25 overs per side

Ibiza skipper Graeme Cooper welcomed the visitors’ skipper Steve Richie, and the hosts were asked to bat first. Ibiza openers Martin Cooper and Jolyon Swinburne (22) lost no time in scoring runs rapidly at a healthy rate of over 10 per over, so that the first wicket fell with the score on 54. Sam Gooda then joined Martin Cooper in a productive 80 run partnership that was only broken when the latter fell on 94, unfortunately just short of his century. Sam Gooda continued to his half century (58) in another useful 83 run partnership with Robin Parmenter (38), pushing the score beyond 200. When both batsmen fell in quick succession, skipper Graeme Cooper and Paul Crutwell finished the Ibiza innings on 239/4 off 25 overs, which Ibiza felt they could defend. The SLOBS bowlers took little time in getting used to the unusual wicket and bowlers. Paul Taylor, Steve Richie, Jarred Wakefield and Tom Goodwin all contributed a wicket each.

The visitors then batted steadily enough, without losing too many wickets. They were always below the required run rate, requiring over 130 runs off 12 overs at the halfway stage but with plenty of wickets in hand. However, SLOBS batsmen Jason Underhill (50) and Tom Goodwin combined to increase the scoring rate in a 103 run stand. While the latter batsman was given several lives by being dropped several times, including by yours truly (!), and several boundaries were let through. At the same time, the Ibiza Cricket Club bowlers began to tire on their first competitive match since last November, and Tom Goodwin went on to score a well deserved century including many classy boundaries. He finally went for 108 with the visitors still needing 60 runs. Batsmen Jared Wakefield (37 not out) and Paul Taylor combined to edge their team closer and closer to the target of 240. Ibiza tried to keep pressure on them, to such an extent that 3 runs were still needed to win off the last ball of the innings. Jared Wakefield kept his calm and managed to flick the ball through the off side field to score the winning boundary, the visitors winning an enthralling contest by 5 wickets. The Ibiza bowlers tried hard, but ultimately came up just short, with Chairman Jeremy Parmenter obtaining 2 wickets, and Paul Crutwell, Robin Parmenter and Graeme Cooper contributing 1 each.

It is very unusual that nearly 500 runs were scored in 50 overs in Ibiza. Well done to all the players. 26/04/14 30 overs per side

This time, the visitors were asked to bat first and openers Kevin Ebutt (19) and Ben Lyle (20) were intent on scoring steadily, with more overs available than the previous day. However, they did seem keen to score quick singles as well, and after one scare, the next one was curtains for Ben Lyle. With a despairing dive, it was not enough to gain his ground and the first wicket fell in the 5th over. Indeed, SLOBS went from 39/0 to 64/4 by the 10th over, with Ibiza’s fielding more enthusiastic than the previous day. It was only a stubborn 50 run stand between Tom Goodwin (24 – him again!) and skipper Steve Richie (41) that got the visitors to 113 before Tom was well caught in the deep, and the pressure was back on the batsmen. However, Ibiza had learnt from the day before. They kept alert in the field so that SLOBS were not able to bat out their overs, and were finally all out for 148 in the 23rd over. It shows what a difference a day can make, with the visitors having scored 80 runs more on the previous day in the same amount of overs. The Ibiza bowlers all contributed, with Robin Parmenter (4/25) and Graeme Cooper (3/17) having the most success.

It was now up to Ibiza to bat sensibly. They need to score 5 runs per over (compared to over 9 runs the day before), to chase down what seemed an eminently gettable target. It was hoped that openers Jolyon Swinburne and Graham Boe would set up a solid platform for this. Jolyon struck several rapid boundaries in his 15, but then unfortunately chose the wrong moment to go for a quick single and ran himself out, with Ibiza on 15/1. Sam Gooda (16) then joined Graham Boe. They steadily accumulated runs at the required rate before the former was well bowled. Ibiza went from 15/0 to 56/3 and memories of past collapses came to mind, when skipper Graeme Cooper (35) combined with Graham Boe to bat sensibly in a crucial 68 run stand, moving the match back in favour of Ibiza. It was therefore fitting that the Ibiza opener, having kept out the visitors’ best bowlers all innings, struck the winning boundary in the 26th over, finishing on 71 not out, with Ibiza winning by 6 wickets in another competitive but friendly encounter.

All in all, this was a great two days of cricket. Many thanks to the SLOBS secretary John Ackroyd for organising their visit to Ibiza. Thanks as ever to Lyn for organising food and drinks, and Dave for scoring.