It’s been all go for Peru in what is normally a fallow time for the Peruvian Llamas. Firstly the Peru team has been in high-intensity training in preparation for the Americas Division III Championships. Captain Miles Buesst and Coach Blake Rutherford have been putting the team though an energetic training regime, in particular the concept of stretching (before and after practice) becoming an integral part of the match and practice buildup. The net result of this is that the team came home from the tournament fitter and with fewer injuries than in any previous tournaments. Thanks a lot Blake and Miles for that!
In the tournament itself, Peru did not quite perform as they would have liked to. Although it was noted that the team now have a more professional image than before they were let down mainly by the batting performances. In the first match Chile scored a massive 323, with Simon Shalders (195*) putting the Peru Bowling attack to the sword. Nadeem Ansari the only bowler contributing with 1 for 29 from ten overs. In response, the only real mettle came from Chris Abbott and Miles Buesst with 20 and 32 respectively. In the second match Peru skittled Belize for 160 with a phenomenal display of bowling and fielding. Paul Barnes, on debut, bowling with vim and vigor with figures of 1 for 29 from 10 and Tony Sanford mopping up with 4 for 38 from 5 overs. However disaster struck for Peru’s batsmen and the team was all out for a paltry 73, Peru’s lowest score in ICC internationals. In the final match versus Brazil (the eventual tournament winners), Peru almost managed to chase down 253, with Michael Soulsby making up for his previous demise with a maiden half century (57). Add Miles Buesst (36) and Nadeem’s fiery 29 from 14 deliveries and Peru came to within 17 runs of the target. This game was especially significant as the Amistad (Friendship) Cup was introduced for all games between Peru and Brazil (see foto).
There were many pluses to be taken from the tournament in that Peru fielded and bowled better than ever before, fewer catches were actually put down and fitness levels were up. However Peru were let down by their inability to build batting partnerships. Standards are definitely rising across the Americas division III.
Back to domestic issues, Lima now has a second permanent pitch at Cambridge school on which to practice on. John Bell, a Business Teacher was a key player in the negotiations with the school. This is some feat considering how difficult it has been for the PCA to have anything built in Lima. The pitch is true and is still flattening out, but it means that Cricket can now be played all year round, which is simply brilliant news. It may be used in the under-13 CSA tournament next April.
In November the Lima Cricket and Football Club, the oldest Cricket Club in South America, continues its 150th celebrations with two cricket matches. On the 15th November a forty over match will be played against the Ambassadors XI, bringing together the finest players in Lima and Peru. The match will be attended by local dignitaries and showcase the advances made in Peruvian Cricket in the last decade. The following weekend, 22nd November, will be the inaugural Super South American Sixes competition to be played between Chak De, LCFC, Kiteflyers and Eidegenossen. It will be a family day for lots of people to come and watch, with a junior sixes game between Markham School and Hiram Bingham in the morning with a barbeque and opportunities for the younger players to learn from the ‘slightly’ older ones. All go in Peru!