European Spirit of Cricket weekend saw a return to action for many clubs after the winter break, with many playing their first competitive matches, with the first matches being played in the ACA Open League and the ACA Trophy, as well as assorted friendlies.
After amassing 328 for 8 wickets in their 40 overs against Sri Lankan CC on Thursday thanks to knocks of 87 from Rashid Butt, 78* by Babar Muhammad and 69 by Asad, with Sri Lankan CC only making 146 in reply with Aamir Nafees taking 3-25, Pakistan United took on Pakistan CC in the ACA Trophy on Saturday in Seebarn. Pakistan's 214-9 in 40 overs was always going to be a daunting total to chase, with the PCC total built around knocks of 51 by Babar Nadeem, 43 by Qasir, 40 by skipper Shahzad Ahmed and 34 by Amir Naeem. After Ishtiaq Sarwar had taken three wickets in four balls after coming on first change for PCC, Anjum Muhammad and Babar Muhammad steadied the ship with a half century sixth wicket partnership, before a string of run outs in the late order lead to PUCC slipping to 124 all out, and with Pakistan CC victorious by 90 runs.
Sunday saw the first Open League match, with Concordia CC taking on Five Continents CC. Amardeep Singh was the only player to get himself in for FCCC, who made 96 all out, with Lakhmal Kasturiarachige taing 3-34 off 10 overs, and the new ball partnership of Raza Aqif and Aman Deep taking two wickets apiece. Three wickets from Amardeep Singh set Concordia CC back after a fluent start from Christian Kamin and Lakhmal Kasturiarachige (36) and Satyam Subhash scored a quick 17 as Concordia won by 7 wickets, overhauling the FCCC total inside 18 overs.
It was particularly apt that it was the Spirit of Cricket Weekend that saw former Austrian Cricket Captain Tim Hind return to the pitch, umpiring the match between Concordia CC and Five Continents CC - we still hope that we'll one day see Tim playing in the middle again rather than umpiring!
Vienna CC took on Pakistan Falken CC in a friendly match in Seebarn, with Vienna CC batting first and amassing 230 in their allotted overs, with Tim Simpson continuing the form he had displayed in the MS to make a fine 76, supported by Benji Loader and Erwin Grasinger (30 each). A more solid fielding performance and an unexpected five wicket haul for Anthony Copnall, in his third game for the club saw Vienna CC overpower the PFCC team, winning by in excess of 100 runs.
Next weekend sees a full league programme, including the visit of Zagreb CC, who take on Five Continents CC and Pakistan Falken CC, and Vienna CC take on United Nations CC, whilst Concordia CC also take on Pakistan CC.