Last weekend saw the restart of the touring team season at the Marsa Sports Club.
It was a successful outing for first-time visitors Tongham Cricket Club (UK) but there were also some memorable individual performances for the local team which made for an interesting series.
On Saturday, Tongham won the toss and elected to field first.
Marsa openers M. Sacco (14) and M. Crabbe (3) fell early but H. Majeed (23) delighted his team-mates by hitting four 4s and a six in only 11 balls before he was caught well by M. Carrington off L. Gadd on the boundary.
S. Anand made 11 runs before being bowled by the spinner S. Carrington.
J. Grima (14) and B. Arora consolidated the Marsa innings when it was needed, putting on 97 runs in the next 20 overs.
Arora went on to score 105 runs, hitting nine 6s and seven 4s. It was his first century for Marsa CC.
Sam Caruana finished the innings with nine runs not out. Marsa’s final score was 212 for eight, with the bowling honours for Tongham going to S. Carrington with three wickets for 30 runs.
After the break, Tongham started their run chase with openers A. Farrier (54) and Jordan Frost (32).
Both took advantage of a Marsa bowling attack which lacked pace and precision and put on a 79-run partnership in the first 15 overs.
Eventually, Frost sent a catch back to bowler Anand and M. Carrington (14) hit a high catch to Majeed off S. Ali to put the score at 103 for two.
Tongham maintained a good run-rate throughout and Marsa failed to make late inroads. James Frost scored 20, B. Turnbull 14, while S. Carrington and L. Gadd both scored 25 runs not out.
It was a convincing win for Tongham with five overs to spare.
Marsa won the toss and elected to bat in Sunday’s 30-over match, losing openers S. Aquilina and T. Wheeler within five overs.
T. Azzopardi (43), K. Lobban (23) and R. Sacco (47) revived the Marsa innings with some sensible middle-order batting, but even a spirited 16 from Feroz Ahmed could only take Marsa to 154 all out in the 29th over.
The locals lost six wickets for only 12 runs in the last four overs. For Tongham, Reynolds took three wickets for 25, while D. Walsh and D. Hullock took two apiece.
In reply, the Tongham top order found it difficult against the opening bowling pair of K. Keyan and D. Arnold and scored only 33 runs for two wickets off the first 10 overs.
R. Sacco’s two wickets for 23 was the highlight for Marsa but the end of his bowling spell saw the floodgates open with S. Reynolds (51 not out) and D. Walsh (45 not out) seeing Tongham through to another easy victory with overs to spare.
This weekend, Marsa host Leo CC and Mawdesley CC, both from the UK, with matches tomorrow (3pm start) and Saturday, Sunday and Monday (11am).