s XI, Sporting
Alfas’s cricketers will have no excuse for not being match fit as they
set about defending the title they won for the seventh time last year
when this season’s national league competition kicks off against Javea
CC on Saturday, April 19th.
Tuesday, March 25th
SACC Academy 121 all out (29.2 overs)
MTS CC U15s 122-7 (25.1 overs)
On a somewhat blustery afternoon at the Woodbridge Oval, Merchant
Taylors won the toss and elected to put Alfas into bat. The openers B.
Seekings and J. Hersh made a solid start against a very good opening
bowling attack with Seekings in particular looking in good touch. Alas
he mistimed a drive and spilled a catch to mid-off and in came C.
Munoz who proceeded to make a splendid and timely 65. Unfortunately
having seen off the opening pair Hersh was bowled and from then on
batsmen came and went at regular intervals. With the help of some
quick runs from Alfas’s tailenders the home side’s score reached 121
which seemed at the time at least 50 runs short of par.
After the burger break Merchant Taylors went into bat. After a fine
spell by both Alfas’s opening bowlers and then with the advent of A.
Daley (2 wickets) well supported by J. Hersh (1 wicket), and then B.
Seekings (2 wickets) wickets began to fall until the visitors were
reduced to 90 for 7 with a victory for the home side looking
distinctly possible. However a fine stand of 35 from Davies and Maini
helped the visitors over the line.
All in all it was very entertaining cricket where Alfas’s fielding and
bowling aided by some fine wicket keeping from C. Johnson nearly made
up for Alfas’s lack of runs and produced an exciting finish.
Wednesday, March 26th
MTS CC U15s 133-10 (37.4 overs)
SACC MW 134-1 (26.2 overs)
Winning the toss and electing to bat, the tourists struggled initially
against the accuracy of 1st XI skipper Laundon, who accounted for
Hatcher, caught behind for 0. McInnes also pouched fellow opener Patel
for 2 off Hersh before Marriner accounted for Maini for 7 to leave the
visitors’ top order in some disarray. Soujani (39) calmly set about
restoring the damage in partnership first with Sodha (25) then Allen
(33) before falling victim to the dangerous Simon Hersh, who added
three more wickets to his season’s tally to end with 3 for 12 off 4.
Other successful bowlers included Mudasser, Hall and Bellis though
young Harry Marshall was unlucky to have two catches dropped at
midwicket off consecutive balls.
Laundon wasted no time in setting about the visitors’ bowling,
retiring in the 17th over having hit a six to reach his fifty with the
score on 75. McInnes smashed eight fours to end on 41 not out with
Jack Hersh (33) carrying his bat to see the midweek boys through to a
second win on the bounce after two early season disappointments.
Though none of the eight bowlers used by the visitors ended with a
wicket, all bowled well with Soujani the most economical, conceding
just 14 runs off his 5.2 overs (economy rate 2.63).
Thursday, March 27th
SACC Academy 126 all out (35.2 overs)
MTS CC U15s 127-1 (26.3 overs)
The visitors once again won the toss and elected to field. Hersh and
guest opener Hatcher got off to a slow but steady start, accumulating
76 before Hatcher was run out for 21 almost immediately after the
20-overs drinks break. Muñoz and Hersh set about improving the run
rate, quickly adding 24 before the skipper perished in the 25th over –
leg before to Hegarty, who went on to also remove Johnson a couple of
balls later. Jack Hersh was next to go – for a well-made 55 – to
become Hegarty’s third victim. The rest of the home side’s batsmen
came and went without troubling the scorers unduly though Jamie Roper
showed more resistance than most to end on 6 not out. The bulk of the
damage was done by Hegarty (4 for 18 off 5) though Lewis also chipped
in with late wickets to end with 3 for 21 off his 6.2 overs.
After Tuesday’s game, the 126 run target never really looked to be too
challenging, and although the home side bowled and fielded well, Sodha
(50 not out) and Gilsingham (31 not out) batted with great
responsibility to see the tourists home with more than thirteen overs
to spare for a very well-deserved nine wicket victory. The only
successful Alfas bowler was Hersh, who had Shah caught in the gulley
by Hatcher for 11.
SACC 1st XI 265-7 (40 overs)
Cryptics CC 237-7 (40 overs)
Having won the toss and decided to bat first, Alfas got off to a
typically flying start before Pennick went caught behind for 16 off
the rapid Turner in the fifth over with 36 runs already on the board.
Shafique Ali looked to be in magnificent form again, but fell for 33
to a good catch on the boundary by Turner off Ward having added 22 for
the second wicket with Wasim, who was also dismissed later in the
eighth over for 9. The home side then suffered the misfortune of
losing Howe, who limped off with a badly damaged toe after being hit
on the foot by Turner – retired hurt for 10. Crompton came to the
rescue with a timely half century in partnerships with Morgan (15) and
Mudassar. When Crompton departed for 51, the home side lost two more
quick wickets before Lupson (34 not out) and Mudassar (42 not out) put
together an undefeated eighth-wicket stand of 62 with both players
each smashing three huge sixes as they steered the home side to a
highly-defendable total of 265 that included a generous 44 extras, 33
of which were wides.
