Levante had played Valencia Stallions fifteen times previously in league and friendlies and had not registered a victory against their local rivals until yesterday’s encounter.
On another hot day at the VCG the Stallions won the toss and elected to bat. Both openers started well and it was not until the ninth over with 55 on the board that Levante took their first scalp. That signalled a steady flow of wickets as Levante took control of the game.
Their inspiration came from an unlikely source as veteran Pete West rolled back the years to take his first five wicket haul in a quarter of a century. His guily mixture of spin and flight proved too tempting for the Stallion batsmen who played reckless shots to give away their wickets cheaply.
Dangerman Tariq, who had scored an unbeaten century the week before against the same opposition, hit some lofty sixes out of the ground, but did not have the same impact on the game as last time, holing out in the deep to a fine catch by Nisar for 50. After that the Stallions innings just frittered out and they were finally all back in the pavillion for just 222.
Levante promoted Bruno Nunges to partner Rob Pickford and the openers got their team off to a flying start before Nunges was dismissed for 21 by Tariq, with a snorter of all ball that kept low and clipped his leg stump. It was the Australian’s last game for Levante before heading East to live and work in Milan and he will be sorely missed by the Levante fraternity.
Pickford continued to bat sensibly and with captain Graham Hunt they consolidated Levante’s hold on the game. Both were dismissed at crucial times, but in Orville Sennhouse Levante had an experienced campaigner who was not going to let his teams potential first victory over their local foes be snatched away at the business end of the encounter.
He fittingly saw his side home with the help of league debutant Sunny with three wickets and an handful of overs to spare. Levante took maximum points from the game whilst Stallions went back home with six points.
The next match at the VCG is this coming Sunday, the 31st July, when Levante host league strugglers Madrid United. Free entrance, all welcome.
Levante (20points) beat Valencia Stallions (6 points) by 3 wickets.
Stallions 222 all out (Tariq 50, Asqwar 42, P West 5-40) Levante 226 for 7 ( G Hunt 46, R Pickford 45, O Sennhouse 31 not out, Tariq 4-35)