This game will be well remembered by BICC players for a long time, for several reasons. Mohsin Nawaz announced at the end of the game that he was stepping down as captain, and taking a break from playing for a few months; there was a superb innings from Stu Boyd; and it was the final of the elongated Slog Fest that had been delayed by a few months. It was BICC’s chance to show Men In Blue who was really the king of cricket in Barcelona…
Mohsin won his final toss and decided that we would bat first. Out went regular opener Hamza Baig and debutant Umair Iqbal. Off the very first ball Hamza took a wild swing and the edged the ball over the fence behind him, out! Following a prolonged delay in trying to get the ball back, Stu Boyd kicked off his innings. He was soon given a lifeline, as he was dropped without having scored. Following this, the two batsmen built a monster partnership of 119 during which Stu was dropped again from a difficult chance at short fine leg. He continued to punish MIB for their mistakes and passed 50 with a huge six, before Umair, denied the strike for most of the partnership, was bowled for a fine 27. In came Damien McMullen (8), who decided to leave a straight ball and was bowled. Then came Mohsin, who was dropped on his way to eight, kindly offering Pandian at long on a second opportunity to catch him. In at 6 was Anish Shindore, who became the third batsman to offer MIB catching practice, and the third to get away with it! At the other end, Stu survived a scare as he was bowled off a dead ball (as it pitched short of the matt), before finally reaching his century in the following over. Unknowingly on 99, he sliced the ball up into the offside. Everyone on the side-lines, knowing that he was on 99, watched in panic as the ball went straight towards a fielder, only for him to drop it! The batsmen scampered through for two runs and everyone celebrated! But he wasn’t quite done yet… Anish fell soon after for thirteen, and Sid Tewari came to the wicket. Stu smashed four more sixes to end up on 130 not out, with Sid finishing on six from his three balls. BICC had set a very challenging 211 for MIB to win from their 20 overs.
Mohsin decided to open with himself, alongside another debutant in Rez Hassan. Their first overs went for just five and seven runs respectively, setting a good tone for the innings. A more expensive third over was followed by a wicket in the fourth, with Rez claiming his first BICC wicket. Mohsin took himself off, probably to calm down after the traditional dropped catch off of his bowling. Sid came onto bowl in the fifth over, and like the openers had a cheap first over. In the following over, MIB opener Shankar fell foul to the same local rule as Hamza had in our innings. Rez finished his four overs with impressive figures of 1-23, and Sid took a break having gone for just 12 from his two overs. Umer Razi and Stu came on to bowl, both keeping the pressure on and the required run rate going up. Umer took a wicket in his first over, bowling Prasanna as he tried to reverse sweep it, and Stu took one in his second over, having Shubh caught behind by Hamza. Naresh and Harpreet came to the crease, facing an evermore daunting task. The two built a good 55 run partnership, before the former was run out following some confusion by Anish. With MIB now requiring over 20 an over, Mohsin brought back Sid for one over, with Stu finishing his four overs at the other end, matching Rez’s figures of 1-23. For the final over, outgoing skipper Mohsin came back on trying to get himself a wicket. MIB required 43 runs, meaning the game was done and dusted. They scored ten off the final over, but sadly Mosh couldn’t get his wicket. But BICC had won the game and the first edition of the Slog Fest cup!
Everyone did whatever the 2020 equivalent of shaking hands is, took a couple of team photos, congratulating Stu for his fine knock and Mohsin for his near four years as captain. We retired to our favourite chiringuito Tropical Jesu, for the first time in six months for a celebratory tipple. Mohsin gave a farewell speech and announced Sid as the new captain. Sid himself then gave his own speech and announced Stu as his vice-captain. Roll on the next season of the Slog Fest cup!
Long Live the Supreme Leader.