The tourists set off like an express train, smashing 47 runs before
Jones was caught by Crompton off Lupson in the fifth over for 24. Wood
(78) and Hamilton (73) pushed the total along rapidly to 158 during
the next 24 overs as they gradually got the measure of the left-arm
orthodox spin of Wasim and Taylor. However, they both eventually
chanced their arms once too often to end up bowled in consecutive
overs by the leg-spin of Crompton, who went on to take two further
wickets to finish with 4 for 40 off seven overs, completing an
excellent afternoon’s work by running out Vadivale for a duck. With 68
runs required off the final five overs with four wickets still in
hand, the visitors added 37 before Carter (26) skied one to the
reliable Taylor at midwicket in the final over, ending up 28 runs
adrift with seven wickets down with Ford not out on 9 and Ward not out
Sunday, March 30th
Cryptics CC 265-6 (40 overs)
SACC 2nd XI 136 all out (32.3 overs)
On a fine and sunny day at the Woodbridge Oval, the Cryptics CC won
the toss and chose to bat. Setting off in positive fashion, the
openers scored freely against the home attack. The introduction of
Spencer (1-18), striking with his first ball to remove Vadivale (17),
and Marriner, who removed R.Williams (10), briefly threatened to put
the brakes on the visitors’ innings. Fluent knocks from T.Jones (93)
and J.Hamilton (83 not out), however, soon steadied the ship, and the
final total of 265-6 was certainly going to present the home side with
a formidable task, despite the best efforts of Cowley (1-44) and
Despite an equally positive start to the home innings, two quick
wickets to Ward (2-26) soon helped the Cryptics establish a
stranglehold. A decent 44 on his return to the side by Climent boosted
the Alfas chase and in conjunction with Spencer (29), an unlikely
victory seemed possible. But once R.Williams (1-28) accounted for
Climent and J.Winter (1-22) picked up the prize wicket of Ur-Rehman,
the game was soon up, the home side capitulating to 136 all out, with
Vadivale, White and Ford each picking up 2 wickets apiece to finish
off the tail.
Fine batting and disciplined bowling by the visitors ultimately won
the day as the home side were powerless to prevent a third straight
Monday, March 31st
Cryptics 247-5 (40 overs)
SACC MW 235-6 (40 overs)
Fresh from their success the previous day, a confident Cryptics
captain had no hesitation in offering the home side first use of the
ball on a bright and breezy afternoon. Openers Williams and White got
off to a flying start, latching on to anything loose before Williams
fell to a sharp catch at first slip by Pakiam for 11 with the score on
29 from the first ball of just the third over. 31 more runs accrued
before White also nicked one, to keeper MacInnes this time, having
contributed two thirds of the total of 60. Vadivales and Ford
continued to push the score along at a healthy rate against some
sloppy stuff, especially from the bottom end, though Vadivales
departed leg before to Pakiam for 26. Jones (31) struck some lusty
blows before playing back to a good length ball from Laundon that
splattered his stumps and Ford and Jones were initially made to work
hard for their runs with tight spells from Pakiam, Laundon and
Mudassar that seemed destined to keep the target down to a manageable
level. However, the home side let themselves down towards the end with
some further loose bowling, allowing the tourists to post what proved
to be a match-winning total of 247
In reply, Laundon and Hersh carried on where they had left off against
Merchant Taylors, quickly compiling 53 before the talented young
left-hander was trapped in front for 22 by White, who put a crucial
brake on the hosts’ progress with a match-winning spell of one for 5
off six overs. Nevertheless, Laundon and Hall put on 96 for the second
wicket before Hall went in the 30th over for 11 with the score on 149.
Agonisingly close to a deserved century, Laundon perished on 96 in the
next over, bringing together Mudassar and MacInnes, who have both been
scoring freely in recent games. Together they added 58 in quick time,
though when MacInnes departed for 17, towards the end of the 37th
over, the target was an unlikely 36 off 19 balls. The next significant
partnership, also featuring Pakiam (6 not out), added 20 of these
before Mudassar skied one to the keeper off the second ball of the
final over with still 15 runs required. With every single fielder on
the boundary, Alfas finished up 12 runs short and wishing that some of
their more experienced performers, who should certainly know better at
their age, had bowled better lines and lengths.
Junior cricket coaching takes place most Sunday mornings at the
Woodbridge Oval, Playa Albir, starting at 10.30am.
For all those cricket lovers wishing to watch, play, umpire or score,
please contact either Director of Cricket Steve Lewis on 660246351 or
Chairman Phil Pennick on 620409173, 96 686 5792, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit the club’s webpage at
Or, just come down and watch!
Next weekend sees the continuation of Montenotte CC’s tour with games
against the 1st and 2nd XIs respectively on Saturday and Sunday. A
packed schedule for next week sees the arrival of Westminster School,
who play the Academy on Sunday morning and Thursday evening, each
other on Monday, the Forties Club on Tuesday and the Midweek XI on
Friday. Next Wednesday, the MW XI take on J. Braithwaite’s XI.