Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI v Royal Brussels CC on Sun 14 Jun 2009 at 13:30
Optimists Cricket Club Lost by 2 wickets

Match report OCC 1st XI were comfortably beaten by a solid RBCC side, but not without a bit of drama towards the end of the game.

Batting first, OCC's top order were subject to the full force of RBCC's new acquisition, ex-Zimbabwe test bowler Brighton Watambwa. It is likely that this pace of bowling has never been seen at the PWCG and did for three batsmen, Mole, Heath and Burleigh. Wickets also fell at the other end to the steady if unspectacular bowling of Ed Wright. Once more, the match had hardly began and OCC's innings was in tatters at 58 for 7 off 20 overs. However, Desai and Gandhi coming in at 8 and 9, both produced a great counterattack. First consolidating, then accelerating as the bowlers became more and more frustrated. Unfortunatley just as the 100 partnership was up, Desai feathered a catch to stand-in RBCC keeper Malik. Never mind, with runs on the board Wykes and Fitzgerald pushed the total further to 182 all out. At least something to bowl at.

Indeed, the RBCC innings started as badly as the OCC, losing three wickets in six overs. However, this brought Watambwa to the crease, who then showed that even test bowlers can bat, if you play them half a dozen levels down from test level. Smashing Gandhi to all parts, he was only undone by a change of pace to Merkl, but not after hitting 65 in 33 balls and pretty much taking the game away from the Optimists.

However, RBCC made heavy weather of the run chase, as soft dismissal followed soft dismissal. It took the steady hand of RBCC skipper Etellin to stear them home with a composed 58, but still eight wickets down. A couple of extra slices of luck and OCC might have pulled of an improbable victory.

All in all, the game was played in an excellent but competitive spirit. Unusually for the Belgian League, RBCC hung around after the match for a few beers before heading off.

With five matches out of ten played and only one victory registered, OCC badly need to up their game, if they are not to find themeselves in the second division next year. Let's hope that the second half of the season is more successful.

William Heath

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 10 wickets
Bradley Mole b Watambwa 7 1
Ali Ejaz Siddiqui lbw Wright 3
Joost Mees b Wright 0
William Heath lbw Watambwa 14 2
Piran Merkl b Marini 2
Phillip Burleigh ct Bld Watambwa 0
Wayne Codd ct Bld Murad 12
Taral Desai ct Malik Bld Gakhara 42
Nishith Gandhi Not Out  53
Adrian Wykes ct Hawson Bld Pett 10 1
Mark Fitzgerald Run out  0 1

Royal Brussels CC Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ed Wright9.0131215.503.44
Brighton Watambwa9.012839.333.11
Gene Marini6.0213113.002.17
Iqbal Murad9.0135135.003.89
Kumar Shailendra4.002600.006.50
Anaj Gakhara4.0022122.005.50
Adam Pett3.0016116.005.33

Royal Brussels CC Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
183 (0.0 overs)
Gene Marini b Wykes 5
Neil Pitts ct Heath Bld Gandhi 0
* Pierre Etellin Not Out  58
Greg Hawson ct Heath Bld Gandhi 2
Brighton Watambwa lbw Merkl 65
Farukh Malik ct Mole Bld Merkl 2
Anurag Gakhara Run out  6
Adam Pett ct Wykes Bld Fitzgerald 7
Iqbal Murid ct & Bld Fitzgerald 3
Kumar Shailendra Not Out  22
Ed Wright  

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Adrian Wykes4.0125125.006.25
Nishith Gandhi7.0061230.508.71
Taral Desai6.003500.005.83
Piran Merkl7.011929.502.71
Mark Fitzgerald4.5042221.008.69

  • Umpire :
  • Scorer :
    Michael Swithinbank