See scorecard here
The BICC 12-man squad arrived for their fifth Menorca tour across the Friday night and Saturday morning, chasing two victories to take their tally to ten games unbeaten against the Menorquins. The squad included three newbies, birthday boy Mohan ‘our favourite Indian’ Reddy, David ‘Big Joe’ Evans and Nakul ‘Nockles’ Vyas, along with the long awaited return of ex-President Rob ‘I’ve lost my sunglasses’ Paterson. With rain forecast all of Friday night and much of Saturday there were worries we wouldn’t get a game. Fortunately, the sun came out and a delayed, over-reduced game could begin at about 2 o’clock.
Supreme Leader Nawaz won the toss and elected to bat. With President Damien having graciously offered to sit out this match, he was cruelly denied the opportunity to sit in the sun soaking up the cricket (amongst other things), after being volunteered to umpire all 70 overs. Mohan and Umer Razi opened, but it was not to be a birthday debut to remember for Mohan as he fell early. Keeper Alex ‘Saffer’ Wallauz joined and they formed a solid partnership, taking BICC to 76-1 before Alex was caught for 29. This began a mini collapse, as three wickets fell for just eight runs, including a duck for Stu Boyd and a harsh run out for Rob (despite including the least gracious dive you’ll ever see on a cricket pitch). Fortunately, everyone’s favourite South African Warren Meredith joined Umer at the crease and scored a quickfire 30. After he edged behind, it fell to Sid Tewari to help fire some quick runs as the innings drew to a close. In the penultimate over, opener Umer finally fell, having scored a fine 50 where he was the backbone of the innings (he’ll tell you he scored 81, mind). BICC eventully set a total of 169-7 off their 35 overs.
The skipper decided to open the bowling with himself and Nakul, who both managed to keep it tight. They didn’t manage to get a breakthrough until the sixth over though, when Nakul had Julian Hagger caught by his opening bowling partner. The score was just 13 and the next wicket would take just two more overs before Nakul struck again, bowling Adam Cockroft. The score was now 28-2, as Mallorcan guest Ali Mujhid walked out to the crease. He formed a formidable partnership with keeper Andy Tysoe as the pair of them reached the 40s. First change bowlers Dave and Sam were unable to continue the opening pair’s pressure, nor take any wickets (albeit not helped by a dropped catch off Sam’s bowling). Eventually, Warren and Sid were bought on. Warren had quick success, taking the wicket of the dangerous Ali (48) in his first over, caught in the deep with quite possibly the finest running catch ever seen on a cricket pitch* by yours truly. The next wicket would come in the very next over, with Sid relying on the skipper’s safe pair of hands to dismiss Grant Wilson for a duck. Still, with the score now 103-4 off 21 overs, Menorca were getting dangerously close to their first win over BICC, although looking far less secure than they had done on 102-2 just seven balls earlier. When opener Andy (41) finally fell a few overs later after missing a straight Sid ball, BICC got their tails up. From this point, 44 were required off the final eight overs, with the Menorca’s fast scoring skipper Simon Cotton walking to the crease. Fortunately, for BICC, no one was able to hold down the other end and give him support, with Stu, Umer and a run out from Dave dismissing Pavan Nerella, Akter Husain and Russell Day with none of them scoring more than six. In amongst these rapidly falling wickets, Simon was “dropped” after yours truly again took another great catch in the deep, only to end up falling over the rope. Despite the quick wickets, MCC had gotten themselves into a position where they only needed 10 off the final two overs. Step up Stu, who brilliantly bowled a maiden in the penultimate over, including the run out from Dave.
Still 10 needed off the final six deliveries. Mohsin vs Simon. Skipper vs skipper. Three results still possible. Who would come out on top? First ball, dot. 10 off five. Second ball, wicket! Mohsin bowled Simon and BICC could smell victory. Ten off four, with numbers ten and eleven at the crease. Between them, they could only muster three singles and a dot ball, meaning BICC won by six runs in one of the tensest and most exciting matches between the two sides thus far. The two teams dusted themselves down and discussed BICC’s latest MCC win over a beer or two. Following this, BICC headed out for the now traditional curry at Rainbow Spice before hitting the town.
