Domestic competition in Spain got under way at the weekend, the opening match of the Southern Regional League ending in a 29-run victory for the Costa Vikings over the Costa del Sol Crusaders.
After winning the toss the Vikings piled on 252 for six in their 35-over innings, thanks to an opening stand of 95 between Ben Jones (74) and Louis Bruce (27), followed by a second-wicket partnership of 99 between Jones and Lorne Burns (57).
The tempo slowed a little in the final ten overs as wickets started to fall, but the top three had done enough to set the opposition a formidable target.
Crusaders opener Paul Edgeller gave his side an invaluable start with a 67-ball 91, including six fours and five sixes, but no-one else was able to match his hitting or stay long, and the asking rate gradually rose.
Bruce, Jeremy Knott and Dominic Durose collected two wickets apiece, but it was the economical spells of Ian Higgins and Samarth Bodha, going for under five an over, which ensured that the Crusaders could only manage 223 for nine by the close.
Three matches were played in Denmark’s Elite Division, with Soraner making the trip north to take on Herning and Skanderborg in a double weekend in Jutland.
The game against Herning turned out to be a thriller, as the home side chased down Soraner’s 222 for nine and won by three wickets with two deliveries to spare.
Parag Naithani (73) anchored the Soraner innings, supported by Ravikiran Shetty and Vibhor Chaudhary, while Surya Anand took three for 20 for Herning.
The basis of the home side’s reply was a second-wicket stand of 109 between Phil Mansfield (67) and Ihyas Saumy, and after the former’s dismissal Saumy judged the chase impeccably, reaching 97 not out with the scores level, only to be denied his century by a wide.
After that excitement Sunday’s game at Skanderborg proved an anticlimax, as Soraner were bundled out for 97 and lost by nine wickets.
Christian Peck ran through the visitors with six for 18, and then Skanderborg’s’s international opening pair of Anders Bülow and Michael Pedersen put on 57 together, Pedersen making the running with 32. Bülow saw his side home, ending on 48 and finishing the job in 17.4 overs.
Albertslund, with two defeats behind them, made the short journey to Ishøj, only to suffer a dramatic batting collapse and be dismissed for 77.
Javid Khan (four for 16) and Absar Khan (three for 11) were the destroyers for Ishøj, only Kamran Ijaz and Ata Ur-Rehman reaching double figures for the visitors.
But Ishøj’s batters did not find conditions much more to their liking as Yasir Ayub took six for 32, and with only Salar Khan and keeper Hassan Sayed making significant scores the home side were happy to squeak home by just two wickets.
Farmers Caesareans suffered the first defeat of their Jersey T20 Premier League campaign at FB Fields on Saturday, a fine display with the ball by St Ouen Springfield’s Ben Manser (three for 13) and Elliot Miles (two for 18) containing them to 81 for nine in reply to St Ouen’s 125 for five (Harrison Carlyon 28).
But they came back well in their second match of the day to beat Old Victorians in a last-ball thriller.
Chasing the Old Boys’ 150 for five, based on a brisk opening stand of 57 off 39 deliveries by Corey Bisson (36 from 22) and Elliot Corbel (38 from 35), Farmers were helped by a second-wicket partnership of 97 between Julius Sumerauer (68 from 49) and Josh Lawrenson (45 from 35), but even so it took them until the final delivery to secure their six-wicket victory.
Walkovers, meanwhile, continued their unhappy season, mustering only 99 for nine in reply to Old Victorians’ 142 for seven (Corbel 48) in their morning game at Les Quennevais, and then losing to St Ouen Springfield by five wickets in the afternoon.
The day’s results leaves Farmers Caesareans at the top of the table with 50 points, three ahead of Old Victorians, with St Ouen Springfield a further two points behind.
In the Netherlands, the weather which decimated the Men’s Topklasse was equally destructive of the Women’s Hoofdklasse programme.
Only eight overs were possible in Oegstgeest, Ajax Leiden reaching 28 without loss against Voorburg, while in Amstelveen Rood en Wit Haarlem made 54 for one in 14 overs against VRA Amsterdam before the rain, spreading slowly north, put paid to proceedings.
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