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General Cricket


by: conrad_a_bedford


Batsmen thrive on unforgiving Alfas track

Last week’s tourists Montenotte won two out of their three games
against Sporting Alfas on their first visit to Albir last week with
three fine centuries – as well as two nineties, and several fine half
centuries – to warm the spectators’ hands. Plum (101), Pennick (184
not out) and Shipton (147) all batted magnificently, though it must be
stressed that the newly-relaid artificial wicket at the Woodbridge
Oval, as well as the lightning fast outfield and one particularly
short boundary, all contrive to give the bowlers (quick, slow or
medium) very little margin for error.

Wednesday, April 2nd

SACC MW 201-10 (34 overs)
Montenotte CC 202-2 (29 overs)

Choosing to bat on a bright and breezy day, the home side got off to a
rapid start, Laundon and Jones adding 47 before the guest Cryptics
opener departed for 34. With Colin Hall playing a vital support role
and with Laundon beginning to open his shoulders, the MW XI raced on
to 86 before Hall went for 14 in the 16th over. Marriner and Laundon
added a further 51 until the 1st XI skipper was caught for 78. Perrins
(33) and Marriner then put on 52 for the sixth wicket, taking the
score on to 192 with nine overs still remaining when Marriner was
caught behind for 34. However, a devastating spell of swing bowling by
Harte (4 for 8 off 2) was responsible for the home side’s modest
eventual target of 201.

In reply, Montenotte openers Razvi and Plum quickly shook off the
winter cobwebs, mercilessly punishing anything short (or full) though
the Alfas bowlers were distressed to see at least four easy catches go
to ground. As the Alfas bowlers toiled manfully in the blustery
conditions, the score had raced on to 141 before Razvi was caught on
59 in the first over after the half-time drinks interval. By the time
Plum departed, having just reached a deserved century in the 26th
over, there were only sixteen runs still required, and there was
little further drama as Harte and Brereton clinched the victory with
more than ten overs and eight wickets still in hand.

Saturday, April 5th

SACC 1sts 359-8 (40 overs)
Montenotte CC 207-6 (40 overs)

On another bright though blustery day at the Woodbridge Oval, the home
side once again won the toss and chose to bat. Laundon and Pennick set
about some tired-looking bowling by the tourists to race to 54 during
the course of the seventh over, when the skipper perished leg before
for 22. On his 1st XI debut, Mark Spencer smashed some huge blows on
the way to a breathtaking 48-ball 96 before skying one to Razvi off
Meyers in the 23rd over with the score already on 200. At the other
end the chairman was slowly clocking up the milestones in other useful
partnerships with the likes of Morgan, Mudassar and Andrews, carrying
his bat to end up on a personal best 184 not out off just 125 balls
that provided huge entertainment to an appreciative crowd.

Requiring to score at an ambitious nine runs an over to win, the
tourists lost the early wicket of Plum, who fell to a sharp overhead
catch by Taylor in the gully in the second over, and found themselves
pegged back to 37-1 after ten overs by a decent spell from the
makeshift Alfas openers. Furness (49), Razvi (57) and Hopkinson (28
not out) did their averages no harm as Montenotte ended well short of
their target while there were disciplined performances from all of the
home side bowlers with Taylor (2 for 25 off 8), Mudassar (2 for 33 off
9) and Spencer (2 for 50 off 6) the most successful.

Sunday, April 6th

Westminster School 196-6 (20 overs)
SACC Academy 56-10 (16.1 overs)

With at least half a dozen Academy regulars unavailable for one reason
or another, last Sunday morning’s 20 over match against Westminster
School ended up being a tad one-sided. However, it is hoped that it
provided the tourists with some useful match experience and a chance
to get used to the batsman-friendly conditions with some more
challenging matches ahead. Fisken Rankine both compiled fifties before
retiring, and both Scott (21) and Wood (15) both looked in good touch
as the tourists set the home side a challenging target of just shy of
ten runs an over. Academy captain for the day, Jack Hersh chipped in
with two wickets in his second spell and contributed 24 with the bat
though his side went on to collapse to 56 all out. The only
significant partnership of the second innings featured Hersh and guest
batsman Holt (8), who added 23 for the third wicket. There was early
season success for Fitzsimons (2 for 9 off 4), though Patel came away
with easily the most impressive analysis of the morning (4 for 6 off

Sunday, April 6th

SACC 2nds 202-4 (35 overs)
Montenotte CC 203-1 (27.4 overs)

On a much less windy day, and with the match reduced to 35 overs as a
result of the slightly late start, the home side skipper guessed right
for the third time in a row and chose to bat. With an especially
accurate spell from Brereton – with only nine runs accruing from his
five-over opening burst – Alfas added 40 for the first wicket before
Williams departed in the 13th over. With the returning Shipton
gradually beginning to get the measure of the tourists’ weary bowling
attack, he and young Jack Hersh (23) quickly put on 71 before the
left-hander was caught by the safe hands of Razvi having passed the
20-mark for the second time that day. Shipton and Shafique Ul-Rehman
put on a further 27 before Ul-Rehman perished for 11, and the opener,
who had long ago reached three figures by this stage, put on 59 more
good runs with Hall before falling in the final over for 147.

It was always going to take a monumental effort with the ball to
restrict the talented tourists, and with this failing to materialise,
Dugdale and Furness had taken the total to 83 before Bellis struck in
the 12th over to dismiss Furness for 48. Razvi stroked his way to an
elegant 57 as he and Dugdale (92 not out) knocked off the runs with
more than a fifth of their allotted overs and nine wickets in hand for
a second victory for the north Londoners on their first Spanish tour.
With the start of the domestic league looming large on the horizon,
the Alfas 2nd XI bowlers all know that they are going to need to
tighten up their lines and lengths considerably if they hope to make
any kind of impression in what will be their debut season in the

Junior coaching

Junior cricket coaching takes place most Sunday mornings at the
Woodbridge Oval, Playa Albir, starting at 10.30am.

For all those cricket lovers wishing to watch, play, umpire or score,
please contact either Director of Cricket Steve Lewis on 660246351 or
Chairman Phil Pennick on 620409173, 96 686 5792, e-mail
pennick88@yahoo.co.uk. or visit the club’s webpage at

Or, just come down and watch!

Coming up:

With fixtures every single day this week, next weekend’s visitors to
the Woodbridge Oval are league rivals Barcelona CC, who take on the
1st and 2nd XIs in friendly warm-up matches on Saturday and Sunday
respectively (1pm start).

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