GIBRALTAR - 12 October 2009
Mixed fortunes for Saracens CC.
Saracens CC, the visiting side from Hertfordshire, enjoyed mixed fortunes over the week-end, winning their Saturday fixture but going down on Sunday to GCA selections consisting of a mixture of seasoned players and youngsters.
The GCA Select XI batted first on the Saturday and made a poor start, losing two wickets with only twenty runs on the board. Ian Farrell and Steven Gonzalez then put together a partnership of 73 runs for the third wicket, at which point, the former, having just reached his half century, was adjudged leg before. Eleven runs later, Gonzalez holed out to deep mid wicket when ten runs short of his half century, and it was left to Chris Allan and Iain Latin to pick up the cudgels. They put on 39 runs for the fifth wicket but when both departed in quick succession there was little resistance forthcoming from the youngish tail and the side was dismissed for 153 in 31.5 overs. For Saracens CC, Andrew Young took 3/13 and there were two wickets apiece for Robert Morgan and Michael Bigby.
Vince Archer and Richard Young put on 35 runs for Saracens’ first wicket but it took them thirteen overs to accumulate them. When Archer went, leg before to Karl Sene, Greg Munday, helped Young to take the total along to 73 before being caught by Iain Latin off the bowling of Chris Allan for 26. Allan struck again with the total on 94 to bring Young’s long vigil at the crease to an end; he had scored 13 runs off 69 balls! Runs continued to be slow in coming and with wickets falling at regular intervals a close finish was in prospect as the required run rate continued to rise. At this point, young Matthew Hunter, guesting for the visitors, came to their rescue hitting four boundaries in his 23 and when he was run out only seven runs were required for victory with eleven balls left. Saracens CC managed this with a full over to spare, their final total being 175/8. For the locals, Karl Sene and Chris Allan took two wickets apiece.
The local selection again batted first, Paul Buttigieg and Scott Chipolina putting on 34 runs in the opening eight overs before the former had his stumps disturbed. After the loss of a second wicket cheaply, Steven Gonzalez joined Chipolina and these two took the total to three figures before the latter was trapped leg before with his personal score on 34. This brought Kabir Mirpuri to the crease and he was quite content to nudge singles whilst his partner showed more aggressive intent. With the total on 142 and 25 of the allotted forty overs gone, Gonzalez tried one hit too many and was well caught in the deep mid-wicket boundary for 63. However, this brought no respite for the Saracens’ bowlers as Richard Buzaglo came to the crease and hit 45 runs off just 35 balls to take the total past the 200 mark. Mirpuri, too, began to accelerate ending undefeated on 55 scored at a run a ball, the local side being dismissed with one ball left of the allotted forty overs for a very healthy 261. Jeffery Allan was the pick of the visitors’ bowlers, returning figures of 4/37.
Facing an asking rate of 6.55 runs an over, Andrew and Richard Young put on 53 runs for the first wicket at a rate of just over four. The entry of Mirpuri into the attack then turned the game the locals’ way as he claimed three victims at a personal cost of ten runs in his opening spell of six overs and with the total on 72/4 and half the allotted overs gone, only one winner was likely. However, the visitors refused to go down without a fight and Greg Munday and Robert Morgan began to hit the ball to all corners of the ground in a fifth wicket stand of 126 and so long as these two remained at the crease anything was possible. With the total on 198, a terrible mix up between the two batsmen resulted in Morgan being run out when eight short of his half century and the only matter to be resolved after that was whether Munday could reach his century, which he duly did much to the delight of his colleagues and supporters. He remained undefeated on 104 in a final total of 233/6. Mirpuri was the star of the GCA select taking 3/32 to add to his fighting half century earlier in the day.