Gent CC 1st XI v Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI on Sat 29 Jul 2017 at 12 noon
Optimists Cricket Club Lost by 7 runs

Match report After a months break, the Optimists Cricket Club were back in action in the Belgian Cricket League.

Ghent CC were the hosts and the drive up early on Saturday morning was shrouded in dark clouds and (according the iphone weather forecast) 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms.

Skipper, Richard Neale won the toss and elected to field first, mindful of a run chase if rain was to come. Atif Kamal and Yatin Bhamare took the new ball both bowled with lively pace and movement in the air.

Atif struck in his first over, with a good catch by Tony Whiteman and when the second wicket fell for 37 overs and the third in the 16th over for 65, all was looking relatively happy in the Optimists camp.

However, each season we expect to play against a side who swings the bat and with luck on their side scores quickly and fielders can only watch the ball drops in spaces off mis-timed shots. This was one of those occasions. The Ghent middle-order set about taking the attack to us and they won. Aanand Pandey, Richard Neale were caught up in the onslaught until the spin attack came in for the Optimists. Chris Evans bowled well and got some good turn but being hit around as was each bowler brought into the attack. Inevitably chances did come, highlights being an excellent caught & bowled by Chris Evans and an excellent catch from Chris Fry off the bowling of Tony Whiteman.

Ghent were dismissed in the 42nd over for 277.

Ghent town is a beautiful place to visit, unfortunately the cricket pitch in Ghent is not. The outfield was extremely long in areas, moles hills, dog excrement, bottle tops etc just some of the hazards each player has to face. The long grass in the outfield is always an issue for the technically correct Optimists batsman and 277 was going to be a challenging score.

Chris Fry joined James Baker to open the innings and were facing some tight bowling from the Ghent opening pace attack. They bowled a good line and length and the ball was moving around a lot. Unfortunately, this led to quite a slow start and when Chris Fry was out caught, Optimists were 30-1 off 10 overs. Richard Neale looked to accelerate the scoring and but was out caught for 30 off 24 balls. Vikram Vijh was next in and continued the appetite for quick runs, quickly getting into his stride until he received an excellent ball that he edged through to the keeper. The experience of Tony Whiteman was showing and he was batting well at the other end scoring well and consistently increasing the tempo of his innings which culminated in an excellent cut shot for six over cover-point!

Unfortunately, two run-outs did not help, especially that of Atif who had hit 17 off 5 balls. Two of those balls were dispatched for huge sixes – one was an almighty blow that had the spectators wondering how much it would have cleared the turdis on our own ground.

At 215-8 off 38th over, it was getting tense. Wicket-keeper and Praveen and Chris Evans were in and started batting well, ensuring we scored off every ball. However, we needed 13 off the final over and eventually lost by 7 runs.

It was a disappointing loss, and means the Optimists CC will have to win every remaining game now to win the title for a third consecutive year.

Next game is against Liege CC at home on Sunday 6th August. The match starts at midday, so please come down to show your support.

Gent CC 1st XI Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
22w 4lb 
for 10 wickets
277 (41.1 overs)

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Atif Kamal9.0052317.335.78
Yatin Bhamare9.0035135.003.89
Aanand Pandey5.002900.005.80
Richard Neale4.003200.008.00
Chris Fry5.0058229.0011.60
Saransh Kulshrestha3.0017117.005.67
Vikram Vijh4.1027127.006.48
Tony Whiteman2.0027213.5013.50

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
4nb 25w 6b 6lb 
for 9 wickets
James Barker Caught  14
Chris Fry Caught  14
Richard Neale Caught  30
Vikram Vijh Caught  43 2
Saransh Kulshrestha Run out  2
Tony Whiteman Caught  49
Aanand Pandey Bowled  10 2
Atif Kamal Run out  17
Praveen Kuruvalli Caught  29 3
Christopher Evans Not Out  21
Yatin Bhamare Not Out  0

Gent CC 1st XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

  • Umpire :
    BCF Appointed
  • Scorer :
    Mick Swithinbank