25 overs per side
Ibiza welcomed back some of the Sporting Alfas players forming part of the Spain XL over 40s club, notably Captain Kevin Laundon and Geoff Evans, for some last match practice before the Balearic Cup from 8-11 May. Ibiza Cricket Club players Martin Makepeace and Paul Ambrose joined the visitors to enable a balanced 9 a side match. Spain XL batted first and scored steadily, with several batsmen getting starts but then losing their wicket, so Ibiza managed to restrict them to 125 for 6 after 25 overs, exactly 5 runs per over.
Openers Ben Marriner (28) and Bob Nix (20), plus Neil French (27), from Lanzarote, and the jovial John Braithwaite (27 not out) were the main contributors. Of the Ibiza bowlers’ newcomer Paddy Slater (2 for 9) and Skipper Graeme Cooper (3 for 14) stood out, with Paul Partridge contributing one wicket and plenty of banter.
Ibiza then batted and, despite a rapid 32 from opener Martin Cooper, lost several wickets and, at 60 for 4 and half their wickets gone, the game could have gone either way. However, Kiwi Andy Davies (36) and Robin Parmenter (31 not out) combined to steady the run chase, and, although Andy fell with the score on 102 for 5, Paddy Slater came in and scored the winning runs in the 21st over, Ibiza winning an enjoyable contest by 2 wickets. Of the visitors’ bowlers, John Braithwaite achieved 2/27, with Neil French, Ben Marriner and Kevin Laundon getting one wicket each.
30 overs per side
It was decided that Ibiza would bat first this time, with Spain XL being reinforced by former Ibiza player Bob Short, so an even contest was again expected. However, Ibiza openers Jolyon Swinburne and Martin Cooper batted steadily to see off the first Spain XL bowlers and the score was 51 when Martin Cooper was caught on the boundary in the 11th over. But then Jolyon (76 retired) and Sam Gooda (55 retired) combined to increase the run rate to 7 per over, then skipper Graeme Cooper went in to score a rapid 35 not out, allowing Ibiza to finish off their 30 overs on 215 for 1.
This appeared to be a competitive score but when the Spain XL openers Bob Short (57) and McKinstry (37) batted, they put on 82 runs in 14 overs before their partnership was broken. Then skipper Kevin Laundon (25) and Neil French (24) threatened another stand before losing their wickets and the visitors’ innings petered out in the final overs, their final score finishing on 170 for 7, Ibiza winning by 45 runs. The Ibiza bowlers and fielders were in good form, particularly Paul Cruttwell (2/10), Asian newcomer Baghu Parashar (2/39), and Graeme Cooper (3/26).
This is the third consecutive year that several of the Sporting Alfas players have come to Ibiza to give the hosts some much needed match practice before the Balearic Cup, and once again many thanks to Kevin Laundon and Geoff Evans for organising the trip.