See scorecard here
Some weary Barcelona and Menorca eyes turned up to the ground on Sunday morning to basking sunshine, a great relief from the forecasts of thunderstorms all morning. Whilst it had rained overnight, it was not a problem and the match was able to start on time. BICC won the toss and chose to bat, with the possibility of rain later in the afternoon still in the air. A different opening pair of Mohsin and regular Menorcan guest Umer (43) headed out to the middle attempting to win the eighth consecutive meeting between these two teams. With the score on 67-1 following a 50 partnership between Umer and Sid (25), Umer was “controversially” given out LBW, with the opening batsman the only person complaining. Eventually it fell to a hungover middle-order of Stu (49*), Warren (30) and Jeremy (17) to guide the score resembling something a good score. BICC reached 187-9 off their 40 overs.
Over tea, both teams were optimistic of their chances, although BICC realised they would have to bowl well and take all their chances to win the game. And, to quote every clickbait story ever, you’ll never believe what happened next…
The first wicket fell to Jeremy on just the fifth ball. This brought the dangerous JD to the crease, albeit momentarily as he called a suicidal run and was run out by a combination of Joe and keeper Alex’s efforts. With the score on 1-2 and following two maiden overs, Menorca were beginning to feel the pressure, and in just the fourth over Mohsin picked up another wicket. After six overs Menorca were struggling on 2-3, but Jeremy was about to make it worse with another wicket. Mohsin took himself off after four maiden overs and impressive figures of 1-0. Unfortunately for Menorca the torture wasn’t about to end there, as, like on Saturday, Sam got a wicket in his first over. The score was now 7-5 after ten overs, and now it was surely a forgone conclusion. Another wicket fell to Sam in his second over, but this brought barman Jeff (30*) and Andorran guest Mike (14*) together. The two of them batted well, forming a wall in front of the stumps that their teammates had been unable to do. That being said, there were still plenty of near chances, and swings and misses but BICC were unable to make another breakthrough, despite the attempts of Sam, Joe, Stu and Warren. As the innings progressed, the rain fell harder and harder, and at just after 3:30 the umpires took the players off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the game was abandoned, with the rain continuing to fall and an already slippery Astroturf wicket only getting worse. Following some calculations online, it was confirmed that BICC had won the game, even on the Duckworth/ Lewis method. After 24 overs, Menorca reached 65-6 with the par score being 127. This meant that BICC had beaten Menorca again, this time by 62 runs, making the overall score 8-0. Hopefully next time they can give us a bit more of a game(!), although well done to Jeff and Mike for batting 12 overs in difficult conditions and showing up their teammates.
And so concluded our weekend away, getting wet but with two victories from two games. A big thanks to everyone at Menorca who makes it possible and for inviting us for a fourth time. We always feel so welcome and you are such terrific hosts. Thanks also to everyone at Andorra for playing in the right spirit and for being a great laugh. Here’s hoping we can host each other one day soon.
See scorecard here
BICC’s first game of the weekend against Andorra. Such was the excitement of the two teams to play on a beautiful, grass (GRASS!) pitch that the match actually started before the advertised 12pm. At the toss, Mohsin declared that BICC would bat first and the deadly pair of Joe (14) and Alex (20) were sent out to open. The top five all got decent starts and set a good base. However, a mini collapse saw BICC go from 74-2 to 84-5 and then 104-6 after 24 of the 40 overs. Fortunately, the lower middle-order came to the rescue somewhat. Some good shots from Umer (29), Damien (54) and Mohsin (26*) allowed BICC to set Andorra an unlikely 225 to win, with BICC all out in the final over. It must be said that Andorra bowled well, with four bowlers each taking two wickets.
