Debutants impress in the mens T10 series

February 20, 2024

Spain's two new debutants fitted in smoothly and impressed in the convincing five match series victory against the Czech Republic. Newcomers Alec Davidson-Soler and Dani Long-Martinez sat out the first game along with skipper Christian Munoz-Mills as they came to grips with the T10 format for the very first time.

Alec Davison-Soler receiving his cap from Juan Carlos Rodriguez (President Cricket Espana)

Coach Corey Rutgers drafted all three players into game two after Spain had won game one by six wickets and eight balls to spare. After a long lay off with a serious injury Munoz-Mills opened the batting and to the delight of Spanish fans found his form straight away, blugeoning 38 off  just 11 balls. Coming in at number four Long-Martinez hit 17 off 11 balls and was unbeaten at the end of the Spanish innings, which stood at 184 for 3.

Not getting an opportunity with the bat Davidson-Soler showed his class as a wicket-keeper, taking two catches and a sharp stumping that help restrict the Czechs to 100 all out.

The following morning in the first of three games on the day for the men Long-Martinez sat out the game but Davidson-Soler once again had the wicket keeping gloves and took another slick stumping as the Czech Republic failed to get close to Spain's first innings effort of 148 for four. Davidson-Soler did get three balls to face at the tail end of Spain's ten overs and with his second ball in Spanish colours he smashed a text book six out of  the ground.

Dani Long-Martinez receiving his cap from Cricket Espana President Juan Carlos Rodriguez

The penultimate game for the men was arguably their best performance with the bat during the weekend. The Spaniards wracked up 206 for six off the ten overs with Long-Martinez entering the frame at number three and smashing 30 runs off just seven balls in a innings that included three fours and three sixes. Davidson-Soler sat out the match as Spain recorded a solid 55 run victory.

The undefeated series victory was sealed in match five with Spain losing only one wicket in chasing down 117 runs with 23 balls in hand. Both newcomers contributed with the bat, Long-Martinez opening and bagging ten off just six balls to get Spain off a solid start.

Davidson-Soler was equally impressive and was still at the crease at the end with 22 runs off just eleven balls. However, his unbeaten batting partner Muhammad Babar was the star of this game, hitting 83 off just 26 balls.

Babar's innings included two remarkable one handed consecutive sixes that had the Spanish section of supporters out of their seats and cheering wildly.

A special mention must go to Sebastian Hughres-Pinar, the Durham Academy youngster who walked away with the MVP of the series. The talented left arm spinner took ten wickets in the five matches, with his best figures being three for 13 in the final match.

The series highlighted the depth Spain now have in their squad. Their next encounter will be a tougher affair, as they take on Jersey at La Manga in two T20I ranking games in April.

Photos (Diana Oros ECN): Dani Long- Martinez (with his dad) and Alec Davidson-Soler (with his mum and dad) receiving their caps from Cricket España President Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

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