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EUROPEAN UNBEATEN RUN ENDS BUT TWO GREAT DAYS OF CRICKET IN THE SUN

Report courtesy of KC

With personnel changes right up to the last minute, the tour party took the aircraft as: Martin Deegan, Scott Parkinson, Leigh Dickinson, Mark Stringer, Damien Stringer, Ian Crabtree, Richard Peacock, Peter Hamer, Nick Haines, Simon Marsh, Nick Marsh, Michael Watts, David McCheyne and Kieran Coe.

With short memories, the Friday night 'introduction to Benidorm' was, again, messy. The truly magnificent 'find' of a table with built in glass washer and lager dispenser helped little in confining the cricketers to a couple before the big game ...

Saturday morning brought the realisation that we were in walking distance of the ground – good news. Bad news we had over done the Amstel. With an outfield a little more forgiving than last year's due to a downpour the day before we won the toss and batted. Highlights were Damien's maiden European fifty hit with real style and panache, whilst brother Mark's 46 contained more biff than quiff. In fact the difference and rivalry between the Stringer Brothers was a constant source of amusement to the party. Both top additions to the tour!

184 from the 35 overs should have been enough on a brand new artificial wicket that provided variable pace and bounce. Unfortunately, we offered up far too many ‘4 balls’ and opener Munoz helped himself with a relish normally only seen when Simon Marsh enters the Wok buffet. Even when Munoz was bowled (and sent off) by Damien Stringer on 57, Crompton (64) and Fletcher (42) made easy of our 'attack'. Sporting Alfas reached 186 with just less than 7 overs remaining. There was, however, just time for ‘deva’ Kieran to teach one of the local batsmen some etiquette on ‘walking when knocking the case off it’.

Presenting the Alfas captain with two framed photographic memories of last year's encounter, courtesy of Martin Deegan, we thanked them for their hospitality.

Saturday night brought more Amstel with Mark Stringer becoming worryingly infatuated with the aforementioned table dispenser. Benidorm was Benidorm. Our bodies were now getting used to the lifestyle and so when the Alfa second team captain very politely said we could bat first, we put on 210 in the 35 overs. The third new 'guest' on tour, Ian Crabtree, was a concern and it was a relief that he joined the party again to open the batting on Sunday, and hit useful runs. Again, it was Damien who caught the eye with a retired 70-odd. The response from the Alfas never really threatened and they batted their overs out for 130-ish.

More hospitality, more Amstel and less Benidorm was agreed for Sunday night's revelry and we thankfully took off to the Wok all you can eat Chinese restaurant.

Many many funny memories of a tour that gets better by the year. We are already booked for 2014.......

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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