First friendly match for the Marauders XI

Some exciting and competitive matches are be played in the forthcoming weeks for Malta Cricket

Malcolm Crabbe had the best bowling figures 4 wickets for 7 runs
Malcolm Crabbe had the best bowling figures 4 wickets for 7 runs

Competitions include participation of the Malta Cricket Team in the Central Europe Cup to be held in Prague, Czech Republic between the 12th and 14th June and then straight after we have the local Cricket Summer League, last Saturday’s game at Marsa was a friendly, warm up T20 match between a Marsa Select XI and the Marauders XI.

The Marauders XI won the toss and elected to field. This was the Marauders XI first game of 2015 since most of their players were involved in the local rugby competitions. The players mentioned they were a bit rusty for this first game but their passion and determination to do well on the field didn’t show it!

For the Marsa Select XI Mark Sacco and Adam Krishna opened the batting. Bowlers Matt Wheeler and Dean Arnold bowled their hearts out but just could not break the opening partnership. It wasn’t until the eighth over that Adam Krishna fell, bowled by Arnold in his final over of his spell. Krishna batted well for his 20 runs and Mark Sacco, having survived not losing his off stump by a whisker twice, retired on 26 runs. Next batsman Malcolm Crabbe scored 23 off 19 balls, while wickets fell around him. Joy Ghoseroy and Feroz Ahmed Akbar only scored 4 & 3 respectively. Eventually Crabbe was caught at deep mid wicket by Garrett Kampff, who took the ball on his chest but managed to hold on to the ball to the delight (and relief) of bowler Michael Caruana. Caruana finished his spell of four overs taking 3 wickets for 28 runs.

The Marauders XI fielders didn’t look rusty or tiring in the heat and threw themselves at everything to stop the runs. With five overs remaining batsmen Haroon Majeed and skipper Sam Aquilina had the freedom to swing their bats and this they did! They scored a 51 run partnership. Although there was a last ball run out, the Marsa Select XI still had a convincing score of 160 for 6 wickets. The Marauders XI bowled 22 extras.

The sun on the day for this T20 match was at its hottest for the year, so the ice creams supplied at the innings break were very welcome!

With the Marauders XI feeling unlucky that they missed out on taking early wickets, the question put forward was, were they going to be luckier with the bat? Well the answer arrived sooner than they thought as they were 5 wickets down within 4 overs for only 10 runs! Bowler Malcolm Crabbe was on a hat trick twice after taking wickets with consecutive balls in his first two overs. Niraj Khanna bowled from the golf course end and clean bowled the ever consistent No.4 batsman Michael Caruana for a duck. Interviewed after the match, Khanna remarked, “The ball moved back in off the seam a lot more than I even anticipated it to. I was very happy with that delivery!”

With the Marauders XI struggling to stay in the match, having scored only 18/7 off 6 overs and running out of batsmen fast, AJ Thompson, J Grimwood and Chris Belford decided to stay at the crease as long as possible. The innings lasted 17 overs and AJ Thompson top scored with 19 runs. The Marauders final tally was 59 runs. Marsa Select XI won by a margin of 100 runs. Malcolm Crabbe finished with his career best figures of 4 wickets for 7 runs.

As mentioned at the beginning, this was a friendly, warm up match and the winner was the spirit the game was played in on a lovely sunny afternoon. Players were clapped on and cheered off and both teams shared a drink after the match.

Umpires: Alan Swift & Les White   Scorer: Eric Balakrishna

This coming Saturday: There will be another Summer League warm-up T20 match at Marsa starting at 1:00pm. Also, the Sunoco Cricket Academy will continue at 9am.