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Belgium edge out Denmark in thrilling encounter

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 10:27 AM


Belgium edge out Denmark in thrilling encounter
In Group B Jersey and Belgium both made it two wins in two on the first day of the ICC European Division 1 Championship.

At FB Fields, Belgium edged out Denmark by 1 run in a thrilling encounter. Batting first Belgium began brightly with Nirvam Shah making 24 but their innings fell away to a final total of 104 in 19.1 overs, which looked rather below par against one of the highest-ranked sides in the competition.

However, Denmark's innings began disastrously, as they lost their first four wickets for just 12 runs. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and at 61 for eight after 12 overs, the Belgians appeared to have the victory for the taking. Spearhead of the Belgian success was Wagas Shafiq, whose four overs brought him three victims for just 18 runs.

However, Basit Javed and Bashir Shah then came together and added 36 in confident style before Bashir was dismissed for 20. With 8 needed from the last over, a couple of singles from the first two balls were followed by a four struck over mid off from Saeed Amjud. With 2 runs now needed, he drove the next delivery hard but at head height straight to Farmiloe at extra cover, and he made no mistake to the great joy of his teammates and the despair of Javed who was left unbeaten on 17. Denmark came tantalisingly close, all out for 103 with 2 balls remaining.

Jersey recorded an emphatic 8 wicket victory over Israel to join Belgium at the top of Group B. Jersey won the toss and elected to field, with Israel making a steady start and reaching 43-2 in the 7th over. But a devastating spell of seam bowling by veteran Tony Carlyon, who returned figures of 4-9 in 4 overs, and some sharp Jersey fielding then turned the game on its head. Anthony Hawkins-Kay ran out Eshkol Solomon with only one stump to aim at and captain Peter Gough took a fine one-handed catch to dismiss the captain Herschel Gutman, with Israel all out for 87 in the 20th over having lost their last 6 wickets for a miserly 30 runs.

In response, Jersey's openers put on 18 for the first wicket before Ed Farley was smartly caught by a diving Gutman at mid-off in the 3rd over. A 40-run partnership between Dean Morrison and Ryan Driver then put Jersey firmly in control, with the two left-handers happy to work the Israeli spinners for singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Off-spinner Gutman then dismissed Driver in the 10th over but Morrison continued to bat with fluency, launching several sixes onto the bank at Farmers and bringing up his 50 with a flat six over mid-wicket.

Victory came in the 12th over as Morrison again cleared the ropes, securing an 8 wicket win for Jersey and leaving Morrison unbeaten on 64 off 44 balls, a knock that had included 3 fours and 5 sixes.

In the other match in Group B, France bounced back from their defeat against Belgium to beat Germany by 34 runs at Les Quennevais. Having been put in to bat, France made 126-7 in their 20 overs. In reply Germany were all out for 92 in 18.3 overs, 17-year old leg-spinner Zika Ali impressing with figures of 3-17.

After running Italy close in the first game of the day at College Field, Croatia gave a scare to hosts Guernsey in the second game, Guernsey winning by just three wickets with one over to spare.

Guernsey put Croatia in after winning the toss, and the Croatian innings started with a 43 run opening partnership between Paul Vujnovich and Christopher Pivac before Pivac was dismissed by Jeremy Frith for 16. Vujnovich was next out when he was run out for 25, but Croatia didn't really capitalise on that opening partnership, and scored 97-7 from their 20 overs. Tim Ravenscroft was the pick of the bowlers with 2-13.

That should have been an easy run chase for Guernsey, but their innings started poorly when both openers were removed with the score on four. Skipper Stuart Le Prevost then set about rebuilding the innings with a patient 34, but when he was sixth out with the score on 65, Guernsey were staring down the barrel of an upset defeat. A 29 run partnership for the seventh wicket steadied the ship though, and Guernsey eventually secured the win with one over to spare.

Italy made it two wins out of two when a fine all-round performance saw them ease to a comfortable 7 wicket win against Austria at KGV.

Peter Petricola showed the form which saw him win the Player of the Tournament accolade at the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament in Hong Kong earlier this year, as he tore through the Austrian lower order to finish with 4 for 20. Din Alaud (2-16) and Dilan Fernando (2-24) both bowled exceptionally well, with Munasinghe (1-17) the other wicket taker.

The Austrians had got off to a solid start, with openers Simpson-Parker (18), and Lakmal Kasthuriarachchige (16) getting starts, but thereafter only Amar Naeem (23) and Imran Asif (15) offered any significant resistance as Austria were dismissed for 105 in 18.4 overs.

In reply, all five Italian batsmen reached double figures, with Petricola completing a fine all-round performance as he made an unbeaten 28, sharing in an unbroken 4th wicket stand of 55 with Damian Crowley (23*). Damian Fernando (10) had gone with 16 on the board, but Andy Northcote (23), and Alessandro Bonora (16), ensured that there was no repeat of the morning drama, as they reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

After a disappointing opening match in Group A against Guernsey in which they lost by ten wickets, Norway have bounced back in fine style with an 8 wicket win over Gibraltar at Port Soif in Guernsey.

Gibraltar captain Iain Latin won the toss and this time elected to bat first. Their innings started badly with Ross Harkins dismissed from the third ball of the innings with the score on five. The innings never really recovered after that, with some poor running between the wickets, and Gibraltar could only manage 77-8 from their 20 overs. Shabaz Butt was the pick of the bowlers with 3-13.

Norway's innings started with a big hitting innings from Zaheer Ashiq. Playing quality cricket shots, he smashed 35 from 20 deliveries before he was out in the fifth over. Norway were on 45 at that point and well ahead of the game. They only lost one more wicket and, aided by some poor Gibraltar fielding, they reached their target in the tenth over to win by 8 wickets.



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