Following a fantastic morning which saw the annual Think Pink Cancer Charity match - where batsman are wearing pink tutus, serious cricket dawned on the PWCG as the first quarter final match for the BCF T20 competition was about to start.
1st Division leaders, Hasselt CC were welcomed and in good form, were sure to be a stern test for the 2nd Division leaders.
Optimists captain, Richard Neale won the toss and elected to bat first.
Vice Captain, Saransh Kulshrestha and Reinhardt Heyns opened the innings. Unfortunately, Reinhardt succumbed early on to a good slower ball which brought Richard Neale to the crease. Captain and Vice-Captain led from the front and attacked what was a good opening bowling partnership from Hasselt. Saransh hit a sumptuous cover drive - shot of the day before eventually chopping on for 29, Vikram - normally a run machine came unstuck to a fantastic delivery that pitched on leg, moved off the seam and took the top of off. Aanand Pandey joined Neale and together kept the run-rate going and at the halfway stage, the Optimists CC were on 77-3.
Neale was eventually dismissed for 45 having feathered a very fine edge through to the keeper.
The youngster, Chris Fry joined the party and between Fry and Pandey, the quick singles dramatically went up as did some very good running between the wickets to put the fielding team under pressure which showed with a few mistakes.
Pandey eventually went trying to up the run rate in the dying overs for 29 and Fry was run out for 22. Atif Kamal, Yatin Bhamare and James Barker all contributed with cameo innings to give Optimists a score of 161 which we felt was a par score.
A quick turn-around and Optimists took to the field with the new ball going to Atif Kamal who struck in the first over thanks to a sharp catch from Vikram Vijh. Not to be outdone, fellow new ball partner, Yatin Bhamare also took a wicket in his first over with a fine catch done the leg side from wicket-keeper William Heath.
However, it was Atif who had the real appetite for wickets and in his second over dismissed a further two Hasselt batsman and then another in his following over to leave the Optimists well on top as Hasselt were 34-5 off 5 overs.
The Hasselt danger man was still at the crease though and Zaki was starting to get his eye in with some finely struck shots and some huge sixes. Vikram took two wickets during his three overs and victory was looking a certainty - just needed to get Zaki!
However, debutant Ankush Nanda came up with the answer and saw Zaki caught at deep mid-off thanks to a good catch from Chris Fry.
With an obvious thirst, or maybe Ankush saw the curry arriving, it only took him one further ball to finish the game by clean bowling the number 11 to give the Optimists a mighty win and leave Ankush stranded on 2 wickets in 2 balls and looking for his hat-trick next match!
It was an excellent display from the Optimists and a clinical win with much praise from the crowd on the Optimists excellent fielding performance.
The 1st team are now through to the finals day at Royal Brussels CC on 29th September.