Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI v Antwerp CC 1sts on Sun 14 May 2017 at 12:00
Optimists Cricket Club Won by 168 runs

Match report Following a thunderous downpour on Sunday morning, the clouds parted and the sun was shining brightly at the Pierre Werner Cricket Ground in Walferdange in time for the Optimists 1st XI to host Antwerp Cricket Club in the third Belgian Cricket Federation match of the season.

Skipper, Richard Neale won the toss and elected to bat first. Antwerp weren’t to know it but it they were about to be given a masterclass in batting by the two Optimists opening batsman James Barker and Richard Grundy. The Antwerp bowling attack bowled with some lively pace and got the ball to move around early-on. Barker and Grundy started carefully – looking for the singles but never afraid to the punish the bad ball and hit it to the boundary. The first 50 was brought up in the 11th over and the 100 partnership was in the 19th over with James Barker having raised his bat for a superb 50. Barker was in fantastic form and really looked to dominate the Antwerp bowling and helped to quickly excel the run-rate. Grundy too, batting beautifully at the other end reached his 50 and looked to increase the scoring. All good things must come to an end and eventually Richard Grundy was dismissed for 64 – an excellent innings – more so as it was on his debut for the 1st XI.

Tony Whiteman joined Barker and as the club secretary would say – went in to give it some “humpty”. Humpty indeed was given and Tony was quickly scoring hitting fours and a large six over Deep Mid-On. Barker brought up his century and joined Whiteman in the attacking strokeplay. Barker had batted tremendously all afternoon and an ideal example of how to build an innings but with pressure off Barker hit some punishing lofted cover drives until he was finally caught for a brilliant 120.

Richard Neale joined Whiteman towards the final overs but Whiteman was unfortunately run out. Mohit Dixit and Vice- Captain Saransh Kulshrestha also gave brief appearances at the crease but all giving were giving it “humpty” to help the Optimists reach a total of 267 in their 45 overs.

In reply, the Optimists knew they had to be ruthless and ensure no chance was lost. Yatin Bhamare and Mohit Dixit opened the bowling and Yatin gave the Optimists a dream start dismissing the Antwerp skipper caught behind in the first over. Mohit cleaned bowled the number 3 batsman and then had next batsman caught by Richard Grundy at a fly gully position. Antwerp were 36-3 off 10 overs and the Optimists were looking well on top.

Suhail Sadiq and Pankaj Malav then came on to bowl and both were swinging the ball around corners. So much so, barely a run was scored a wicket taken as the ball was moving too much beating both the bat and the wickets. Suhail toiled away from the Fitzgerald Bridge end and bowled a superb line to length to compliment his devastating inswing. He was justly rewarded in the end by dismissing the other opening batsman to finish with figures of 9 overs, 1 wicket for 20 runs. Pankaj was always frustrating the Antwerp batsman with his precision and tight bowling. At one point, having three slips and two gullies as he swung the ball time and time again past the outside edge of the batsman. Pankaj was too rewarded with two wickets and finished on 9 overs 2 wickets for 24 runs.

Saransh Kulshrestha came on to bowl his off-spin and the frustration of the batsman came flooding out as they immediately tried to attack him. Saransh though, with his guile and spin was dismissing them like dominos as each fell one after the other. Saransh finished with excellent figures of 2.5 overs, 4 wickets for 7 runs and he decimated the Antwerp tail-enders to bowl them all out for 99 runs in just 33 overs.

It was an excellent performance from the Optimists in all departments and puts the Title hopes firmly back on track for 2017.

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
8nb 17w 10b 5lb 
for 5 wickets
James Barker Caught  120 119 15 100.84
Richard Grundy Bowled  64 96 7 66.67 1
Tony Whiteman Run out  33 21 4 1 157.14
Richard Neale Not Out  10 15 66.67 1
Mohit Dixit Bowled  1 8 12.50 1
Saransh Kulshrestha Caught  0 2 0 2
Praveen Kuruvalli   1
Pankaj Malav  
Suhail Sadiq  
Yatin Bhamare  
Ananth Srisailapathy  

Antwerp CC 1sts Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Antwerp CC 1sts Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 20w 3b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
99 (32.5 overs)

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Yatin Bhamare5.0028128.005.60
Mohit Dixit7.031628.002.29
Suhail Sadiq9.0320120.002.22
Pankaj Malav9.0224212.002.67
Saransh Kulshrestha2.52741.752.47

  • Umpire :
    BCF appointed
  • Scorer :
    Mick Swithinbank