After a narrow defeat in the rain on Saturday, BICC had two fixtures on Sunday. The first of these was a league match in Empuriabrava against local rivals Men in Blue. Unlike the day before in Vic, the sun was out and there was grass on the outfield.
After arriving just in the nick of time, captain Umer Razi jumped straight out of the car and ran to the middle for the toss. We were to bowl first.
After a wayward start, the opening pair of Shriram and Burhan started hitting a good length and putting pressure on the batsmen. The openers, however, weren't looking to hang around and got Men in Blue off to a quick start. They had 37 runs on the board when Burhan made the first breakthrough, with Agni taking a sharp catch at the end of the fourth over. Another 30 runs were added in quick time before Burhan struck again. After six overs, the score was 67-2.
BICC toiled away for the next few overs, but the runs kept flowing and it wasn't until the the 15th over the skipper Umi removed Men in Blue's big-hitting number 4 - trapping him LBW for 35.
This was the turning point, and from there the wickets started to fall much more quickly. Todd bowled a lively spell and was rewarded with two wickets, and Ravi kept things very tight in his six overs, finishing with figures of 1-28. Burhan took another three wickets to take his first five-for for the club!
Maroof was brought on to bowl the 28th over, and after a loosener which was given as a wide, he picked the last wicket with his first legal delivery, to finish the game with figures of 1-1. Men in Blue were all out for 205. Overall it was a good fielding performance from BICC, with fine catches from Damo and Umer as well as some body-on-the-line fielding from Bruce.
Maroof and Ravi opened the batting for BICC and they started cautiously against the Men in Blue openers, who were making the most of the uneven bounce that was coming from the artificial pitch. In the third over, Ravi was out caught trying to take on the short ball and Umer joined Maroof at the crease. These two settled in nicely and were playing the bowlers very well and finding runs when there was a bad ball. It wasn't until the 9th over that Maroof was out caught.
Nathan was in at number four and he and Umi safely navigated the team to drinks. Unfortunately the break didn't serve Nathan very well and the second ball after drinks he played all round a straight skiddy ball and was clean bowled.
Jack and Umer played a few nice shots in the next few overs, but the slow outfield was not providing much value for shots along the ground. Eventually Jack fell for 7 to leave us at 57-4 after 14 overs. Once Umer went a couple of balls laters, BICC started an England-esque collapse and lost the last six wickets for 18 runs and were bowled out for 75 runs after 21 overs.
It was a disappointing batting performance, with only Maroof and Umer making it to double figures, but credit must also go to the Men In Blue bowlers, who bowled with good pace and accuracy and made scoring runs very hard. Next week's league game in Vic against Raval Sporting means there's not long a long wait until we get a chance to get the first victory of the season on the board!