Wins for Ireland and Scotland

Mon, Jul 23, 2007 3:21 PM

Top seeds Gibraltar, now reunited with their kit, opened their European Under 19 Division 2 campaign with a victory over Italy on Monday, setting up a potentially thrilling Group A decider on Tuesday against hosts Jersey.

After winning the toss and electing to bat at Farmers, Gibraltar were put into a strong position by an 84-run stand for the second wicket between opener Scott Chipolina and Akhil Viz. Chipolina was the more aggressive in a generally steady partnership, reaching his half-century and then being stumped for 53 off the bowling of Luca Moscatellini.

That made the score 100 for two in the 40th over, and when Viz departed soon afterwards for a patient 27 it was the trigger for a flurry of wickets in the final overs as the Gibraltarians sought to build a substantial total. Two run-outs made their task more difficult, and the innings closed on 153 for seven.

Italy reached 40 in reply without losing a wicket, but once Gibraltar's three-man spin attack came into action the Italians began to feel the pressure. Skipper Kabir Mirpuri bowled eight overs for 14 runs, but it was Akhil Viz and Robert Skinner who picked up the wickets as Italy were dismissed for 113. Viz took four for 33 and Skinner five for 28.

Opener Edoardo Mazzi, the Italian captain, was the top scorer for his side with 29, but nobody after the top four reached double figures.

The Isle of Man had a successful start to their Under 19 programme, pulling off a hard-fought three-wicket victory over Israel.

Put in to bat, the Israelis failed to take the initiative against a Manx attack which displayed a tendency to bowl an unacceptable number of wides. Gabriel Schachat top-scored with 38, made from 129 balls, and he and Shai Divekar shared a remarkable partnership of 49 for the fourth wicket before Divekar was dismissed for a 64-ball duck. He received a standing ovation from some of his team-mates.

The situation was partly redeemed in the closing stages of the innings by skipper Oren Chincholkar, who again batted well, making a not-out 33 from 50 balls.

The pick of the Manx bowlers was Daniel Kniveton, who took five for 20 in an excellent 10-over spell.

Kniveton also played a decisive role when the Isle of Man batted, anchoring the innings with 35 not out. They were 72 for one at one stage, but with Chincholkar, Schachat and Raz Ben Zaken collecting two wickets each it took the Manx until the penultimate over to reach their target, with three wickets in hand.

Guernsey also played for the first time on Monday, but had the frustrating experience of seeing their match against Belgium at Les Quennevais rained off after they had reached 130 for three in the 33rd over, with Ben Ferbrache on 40 not out.

The players were driven from the field at that point, and after a long delay an attempt was made to resume with the game cut down to 38 overs a side. Even this was impossible, however, because of the condition of the ground, and the match was abandoned.

Guernsey will now have to beat France on Tuesday more convincingly than Belgium did on the opening day if they are to progress to the play-offs for first place in the tournament.
The Celtic nations enjoyed a successful opening day with both recording comprehensive victories.

At Bangor, Ireland won the toss and elected to field first on a wicket which offered assistance early on. Although they bowled too many wides, they still took wickets at regular intervals, with Richard Keaveney particularly impressive. He got the ball to swing from the right hander and picked up 4 for 29.

One of those victims was Alexei Kervezee for 9, and with it went any realistic chance they had of victory. Andrew Britton and James Hall also got in on the act and at 46 for 5, an early finish looked on the cards.

Bob Entrop batted sensibly and found a willing partner in Stijn Allema - the pair more than doubled the score, adding 47, although Entrop was given a reprieve on 16, dropped by Gavin Mc Kenna at deep midwicket.

He went on to make 36 from 83 balls, hitting 3 boundaries, before being dismissed by Keaveney. Allema unluckily played on to Thompson, and the tail could only add a further 16, as they were all out for 123. Extras was top score with 37, including 28 wides.

A disciplined bowling performance by The Netherlands in the first 20 overs saw Ireland struggle to 40 for 2 after 20 overs. Chris Dougherty was brilliantly caught at short extra cover by Karel Vieler off Tim Gruijters for 7 with the score on 23.

Paul Stirling (22) had played some lovely square cuts, before frustration got the better of him, and he lost his middle stump attempting an expansive drive off Alexei Kervezee.

That was to be their last success as James Hall (41*), and Ben Ackland (47*)shared an unbroken partnership of 86 for the 3rd wicket.

Ackland hit 7 fours and faced 62 balls - he looked very classy and assured and gave an indication of why he is currently on the books of Northants. Hall overcame a sedate start and by the end was looking very powerful. He hit 6 fours and 1 six, and faced 79 deliveries.

Scotland had an equally convincing 145 run win over Denmark at Stormont. They were always in control after an opening stand of 117 between Scott Dalgleish and Ryan Flannigan. Dalglesih hit 9 fours and a six in a fine 68, made off just 67 balls, while Flannigan (48) fell just short of a deserved half century.

There were useful cameo knocks from Charles Leggett (43), and Fraser Burnett (31) - the pair adding. 63 for the 6th wicket. Zeeshan Bashir (19) hit a few lusty blows late on, as Scotland finished on 255 all out.

Star of the show for Denmark was Suleman Arshad - the left arm spinner bowled superbly finishing with the excellent analysis of 4-21 from his 10 over spell. Vikar Akhtar also did well, taking 2 for 21.

In reply Denmark were never in the hunt, scoring just 110 in 44.2 overs. Three players reached double figures, with Rizwan Mahmood top scoring with 27. The other contributors were Aftab Ahmed (25), and Finn Kleissl (10).

Spinner Ross Paxton took 5 for 24, while Calum Mac Leod and Scott Redhead each picked up two wickets.

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