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.CRICKET REPORT 2016

Results:

                        Games Played: 29       Won: 21            Lost: 5             Drawn: 3

2016 was another very active cricket season here in Oporto, during which the Club hosted 13 touring sides from abroad, 4 of them new sides. We also played the Kendall Cup down in Cartaxo in scorching hot conditions.
We welcomed back the Law Society CC (who have been coming for over 30 years) over a triangular tournament with the Common Old Boys CC, and also hosted 3 non-UK sides, namely the Geneva SL CC, the Spain Intellectuals CC and the Amigos CC from Coimbra.

There were some new additions to the Club squad, all of whom made valuable contributions in both the bowling and batting departments, and it was certainly noticeable that as a team we are much stronger, which is evident from the results summary and also the fact that various new records were broken during the season.

We got off to a flying start at the begining of the season winning our opening games in a triangular match with the Mavericks & West Norfolk CC. The following games saw mixed results with a few games drawn and couple of losses, albeit all very close games with explosive batting and bowling performances, which were a treat to watch. By mid season the Club were on a winning 'streak' recording, 9 straight wins.
It may have been the first time that many of the games played involved a total of over 500 runs being scored in one day, and a minimum of two players scoring 50's and many times a century!

In general, there was a significant improvement in all round performances, and team spirit was very high throughout the season.
Congratulations to Anthony and Vinod who crossed the 1000 runs mark in the season, with Anthony scoring 5 x 50's and 4 x 100's and Vinod 9 x 50's and 1 x 100.
Anthony also took 32 wickets throughout the season and Narrendra 25!
Raghu (x2), Premal, John Cooles, Saqlain and Asad also recorded centuries. Mark Weeks (7 wickets), Max Graham (5 wickets) and Anthony Chambers (7 wickets) also had great spells with the ball in individual games.

The Kendall Cup 2016

The 155th fixture of the Kendall Cup took place in August down in Cartaxo, where temperatures reached 40 degress over the weekend. Having won the previous year on home soil, we aimed to keep the Cup, which however was always going to be challeging due to the heat and a very dry outfield.

Porto won the toss and put Lisbon into bat. An in-form Anthony Chambers and Usman opened the bowling, both bowling with good pace. However the Lisbon openers were in good touch and were able to see off the new ball. Runs were scored quickly on the fast outfield, and few chances presented themselves. The opening partnership was going on well, until the fall of the first wicket with the home side on 177/1. A change in pace from the bowling attack saw 3 quick wickets and the score 174/4. The opposition Captain together with good support batted well and tallied up runs quickly, with the heat taking its toll on the Porto bowlers. Eventually after 52 overs, with their Captain reaching his century, and two other players scoring 50's, Lisbon declared, with approximately 25 overs left in the day to play, and their first innings score on 356/6.
A tired Porto, took to the crease, and the opposition opening bowlers took advantage, bowling aggresive lines. Porto lost 5 wickets quickly, and stumps were called on the first day with the Club 80/5. It was going to be a big task to save the game the following day!
The temperature was even hotter on the Sunday, and it was Lisbon's turn to spend the first session in the 'Santarem Sauna'. They bowled well, and after approx 1 hour, had bowled Porto all out on 122, and enforced the follow on.
Porto was required to bat another 2 and a half full sessions. With a win out of sight, it was a test to keep our wickets in hand, draw the game, and retain the Cup. Usman and Vinod took to the crease, batting very sensibly, seeing off the openers. However, Usman's wicket fell just before lunch. The next session saw Saqlain and Vinod also do a good job wearing down the Lisbon bowlers, who were really feeling the heat. Saqlain's wicket fell, and Anthony and Vinod were able to see the team through to tea.
The last session saw Lisbon utilise all their bowlers in a bid to take wickets and bowl Porto out. A stubborn and solid defence from both Vinod and Anthony, coupled with extreme heat, took the last few glimpses of hope away from the opposition. Eventually, after 60 overs out in the field, and approximately 15 overs left in the day, Lisbon offered the draw and Porto accepted. An amazing show of determination from Vinod who batted all day, with great support from Anthony.
The result was a draw, and Porto retain the Cup. We hope to improve on the result next year when we play them again on home soil.
We would like to thank all the Porto supporters who came down to watch and back the team.

Overall, it was a very successful season for the Club, recording its best results ever, and all the fixtures resulting in good games of cricket and some very enjoyable weekends. Repeat fixtures booked for the upcoming season shows cricket in Porto is one of the best places in Europe to tour and we trust we shall maintain our standards for this to continue for many years to come.

There is always a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes for cricket in Porto, hosting visitors and arranging fixtures, and on behalf of all the cricketers we would like to extend our thanks to the Executive Commitee for their support, Mr. Ricardo Fernandes, our Club Manager, and all the staff members who provide excellent service during the match days.
Special thanks also to all the Port Houses who generously donate fine Port for the cricket lunches and dinners throughout the season.

We have a full line-up of fixtures for 2017 and and we wish the team and all the players the very best of luck for the coming season. Those of you who wish to play cricket this year please contact Premal Rajani by email (premal_rajani@yahoo.co.uk). Even if you don't play cricket, it is always nice to come and support the team and we encourage anyone who wishes to attend the cricket dinners to join and meet some new people.

 

 Premal Rajani

Cricket Captains

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