Report courtesy of the Mallorca Cricket Club Website
Sunday was one of those strange Majorcan spring days where given the right circumstances you could either get frost bite or sun-burn. However, as the wind whipped across the wide acres of the club ground near Magalluf a Mallorca Cricket Club Select X1 took on a team from HMS Cattistock. The warship has been on NATO exercises in the Mediterranean and was taking the opportunity, whilst docked in Palma, to partake in some well-deserved R & R. The navy won the toss and sent MCC into bat at the start of this scheduled 25 x 25 over match.
The team that MCC fielded was a mix of first team regulars and Sunday X1 stalwarts that hopefully would see off the threat of eleven extremely fit young men ready to see action! Rob Hughes and Pakistani batsman Zamon opened the innings with the restless Zamon thumping HMS Cattistock’s Nerey for 12 runs in his first over and giving Mallorca a flying start.
However it wasn’t to last as Hughes got a fine edge and was caught behind off the bowling off the fast improving Nerey. With the arrival of Ali it was all “harem-scarem” action for an over or so before Ali and Zamon were both trapped LBW by bowlers Nerey and Crosswood. Indeed the runs were coming quickly enough but so were the wickets as the bowlers found their line and length and MCC’s batters became too expansive. Ruble stroked the ball around nicely before Crosswood had him caught for 27 and then the impressive James Mack was making good progress before he became a victim of Crosswood’s tricky bowling skying a catch for 14.
At this rate of progress Mallorca could be 70 all-out or 170 for 6 at the end of their allocated 25 overs; it was that sort of innings. In the event it was none of these but a rather stately 129 all out after 20 overs, which broke one of the sacred rules of limited overs cricket“always bat-out your overs.”
Anyway, I’m ahead of myself already…….first team regular Khalid was bowled by the extremely effective Crosswood for a paltry 6 runs his lowest score of the season and it was left to Drury 10, Leggett 8, and the fast improving Parnell 14 to wrap up MCC’s innings.
HMS Cattistock’s bowling was very good indeed after a shaky couple of early overs and their ground fielding energetic and committed as you might expect. Nerey took 2 wickets for a slightly expensive 49 runs……..with Callum Chambers grabbing one wicket for 23, Dan Shepherd bowled well at the end with his 3 wickets only costing a measly 17 runs. However, it was Barry Crosswood who claimed the glory with a an excellent 5 over spell conceding only 26 runs claiming the wickets of four MCC top order batsmen.
With the excellent bowling display of HMS Cattistock in his mind MCC skipper Mal Leggett quite naturally took the view that “Cattistock’s” batting would probably be as effective as its bowling; so he opened his attack with two first team bowlers Yasir and Khalid.
In truth, these two were just a little too quick, accurate and hostile for occasional crickets such as the guys from HMS Cattistock so skipper Leggett withdrew them from the attack quickly, but not before they had claimed 4 wickets in 3 overs.
Cricket by its very nature is a game about well-practised technique and batting can be particularly difficult when playing against regular cricketers. And no-one, certainly not the Royal Navy, wants to patronised by bowling “dolly-drops” at them. So by simply pitching the ball up……..and keeping it straight, wickets were there for the taking. The luckless HMS Cattistock X1 stoically stuck to their guns eventually being bundled out for around 50 with Leggett and Scholes and James Mack all picking up wickets.
At the presentation ceremony at the end of the game it was clear that everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the game and as the players of both teams mixed over a couple of drinks I think it was evident that Mallorca Cricket Club members were very proud to be able to host the boys from HMS Cattistock.
This might have something to do with the fact that the sailors all sported very smart navy blue and red stripped blazers…..much to the envy of club regulars; who let’s face it would look silly if they if they had worn them. We might be able to beat the navy at cricket, but frankly that’s about as far as it goes!