After a postponed internal charity game last weekend, we welcomed London side The Spread CC on tour to Barcelona for our first game after the summer break. We were to play two games, the first being a T20 under the lights at the baseball ground in Montjuïc. Tom Coulthard and Pep Mateos made their debuts for the club, as we fielded two Spaniards in the same game (Leandro Español the other on his birthday!).
Captain Umer Razi performed his magic trick of losing the toss, and Spread chose to bat. Sam Phillipps and Todd Fraser opened up without much luck. Anish Shindore replaced Sam and immediately picked up a wicket, which Todd copied in his fourth and final over to send both openers back to the shed. Burhan Ejaz replaced Todd, with the Londoners finding him most difficult to get away, his three overs costing just 13, in addition to claiming the wicket of Spreading captain Simon. Pep came on for his first over for the club, and it was certainly an interesting first go… There were a couple of wides and a wicket before he went off injured after three legal balls! Shane Lightley finished his over in a rather less dramatic fashion. Pep leaving the field meant the all-Spanish bowling attack would have to wait, as Leandro came on at the other end, he too claiming a wicket stumped brilliantly by Jack Jewson. Umer then brought himself on for a couple of unusually expensive overs before Tom bowled the final over of the innings. Spread finished on 162/6 from their 20.
Jack and Anish opened up knowing we needed a quick start, but sadly it wasn’t one they were able to offer as we were reduced to 20/2. Umer came in at 3 but was poorly supported by those at the other end. He made a 50 at above a run a ball before retiring with the game becoming a mathematical improbability. Shane (17*) and Nial saw us through the 20 overs but we finished 46 runs short of victory. We headed up to the bar for a drink or two before attempting to get a taxi to Poble Nou for a few more!
On Saturday, we headed up to Vic for a 35-over game with some feeling a bit(!) worse for wear. Dev Kumar made his debut behind the stumps, whilst Pandian made his BICC debut on loan from Men in Blue CC. Spread won the toss again and like Friday chose to bat first. There was a steady start against openers Burhan and Tom. Sam somewhat benefitted from this slow start as he was able to pick up the wickets of both openers alongside Simon. Damien and Pandian replaced them and they continued to keep the run-flow tight, whilst also picking up three wickets leaving Spread on 124/5. There were further wickets for Shane (2/13), Umer and the returning Simon as Spread collapsed to 154 all out, dismissed with two balls left.
We were certainly more confident than Friday about our chances of chasing that total, even if it was just on the low side of par for the ground. Nial Evans and Shane opened up, with another cagey start. Shane was dismissed having not really troubled the scorers and Dev replaced him. He made a quickfire 30 in partnership with Umer, who would become the backbone of the innings. Damien McMullen, Simon and Burhan chipped in with handy contributions as we got closer to the target. Eventually Tom scored the winning runs with over six overs to spare, with Umer finishing on 40* in a captain’s knock.
One win each over the weekend which was probably a fair result. We returned back to Barcelona after the game and wished Spread well. It had been a great weekend and we hope to one day visit Spread back in London!