A wonderfully cooked cricket tea of steak and chips followed, before a pessimistic Andorra headed to the middle. Their first step was to see off the new ball threat from Mohsin and BICC debutant Jeremy. Some mean bowling from them (1-16 and 3-10 respectively) left Andorra struggling at 24-4, with the top order finding the pace and bounce from both ends difficult to handle. This fourth wicket brought Hepburn to the crease, fresh from top scoring for Andorra on Friday with 39. Captain Mohsin then rotated the bowling. There was no rest bite for Andorra though as Sam took a wicket in his first over. Hepburn (51*) again proved difficult to dismiss, but wickets at the other end were falling on such a regular basis that the Andorrans were finding it difficult to pad up in time. Sam (3-24) blew the chance for a hat-trick by bowling a full toss but it mattered little. Warren (2-2) came on to clean up the tail before Sid went one better than Friday by clean bowling Vicky to end the innings. BICC had won by 140 runs, with Andorra again bowled out within 25 overs. Being the positive bunch that they are, they at least clinged on to the fact that they had bettered their score against Menorca, having finished on 84 all out. The match had again finished relatively early, but nobody complained with plenty on offer at the bar!
See scorecard here
Menorca batted first and posted a very impressive 241 for 6 with T Gallagher hitting an unbeaten century. J Davies also weighed in again with 47 runs for the home teams cause.
Barcelona responded will to the run chase and finally chased down the competitive total with six wickets to spare.
A wonderful end to another great season of cricket in Menorca. Fittingly, the club reached out to the community and were delighted to be able to present Club Vidalba who organise sporting activities for children and young adults with a cheque for 724€.
Well done to everyone who participated.
Author unknown https://cricketspain.es/menorca-end-season-with-triangular-tournament/
See scorecard here
This will be a rather truncated report, I'm afraid, more of a short list of honorable mentions really. The match happened far too long ago and I didn't take notes.
Our first game of the year got off to a good start with pretty much everybody arriving on time and helping with the kit and the mat. A basic sign of a real team, long may it last.
Before Alex won the toss we lent Harry to Sant Andreu, who was last man to arrive (he'd informed us he'd be a bit late) and so was on 12th man duties. I'm not sure we'll be so quick to lend Sr.Batra to another team again.
BICC decided to have a bat and the new pairing of Umer and Tanzeer got off to a watchful start. Umer fell LBW (Sid?!) trying to break the shackles of some good opening bowling for 3, which brought in the in form Alex.
Batting with intent from the off, the skipper showed the way with some fine drives, and Tanzeer played a quieter innings which accelerated later on, until the 6th over when he hit a six and then was out. But his 29 off 27 was a very decent opening hand, and Ash came in with things looking good for BICC.
Alex continued to play his own game, fluent and fast scoring and Ash chipped in also, dismissing anything on his legs with customary class. After he was out for 18 the batting collapsed a bit due to the opposition bowling Harry. He claimed the wickets of Rob , Alex, Nadim and Shayne and finished with 4-17.
Alex, man of the match, scored an excellent 59 off just 37 deliveries and a total of 152 was set.
Being a batsman its not surprising that this is where things get a bit hazy. People bowled, wickets fell, the opposition collapsed for 82. Mosh bowled with good rhythm but somehow never found an edge. Umer tossed them up with guile and got 4-16 (sorry Harry) and Sid got a couple. We took our catches (4), fielded with commitment as always and Ash stumped the last man off Shayne's bowling.
A good effort all round. The only other thing to mention was the Presidente losing his rag with Adolf the groundsman. Roger has been informed and we are meeting with the management next week. Hopefully metal spikes will not be driven into the outfield while we are playing ever again.
See scorecard here
Brief match report BICC vs Sant Andreu CC October 18th:
Looking to follow up our win against Gracia CC, Alex won the toss and elected to bat. We know by now that teams here don't like to chase any half decent score and once again we got off to a healthy start with Umer (25/39)and Sid (25/26) putting on a good opening stand (with not many chances this time round.) Then Alex came in and batted fluently to top score (38/25) with brief cameos from Rob (16/13) and Nadim (17/12). 158 on the board felt like enough, but these boys were runners up in the league last year so we still had to bowl well.
