Royal Brussels CC 1sts v Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI on Sun 07 May 2017 at 13:00
Optimists Cricket Club Lost by 8 wickets

Match report The Optimists 1st XI travelled to the picturesque ground of Royal Brussels Cricket Club in their second match of the Belgian Cricket Federation League.

Winning the toss, Richard Neale decided to bat first. Unfortunately, the Optimists weren’t to know that winning the toss was going to be one of few victories on the day. In form Ben Embleton, fresh from his century the match before and James Barker strode out to face the Royal Brussels opening attack. Embleton crunched his first ball through the covers for four runs and Barker also looked in good touch pinching some early singles.

At 38-0 off 4 overs, all was looking good, mainly thanks to the volume of wides RBCC were bowling. A tactical change of ends was made by the bowlers and this saw the start of a collapse from the Optimists batsman.

Barker was first to go playing a loose cut shot that was caught. Embleton was lured into the trap set by RBCC and pushed one forward to silly mid-off and caught. Joost Mees was batting patiently and leaving some good bowling but eventually decided on an expansive cover drive that saw him edge one to the keeper. Richard Neale was looking in good form and hit some boundaries at the other end but he too was eventually out caught trying to pull and took a top edge.

1st XI debutant Pankaj Malav was run out for 1 and the wickets continued to tumble until Nishith Gandhi came to the crease and immediately showed his class and experience. Blocking the good balls, looking for single and punishing anything wide. Unfortunately, after just 33 overs he ran out of batting partners and was left stranded on 22. Optimists were bowled out for 142. A very frustrating batting performance as each batsman got themselves out as opposed to the RBCC bowlers bowling good balls.

The Optimists knew they were probably 120 runs short but started the second innings with confidence. Atif Kamal and Nishith Gandhi took the new ball and both bowled well. RBCC danger batsman Brighton Watambwa was dismissed early on by Kamal thanks to a good catch from Malav. Spirits were high as the Optimists celebrated this wicket and the score was 15-1 off 3 overs.

However, the ball was not moving much and the RBCC number three batsman set out to prove why he was voted the RBCC batsman of the year last year and looked in good touch. A few chances were missed, but Jamil batted well and with some powerful stroke play and he was ably supported by the other opening batsman, Muneeb. James Barker, Mohit Dixit and Pankaj Malav all bowled well but were unable to make the breakthrough. Atif Kamal was introduced back into the attack and managed to dismiss Muneeb but at 129-2 off just 17 it was too little too late unfortunately.

RBCC knocked off the runs in just 19 overs to bring the Optimists crashing back down to earth with their first loss of the season. However, Optimists will have a chance of revenge when they play RBCC again at home in Luxembourg in September.

In the meantime, the focus will be on their first home match this season – this Sunday when the Optimists host Antwerp Cricket Club.

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
44w 1b 11lb 
for 10 wickets
James Barker Caught  7 11 1 63.64
Ben Embleton Caught  15 19 3 78.95
Richard Neale Caught  16 30 2 53.33 1
Joost Mees Caught  1 10 10.0
Pankaj Malav Run out  1 4 25.00 1
Girish Venkateswaran Caught  5 12 1 41.67
Ananth Srisailapathy Lbw  5 10 1 50.0
Atif Kamal Caught  8 23 1 34.78
Mohit Dixit Lbw  0 5 0
Nishith Gandhi Not Out  22 44 1 50.0
Graham Cope Lbw  6 26 23.08

Royal Brussels CC 1sts Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Royal Brussels CC 1sts Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
12w 1lb 
for 2 wickets
144 (19.0 overs)

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Atif Kamal7.0047223.506.71
Nishith Gandhi5.003300.006.60
James Barker3.003000.0010.00
Mohit Dixit2.001900.009.50
Pankaj Malav2.001400.007.00