Ibiza CC vs Sporting Alfas XL (SACC Albir, Benidorm)
30/04/16 30 overs per side
Ibiza welcomed back SACC for the 4th consecutive year and put them into bat first. Their batsmen had some difficulty adapting to a slower pitch than their home ground in Albir and lost wickets regularly from the first over. In fact, only veteran opener Neil Mckinstry (12) and young Asian all rounder Waqar Ashraf (25) kept their heads down, scoring several fluent boundaries. But the Ibiza bowlers and fielders maintained the pressure, causing a couple of sharp run outs which eventually reduced the visitors to 64 all out in the 26th over. Ibiza bowlers Stuart Browne (3/7), Pete Essex (2/13) and Jim Harvey (2/8) obtained the wickets, with Paul Cruttwell contributing one also.
So Ibiza began their innings with a moderate target and plenty of time. Openers Graham Boe and Sam Gooda looked comfortable moving the score to 25, before both falling in quick succession to tight, accurate bowling and alert fielding from SACC. Ibiza then lost 2 more quick wickets, to fall to 45/4 and the nerves began to show, reminding everyone of their spectacular collapse in the previous year's fixture, chasing another moderate target. However, Robin Parmenter (16 not out ) and Neil Tobbitt (16 not out) steadied the innings and reached 68/4 in the 17th over, Ibiza winning by 6 wickets. In spite of the low scoring, this was a competitive contest, as ever vs SACC, and particularly thanks to tight bowling from the visitors, particularly Waqar Ashraf (2/3 with 5 maiden overs), well supported by veteran John "JB" Braithwaite (1/28), with Andy Dell contributing a wicket too.
1st May 2016 30 overs per side.
Ibiza batted first and settled in to get a challenging score. The in form Sam Gooda continued scoring steadily in compiling his highest innings of the season of 87, ably supported by the returning Adam Johnston (78 retired), and they put on a fluent 150 runs together in 22 overs. Ibiza then lost several quick wickets, although Mike Amos joined in with a rapid 39 not out towards the end, allowing Ibiza to complete their 30 overs on an imposing 229/6. Of the SACC bowlers Tyler Brown stood out with 3/ 35, while John Braithwaite and Phil Pennick contributed a wicket each.
The visitors then batted and needed to score at over 7 runs per over, and despite losing 2 early wickets, Phil Pennick got his head down and hit some welcome boundaries in his 81, before finally trying increase the run rate and being caught in the deep. He was well supported by brother George Metcalfe (23), and Waqar Ashraf (17), but when they were both out caught as well, it left too much for the remaining batsmen to do to keep up with the required run rate, and they finally completed their 30 overs on 152/8, Ibiza winning by 77 runs. The Ibiza bowlers did well to keep the runs down, and all contributed to the wickets, with newcomer Paul Merrell obtaining an unexpected 2/5 in his first game of cricket in over 20 years!
As ever, many thanks to Skipper and organiser Geoff Evans for bringing his veteran and younger players over to Ibiza in this annual double header, which always helps Ibiza to prepare for the Balearic cup in May. Its always a pleasure to welcome them back each year, and Ibiza reciprocates in the famous Benidorm tour in November!