After an expensive first over the bowlers tightened things up really well. Sid claimed a wicket in each of his first two overs and Mohsin got the danger man in his third. Harshad bowled accurately and fast from his first delivery and showed what a good addition he is to the bowling attack with a wicket with his 4th bal (the first three being dots.) Their batting line up was diminished slightly from their normal XI and their innings never got going. Umar, Hiro and Rob each got a wicket and Harry impressed with 2 in one over. Sant Andreu CC were eventually all out for 86.
So, back to back wins and a real sense of momentum. BICC on the up and up!
See scorecard here
In the last 12 months BICC have played Gracia 6 times and, despite us taking a 3-1 lead, they clawed back to draw it 3-3 (mainly through very disciplined bowling.) A win this Saturday would not only be a great start to the season but also go some way to restoring order.
Alex won the toss and put them in to bat, showing a belief in his bowlers that was totally soon justified. Mohsin and Sid started well and when Sid bowled a maiden in his 2nd over the pressure proved too much and the wickets began to fall. In Mosh's 3rd over he had their good opener plumb lbw and the very next ball had another - finding an edge that looped (at lightening speed) to the ever safe (ish) hands of Rob at slip. His hatrick ball missed the edge by a whisker but the next one had their number 5 playing on to his stumps. They were suddenly 24 for 3.
Umer, in the wickets once again, got the next two lbw but there was a bit of a rearguard fight from the visitors and keeping them to under 100 became our aim. Thanks to outstanding fielding all round (special mentions to Alex, Rollo, Ted and Mosh) we kept their scoring chances to a lean minimum.
Harshad, after a few looseners, found his radar and his pace (along with the odd mystery ball full toss!) were too much for the opposition and the three wickets he claimed in his maiden BICC match were all played on. Hiro came on and bowled well, round the wicket providing a different angle for the batsmen to contend with and getting the 8th wicket with a good yorker length delivery.
The last wicket fell to a similar delivery from Sid whose accuracy and clever change of pace make him the best bet to be most economic bowler two seasons running.
The total was 93 all out after 16 overs and confidence in the BICC camp was palpable. Gracia CC were ever graceful not only in their umpiring but also in clapping us in.
So expectations were high as Sid And Umer went in to open and their composed stand of 50 was potentially the last nail in the coffin for any chance of a Gracia win. There will always be chances early on, especially batting on our pitch, but they both batted very well and timed some classy front foot drives through the covers.
However, being a team that likes to entertain - once Sid fell for 20ish - the BICC top order decided to make things interesting. Last season's top scorer Alex fell to a good full one first ball and two balls later Ash (BICC 's all time top scorer and Spain International) fell to a weird one that somehow dribbled off his pads and onto the stumps. Three wickets in four deliveries - just like the opposition - but thankfully with double the runs on the board.
Rob came in and doggedly defended, occasionally scoring off his legs (the sides of.) Meanwhile Umer continued to look untroubled and a stand of 20 odd runs (in both senses of the word) restored some calm. When Rob fell lbw to Mohsin the score was 73 for 4 and just 21 were needed to win. Hiro fell early but Rollo dug in and Man of The Match Moshin struck two consecutive maximums to seal an excellent victory.
So, a very good start to the season. As Ash said, one of the best fielding performances in a long time and - despite a wobble - when your top 5 get 80% of the runs required you're in good shape, especially as BICC bat increasingly deep.
