By Andrew Atkinson
La Manga Torrevieja CC, Barcelona (BICC) and Sporting Alfas CC played in a T10 triangular tournament at Alfas.
Having captained Barcelona in last year’s trip to Menorca, it was Umer Razi’s first tour as official club captain, and his first game since becoming captain in December.
BICC hadn’t faced either team for over a decade, with Alfas player Carlos Parkin facing BICC in the first meeting between the clubs, back in 1996. Ravi Maduranga, Hesh Rukunayake and Agni Sikdar made their BICC debuts.
Umer lost his first toss as full-time captain and BICC were put in the field. Despite the economical efforts of opening bowlers Shriram Bhosale and Burhan Ejaz, Alfas got off to a solid start.
After six overs, they were replaced by Anish Shindore and Nathan Blyth. The Nathan experiment lasted just two overs, before he was replaced by debutant Ravi.
Anish picked up the first wicket of the game, removing Crompton just four runs short of his 50, caught and bowled to leave the hosts 70-1.
The wicket brought the current national team captain, Muñoz, to the crease, who got off the mark with a huge six off Ravi, before picking up his first BICC wicket, removing the other opener, SACC captain Pennick. Anish was then taken out of the attack, replaced by Maroof Shaikh. In his third over, he bowled Muñoz (30) and the three current or former international players were out, with Alfas on 113-3, just past the midway point of the innings.
From this point on, the wickets fell much quicker and more cheaply. Ravi (2-24) picked up his second before the skipper (2-3) brought himself on for a successful three over spell. Anish (2-17), Shriram, removing Parkin for 31, and Burhan came back on and picked up a much-deserved wicket each. Jack Jewson took three catches behind the stumps.
Alfas collapsed, from 113-2 to 145-9, as their innings ended. Maroof and Umair Iqbal went out to open, sharing 46 runs, before Umair gave second slip some catching practice.
Captain Umer came and went to his first (legal) ball and Nathan didn’t last much longer, before controversially being given out LBW by his own teammate.
BICC were 51-3 with the middle order rushing to get their pads on. Ravi came in at 5 and joined the calming presence of Maroof, sharing the highest partnership of the day, 74 runs, before Maroof fell for 41 trying to go up a gear with the game all but in the bag.
Jack fell cheaply to a less contested LBW. Off the penultimate ball Ravi (48*) and Nial Evans (making a fine 0* from his one ball) managed to run four byes, costing the Sri Lankan a debut 50. BICC won the game by five wickets, with eleven overs to spare.
Alfas captain Pennick had half of both teams doing push-ups after the game as punishment, for ducks or dropped catches.
On Sunday BICC played their first ever T10 matches. Umer won the toss and chose to bat first, looking to set a challenging total against a team already well versed in 10 over games.
Having lost Jack early on, Shriram (29*) and Umair (25) put on 74 for the second wicket, aided by 20 wides. Umair was dismissed with two balls of the innings left. BICC finished on 81-2.
Sporting Alfas CC opener Brown hit four boundaries in Hesh’s first over for the club, to get the hosts well ahead of the rate.
James Smith picked up a wicket – the wrong wicket – bringing Bilal to the wicket for a cameo 10* off five balls, with the chase completed by Brown (49*) hitting a high no ball for four.
James’ accidental no ball costing him a chance of his personal landmark. SACC won the first of the round robin games by nine wickets, with 13 balls to spare.
The second game of the tournament was Barcelona against La Manga, with BICC having watched them play in the Spanish championship final last year in Barcelona.
Umer won the toss, and chose to bowl first. Leg spinner Ravi, having been first change in the first game, was asked to open and was miserly, conceding just five runs in his two overs. Alger (20 off 11) was caught by Shane Lightley, off the bowling of Burhan (1-9) in the fifth over; Tedder came in briefly but retire hurt. Hesh made up for his expensive first over with two cheap overs, aided by cheap overs from Umer and Shriram.
LMTCC only managed 62-1 from their 10 overs. Having comfortably beaten that score in the first game, BICC fancied their chances of a first T10 win.
Ravi opened the batting, alongside Crocodile Shane. Despite a couple of good shots, Shane was struggling to consistently get bat on ball and was eventually bowled.
Umer came in next and together with Ravi batted cleverly, keeping BICC up with the run rate.
It was largely without risk, until off their best bowler’s last ball Ravi (26) went for a big shot and was caught. AIded by some quick running, and a couple of byes to the keeper, Nathan and Umer (21*) completed the chase with a ball to spare. BICC won by eight wickets.
In the final game of the tournament, LMTCC beat Sporting Alfas, the tournament ended with each team winning one game each. La Manga Torrevieja CC officially winning the tournament, on net run rate.
Main image: Sporting Alfas, La Manga Torrevieja and Barcelona CC: T10 triangular tournament.