Ostend 2nds v Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI on Sat 21 Apr 2012 at 14:00
Optimists Cricket Club Won won by 6 wickets

Match report On Saturday 21st April, the Optimists were meeting for the first time for the 2012 season to travel to Mechelen to play against Ostend 2nd XI in the BCF T20 competition. The venue had been moved only the evening before from Ostend to Mechelen due to bad weather conditions in Ostend.

However, upon arriving at Mechelen we quickly realised the cricket ground that once stood was looking more like Mechelen wetlands centre with all the water slushing over ones shoes as you walked around! A few phone calls later and it was decided the game should be played at Ostend due to a drier ground. So, back in the car and an hour and a half later, the Optimists arrived at Ostend.

It took the Ostend guys quite a bit longer than one and a half hours to get to Ostend from Mechelen, so after fearing we were part of some pratical joke left waiting in the drizzle and sea-breezes in Ostend that when they did appear, it meant the Optimists had automatically won the toss and skipper, Joost Mees decided to field.

The drama of the beginning of the day was only going to continue as Ostend fielded a very strong 2nd XI with a few familiar faces from thier 1st XI playing. Then after only the third ball being bowled by Taral Desai, he decided the track was too wet and slippery and so another conversation erupted about whether this ground was fit to play too. A change of shoes later, the off-field antics stopped and we could finally concentrate on the cricket!

Desai and Pandian opened the bowling in wet and windy conditions and kept things tight at the start. The first wicket came via a run out which saw the dangerous Ostend skipper back in the hut following a great piece of fielding from Arvind Pandey. The run outs continued as Richard Neale, fielding at mid-wicket through down the stumps with a direct hit to run the next batsman out. The next over, Neale came on to bowl and immediately made an impact dismissing another Ostend batsman, caught and bowled.
This signalled the entrance of Ostend's Rehman who was keen to prove he had not lost none of his strength and power over the winter. Neale, Wayne Codd and Ben Embleton were all victims to some huge sixes. Codd in particular though seemed to have Rehman uncomfortable at times with his variations in pace and nagging consistency. Codd was well rewarded with a wicket whilst Embleton at the other end was finding his form with the ball and also who took wickets, the latter of which was a fine stumping from Graham Cope.
It was not until the re-introduction of Desai until things really started going the Optimists way. He dismissed Rehman, caught behind for a very quick 46 and the score went from 119-4 off 14 overs to all out for 133. Arvind Pandey finding middle stump and cleaned bowled one of the tailenders and Pandian came on to take the final wicket.

Whiteman and Mees opened the Optimists in reply and Mees looked to dominate from ball one.
Mees was run out which brought Ben Embleton to the crease and both looked to keep things ticking over at the run rate and never really looked in any trouble. There were some fantastic shots from both batsman and when Whiteman was eventually bowled for 42, he had set the platform for what was going to be a great Optimists win. Jeroen van der Knoop joined Embleton and was quick to latch on to the bowling with some mighty blows, the pick being the six he hit over square leg.
All great things come to an end though and when Embleton was out caught and Knoop run out, it brought two new batsman to the crease requiring 23 runs in the last 4 overs. Tim Andrews and Taral Desai had nerves of steel though, both hitting boundaries when they needed to and ensuring the quick singles were taken.
It came down to three runs being need off 2 balls. Desai latched on to a short-pitched ball though and promptly pulled it for 4 to win the match with one ball to spare!
Andrews ending on 12 not out and Desai ending on 14 not out.

It should also be mentioned that the game was played in a very good spirits and very fairly considering there were no BCF umpires and both teams enjoyed curry afterwards to finish off an interesting day which was well worth all the travel and sight-seeing to the different parts of Belgium!

Ostend 2nds Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
133 (0.0 overs)

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Wayne Codd4.0027127.006.75
Ben Embleton4.0025212.506.25
Rathinavel Pandian Ramalingam2.1015115.006.92
Richard Neale3.0027127.009.00
Taral Desai4.0027127.006.75
Arvind Pandey1.00919.009.00

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 4 wickets
Tony Whiteman Bowled  42
Joost Mees Run out  6
Ben Embleton Caught  36 1 1
Jeroen Van der Knoop Run out  17
Taral Desai Not Out  14 1 1
Tim Andrews Not Out  12 1
Wayne Codd  
Graham Cope   1 1
Arvind Pandey  
Richard Neale  
Rathinavel Pandian Ramalingam  

Ostend 2nds Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.