A Spanish select XI that included several trialists tied a three match series with a very talented Leeds University side last weekend at La Manga. First up was a fifty over match that ended in an exciting tie, then both teams won one game apiece in the Twenty Twenty format the following day.
The extended version of the one day game was at the request of the tourists and after winning the toss they decided to bat. The visitors started well offering very few chances and showing very little rustiness considering it was their first game of the season. Openers Dylan Duraisinghan and Chris Martin shared a partnership of 63 before Martin was out leg before off the bowling of Sajid Ali. Steady contributions from the next three batsmen kept the score ticking along but the Spanish bowlers plugged away and managed to contain the visitors to 199 for 7 off their allocated overs. Pick of the bowlers for Spain was Farhat Mahmood who returned figures of 3-26 off his nine overs.
Spain lost opener Armaghan Khan early on and trialist Asif Mughal soon followed for just 4 runs to leave Spain struggling at 25 for 2. The middle order batsmen all got into double figures but fell to poor shot selection at crucial times to leave the hosts floundering at 125 for 8. Newcomer Atif Ali looked composed has he took control and scored 37 and he was supported ably by wicketkeeper Yasin as they added 42 for the ninth wicket. Atif finally fell in the 38th over, clean bowled by Ritchie Lamb.
Number 11 bat Mohib Hussain came to the crease and along with Yasin edge the score closer and closer to the required total. Hussain scrambled the single to tie the scores and the Spanish supporters and players alike waited expectantly for the victory celebrations. A maiden from Leeds skipper Michael Craigs frayed the locals nerves further and then Davies came on to bowl the final over.
The first ball saw Yasin survive a strong lbw appeal but the second ball he was not so lucky as the visitors vociferous appeal was supported by the umpire. Mixed emotions for the local supporters in a topsy turvy game that looked won, lost and then won again. The tied match set things up nicely for the two Twenty20 games scheduled for the following day.
Game one saw Leeds again win the toss and they elected to bowl on a wet surface caused by overnight drizzle. Spain blasted out of the blocks with Tariq Ali finding the form he showed in the Division 2 tournament in Corfu. Team mates came and went but Tariq stayed their until the end of the twenty overs finishing just two shy of his century. Well supported down the order by skipper Tanveer Iqbal (19) the hosts ended up with a challenging total of 190 for 6.
Mindful that this total was chased down by Sweden in Greece the bowling attack concentrated and held the tourists to under 50 by the end of the powerplay in the 6th over. Newcomer Atif Ali followed his mature batting performance yesterday with a great 4 over spell of bowling that yielded two wickets for just 15 runs.
The visitors batted valiantly but ended 161 for 6, 29 runs short of victory. First blood to Spain as the teams went to lunch before the second match of the double header.
The game after lunch was not so enjoyable for the Spanish supporters. The tourists posted a respectable total of 160 for 7 but Spain batted sloppily and ended with a sub par score of 139 for 9 to lose by 21 runs.
The weekend proved a very valuable exercise for coach Bobby Denning and manager Mark Spencer as they start on the selection trail for the squad for the 2014 ICC Europe Division 2 championships. The Spanish squad are next scheduled to get together in the summer with the exact date and venue still to be confirmed.
SCORECARD FROM THE WINNING GAME
Spain Select, Spain Select Won
|Batting: Spain Select, Spain Select||R||B||4’s||6’s||SR|
|A Khan||c C Martin b C Taylor||19||19||2||0||100.0|
|T Ali||not out||97||55||7||6||176.36|
|J Brook||b P Davies||4||9||0||0||44.44|
|S Ali||b C Taylor||1||5||0||0||20.0|
|A Ali||c & b C Taylor||10||7||0||1||142.86|
|F Mahmood||c B Telfer b M Craigs||8||6||1||0||133.33|
|T Iqbal||b M Craigs||22||14||2||1||157.14|
|T Ali||not out||24||5||0||3||480.0|
|Total||(6 wickets; 20.0 overs)||190||9.50 RPO|
|Did Not Bat: M Hussain , R Panchal , Y Mohammed|
|Fall of Wicket: 59-1 ( A Khan 6.2 ov ), 70-2 ( J Brook 9.2 ov ), 79-3 ( S Ali 10.5 ov ), 97-4 ( A Ali 12.6 ov ), 107-5 ( F Mahmood 14.2 ov ), 164-6 ( T Iqbal 18.5 ov )|
|Batting: Leeds University, Leeds University||R||B||4’s||6’s||SR|
|D Durasulingham||run out (A Ali)||17||22||3||0||77.27|
|C Martin||b T Iqbal||18||10||2||1||180.0|
|M Good||c Y Mohammed b A Ali||29||22||5||0||131.82|
|C Taylor||b A Ali||22||12||1||2||183.33|
|M Craigs||run out (R Panchal)||17||26||0||0||65.38|
|T Brown||b T Ali||9||11||0||0||81.82|
|R Lamb||not out||29||14||0||2||207.14|
|R Brown||not out||11||3||1||1||366.67|
|Extras||(w 4, b 2, lb 3)||9|
|Total||(6 wickets; 20.0 overs)||161||8.05 RPO|
|Did Not Bat: A Robinson , B Telfer , G Parkes , P Davies|
|Fall of Wicket: 29-1 ( C Martin 2.6 ov ), 58-2 ( D Durasulingham 7.4 ov ), 84-3 ( M Good 10.1 ov ), 96-4 ( C Taylor 12.1 ov ), 114-5 ( T Brown 15.4 ov ), 147-6 ( M Craigs 18.6 ov )|