Ishoj of Sweden reversed the group stage result against Baerum of Norway to win the Sixth annual Twenty/Twenty Solidarity event. The torneo promised much and did not disappoint as teams from as far away as Russia and Scandinavia vied for the honour of becoming champions and following in the footsteps of Amsterdam CC and Excelsior CC of Holland as well as the Spanish National team last year.
Unfortunately, a team from Afghanistan had to pull out at the last minute due to visa problems so tournament referee Ron Graham was left with eight teams and two groups of four in the first phase. The draw for Group A matched two English clubs, Bushey from Herts, and Newburgh from Lancashire with Team Russia and Madrid.
Group B paired the Scandinavian duo Ishoj and Baerum with Lanzarote of Spain and Indus Vipers from the UK. Group A were up first with Bushey facing Team Russia and Newburgh entertaining Madrid. Bushey easily disposed of Team Russia and despite posting a low total themselves Newburgh overcame Madrid by bowling out the hosts for just 84 when Madrid were only chasing 126 to win themselves.
The next games in Group A pitted Madrid against Bushey and Team Russia versus Newburgh. Bushey lost against Madrid and Newburgh showed great composure to overcome the total of 173 set by a resurgent Team Russia. With all to play for in the final game Madrid got the expected win over Team Russia but it was not enough as Bushey waltzed by Newburgh to inflict defeat on the Manchester based outfit for the first time in the torneo.
With three teams level on four points each net run rate came into the equation and the luckless hosts were just edged out as Newburgh finished winners and Bushey claimed second spot.
Group B was just as entertaining and looked a stronger group on paper. Baerum of Norway best Ishoj of Sweden in the all Scandinavian opener whilst Indus Vipers overcame a strong challenge from Lanzarote. Ishoj and Baerum then completed consecutive victories over Lanzarote and Indus Vipers respectively to qualify comfortably into the semi finals.
The following day Newburgh faced Ishoj and Bushey played Baerum at the same time on the adjacent pitches for aplace in the final. Neither of the Scandinavian teams were troubled as they cemented their finals spot with relative ease.
Indus Vipers narrowly defeated Madrid in the fifth/sixth place play off in which the home side gave some of their youngsters some valuable match experience and Lanzarote ended on a high note by winning the seventh/eighth place play off over Team Russia. The third/fourth place match was between two English clubs Bushey and Newburgh and it was the Northern side that went home victors this time around.
A much anticipated final was a one sided affair with Ishoj rolling over Bareum easily. The final, like all the games was played in great spirit and this was reflected at the presentation dinner when the runners up stood to applaud the winners when Ishoj collected their trophy.
A added bonus for Cricket Espana was the presence of Graham Cooper, an ICC Europe Officials Assessor during the whole of the tournament. Graham spent the three days dilligently assessing some of Spain´s top officials and scorers and gave them constructive feedback on their performances at the end of each days play.
Congratulations go out once again to Jon Woodward and Madrid CC for another excellent event and plans are already afoot for a bigger and better tournament at La Manga next year.
|5.||Indus Vipers CC|