See scorecard here
Once again the toss was avoided as the tourists elected to bat first. Mohsin Nawaz was up once again and bowled a great line from ball one. Enzo Balke came on a the other end and also bowled beautifully not giving away an inch and bowling the bowl right on the spot. The first breakthrough came in Enzo's second over and he rattled the stumps of the opening batsman leaving them 1/10. Mosh picked up the second wicket in his third over cleaning up their other opener and they were 2 /15. Mosh and Enzo were given a rest in the heat after a great spell by both and Paolo Toffolo and Siddhartha Tewari took the reigns and also gave away nothing. Sid got a wicket in his first over, bowled, and the tourists were 3/33. Tidy bowling all round meant Moreton never had an easy shot and the run rate was kept quite low. Sid grabbed another in his third over bowled and they were 4/48 with their best bat, and captain, heading back to the pavillion. Umer Razi took over from Paolo and was immediately rewarded with a wicket with his first ball as Paolo picked up a catch. But Sid wasn't finished yet. He got two more, one caught by me and the other bowled as he collected four wickets for the match. Umer bowled another batsman and then again shortly after (which we called a no ball and brought the batsman back) Shayne Rotte got in on the action and grabbed a stumping with the help of Nadim Aseq A Arman and as I ran off to the loo Ted Richards snuck in for an over which left them with a total of 64.
Umer and Aamir Naseer opened the batting. The first to fall was Aamir and we were 1/6. Controversially Sid was promoted to number 3 he and Umer put on 20 more before Umer, after hitting a nice six, was bowled 11(7). That brought Rob Paterson to the crease. The battle for highest run scorer is hot and as Alex Wollauz waited patiently for his chance to push his total further ahead but was denied as no other wicket came. Sid and Rob collected the rest of the runs in 14.3 overs leaving Sid 26*(33) and Rob 38*(39) and that was that. We finished up with the usual banter and speeches and we have now three consecutive wins and momentum coming to the mid season break.
See scorecard here
We lost the toss and were put into bowl. With started with Mohsin Nawaz and Enzo Balke who both applied the pressure from the get go. Enzo picked up the first wicket caught by the safe hands of Sid Tewari in the deep. In Mohsin's third over he was on the verge of another hatrick, bowling the other opener and following it with an LBW but they managed to defend out the rest of the over. Amair Naseer took the reigns from Enzo and Sid took over from Mosh. Sid bowled really tight and built up the pressure and in his 2nd over was rewarded picking the danger man who was looking settled bowled! Mosh picked up a run out and we had five wickets down. Umer Razi came in and although despite going for 16 in his first over grabbed a wicket providing Mosh with a catch. Sid then picked up the other danger man enticing him down the pitch to the eagerly awaiting Alex Wollauz who removed the stumps. Umer then snatched two more in his 3rd over. First bowled and the second caught and bowled. Ahmad Bilal had just one over before Umer picked up his 4th and final wicket of the game for a chasable total of 127. A great all round fielding performance as they had 88 for not many after 10 overs.
After bowling so well Umer needed a breather and passed the buck to Aamir with great results.Sid faced nine deliveries before being bowled for 5. The opposition were bowling well. But that didn't stop Aamir and Alex putting on 35 run partnership before Alex got a corker of a delivery and was bowled 16(16). Umer came in and he and Aamir put on another 44 with Aamir really enjoying his time at the crease and playing some nice, and sometimes interesting shots around the ground. Umer was then stumped 11(18). I came in and we put on 22 more before I too was bowled 10(16). Ahmad came in and whacked a 2 and two fours before being bowled 10(4). Aamir's luck finally run out just short of his 50. 43 off 30 balls. We needed about ten more runs with a few overs remaining. Shayne Rotte managed 2(9) of them before being bowled and Sunny also adding 2(2) and the nerves seemed to be creeping in. Mosh and Enzo battled away. It came down to the last over, Ted Richards sat anxiously waiting, as he waited to see if the others could muster the last four runs required. Enzo 2(4*) grabbed a quick single and then our hero came in the form of the match winning shot from Mosh 5(4*) as he "placed" the ball, which was dropped the by the slip, over the boundary for four GAME OVER!!!!!! It was a really great match.
I must comment on the sportsmanship of both sides. It really reminded me what cricket is all about and why we all spend our time to come down and play.