Hungary finish 5th in Prague Twenty20 Cup

Wed, Oct 1, 2008 11:56 AM

The development of cricket in eastern Europe took a step forward this summer when unofficial national teams from five countries competed for the Prague International Twenty20 Cricket Cup 2008.

A side from Hungary joined the host nation the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Russia and Romania in the two-day event which took place on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August 2008 in Prague.

The Hungarian side finished in fifth place following defeats by ICC Affiliate members Bulgaria and Czech Republic. Below are the reports from these two fixtures.

Hungary vs Bulgaria
Hungary 93 all out (Andrew Leckonby 29) lost to Bulgaria 94-5 by 5 wickets

After winning the toss Hungary elected to bat against the Bulgarian side who had lost their first game to the Czech Republic, so a place in the semi-finals was at stake.

The innings was a stop-start affair as a lot of batsman got off the mark and looked in good touch, but fell unexpectedly. Andrew Leckonby was the exception, scoring a classy 29. At 89-6 the innings was still in the balance, but the tail fell cheaply and Hungary were bowled out for 93, with a painful 4 overs unused from their allotted 20.

Hungary's opening bowling combination of Leckonby and Bownas kept things tight in the first few overs, but the Bulgarians managed to keep wickets in hand, until Lucky Singh's double strike gave Hungary hope. The runs continued to trickle though, as the Bulgarians managed to see off the best Hungarian pacemen, and eventually ran out to victory with 10 balls to spare.

Captain Gabor Torok: "We just didn't get enough runs at the end of the day. A golden rule of limited overs cricket is to bat out the overs given to you and we simply didn't do that. I think we bowled well without luck, a par batting performance would have seen us through."

Man of the match: Andrew Leckonby

Hungary vs Czech Republic
Czech Republic 163-8 (Andy Grieve 5-28) beat Hungary 106 all out (Gabor Torok 25) by 57 runs

Hungary faced the extremely difficult task of having to beat the hosts to make the semi-final. Winning the toss, they decided to put the Czechs in. After a couple of miserly tight overs from the Leckonby-Bownas combination, the Czech batsmen went berserk and started scoring at above 10 runs per over in no time. By the time Lucky Singh got the first breakthrough, the innings had gotten out of control. Still, a wonderful bowling performance from Andy Grieve and some spirited fielding from the Hungarian side got the run rate down to respectable proportions. Thanks mainly to Grieve's 5-28, the Czechs were bowled out for 163.

The uphill chase became close to impossible when opener Zoltán Magó and premier batsman Tushar Gandhi fell in quick succession. Keeper Mike Glover and captain Gábor Török kept the respiratory machine going with a rear-guard partnership against the frighteningly quick Czech bowlers, but the fall of Glover and Leckonby meant that the target had gotten out of Hungary's reach. Gabor's 25, and his brother Tamás'double six-filled 15 got Hungary over the respectable 100 mark, but the 106 was unfortunately well short of the target.

Captain Gabor Torok: "Had we batted like that against the Bulgarians, we would have reached the semi-finals. Full credit to the boys for not giving up against the formidable opposition. We'll learn a lot from this tournament and come back stronger next time for sure."

Man of the match: Andy Grieve

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