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Cricket: GCC win Murto Cup

The Gibraltar Cricket Club, the longest established cricket club on the Rock, struggled for years after the War to lift the Murto Cup, Gibraltar’s oldest trophy dating back to the 1920’s, finally achieving this in 1997. They won it again in 2000 and 2003, so one could say that it was almost inevitable that they should do so again in 2006 – and they did! In Saturday’s game they had a relatively comfortable passage against Grammarians/UKCCC winning by five wickets with 13.3 overs to spare.

Grammarians/UKCCC indebted to Steve Martin.
Grammarians/UKCCC batted first and got off to the worst of possible starts, losing the wicket of their skipper, Chris Watkins, in the very first over of the innings caught by wicket-keeper Kieron Ferrary off the bowling of Steven Gonzalez. Ross Harkins and Shaun Ainsworth then set about staging a recovery, putting on 42 runs in the next eight overs before the former became Gonzalez’s second victim of the afternoon, caught for 22. Vikram Khatwani went cheaply, missing a widish full toss from Rudi Phillips to give the ever alert Ferrary behind the stumps a chance he rarely misses. This brought Steve Martin, more renowned for his bowling than his batting, to the crease and he and Ainsworth featured in a third wicket partnership of 50, when the latter, who had already moved into the thirties, fell to a fine reflex catch by Christian Rocca at mid on off the bowling of Gary De’Ath. Charlie Harrison kept Martin company whilst a further 51 runs accrued, but when he gave De’Ath a hard return catch, there was little resistance forthcoming from the tail, and it was left to Martin to score an undefeated 70 thereby enabling his side to reach the fairly respectable total of 188/8 at the end of the allotted overs. Gonzalez returned figures of 3/32 and De’Ath 2/31.

GCC recover from poor start.
Ian Farrell and Andrew Chipolina gave GCC a cracking start hitting 25 runs in the opening three overs when the latter tried a hit too many and was caught. Ferrary then played across a very full length ball from Ainsworth and had his stumps shattered, and when Farrell miscued a rank long hop from Harrison to give short mid wicket a simple chance, the GCC innings was wobbling on 55/3. This brought Gonzalez and Rocca together and they gradually wrested the initiative, their fourth wicket stand yielding seventy runs. When Gonzalez was adjudged leg before to Watkins for 59, David Knipe kept one end up whilst Rocca made merry and victory came ever closer. Knipe fell with 21 runs still required for victory but that was to be Grammarians/UKCCC’s last success, Rocca ending undefeated on 66 in a final total of 190/5.

Next Week.
The cricket season seems to go on and on and next week-end sees the visit of the last UK touring side of the year in Arden Taverners, who hail from the Birmingham area and who will be on their third tour to this neck of the woods, having previously visited in 1998 and 2002. They are scheduled to play three matches on the Rock on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, all matches starting at twelve noon and of forty overs duration.

2006 Individual Awards.
The GCA Committee had now made the Individual Awards for 2006. The top batsman award goes to Steven Gonzalez of GCC and the top bowling award to Kabir Mirpuri of Calpe CC. The young batsman of the year goes to Kieron Ferrary of GCC and the young bowler award to Robbie Skinner of Calpe CC. The most improved young player of the year (the Eddie Ellul Memorial Trophy) has been awarded to Kabir Mirpuri.

Source: GCA website

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