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Cricket: GCC on course to retain the Wiggins/Benrimoj Shield.

GCC, with a victory against UKCCC on Sunday, remained well on course to retain the Wiggins Shield, which will be theirs if they can account for PGCC next Sunday. The Saturday fixture resulted in a victory for Grammarians over PGCC. Sunday’s highlights were a fine opening stand of 190 for UKCCC by David Young and Shaun Ainsworth [68], and good knocks by David Knipe, Christian Rocca and Steven Gonzalez for GCC. Saturday saw Gautam Prabhu and Nitin Jain in good batting form for PGCC, a four-wicket haul for Charlie Harrison of Grammarians, and a match-winning opening stand of 114 by Mark Bacarese and Ross Harkins of the same team.

PGCC make Grammarians work hard for their win.

PGCC opened their 2006 account on Saturday with a fixture against Grammarians CC. They won the toss, opted to bat first, Manish Grover and Hetal Shah giving them a good start hitting 38 runs in the opening five overs before the latter was trapped leg before by Vishal Kainth. Grover departed four runs later, but Nitin Jain and Prabhu Gautam then proceeded to push the score along, adding 110 runs for the third wicket. Gautam then tried a hit too many and was well caught by Charlie Harrison at long on, but by that time he had scored 81. Jain duly reached his half century but when he smashed a delivery from Harrison straight into the hands of Pavan Parwani at short mid-wicket, wickets tumbled cheaply, only Suraj Sreenivasam with 22 offering much resistance. PGCC were eventually all out for 223 off the last ball of the final over, Harrison wiping up the tail to end with figures of 4/11 off just two overs.

Mark Bacarese and Ross Harkins gave their side the best possible of starts taking the score along to 114 before the latter was caught for 63 in the 16th. over. Kabir Mirpuri then helped Bacarese take the score along to 168 but with overs rapidly running out and the asking run-rate approaching eight an over, there were some anxious faces in the Grammarians’ camp! Bacarese finally went for 82 in the quest for quick runs, as did Mirpuri, but Harrison rounded off a fine afternoon’s work hitting a quick-fire 35 (six fours) to bring home victory with 2.2 overs to spare. Grammarians took home 19 points to PGCC’s four.

GCC win closely fought match.

On Sunday, UKCCC won the toss, chose to bat first, and were given a tremendous start by Young and Ainsworth. These two put on 190 for the opening wicket before being parted in the 26th. over, Ainsworth being the first to go with 68 runs to his name – this was the youngster’s highest score of his short career. Young went on to make 121 (ten fours and two sixes) in a final UKCCC total of 219/2.

GCC made the worst of all possible starts, losing both their openers with only ten runs on the board. Steven Gonzalez and David Knipe then set about retrieving the situation, putting on 106 for the third wicket, before the former skied a catch to Steve Cary in the covers when ten runs short of his half century. The GCC innings then suffered a bit of a wobble as Knipe finally went for 64 and two further wickets fell cheaply. GCC skipper Christian Rocca [50] and Sebastian Suarez [32] then came to their rescue with an unbroken partnership of 49 to win the game in the 28th. over. GCC took fourteen points from the game to UKCCC’s six.


Next Week.

Two more Wiggins/Benrimoj Shield matches are scheduled for next week-end. On the Saturday UKCCC face Grammarians, whilst on the Sunday GCC will be hoping to overcome PGCC to clinch the title.

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