MCC MAKE LIGHT WORK OF CATALUYNA
The Spanish leg of the MCC tour came to a end with a comfortable victory for the tourists over a spirited Cataluyna side.
MCC won the toss and elected to bat. Cataluyna got the early breakthrough they required when Spanish international Armaghan Khan had the Somerset coach Sanderson caught behind by Shafique Ali with the score on 16.
With the fall of the first wicket Sharma arrived at the crease fresh from making a century against Spain three days earlier. The Kiwi, who hails from Auckland, is working on a Phd at Oxford University, and he his the current Oxford Universities cricket captain. Along with his batting partner Hartman the pair set about posting a good score for the visitors. This they did in clinical fashion, especially off the bowling of Rauf and Khurran.
At 113, just three runs shy of a century partnership Cataluyna claimed their second wicket.Hartman was the unlucky batsman, as he fell to a smart catch in the outfield by Khurran. When Sharma soon followed for an excellent 73 Catalan hopes were raised of turning the game around. This notion was further sanctioned when a middle order collapse took the tourists from an healthy 159 for 2 to a precarious 186 for 7.
A 67 eighth wicket partnership between the skipper Folland and Andrew Clarke swung the game back the way of the tourists and by the time the final ball of the MCC innings came around they were a healthy 256 for 9.
The Woodbridge Oval is noted for high scoring games so the total, though challenging was certainly not unsurmountable for the Catalans Unfortunately, a dreadful start did not.help the Cataluyna cause as Gurmeet Singh trudged back to the pavillion without troubling the scorers with his sides total on 2. A reckless shot by Shafique Ali, with the score on 15 reduced the wickets column further and when the dangerman Armaghan Khan got out with the score on 49 the writing was on the wall for the home side.
Further wickets dropped at regular intervals and at 126 for 8 everyone was expecting an early exit to the pavillion but Safdar coming in at number 10 for the Catalans had different ideas and he smashed 50 off only 21 balls to raise a few eyebrows in the MCC ranks.
With the score on 176 he holed out to the MCC captain Folland on the long off boundary, and it was left to Sharma, unsuprisingly to take the last wicket, fot the tourists to end their tour of Spain on a winning note.
Special thanks go to all the Sporting Alfas members who did an excellent job in getting the ground ready to play, for providing a constant supply of food and drink, and for sorting out a post match paella, paid for by the club, that was enjoyed by all.