Mechelen Eagles CC v Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI on Sun 30 Sep 2018 at 1.15pm start
Optimists Cricket Club Won by 3 wickets

Match report On a bright Sunday morning, the Optimists 1st XI travelled up to Wilrijk in Antwerp to take part in the BCF T20 Finals day. Having beaten, 1st Division team Hasselt in the quarter-finals, Optimists were in confident mood but had to get over a dangerous Mechelen Eagles in the semi-final and if successful would face either Liege CC or hosts, Antwerp Indians CC in the final.

Upon arriving at the ground, the first semi-final was already underway and Liege had bowled out Antwerp Indians for just 98! However, Antwerp Indians retaliated and brushed Liege aside for 70 to win the match and put themselves in the final.

Optimists skipper, Richard Neale lost the toss and the Optimists were asked to bowl first.
Atif Kamal took the new ball and immediately struck dismissing the opening batsman, first ball with a good catch from Reinhardt Heyns.
Shortly after, Atif bowled a snorter of a ball that had vicious lift and movement and the Eagles number three batsman could only glove it in front of his nose, to go through to wicket-keeper, Graham Cope. A run out in the third over also led to the Eagles problems and they were 17-3 off the first 3 overs.
A small partnership began to develop, but once again, Atif stepped up and in his final over dismissed the other opener with a fine catch from James Barker to leave the Eagles 4 wickets down with only 44 runs off 7 overs.
Enter, stage right, Vikram Vijh. Vikram decimated the Mechelen Eagles lower middle order and a flurry of batsman came and went as Vik notched up the wickets either bowled, LBW or a great catch from Pankaj Malav. Saransh was wheeling away at the end and picked up a wicket with a fantastic catch from James Barker at deep mid on.
Vik did not finish his allocated 4 overs... he did not need them! After just 3.2 overs, Vikram had picked up 5 wickets for just 10 runs. A fantastic performance. Certainly, not to be forgotten either is Atif Kamal who took out the top order in a fine spell of hostile fast bowling and finished with an impressive 4 overs, 3-13.
Eagles were all out for 65 and surely the Optimists' place in the final was secure.... or was it?
T20 specialist opening batsman, Reinhardt Heyns joined Richard Neale as they went out chasing just over 3 an over for victory.
Out of no-where Eagles new left-arm fast bowler showed up! After, three bouncers, Neale finally faced a delivery that was in his half only to drive it straight to extra-cover and was out caught. Not the best of starts.
Vice-captain, Saransh Kulshrestha came and went quickly caught behind and when Reinhardt top edged one for a valiant 5 and seeing off their quick, it left Vikram Vijh and Girish Venkateswaran at the crease. Girish was quick to go as he was trying to pull and getting caught, Aanand was clean bowled by a superb ball for not many and suddenly the Optimists were 15-5 off just 5 overs!
Fortunately, the calm head of James Barker joined Vikram and together they started to put some momentum back in the Optimists' way. Vikram took a liking to some of their first and second change bowlers and hit two sixes in a row to relieve pressure. However, the drama was not over when Vikram was out, caught for 33 and and Pankaj went quickly after for a second ball duck. Optimists were on 60-7 off 15 overs. Fortunately, the rock of James Barker was still there and with Anshuman Bhadauria, they knocked off the final few to see the Optimists scrape over the line in what was an extremely tense game!

Mechelen Eagles CC Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
4w 1b  
for 10 wickets
65 (11.2 overs)

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Atif Kamal4.001334.333.25
Pankaj Malav2.002400.0012.00
Vikram Vijh3.211052.003.00
Saransh Kulshrestha2.0017117.008.50

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
12w 2b 2lb 
for 7 wickets
Richard Neale Caught  0 4 0
Reinhardt Heyns Caught  5 8 1 62.50 1
Saransh Kulshrestha Caught  0 6 0
Vikram Vijh Caught  33 31 3 106.45
Girish Venkateswaran Caught  0 3 0
Aanand Pandey Bowled  2 6 33.33
James Barker Not Out  5 29 17.24 3
Pankaj Malav Lbw  1 2 50.0
Anshuman Singh Not Out  4 8 50.0
Atif Kamal  
Graham Cope   1 1

Mechelen Eagles CC Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

  • Umpire :
    BCF appointed
  • Scorer :
    Mick Swithinbank