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Sporting Alfas beat Madrid to take the final

Tue, Sep 25, 2007 2:42 PM


Sporting Alfas 239 for 5 beat Madrid 175 all out by 64 runsLast weekend saw the finale of the Spanish league, as Madrid CC took on Sporting Alfas in La Manga, Spain.

Madrid C.C. won the toss and invited Alfas to bat. Accurate bowling by the Madrid opening pair of Khan and Lunn, restricted Alfas to a relatively slow scoring rate at the start of its innings. With the total having reached twenty-five in the seventh over, Khan claimed the wicket of Ali and Pennick was run out without facing a ball. When Alvi and Cooper replaced the Madrid opening bowlers they, together with some enthusiastic fielding, also restricted the flow of runs and Grindey and Howe had to work hard on the frustratingly slow La Manga pitch and outfield. At the end of the twenty-fifth over the Alfas score had progressed to 93-3 with Grindey having been run-out for a patient thirty-four.

It was a fourth wicket stand between Howe and Crompton that ensured Alfas would post a competitive total as the pair added one hundred and twenty three runs. With Howe playing the anchor role, it was Crompton's fifty-eight from fifty-one deliveries that gave the innings impetus and took the score to 221-4 with three over of the innings remaining.

Madrid claimed its final wicket of the afternoon when Howe's marathon innings came to an end in the last over with his score standing at ninety-four. It had been a splendid effort from the Alfas captain, full of determination and application. Although the Madrid bowlers failed to claim many wickets, Khan, Lunn and Cooper all produced economical performances.

When Madrid started its reply, Akmal looked to be in good form. Munoz claimed two early wickets from his five overs spell to leave the Madrid's total standing at 34-2 after ten overs. By the time the twentieth over was reached, Madrid had progressed to 73-3, with Akmal (30) having been run out.

The next ten overs bowled by Laundon and Taylor proved to be crucial as the Madrid batsmen were unable to maintain the required run rate, with only twenty-four runs accruing and Leonida (28) falling to Taylor. With an asking rate of over seven runs per over, the task proved beyond the remaining Madrid batsmen, although Khan flourished briefly with an aggressive thirty-four. Attempts to score rapidly against the leg-spin of Crompton proved impossible and he completed a fine afternoon's work by claiming 4-21 from his seven overs as the Madrid side was dismissed in its final over to give Sporting Alfas a well deserved sixty-four runs victory.

It had been an excellent performance by the Alfas team in which both batsmen and bowlers had worked hard for the afternoon's success. The fact that only twenty-seven boundaries were scored throughout the afternoon shows clearly that the slow pitch and outfield at La Manga makes it hard work for batsmen, who do not get value for their stroke play, and that accurate medium paced and slow bowlers are the key to success at the ground.
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