Ibiza C.C. vs Redbourn C.C. (Hertsfordshire)
Sat 21 March 25 overs per side.
There were several firsts to begin the 2015 Ibiza cricket season; playing on a green mat placed on a rolled pitch at the beautiful Ibiza Polo club ground, near San Lorenzo; playing in March for the first time, and with a new captain, Graham Boe; and playing against a cricket club established in the 19th century (1823), where cricket matches were first recorded on Redbourn Common in 1666!
Thus Ibiza decided to bat first to get an idea of the pitch, and it proved immediately to be harder to score runs than at the San Jose football astroturf ground. In addition, the Redbourn players bowled very tidily throughout and kept up the pressure on the Ibiza batsmen, so that the latter scored at less than 4 runs per over (6 runs/over had been the norm in San Jose). In fact, only skipper Graham "Bose" Boe (17), Sam "Smiler" Gooda (12) and Martin "Shaggy"Makepeace (10) managed to reach double figures, with Ibiza finishing their 25 overs on an under par 85 for 9. Of the visitors' bowlers, Dan "8 ball" Thatcher (2/18), Liam "Watto"Beere (2/16) and Dan "Death" Roe (2/4) were the most successful, while "O.J."Simpson, Ben Benfield and Bas Bassill obtained a wicket each.
Redbourn then batted sensibly, with their opener "Basil Brush" Smythe scoring a rapid 31, aided by Rob Ashcroft (13) and Jon "Spit" Fleming (16 not out), allowing them to reach their target on 89 for 4 in the 18th over, thus winning by 6 wickets.
Ibiza bowlers Mike "Spin king"Amos (2/21) and Jeremy "Silver fox" Parmenter (2/13) got the only wickets to fall.
Sun 22 March 35 overs per side.
This time Redbourn batted first and started well with openers Tonio "Test match" Maulder (40) and Toby "Chico" Ashcroft (27) compiling a useful opening stand of 68. Once this partnership was broken, wickets fell more regularly, but the visitors still managed to score runs steadily thanks to cameos from "Bas"Bassil (15) and "Big Mac" Ronnie (20), and finished on a competitive 158 for 9. The Ibiza bowlers adapted better to the pitch, with Graham Boe (3/18) and Jeremy Parmenter (2/29) having the most success, while Paul "BskyB" Cruttwell, Mike Amos and Robin "Robiño" Parmenter contributed a wicket each.
Ibiza now needed to bat more positively then the day before, but once again were held in check by accurate bowling from Redbourn. Graham Boe managed a steady 20 before falling, and then a batting mix up caused a run out, so that Ibiza were struggling on 37/3 in the 14th over and behind the required run rate. The hosts needed a good partnership and this was provided by Martin Makepeace (28) and Robin Parmenter (61 not out) combining in an unexpected and useful stand of 76 runs to bring the score to 113/4 in the 30th over. However, Ibiza still needed 46 runs off 30 balls, which ultimately proved too much and they fell short by 13 runs, finishing on 145 for 6. Again the Redbourn bowlers performed well, managing to restrict the scoring when needed, with Dan Thatcher (2/11), Jon Fleming (1/19) and "Benno" Benfield (1/16) obtaining wickets. However, the Ibiza team, despite missing several influential players and dropping a couple of catches, were more competitive, so the resulting contest could have been even closer and was enjoyed by all.
All in all, this was a wonderful weekend of cricket in the stunning setting of the Ibiza Polo Club, and there will be several more double headers in April and May leading up to the Balearic Cup, hosted by Ibiza from 8-10 May.
Many thanks to Geoff Tookey for organising the tour and to the Redbourn team for their sporting and friendly spirit throughout and we hope to welcome them back soon.
Many thanks also to Gabriele of the Polo Club for providing the ground, to Sam Gooda, Paul Partridge and Paul Cruttwell for working so hard to roll and prepare the pitch, to Lyn Carpenter for providing the food and refreshment, and to Dave Reynolds for scoring.
Thats it for now, next cricket matches on 11/12 April! Please check our page on facebook for info!