Sweden book their ticket to Belgium with another commanding win

Sat, May 14, 2011 10:31 AM

Sweden book their ticket to Belgium with another commanding win
Mikulas Stary of the Czech Republic is bowled by Aman Zahid of Sweden
Sweden made sure of their place in the ICC European Division Two Championship in commanding fashion at Velden on Friday afternoon, dismissing the Czech Republic for 65 in just 13.3 overs and knocking off the runs in 7.5 overs for the loss of two wickets.

Aman Zahid did the early damage for the Swedes with two wickets in a three-over spell, but it was Azam Khalil with three for 13 and Imran Amjad with four for 15 who ran through the Czech line-up and completed the job.

Estonia were far too well organised for Bulgaria at Valburga, an unbeaten 51-ball 65 from Oliver Slobodetsky seeing them to a comfortable nine-wicket win, while in Velden Turkey also completed their second win of the tournament with a narrower three-wicket victory over the Czech Republic.

Stuart Clarkson top-scored for Bulgaria, making a solid 36 off 48 deliveries. This enabled the side to achieve their highest total of the week, but their 121 for eight was still not enough for their bowlers to put the opposing batsmen under any real pressure. Estonian skipper Tim Heath claimed three for 21 in his four overs, but the key factor was an excellent spell from seamer Kalle Vislapuu, who took three for 26. There were also three catches and a stumping for Estonian keeper Anil Puri.

Slobodetsky and Nand Lal Riar then gave their side a magnificent start with an opening stand of exactly 100, and when Riar was finally bowled by Saif for 46 from 37 deliveries, Heath supported Slobodetsky the big Ukrainian-born opener as he raced to the target with 26 balls to spare.

The other morning match, by contrast, went to the final delivery, when Turkey hit the winning boundary in chasing down a Czech total of 129 for nine.

Vojtech Hasa hit 38 for the Czechs, with two wickets apiece for Mecit Turkmenoglu, Mohammad Razak, Sajjad Haider and Hammad ul Haq. Brigham Smith grabbed two wickets as Turkey were reduced to 27 for three, but then Nabeel Munir and Sajjad Haider added 77 for the fourth wicket to bring their side to within striking distance of their target.

Chris Hampson eventually removed Sajjad for 37, triggering the loss of three further wickets, but Nabeel stood firm, making an unbeaten 39 and hitting a four off the final delivery which ensured the points for Turkey.

Hosts Slovenia recorded their second victory of the championship when they defeated Bulgaria by six wickets at Valburga.

Winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Slovenia's opening bowler Bradley Eve removed both of the Bulgarian openers with just 11 on the board. Vladimir Ruskov and Mohamad Hanif then came together in a partnership of 58 before both were dismissed with the score on 69. It was thanks to Lyubomir Zanev with a rapid 26 not out that Bulgaria were able to reach 107 when their overs ran out. Most successful of the Slovenian bowlers was Primoz Pustoslemsek who took three wickets for just 12 runs in his four overs.

Slovenia began uncertainly in their reply and were soon 25 for three. Mohammad Hanif then removed Pustoslemsek to claim his third victim and leave the home team tottering on 48 for 4. However, opener Mark Oman was still at the crease and, in partnership with Nejc Zupan, saw his team to victory in the final over and without further loss. Oman finished unbeaten on 39, made from 82 balls while Zupan made 24 from 45 balls.

The win leaves Slovenia sharing second place with Estonia and Turkey going into Saturday's final round of matches.

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