Miranda do Covo - Portugal Tour 13 - 17 October 2022

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Cricket vs Coimbra Knights

In 2019 we decided at the AGM to go to Portugal to play Amigos cricket club in 2020 in Ansiao.  COVID came about before we could go in 2020 so we postponed the tour in 2020 and again in 2021.  We travelled out to play Coimbra Knights from the European Cricket League instead as they are closer to the hotel (and the tour captains swimming pool!!).

So the club set out to go on their first tour in 25 years by going abroad - none of these little taster weekend trips to somewhere in England, we dived straight into touring (thanks Andy)!

Thursday 13th October Fly to Lisbon from Heathrow on TAP. Flight leaves at 11:20 am. Arrive Lisbon 14:00. Travel by bus to the Ansiao and check into our hotel.

Friday 14th October. Evening 20:20 game under flood lights. This was the first time that the club played under floodlights and wearing our snazzy blue shirts.  Tour Captain Andy, knowing the oppositions since he plays for them told us they weren't good at chasing if we put on a good total.  Andy opened the batting and put the opposition to the sword scoring a very good 50* helped by Paul's 24.  Unfortunately the rest of the team struggled on the unknown artificial and we made 134-2.  We got off to a great start with Cam getting some extra lift and we had the Coimbra opening batsman out for a duck - game on! This unfortunately was the sum of our success as bowlers struggled to get the right line and our fielding looking like we had only just got off the plane as we lost, 139-1 in 15 overs.

Saturday 15th October 20:20 all day test match game. Two innings per side. . Day 2 and we wandered to the ground again full of hope that this was more our type of game as we were back in our familiar whites.  The batting display from Coimbra from the day before continued as they made 196-2 after electing to bat. Si being our one glimmer of hope as he took 2-35 in his four overs, but this was not helped by a number of dropped catches from normally some of our safer fielders. The batting from the club with a rejigged line up was unsuccesful as we were quickly 5 down with no one getting above 4. Andy came to the rescue again with 33* aided by Si with 26 and Lloyd with 28* with a 6 that sailed out of the former football ground and got lost in the woods as we made 132-6. In the second innings the bowling and fielding finally clicked (despite us losing 2 wicket keepers due to injury within the first few overs). We bowled the dangerous batting line up out for 148 in 19.4 overs, with Si 3-30, Bish 2-7, Paul 2-13 and Lloyd 2-34 picking up the wickets and Andy taking 2 catches and Dill's wonder pluck on the boundary of a certain 6. Another change in the batting line up saw Dill opening getting a very good 29 and Cam getting 35* in the middle order to get us to a respectable 138-5. This innings also saw the reintroduction of William "Dad" Forrester who was still fighting flu from the Thursday as we lost by 74 runs.

Sunday 16th October 40 over game. A game too far perhaps.  After another late night the team turned up for a 40 over game, this surely had to be it?! We played 35 over games all the time and Coimbra played in the European leage mataches so were 20 over specialists, we were going to show how to build an innings and make a total! This all became undone very quickly as Andy, our banker for runs, came undone early and it was not until a late cameo of hitting from Club President Miles "Swampy" Jones with 24 that we limped to 132-12.  Well at least we were consistant in our scoring amounts!  This was never goiong to be enough and Coimbra reached 136-5 in 20 overs with the pick of the bowlers being Si 2-37 and William 2-16.

We had played 3 lost 3, but had continued the club record of no wins on tour so now are 0/10! Leading run scorer was Andy with 87 and an average of 87.00 and leading bowler was Si with 7-102 averaging 14.57. Andy Toby and Dill all took 2 catches.

Monday 17th We flew home and had a bit of jobsworth on the coach trip who wouldn't listen to us to make the journey shorter or stop for a break so we all got a home a lot later than we hoped.

A great time was had by all, the opposition was lovely and we hope to go back - roll on 2024 when we will try again!

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