On Sunday, La Manga hosted a Madrid side looking to make up for defeat the previous day. Winning the toss, Madrid inserted the home side who made a steady start with 51 after 15 overs with just the loss of opener Stuart Simkins .
The drinks break was followed by something of a collapse as the batsmen tried to up the tempo – 3 quick wickets falling to leave LMCC on 58-4 with only Chad Harpur set. Harpur led something of a revival ably supported by Ian Hunt, Paul Brimble and Hugh James. A fine unbeaten 8th wicket partnership between Alex Osman and young Theo Rumistrzewicz saw the 150 run batting point secured on the way to a total of 164-8.
Aware that Madrid had amassed a total close to 250 the previous day, La Manga were aware they were a long way short of a par score. When the previous day’s centurion, Sumon was put down on the boundary in only the third over, it would have been easy for heads to go down. However, some tight bowling from Hugh James, Robbie Williams and Ian Hunt restricted the batsmen to 60-0 after 15 overs. Once again the curse of drinks struck with Josh Bancroft dismissed in the very next over. When Sumon skied a delivery from Theo Rumistrzewicz and this time was taken, La Manga sensed an opportunity.
Wickets continued to fall regularly with the run rate being restricted by some canny spin bowling from Brimble (figures of 3 for 14 from 6 overs) and Simkins. Rumistrzewicz impressed with ball as well as bat with 2 for 17 from 5 overs. When Hugh James returned with only 3 overs remaining, he made light work of the Madrid tail, taking the final two wickets in the very last over, Madrid eventually succumbing for 145, 19 short of their target.
Whilst praise is due to the La Manga bowlers, the enthusiasm and skill exhibited by the supporting fielders was exemplary. It’s not often a 12th man gets a special mention but, with Madrid a man short, 12 year old Zander Simkins fielded 40 overs for the opposition and then a further 20 overs for LMCC when Ian Hunt left the field – he must have slept well!
In conclusion, a tense but enjoyable day’s cricket played in an excellent spirit by both sides. Had LMCC not picked up vital wickets at crucial times Madrid would certainly have made the long journey home with more to show for their weekend at La Manga.
Points La Manga 18 – Madrid 6
David Williams – La Manga CC