We won the toss on a nice and sunny day in Gent and elected to bat. The lack of pace in the Arcadians attack was troubling from the first ball. We didn't adapt to it and were through our shots too early.
This lead to Ilyas's downfall in the third over. Simon was then subject of a horrible umpiring decision, given out caught behind down the leg side. Nowhere near it. So far away that the bowler was laughing at the appeal and looked shocked when the umpire raised his finger.
Benjamin hit 21 before he too gave a simple catch due to the lack of pace. Wickets kept tumbling, while Farooq looked composed for his 40(59). Ali gave good support with his 25 but no one stuck in and dug it out, which meant we were all out in the 35th over for 145. Ganga hit a quick 19 at the end which proved valuable runs.
As we finished early, we had 12 overs to bowl before lunch. We managed to get them 29-3 off 12 at lunch, with Zakir, Wahid and Benjamin each claiming one. Game in the balance as we went off for a curry.
The first and second over after lunch both produced a wicket, which left Arcadians 33-5. That became 45-6 soon after Zakir took his third. He finished with 3-22 off 10 and we were well on top.
That seventh wicket though, put on almost 50 runs as we dropped about 6 catches. Some really bad, some harder. But they should have been all out at that point. The seventh finally fell with the score at 92-7. That soon became 100-8 and with 46 runs to win, it looked a difficult task for the Arcadians. But frustrating lower order partnerships got them close. The 9th fell at 119-9. So one wicket needed for us, 27 runs for them. It was like Edgbaston 2005 all over again, minus the high quality cricket.
A few lucky and good shots got them close. Ali brought himself on with Arcadians needing 8 to win. They take a single and then the number 11 smacks a six over square leg. Could've gone anywhere but the scores were level. Ashraf to bowl the next over. Everyone is in, saving one. The ball is straight, on leg stump. Alvandre goes to flick it, but flicks it towards square leg, where Wahid is waiting to take a diving left handed catch to tie the match! Incredible scenes!
Emotions were obviously running high which caused some words to be exchanged at the end which was unfortunate. But it was a frustrating day for us, as we really should have won it. But to tie it is better than losing, and it will hopefully not dent our title hopes!
Full scorecard is here.
Gent CC in Gent on Saturday is next, let's take them!