THE SPENCER DAWES ALICANTE CUP
(Match report courtesy of Chris Horne)
On a sunny but windy November day the thought of Geoff Evans’ tea and chocolate biscuits induced the players of both Sporting Alfas and the Intellectuals to turn up punctually for the 15th Alicante Cup at the Woodbridge Oval in Albir, the 4th in which the name of the great much-missed Spencer Dawes‘s name was also associated.
Indeed had it not been for the decision to have the ritual of a toss the match would have started on time. The description of the toss as a “ritual” follows from the Intellectuals’ desire to bat first and that of Sporting Alfas to field. Ten minutes late the Intellectuals duly batted and Sporting Alfas fielded. There then followed a demonstration of what life must be like on a Lahore motorway – a lot of Punjabi driving, not always with due care and attention – together with a lot of stretching of arms from Brian Pitts (in his last match) and Vincent O‘Reilly.
After the early dismissal of Ian MacInnes, and one drive too many from Waseem Waris (25) the Intellectuals were 70 for 2 and with only three balls left from the admirable Basharat Ali prospects looked good. But Tim Richards dragged one on, Yaseer (30) was very well caught on the deep mid wicket boundary, and Chris Horne carried on his Ian Bell impersonation, (looking quite at ease and then playing a poor shot to a good ball from Kieran Perman). (Perhaps he too should be dropped – Ed.) We then reverted to the Punjabi driving by Tayyab Atta, Ibtisam Ahmed (30) and Naveed Anwar, before a rollicking 18 not out by Bob Nix (relishing in not being the oldest player in the Intellectuals side) took the Intellectuals’ batsmens’ contribution to 148, which extras boosted to 189 for 8 off the allocated 35 overs. Andy Dell, not content with an excellent catch, picked up the last three wickets.
Most pavilion sages considered this well short, even if the Intellectuals bowled well, which – with the exception of Yaseer – they did not. Phil Pennick put the – rather large number of – bad balls away – well supported by Jack Perman, until the combination of Pennick’s calling and some smart fielding ran Jack out. This turned out to be a tactical error by the fielding side, as young Perman (J) was replaced by not quite so young Perman (K), who set about ensuring that a man who runs out one’s little brother does not get a man of the match of award, dealing with bad balls even more savagely than his partner.
With 15 wanted Pennick (73) (“allegedly suffering from” surely Ed.), a pain in the backside, was “hauled off for a Kopperberg” (according to his Facebook page). This induced Yaseer to try a revolutionary tactic – as far as the Intellectuals were concerned in this match – of bowling straight – too much for Chris Cooper and Ben Marriner before Kieran Perman finished the match off with 70 not out for a six wicket victory.
The cricket being over the serious business began. The Ladies Young, Perman, Munoz Mills, Lindsay, Laundon (apologies if I missed any) produced some splendid food and Geoff Evans rushed to stock up in red wine, (beer being already present in adequate quantities) Chris Horne – who it is believed had been on the receiving end of more of his decisions than any other visitor over the last 20 years – paid tribute to Brian Pitts after his 800th (ish) – and last – match Alfas umpire. Brian responded appropriately.
Kevin Laundon thanked the Intellectuals – and tried to obtain the services of Vincent as Brian’s replacement – and Tim Richards reciprocated. Kevin Perman collected his Man of the Match award – and spoke nicely – Eve and Ash – on behalf of Spencer – said all the right things – the cup – already engraved (well done Vincent) was handed to Sporting Alfas for the ninth time.
Mindful that several of their players were missing at Thom Clark’s birthday party the Intellectuals present joined in the Alfas party until shortly after nine when there was no food left and Geoff was out of red wine.
All therefore left smartly, with excellent memories of a great day – oh that the Intellectuals had had Spencer’s line and length available – and many thanks to all of those who made it possible.
Intellectuals of Alicante 189-8
(Ibitsam 30, Yaseer 30, Waseem 25; Andy Dell 3 for 35, Kieran Perman 2 for 26, Abdul Wajid 2 for 52)
Sporting Alfas 190 -4
(Pennick 70, Kieran Perman 70 not out; Yaseer 2 for 16)