VALENCIA GREEN 100 FOR 8 BEAT BARCELONA CC 97 ALL OUT BY 2 WICKETS.
Valencia Green emerged as the 2008 champions of Spanish cricket after beating Barcelona in a hard fought game at La Manga this weekend. The quality of the bowling from both teams ensured the match was a low scoring affair and even though Valencia Green had only to chase down 97 runs the match still remained in the balance right down to the wire, with the spoils eventually going to Valencia by a meagre two wickets.
On a sunny day, Barcelona won the toss and elected to bat. Green opened with the pacy partnership of Atiq and Faisal and the Barcelona batsmen were looking distinctly uncomfortable as the openers generated both bounce and pace from the wicket. With the score on 5 Faisal struck first blood for Green when he steamed in from around the wicket and had Khalid caught behind by Nisar for 2. A complete mix up sixteen runs later saw the Catalans lose their second wicket. Armaghan played a shot to the third man area and looked for 2 runs. The first was easily made but as Armaghan ran back for a second, Ali waited, thus leaving both players stranded at one end of the wicket. This offered a simple run out for Green and with Ali never leaving his crease it was Armaghan who was left with the unfortunate walk back to the pavillion.
Ali never recovered from this mishap and he too was soon joining the openers when he was adjudged lbw to Faisal with the score on 27. New batsmen Serfreraz and Qasar played sensibly for a while but when spinner Gulzar came into the attack Qasar could not resist the “big hit “. Unfortunately it was somewhat mis-timed and he was caught between mid off and long off by the Green captain Atiq as he ran in from the boundary.
The very next bowl Sajijad’s middle stump cartwheeled out of the ground and Barca where struggling at 57 for 5. Although Serferaz offered resistance none of the other players reached double figures and with 8 wickets down and the score on 89 he swiped out at a ball from Tika in desperation that went skyward. However, there was no distance on the ball, just height and the wicket keeper Nisar had time to pouch the running catch just in front of the wicket. Atiq came back into the attack to finish proceedings by clean bowling Aamir and Barca were all out for 97.
With the pitch playing true and Barca having scored 351 in their last game with the same team, you get an idea of the quality of the Green bowlers. All five of them shared wickets and had economical figures but the opening attack of Atiq and Faisal deserve a special mention because from ball one the Barcelona batsman were never allowed to settle and get into a groove.
Lunch was served at the Q-Bar, the sponsors of this years league, who have done an excellent job in providing teas for all the Southern games this season. Many thanks to Dave and all his staff for their support of Spanish cricket this year.
Valencia Green went out to bat at just before 3pm and everyone anticipated an early finish and a one sided affair to this years league final. It was not to be. The Barca openers of Tanveer and Zaka bowled with as much venom and spirit as their Green counterparts. Streaky shots helped take the score to 21 but then Usman and Sajid both fell in the space of two runs to Tanveer and Zaka respectively. Zahid possibly batted the best he had all season and his promotion to coming in at three was possibly a match winning decision by the Green captain Asad. He looked calm and collected at one end, whilst his team mates where looking decidedly nervy at the other. Indeed, the Valencia Green sideline that had been kissing the winners trophy and prematurely celebrating at the interval was now nothing than a telling silence as they lost three quick wickets to be 49-5 off 19 overs, a poorer state then Barca were at the same stage of their innings.
A pivotal moment in the game came when Yasir middled a ball from Serfaraz that went sailing over the long on boundary. This seem to relax the Green team and noises of jubiliation started coming from the Valencia sidelines once more. Although he got out soon afterwards for 14 he had put on 32 runs with Zahid in a sixth wicket partnership. Late on there were a few more scares with Atiq being bowled for a duck and the talented Zahid falling to Serferaz for 30, but Valencia finally secured the 98 runs they needed.
With all the fielders in a crucial misfield by a Barcelona fielder turned a shot of no runs into three and two balls later it was left to Gulzar to smash a ball for 4 over the covers to gain victory for Valenicia Green.
After the match, which was played in good spirits, both teams and officials retired to the Q-Bar were the manager Dave along with the League Director and Co-ordinator Ron Graham presented the winners and runners-up trophies to the teams and officials.Many thanks to everyone who participated in this years competition, and it seems destined the league will be even bigger and better next year as it takes a divisional format.
VALENCIA GREEN BEAT BARCELONA BY 2 WICKETS.
Barcelona won the toss and elected to bat.
Khalid Butt Caught Nisar Bowled Faisal 2
Armagah Khan Run Out 5
Ali Moharan Lbw Faisal 9
Serfaraz Caught and Bowled Atiq 42
Qasar Abbas Caught Atiq Bowled Gulzar 8
Sajijad Bowled Asad 0
Basharat Caught Nisar Bowled Gulzar 0
Tariq Caught Faisal Bowled Asad 5
Tanveer Caught Nisar Bowled Tika 8
Aamir Bowled Atiq 6
Zaka Not Out 2
Sub Total 87
Total 97 All out off 31.2 overs
FOW 1-5, 2-21, 3-27, 4-57, 5-57, 6-58, 7-64, 8-89, 9-89, 10-97.
VALENCIA GREEN BOWLING
VALENCIAS GREEN BATTING
Usman Bowled Tanveer 3
Sajid Caught Ali Bowled Zaka 16
Zahid Bowled Serfarz 30
Tika Bowled Zaka 9
Azhar Lbw Zaka 0
Asad Bowled Serfaraz 1
Yasir Caught Ali Bowled Tariq 14
Gulzar Not Out 9
Atiq Bowled Tanveer 0
Imran Not Out 0
Total 100 for 8 wickets off 28.2 overs
FOW 1-21, 2-23, 3-44, 4-44, 5-49, 6-81, 7-93, 8-96
UMPIRES Allan Bacan & Brian Pitts.
SCORER John Howden
MATCH REFEREE Ron Graham
VALENCIA GREEN WON BY 2 WICKETS.