Catalonia crowned champions of the inaugural taverners La Manga Twenty20 Cup

Wed, Nov 19, 2008 5:31 PM

Last weekend six teams from three different countries competed in the inaugural La Manga 20/20 cup at the prestigious La Manga resort in Southern Spain. The tournament was run in conjunction with the Lord and Lady Taverners and former England internationals Rachel Heyhoe Flint and Derek Underwood were on hand to watch some fine cricket and to present medals to the two finalists.

The six teams competing were Falco, Catalonia and a Cricket Espana Invitational XI from Spain, Elliot and Sinjuns CC from the United Kingdom and Lions CC from Oslo in Norway.

The format of the competition was for each team to play each other once with the top two teams going forward to the final. Both La Manga pitches were utilised and first up were the Sinjuns against Catalonia and the Lions CC faced Falco. Both Barcelona based teams showed their intent by beating the opposition by 9 wickets and 98 runs respectively.

Falco consolidated their fine start with a second win, this time against the Sinjuns by 141 runs and Elliot and a Cricket España Invitational XI played their first game of the tournament with the honours going to the London based outfit by 141 runs. In the final games of day one Elliot entertained the Lions and the Invitational XI pitted their wits against Catalonia. Both games went to form with Catalonia and Elliot winning comfortably. At the end of day one Elliot, Catalonia and Falco had two wins out of two, and it seemed the two finalists would come from these 3 teams.

Day two started with the mouthwatering prospect of Catalonia versus Falco. One teams 100 % record had to go and the bragging rights in this "Barcelona derby"went the way of Falco in a rather one sided affair. Elliot cemented their claim for the Taverners La Manga Trophy by demolishing a spirited Sinjun side by 211 runs. Elliot´s score of 307 for 0 wickets is believed to be a 20/20 record at La Manga and opener Chugtai-s remarkable 147 not out was arguably the innings of the tournament.

An exuberant Elliot went into their next match with Falco on an high but their joy did not last long as Falco put in a professional performance to dispose of the London club by 52 runs. At the same time, on the other pitch the Invitational XI outlasted Lions CC to win by 37 runs. This was mainly due to an outstanding all round performance by Wasim, who scored 43 runs and claimed 5 wickets for 30.

The final matches of day two saw the Invitational XI secure their second win on the trot by disposing of the Sinjuns, and Catalonia shrugged off the dissapointment of their earlier defeat by Falco to claim the scalp of the Lions by 53 runs.

Day two ended with Falco already assured of a final place thanks to four wins out of four. The Invitational XI with two consecutive wins put themselves into contention but it seemed more likely the winners of the Elliot v Catalonia game would secure the other final position. So it prooved, with Catalonia seeing off the Elliot challenge by 7 wickets. The game between the Lions and Sinjuns was equally entertaining with the winners claiming their first points of the tournament. The spoils went the way of the Oslo based Lions and in the last group match before the final Falco maintained their 100 % record by beating the Invitational XI in a restricted game.

So the final produced a second "Barcelona derby"and before the final both teams were presented to Derek Underwood and Rachel Heyhoe-Flint.

After the pleasantries Catalonia set about their task with a seriousness they had lacked in the group stage against theit local counterparts. Most of their batsmen made contributions but Asif (26), Khasif (38), and Khurran (29) deserve a special mention. In their allocated twenty overs Catalonia accumulated 174 runs and Falco had a much tougher game on their hands than at any time during the whole tournament.

Indeed, with the light fading the total prooved too much and despite a valiant 36 by opener Yasin the Falco team fell 36 runs short of the required score, leading to joyous scenes from the Catalonia players and supporters alike.

The presentation took place in the Piano bar at the Hyatt hotel, were Derek Underwood once again did the honours, and this was followed by a gala dinner in which a substantial sum was raised for the respective Lord and Lady Taverners charities.

The whole event was a great success and it is hoped this will be first of many, in which La Manga, Cricket Espana and The Lord and Lady Taverners work together to bring great cricket to Southern Spain.

Competing Teams

A: Falco CC - Spain
D: Catalonia CC - Spain

B. Lions CC - Norway
E: Invitation XI - Spain

C: Sinjuns CC - UK
F: Elliot CC - UK

Match Schedule

Sun 09
Falco v Lions
Sinjuns v Catalonia

Falco 215 for 3 beat Lions 117 for 3 by 98 runs. Man of the match Adnan 84 not out

Catalonia 97 for 1 beat Sinjuns 96 for 6 by 9 wickets

Invitation XI v Elliot
Falco v Sinjuns

Elliot 215 for 4 beat Invitation XI 74 all out by 141 runs

Falco 243 for 2 beat Lions 92 for 7 by 141 runs Man of the Match Yasin 32 runs and 1 wicket for 3 runs

Lions v Elliot
Catalonia v Invitation XI

Elliot 103 for 3 beat Lions 102 for 6 by 7 wickets. Man of the match Sibet 3 wickets for 9 runs

Catalonia 114 for 6 beat Invitational XI 112 for 4 by 4 wickets. Man of the match Graham Parker 35 runs and 4 catches

Falco v Catalonia
Sinjuns v Elliot

Falco 125 for 3 beat Catalonia 124 all out by 7 wickets. Man of the match Muharan 47 not out and 2 wickets for 26 runs

Elliot 307 for 0 beat Sinjuns 96 for 6 by 211 runs. Man of the Match Chugtai 147 not out

Lions v Invitation XI
Falco v Elliot

Invitation XI 195 for 7 beat Lions 158 all out by 37 runs. Man of the match Wasim 43 and 5 wickets for 30 runs

Falco 177 for 6 beat Elliot 125 for 8 by 52 runs

Invitation XI v Sinjuns
Catalonia v Lions

Invitation XI 153 for 7 beat Sinjuns 36 all out by 117 runs

Catalonia 178 for 6 beat Lions 125 for 4 by 53 runs. Man of the match Wasim (Lions) 28 not out and 2 wickets for 20

Catalonia v Elliot
Lions v Sinjuns

Catalonia 124 for 3 beat Elliot 122 all out by 7 wickets. Lions 128 for 1 beat Sinjuns 127 for 9 by 9 wickets

Falco v Invitation XI

Falco 172 for 6 beat Invitation XI 93 for 7 by 79 runs



Catalonia 174 for 9 beat Falco 138 all out by 36 runs

Man of the match and the torneo

Khashif Butt 38 runs and 3 wickets for 25 runs


Runners Up Falco

3rd place Elliot

4th place Invitational XI

5th place Lions

6th place Sinjuns

Umpires for La Manga Cup Final

Tony Smith & Ron Graham

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