Italy confirmed that it will be the team to beat at the ICC European U17 Division 2 Championships in the Isle of Man when it gained sweet revenge over Belgium in the top match on the opening day.
The Belgians had won the last U17 final, against Italy, two years ago but this time it was blown away by a superb Italian bowling display which seems certain to cause the rest of its opponents plenty of problems later in the tournament.
Muhammad Adnan started the Belgium collapse with the wickets of Robert Sehmi and Jonathan Aron in successive balls and that was to be a feature of the innings. With three golden ducks, three bowlers were on a hat-trick but like Adnan before them, Jakub Peret and Harpreet Singh failed to make it three in three. Still their final figures were impressive with Adnan taking 2-5, Peret 4-13 and Singh 3-17.
After Sehmi's 30 and Fraser McRae's 17, no else reached double figures for Belgium as it slumped from 46-1 to 76 between the 10th and 22nd overs.
Italy captain Roshendra Abewickrama took the first wicket, just two balls into the innings to follow his classy knock of 76 from 98 balls which was the backbone of his side's total of 214-5.
Isle of Man, hosting an ICC tournament for the first time, made a confident start with a 66-run victory over Germany at Cronkbourne. In the only game of the day to be reduced by a persistent drizzle - play was held up for almost three hours - the hosts made 180-7 in 37 overs and then dismissed its opponents for 114, taking the last nine wickets for 45 runs in 12 and a half overs.
Carl Wagstaffe (35) and Adam McAuley (53) put on 91 for the first wicket in 19 overs to put Isle of Man in control and although it was reduced to 130-5, it added 50 in the last seven overs. Krishna Cholleti made 37 at the top of the German innings but when he was second out, the Isle of Man bowlers completed a straightforward victory, Robert Hester the most successful with four wickets for 23.
Ben Girling took six wickets as Spain beat Switzerland by 38 runs at Crosby. Chasing Spain's 176, the Swiss were in trouble at 92-6 but a stand of 41 in just six and a half overs between Ali Saleem and Ross Cameron keep the Swiss in the hunt and Spain under pressure - until a run out hurried the game to its conclusion.
Girling finished with six as the Swiss were bowled out for 138. Spain captain Joel Brook took the other three wickets.
Spain's innings was built around Charlie Cook's 59. Coming to the wicket after the loss of two wickets in six balls, which left Spain 51-4, he slammed seven fours and two sixes off just 46 balls before he was seventh out with the total on 163.
France enjoyed the easiest win of the day, by a massive 222 runs, as Gibraltar was bowled out for 56 inside 22 overs.
The islanders had no answer to the spin of Zika Ali who finished with the remarkable figures of five wickets for three runs from four overs as Gibraltar slumped from 34-3 to 48-9. Only Julian Freyone held up the rampant French, facing 77 balls for his 23 after Zain Zahir took two early wickets.
Gibraltar ended up using eight bowlers, which was probably a mistake, as it conceded 69 runs in the last five overs with Haroon Rashid blasting an unbeaten 34 from 17 balls with three fours a six. But the biggest hitting came from Avishka Liyanaarachchi who hit three maximums and five other boundaries in his 61 which came off just 47 balls.
Score summaries (day 1):
At King William College 1: Italy beat Belgium by 138 runs Italy 214-5 (40 overs) Abewickrama 76, Peret 37, Chowdhury 35, Belgium 76 (21.5 overs) Peret 4-13, Singh 3-17
At St Johns: France beat Gibraltar by 222 runs France 278-6 (40 overs) Smari 69, Liyanaarchchi 61, Davidson 53, Gibraltar 56 (21.4 overs) Ali 5-3, Z Zahir 3-17
At Cronkbourne: Isle of Man beat Germany by 66 runs
37 overs match Isle Of Man 180-6 (37 overs) McAuley 53, Wagstaffe 35, Marwaha 3-32 Germany 114 (32 overs) Hester 4-23
At Crosby: Spain beat Switzerland by 38 runs Spain 176 (39.2 overs) Cook 59, Cameron 3-21, Gaillet 3-27, Parikh 3-34, Switzerland 138 (36 overs) Saleem 43, Girling 6-17, Brook 3-32
|Isle of Man ||1||1||0||0||0||2|
Italy v France (KWC2)
Belgium v Hellas (Cronkbourne)
Isle of Man v Switzerland (KWC1)
Germany v Austria (Crosby)
France v Hellas (Crosby)
Italy v Gibraltar (Cronkbourne)
Switzerland v Austria (KWC 1)
Isle of Man v Spain (St John's)
Gibraltar v Hellas (KWC 2)
Belgium v France (KWC 1)
Spain v Austria (Cronkbourne)
Germany v Switzerland (St John's)
Belgium v Gibraltar (Crosby)
Italy v Hellas (St John's)
Germany v Spain (KWC 1)
Isle of Man v Austria (KWC 2)
Final: A1 v B1
3rd-4th play-off: A2 v B2
5th-6th play-off: A3 v B3
7th-8th play-off: A4 v B4
9th-10th play-off: A5 v B5
For more information on European U17 Division 2 and full scorecards please visit http://www.icc-europe.org/EUROU17B/index.shtml