The XL club travelled down to La Manga for a weeklong tournament against the other three nations in our Quadrangular series.
This series has been enjoyed for many years with Spain being the latest team to join the Netherlands, Denmark and the England.
We enjoyed the series as guests before being invited in 2012 to become full members.
This tournament allows the four countries over 40-year-olds, the chance to play competitive cricket, whilst enjoying the challenge our aim is to build bridges and stay within the Spirit of Cricket, play hard but fair and always have a smile. This year was no exception and even though the dreaded covid meant we lost two years the friendships were still as strong as when we played in Neston in 2019.
Day 1- Spain opening the series against a strong Netherlands X1 could not have had a worse start. Only three batsmen reaching double
figures meant the Dutch team only required 90 to win. The Dutch team reaching the total with only 14.4 overs gone. Dreadful start to
Day 2- T20 day, again invited to bat by the Dutch captain the Spanish side looked more comfortable and raced to 130 Danny Everett top
scoring with 39, closely followed by Happy Singh on 36 and Paul Harvey on 32. The Dutch finally won the match in the final over with the
loss of 5 wickets.
Day 2- Afternoon match. Denmark won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat first. The Spanish teams luck finally changed and with
some interesting shot selection the Danes reached 137 for 8 inn their allotted 20 over session. Using 8 bowlers the Spanish side were on
top in the first half. Chasing a relatively low total can be difficult and when opener Lake holed out caught second ball it might have become
a third loss on the bounce but Danny Everett and Happy Singh blasted the ball to all parts of the large La Manga park chasing down the
target in the 13th over. At last, the Spanish boys had something to sing about.
Day 3- 45 over cricket is what we all really enjoy so playing England is always a difficult task but extreemly enjoyable. England batting line up was as strong as we have seen, and the top order made light work of a Spanish bowling attack that was not firing on all cylinders. Reaching 311 in the 45 over innings. Danny Everett was on fire with the bat and after losing his opening partner and then the number 3 batsman he took the English bowlers apart and reached 152 before walking past one and being stumped. Great work from the batsman. Lake 39 Harvey 31 and Waters 21 all helped Spain reach 279 in what would have been a major upset.
Day 4- Playing the Denmark side in a 45 over match was another big challenge for the Spanish team and with constant bowling changes required it looked as though another mighty total might be set. Happy Singh had other ideas and took 3 wickets in his first 3 overs. Theo Copido standing tall for the Danes and helped along by Lars Heigard got the score to a respectable 260. Spain chasing was awesome with Happy(93) and Gopi(67) both spanking the ball to all parts, reaching 163 from the first 15 overs put Spain right ahead in the chase. Overbury Ashraf and Lake continued and after 35 overs Spain’s finest needed just 11 runs to win at 1 run per over, well this is cricket and the Danish side could not believe their luck when Lake, Braithwaite and Waters all fell foul of the window of opportunity and 3 wickets fell in 4 balls. Enter the arena I Ahmed and Spanish skipper K Laundon to ease the team over the line 261 of 40 and a deserved win against the 45 over league winners Denmark.
Day 5- T20. Needing to beat England to tie thing at the top Spain were asked to set a score and Gopi Singh obliged hitting 99 out of the 168 total. As previously stated, the English team are in super form, Chris Turner and Ash Mohammad took the fight to the Spanish side with the help of a lot of tired hands not holding on to the chances offered the English side reached the total in the 19 over.
Yet again a great tournament and to be honest a very fair result sheet.