AMSTERDAM BEAT QUICK CC TO WIN THE MADRID TWENTY20 TOURNAMENT.
Three days of fantastic cricket culminated with the two top teams contesting the Madrid 2cd Solidarity Charity Tournament. Throughout the tournament Amsterdam and Quick had won all their group games so it was appropriate that both came through the semi finals to face each other.
The tournament was supported throughout by the former Lancashire and India wicket keeper batsman Farokh Engineer and the last day a video and tv crew recorded footage as part of one of Spain´s showcase events for the ICC Centenary celebrations.
The first games of the tournament came from Group A were Mojacar won over Belsize Village and Quick CC completed a comfortable victory over Milton Keynes. These were followed by the first games in Group B which saw Amsterdam and the Bank of England victorious over Madrid and La Manga respectively. Quick CC made it two wins out of two when they came out convincing winners over Mojacar and the day was completed when Milton Keynes recorded their first victory of the tournament with a win over Belsize Village.
That evening all the clubs got together at Luigi´s restaraunt on the Las Lomas Village complex at La Manga and enjoyed a first class meal and an after dinner speech by Farokh Engineer. An auction of a cricket bat signed by the likes of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar and a Manchester United shirt signed by Wayne Rooney and Pele was auctioned off to raise money for homeless children in Farokh`s home city Mumbai.
Day two started with inclement weather, but the games got off on time. Amsterdam were first out of the blocks with a rout of Madrid CC and Bank Of England also made it two wins out of two with a great result over La Manga.
Quick were the first team to confirm semi final status in Group A when they beat Belsize Village in what was probrably the most social game of cricket one could contrive within the tournament rules, and Milton Keynes followed Quick into the semi final draw with another win, this time over Mojacar.
In the final stages of Group B, La Manga registered their first win when disposing of Madrid and probrably the match of the tournament was between Amsterdam and Bank of England. The result was in doubt all the way to the final ball with Amsterdam scraping home by 5 runs.
Sunday night, the water and ice sponsors, the Si Bar provided food for somel of the teams at a cut price rate and several of the more socially orientated clubs could be seen drinking around the La Manga resort watering holes well into the early hours of the morning.
Monday saw a slight change in the format with Mojacar and La Manga forfeiting their play off games in order for Madrid and Belsize Village to play for the 5th and 6th position respectively. The honours went to Madrid in a close and well spirited game.
In the two semi finals Quick, the winners of Group A played Bank of England and won well. This left Milton Keynes standing in the way of an all Dutch final. Milton Keynes batted first in the hope their openers could help the other players gain valuable time in working off hangovers but a ruthless Amsterdam bowled the English side out for well under 3 figures. Amsterdam knocked off the runs without much concern to set up the all Dutch final.
The 3rd-4th place final was contested by Bank of England and Milton Keynes CC and although Keynes acquitted themselves better in this game they were still well beaten by the Bank of England side.
Everyone anticipated a great final between two teams that included current and past internationals. Amsterdam batted first and amassed an impressive 180 off their allocated 20 overs. This included 77 from Mudasser Bhakari who the week before had been playing for Holland in the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa. Bhakari scored 5 sixes in his innings but even this was surpassed by De Bruin who scored 6 sixes in his quickfire innings of 54.
Quick started badly losing G Mol quickly and always struggled to keep up the run rate. Despite a flurry of runs and sixes from South African James Rosenburg in the middle order of the Quick innings, the team as a whole could not sustain the required 9 runs an over required to win the tournament and finally mustered 157 runs from their allocated overs. Zulfiquar´s bowling figures of 3-18 did most of the damage as Amsterdam finally ran out winners by 23 runs.
Amsterdam ran towards each other at the end to celebrate, but Quick made many friends amongst the other teams with the spirit in which they played through the whole tournament. Quick were presented with their runners up trophy by Isabel Sepulcre, a representative from the Vincente Ferrer foundation at the pitchside as they had an evening flight to catch, and Milton Keynes also said farewell to the tournament early that evening because of a similar flight schedule.
It was left to Amsterdam, Bank Of England, Madrid, Belsize Village and the umpires and other guests to represent the tournament at the barbecue by the oher sponsors the Q Bar. Damien Ridgeway of Bank of England received the Catch the Spirit Fair Play Award for accepting an opponents decision that he had been caught off a questionable catch and the two Dutch teams split the best batsman and bowling trophies with Jeroen Brand off Quick getting the best batting award from the Umpires for two excellent 50`s during the tournament and the Amsterdam captain Moshin Ghaznavi won the bowling award for all his efforts during the tournament.
After the ceremonies were compleet Amsterdam continued their celebrations in style at the Q Bar and their Karoake rendition of We are the Champions will be remembered for a long time by all of those privvy to witness it.
Finally, thanks to all the tournament sponsors, the Tv and video crew, the umpires and all the teams for making the whole event a great weekend of cricket. Special thanks go to Farokh Engineer, who paid his own flight expenses to support the event, and last but not least thanks and congratulations to the two tournament co-ordinators, David Stirton and Jonathan Woodward for organising such an excellent event. Madrid CC have already booked La Manga for their 3rd Charity Tournament Event next year and it is hoped that will be even bigger and better than this one.
2CD MADRID SOLITARY CHARITY TOURNAMENT FINAL
AMSTERDAM CC 180 0FF 20 OVERS BEAT 157 ALL OUT BY 23 RUNS
WINNERS-AMSTERDAM CC — www.acc-cricket.nl
RUNNERSUP QUICK CC DEN HAAG — www.quickhaag.cc
3RD PLACE BANK OF ENGLAND CC — www.bankofengland.play-cricket.com
4TH PLACE MILTON KEYNES CC — www.mkcricket.org.uk
5TH PLACE MADRID CC — www.cricketinmadrid.com
6TH PLACE BELSIZE VILLAGE CC — www.thevcc.com
7TH PLACE LA MANGA CC — www.cricket.lamangaclub.com
8TH PLACE MOJACAR CC — no website