Ibiza CC v Holmbury St Mary CC
Date: Saturday 13 April 2019
Venue: San Augustin Stadium, Ibiza
Result: Holmbury win by 8 runs
Report by Mike MacDonagh
I promised to write some notes on our triumphant tour of Ibiza last weekend. I won't go into any details of what happened off the pitch because what happens on tour stays on tour!
We arrived early and keen on the day of the first game, finding our way into the ground, an astroturf soccer pitch, covered in rubber crumb. The opposition turned up in due course (much as we would for a home game) and we agreed that Holmbury would bat first (#avoidtossbat) in a 30 over game.
We picked our strongest side for the first game and, opening with Dan Russell, Nigel Menzies danced down the wicket to the first ball before leaving it in flamboyant fashion and was stumped. The opposition were bemused, especially as all the Holmbury players fell about laughing. The blame for this aberrant approach to his opening delivery falls partly to Nigel but also to Jonny Russell and his idea for "First ball bingo". Each player picked a scrap of paper from a hat, detailing the first stroke they should play to avoid censure from the 1829 Committee (the tour fines committee, named after the founding date of the club - at least according to our shirts). Nigel had the misfortune to draw "leave" and, despite diligent practice, failed to execute the stroke safely, despite the ball being perfect for it!
Jonny Russell (skipper for the day) then put on 25 for the second wicket with Dan before being bowled by a ball that kept even lower than most, on a wicket that was slow, low and very awkward. This brought Bradley Cooper to the wicket and he and Dan put on another 50 before Dan was out for a solid 25.
Mat Evans managed 15 but Holmbury's cream were struggling to time the ball and he was quickly followed by John Birdseye (2) and Monu Sharma for a duck (although kudos to Monu for attempting a reverse sweep to a legside delivery for his first shot!).
It wasn't until Paul Seligman joined Brad at the wicket that Holmbury started to accelerate. Brad played largely off the back foot and hit 3 sixes and 7 fours before he reached 50 and had to retire. Nic Evans (6), Will MacDonagh (0) and Geoff Finch (6) came and went before Brad was able to return to the crease for the last over.
Again, credit to Will for trying to play his shot, a square cut, to a first-ball beamer that bowled him off his body but was called a no ball on height; and to Geoff Finch for the shot of the day - having selected "ramp" for his first shot, not only did he play it but he executed it flawlessly, taking two runs in the process!
The last over would turn out to be crucial, Brad and Paul taking 31 runs from it, to lift Holmbury to what we were told was a par score of 183-9. Brad finished 73 not out and Paul 31 not out.
After tea (well, water and bocadillos) Will and Monu opened up for Holmbury and bowled accurately, restricting Ibiza CC to 27 without loss from the first 7 overs.
The introduction of Geoff Finch and Nic Evans (4 overs 1 for 11) paid off as each took wickets (Geoff 2) in their second over, as the home team fell to 38-3 from 11 overs. At this point, Jonny rang the changes to keep the game competitive, although Dan rather spoiled it by taking 2 for 8 from his two overs,
Nigel played his part again, conceding 25 from his two. 20 overs into their reply, Ibiza were 105 for 5 and Jonny turned to Paul and Mat to see us home. Paul (5 overs 1 for 29) took out the home team's best batter for 49 but he and Mat (bowling offspin and going for 23 from his two overs) continued to leak runs and Ibiza needed just 20 from the last three overs with 3 wickets in hand.
Enter Finchy - Geoff's last 9 balls were w.11.1w.w as Ibiza were bowled out for 175 with 3 balls remaining. Geoff finished with figures of 4.3 overs 5 for 15 and together with Brad and Paul's batting, he won the game for the tourists!
More of the second game to come - spoiler alert, the last over plays a big role in that one too!