Email if you would like to run site.

This site is closed.

Click on image to take you to Gibraltar Rugby site.

Visit the GRFU site

Click on image to take you to Gibraltar Rugby site.

RAF battle back in return fixture against a weakened Gibraltar Cricket Selection

RAF St.Athan’s touring cricketers returned to Europa Point to close their stay with a return 40 over fixture against a Gibraltar XI.

Fielding an even more youthful side that the previous week Gibraltar elected to bat first and Scott Chipolina and Julian Freyone took to the crease. St.Athan had thoughtfully changed their bowling attack and, with Sean Morris proving difficult to get away, Glover prospered by clean bowling Freyone for 7 and having Matt Hunter adjudged lbw for 0.

Whilst Chipolina looked to provide the anchor role, Steve Gonzalez (4) fell trying to force the pace. Iain Latin (36) then built a useful partnership with Chipolina to take the side to the drinks break. However, the introduction of St.Athan’s Gary Binns (3 for 12) in the 21st over changed things as Chipolina was out lbw for a steady 45.

Ian Farrell fell to a good yorker soon afterwards without scoring and it was left to Latin to marshall the tail – a role that sometimes restricts this talented batsman’s free scoring style. Jeremy Perez battled manfully against the unaccustomed pace of Binns and hit a glorious cover drive before being caught and bowled by Stainer.

Once Latin had fallen, again to Binns, Andrew Reyes took on the senior batsman role and added 25 runs with debutant Dylan Casciaro. However, once Casciaro had gone the remaining wickets tumbled and Gibraltar were all out for 176 in just 32.2 overs. One of the ‘golden rules’ of limited over cricket is to make sure you bat for your full allocation and 176 looked light when 200 would have proved a score more easily defendable.
With a required rate on just over 4 runs per over RAF St.Athan were under far less pressure than in the previous game. Openers Guest (11) and Glover (20) tickled along and along with Morris (21) put together a solid base to allow Binns to carry on with the bat where he had left off with the ball.
Gonzalez and Freyone had been inconsistent with the ball and Latin was introduced to stifle the runs. Aided by some good work by Luke Collado behind the stumps he took 3 for 24 in his allocation. However, bowlers need to operate in pairs and, with Hunter twisting an ankle and having to leave the field after two economical overs, it was left to Reyes to provide some back up.
Binns had remained patient throughout this phase of the game and, once Gonzalez had been forced to return to the seamers, upped the gears and struck some powerful shots to bring the rate to below four an over. Gibraltar’s bowlers stuck to their task and continued to chip away at the other batsmen. Binns continued to strike the ball well but, with Farrell taking three wickets with his occasional medium pacers, it looked as though he might well run out of partners.

Despite his taking singles off the first ball of many overs and exposing number 10 Pollard to the bowling, RAF St.Athan continued to nudge and nurdle the ball – with the occasional ‘biff’ to keep things interesting. With overs remaining not an issue, St.Athan eventually squeezed the winning runs with just two wickets in hand and Binns had completed his excellent game with 67 not out.
So, ‘honours even’ with a game apiece. However, this was a very close game and played in good spirit once more. With only four players over the age of 16 in their side, Gibraltar had to battle all the way and can learn much in terms of batting through their overs and building partnerships. These lessons will be invaluable to the players who go on to representative cricket in the future.

Particularly pleasing was the fact that three of the team were part of the new Under 15 program and did not look at all out of place. Several have taken part in adult league games but this was their first chance at having a role in the team that placed a responsibility on them to play a full part with bat or ball.

Rather than seeing this as a loss (exciting though it was!) the learning environment that we are trying to encourage in our youngsters should reflect that this has been a success in having ‘blooded’ so many of our new youth players and providing an opportunity for the seniors taking part to have to think about the game from other players’ perspectives for a change.

Similarly, the RAF St.Athan team have enjoyed their week and learnt about the game too. Having resoundly beaten Stan James’ Twenty20 team in the week (and despite having their game against the Commander’s XI rained off) they are planning to return next summer and give us another chance to accelerate the development of our young Gibraltarian cricketers.
Click here for the previous game's report.
Click here for end of season report

Some great cricket action:

Click here to visit our Facebook group


Post a Comment