Ahead of our European Cricket Series debut in a couple of weeks, we organised a series of T10 practice matches against Badalona CC to get ourselves accustomed to this shortest form of the game. Despite the organisation being last minute, we had a mammoth 19 players make themselves available for the three games. There were so many indeed that one ended up playing for Badalona! More on him later…
First game (scorecard)
The first game saw club debuts for Imran Fareed, Kieran O’Donnell, Dave Martin and Vrishab Kandal. We lost the toss and were put in the field. Kieran opened the bowling with James “Aussie James” Bentley who got a wicket with a beauty of an inswinger in his second over. Despite a few relatively easy catches going down, the wickets started to tumble. Anton Kritzinger got one, Imran got one with his fourth ball for the club bowled, before claiming a second with a great caught and bowled next ball. Lewis, our aforementioned Badalona player, walked out and crumbled under the pressure of the hattrick ball, stamping on his leg stump to be dismissed hit wicket and give Imran a hattrick on debut! Dave also picked up his first wicket for the club while Sam Phillipps claimed two wickets with his last two balls. The final over was bowled by acting captain Shriram Bhosale, which only lasted two balls as Dave did a brilliant run out from third man and Shriram had the last batter caught by Imran as we finished with four wickets in four balls. A chase of 61 looked relatively easy.
Vrishab and Anton opened the batting and the latter certainly made light work of it, scoring 35* off 12 balls. He retired to leave Maroof Shaikh to hit the winning runs and give us a first victory of the day!
Second game (scorecard)
In the second game, regular captain Umer Razi was back in the team and won the toss, this time we would bat first. Full of confidence from the first game we set about hitting as big a total as possible, knowing that we had set the boundaries considerably longer than will be the case in the ECS. There were two more debutants in this game, Rabia Mushtaq (our third female player of the year) and Will Camfield. Our top two run scorers of the year so far, Umer (27 off 20) and Shriram (20 off 10), opened the batting and got us off to a quick start. Imran came in at 3, fresh from his hattrick, and showed what he could do with the bat too. He continued from where the openers had left off, whacking 40* off 19 balls. There were smart cameos for Nathan Blyth and Maroof before keeper Dev Mahadevan joined Imran getting 19 off 8 balls. We scored 138/4 from our ten overs.
Badalona batted much better in this second game and wickets were much harder to come by. Debutan Will and Supun Shalitha opened the bowling, keeping it relatively tight and building pressure from the get go, as did first change Imran. But it was the introduction of Uswa Syed that really changed the game as her first over went for just two runs and saw the back of both opening batters. Not done there, she got a run out later on to make sure she had a say in all three wickets. Badalona finished on 111/3, 27 runs short. Two from two!
Third game (scorecard)
Having won the toss again, Umer decided to bat again. This time another changed team saw Simon Eldridge open with Khyzer Nawaz. It was a slower start this game as the pair struggled to get the opening bowlers, including 11-year-old Gabriel, away. Gabriel would eventually dismiss Khyzer as he tried to hit out, only to find the gloves of father Lewis behind the stumps. (Yes Khyzer, it was impossible to write this report without mentioning that). When Simon was finally dismissed, it brought Dev to the crease and he continued on from the previous game, this time with longer at the crease he reached a magnificent debut 50 off 22 balls with ten fours (many of which will be Maximooooos by the time he plays at that ground again). He ended up with over half the runs as we finished on 98/3.
The lower total meant Badalona could sniff a chance of victory and they started well reaching 49 without loss. Joseph Danam was introduced to the attack, and just like Uswa in the previous game, got the wickets of both openers to leave Badalona rocking. When Aussie James claimed the wicket of their captain Adnan, we sensed the game was up and eventually they finished on 75/4, as James claimed a second wicket from the last ball of the day.
A great day for BICC, with a super turnout and three victories to warm us up for the ECS tournament. Make sure to tune in on December 1st for our first game! Thanks to Badalona for playing in a great spirit, as always.