Two match reports on the game last weekend between Pinatar Pirates and Sporting Alfas.
First a report from Harmit Phull of the Pirates ..
Losing the toss at home, the Pirates were asked to bat first. Losing one opener early Kevin Buckley (41) dug in and steadied the ship while Gopi Singh played some flamboyant shots to keep the score board moving.
In reply young J.Perman (45) got Alfas off to a good start but after the Pirates picked up some quick wickets, K. Perman (*32) and I.Byrne (*23) settled in to see out a draw.
A good game played in the right spirit at a lovely venue on a beautiful day, what more could you ask for.
Well done to both teams, Pirates got 14 points for the winning draw while Alfas took home a deserved 8 points …..
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club Sporting Alfas 2nd X1 159 for 5 drew with Pinatar Pirates CC 239 for 7
Alfas made the trip down to Pinatar for the return match after Pinatar’s resounding victory a few weeks ago, losing was not an option for Alfas with such a long trip and would do all they could to prevent it.
Pinatar batted first and made a solid start. Buckley and Panchal opened the batting and started well. However, Panchal was first to fall, bowled around his legs as he shuffled to off stump. The hope of a second wicket was beaten out of the Alfas attack however as Gopi came out with one thing on his mind, attack, and played his plan to perfection, with some help from the Alfas fielding! Buckley was next to fall, on 41 when once again this year, the change to Dell paid off. With his left arm drifters, batsmen have struggled to get him away and once again he got a quick breakthrough after coming on.
While that happened, Gopi continued to march towards his ton, helped in no small way by being dropped twice off J. Perman’s bowling, first the fielder failed to pick up a straight drive which ended up going for 4 and then the next ball, the same fielder could only palm the ball over the rope for 6!
Catching was not the strong point for Alfas in the first 30 overs but then everything changed as the chances were finally taken. Gopi finally fell on 99, caught by C. Cooper, Banks fell to a C&B by Adbul who also took a confident skier from Vikash(20). However, the main story of the Alfas fielding was once again Waqer Ashraf. After dropping some easy catches this year, he roared back to his best with a stunning catch, running away and back to his left from backward point, he somehow managed to take a full length diving catch to dismiss B. Singh (9) in a truly inspirational catch. Nobody in the ground could do anything but admire the catch.
The last wicket to fall was as comical as Waqer’s catch was spectacular. Safdar hit one straight to Adbul and set off like a house on fire. However, the calm head of Patel had already screamed “NO” but with his head down Safdar only had eyes for the opposite end and when he did look up, Patel was shaking his head in resignation at his fate and Abdul had the time to throw the ball back to the ‘keeper to complete the most secure of run outs possible, Pinatar ending on 239/8 off their 40 overs.
A lovely tea, complete with chips, was then enjoyed by both teams before the Alfas run chase got underway. Alfas did not just go out for the draw, the new opening partnership of McKinstry and J. Perman combined well to keep the score moving at nearly 5 an over for the first 10 overs, thanks in no small part to the great friendship of L. Brown!
However, in the 11th over, jaws dropped and double takes were made as McKinstry fell LBW……yes, LBW reared it’s head for the first time this year! No complaints could be had with the decision as the ball was straight, on a perfect line and hit the pad well below the knee roll, but still…LBW!?? Banks had the breakthrough in his 3rd over and Alfas were 46/1 off 11.
Perman however continued untroubled until, as predicted, batting with Abdul resulted in a run out. Abdul calling for one that maybe Young Perman was not quite ready for and his marvellous innings was unfairly cut short on 45 when he had not offered a single chance to the opposition. 82/2 off 18
Abul was next to fall when trying to hit out to move the score on, as he was given licence to do, but only managed to sky a ball that bowler Vikash was able to get under and take the catch leaving Abdul out on 26 and Alfas on 106/3 off 24.
Cooper went in next to steady the ship and steady it he did, blunting the attack with 14 dots in a row. However, as he was settling and just after a lovely cut for 4, he dragged on when on 5 off the bowling of Brown….I know, we could not believe he got a wicket either, and Alfas were 114/4. Bash was moved up the order in a last ditch effort by Alfas to go for the win but when he was caught by Vikash off Ophalant for 6 leaving Alfas on 127/5 in the 31st over, the draw had been decided.
Byrne joined K. Perman at the crease and between them they, just about, saw off the remaining overs, just about as Byrne, as is his want, gave an almighty heave at one from Vikash which went looping into the summer sky, Panchal unable to hold the catch however, for some unknown reason, and Byrne survived.
In a bid to get one last wicket, with Banks and Singh bowling well, skipper Wambeek put out the call for a Silly Mid On and, as one, every member of the ground looked to Lee Brown as the only one who could fill such a position! Lee then had a moment’s confusion looking up, saw the batsman staring at him instead of watching the bowler’s run up, classic psych play by the Alfas to unnerve the fielders! In the end, Byrne (20*) and Perman (32*) saw Alfas home to the losing draw and 8 points but a much improved performace over the last time these 2 teams met.
A big thanks to Pinatar for a well spirited game of cricket and best of luck to both teams in their remaining fixtures, 2 for Alfas and 3 for Pinatar.
Alfas MOM – J. Perman for a chanceless 45 opening the batting