Austrian Open League - Week 3
United Nations began their Open League campaign with a trip to Velden and two matches against Ljubljana CC and Salzburg CC, and returned with two wins under their belts. Ljubljana CC, who had a number of players out through injury won the toss and chose to bat first, with Rob Crawford and Mark Oman opening the innings. A patient opening stand added 49 in 16 overs before Crawford fell LBW. Thereafter, however, with the exception of the typically obdurate Mark Oman, who carried his bat for 60*, there was little resistance from the Ljubljana batting line up - with 5 ducks among the last seven batsmen - as the team collapsed to 136 all out in 46 overs, with debutant Harjeet Singh taking 4-30.
United Nations twice chased down totals in excess of 300 last season, so it was expected that a low total should prove a mere formality. After an initial wobble of two wickets falling to Alidzanovic and Eve, Manoj Kumar batted solidly as United Nations moved to an 8 wicket win, finishing on 66 not out, with United Nations coming home in 18 overs.
CC Velden 91 travelled to Vienna buoyed by their convincing victory the previous week over Graz CC. Unfortunately, their team was somewhat weakened for their Vienna tour, and they came up against Pakistan Falken CC, who had just missed out on the semi-finals last year, and for whom Imran Goraya had been a force to be reckoned with all season. CC Velden batted first, but were soon in trouble, with captain Muhammad Ilyas and Goraya ripping through their batting order, with Ilyas finishing with 4-28 and Goraya with 3-15 as Velden plunged to 47 all out. Needing to win inside 8 overs to obtain full batting points, Imran Goraya blasted an unbeaten 40 to see the side home by 10 wickets in 5 overs. Both sides then played a friendly match, which was more evenly contested afterwards to allow the Velden time to get more time out in the middle.
The weather had been very unkind in May and the next day's fixture was abandoned at midday with little prospect of play with their being surface water resting on the pitch, With Five Continents CC and CC Velden 91 both taking 7 points.
Back in Latschach United Nations took on Salzburg in a low-scoring affair. Salzburg, batting first scored 183 all out in 41.5 overs, with Nadeem Akhtar top scoring with 53, while the previous day's batting hero, Manoj Kumar took 6-34, the best figures in the League to date this season. United Nations' reply started disastrously, with the innings being reduced to 21-5. Veteran campaigner Jayapaul however stood his ground and batting sensibly towards an unbeaten 74, but as wickets continued to fall at the other end, he having been given able support by Tariq Afzal (38), United Nations still needed 35 when the last man came in, which they achieved in the 36th over for 13 points.
Highest score: 74* V.Jayapaul (United Nations) vs Salzburg CC at Latschach
Best bowling: 6-34 Manoj Kumar (United Nations) vs Salzburg CC at Latschach
Carried Bat: 60* Mark Oman (Ljubljana CC) vs United Nations CC at Latschach