Wins for Isle of Man and Italy leads to a thrilling final showdown at King William's College
Italy and hosts Isle of Man confirmed its places in the final of the ICC Europe U17 Division 2 Championships with a fourth straight win on the last day of group games. At the other end of the tables, Gibraltar finished without a victory but Germany won its first game of the week with a thrilling last ball success against Spain.
When the bottom team in Group B lost three wickets in three overs at King William's College 1, it looked as if its pursuit of Spain's 146 all out would go out with a whimper. After its faltering middle, Germany had left themselves 47 to win from just six overs. It was Krishna Cholleti who upped the tempo in the 35th over when he hit his side's first boundary in 90 balls. Eight came off that over and there was the first hint of an exciting finish.
However, only five came off the next and when Sandeep Singh had Cholleti caught off the first ball of the 37th, Spain was the firm favourite. But at the other end, Steven Richards was just warming up. The Germany captain hit three fours in the next three overs and intelligently keeping the strike at every opportunity got the target down to 12 off six balls.
Christian Hein took a single off the first ball of the last over and Richards then did the rest, with a two, four and two more off the fifth to level the scores. Having lost fewer wickets that would have been enough for Germany but just to make sure Richards hit the final delivery down the ground for the winning run.
Isle of Man booked its place in the final with a 96-run victory over Austria at KWC 2 but it knows, it will need to improve if it is to prevent Italy taking the ICC Europe U17 Division 2 title.
Four of the hosts batsmen got into the 20s, but two of them were Robert Hester, at No 9, and Andrew Vels, one place lower. No-one got past 26 as it was restricted to 169-5. The bowlers did their job, however, with Seb Aycock taking the big wicket of Austria captain Ciju Pathuppally, leg before for just 16 on his way to figures of 3-19 and Shaun Kelly was even more miserly with 3-14.
Italy was virtually guaranteed a place in the final before it met Hellas at St Johns but it made sure with another convincing victory.
Forced to bowl first, it was kept in the field for 38 overs before it dismissed the Greeks for 70 and it won the match in the 21st over by nine wickets. Roshandra Abewickrama finished 33 not out to steer his side to victory although it was also helped significantly by 17 extras.
Only one Hellas batsman reached double figures, Panajoti Niko, at No 9, making 18 from just 26 balls while Alamin Mia and Muhammad Adnan both took three wickets for the Italians who will start today's final as favourites to make it five wins out of five against the hosts.
Matthew Hunter produced the best bowling figures of the tournament but still ended up on the losing side as Gibraltar lost its last five wickets for four runs to give Belgium a 59-run victory at Crosby.
Hunter took 7-11 in three spells but Belgium scored 153 from the other 32 overs to post a total that proved to be well out of reach.
However, when Gibraltar reached 101-5 in the 29th over, in pursuit of a victory target of 165, it was the Belgians who were doing the worrying, but a stunning spell by Nofil Aziz hurried the game to a conclusion. In a spell of 18 balls, he took five wickets.
Score summaries (day five):
At KWC 1: Germany beat Spain by 3 wickets
Spain 146 (39.3 overs) Vine 42
Germany 147-7 (40 overs) Richards 37* J Singh 35
At KWC 2: Isle of Man beat Austria by 96 runs
Isle of Man 169-9 (40 overs)
Austria 73 (22.5 overs) Kelly 3-14 Aycock 3-19
At Crosby: Belgium beat Gibraltar by 59 runs
Belgium 164 (38.2 overs) F McRae 64 Hunter 7-11
Gibraltar 105 (33.3 overs) Aziz 5-18 Shamin Shah 3-20
At St Johns: Italy beat Hellas by 9 wickets
Hellas 70 (38.2 overs) Adnan 3-7, Mia 3-11
Italy 73-1 (20.2 overs)
|Isle of Man ||4||4||0||0||8||2.01|
Final: Isle of Man v Italy (KWC 1)
3rd-4th play-off: France v Spain (Cronkbourne)
5th-6th play-off: Belgium v Switzerland (KWC 2)
7th-8th play-off: Hellas v Germany (St Johns)
9th-10th play-off: Gibraltar v Austria (Crosby)
For more information on European U17 Division 2 and full scorecards please visit