Isle of Man and Sweden look to the possibility of ICC World T20 in Bangladesh
Tue, Sep 11, 2012 2:05 PM
The Isle of Man and Sweden emerged victorious from the ICC European Division Two (T20) tournament in Corfu, therefore earning promotion to Division One next year and keeping alive their dreams of playing in the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh.
The Isle of Man won the tournament thanks to a disciplined bowling attack, backed up by a determined and athletic fielding unit. They held their catches at vital times, and always seemed to have a plan. Their batting had the most depth of any side in the competition, as evidenced by a number of late rallies in the final overs when they seemed in trouble.
Gareth Morris was their star performer with the bat, scoring 275 runs at an average of 39.29, which included three fifties.
Arne van den Berg was their leading wicket taker capturing 11 at just 9.00 apiece, but the real telling statistic is the fact that three of their bowlers featured in the top five economy rates for the tournament - the aforementioned Van Den Berg (2nd), Dan Hawke (3rd) and Max Stokoe (5th).
Sweden were involved in the game of the tournament, winning an amazing one wicket semi-final win against Spain, as Wakil Jalali struck the winning boundary off the last ball as they chased what appeared an unlikely 190.
Their team strength was again very much in evidence, as right through the order they had players capable of clearing the ropes. Their bowling was their stronger suit as Azam Khalil finished second in the averages taking 12 at 14.30, while Khalid Ahmad finished in 14th slot with 9 at 14.78.
Spain will feel the unluckiest side as their formidable batting powered them through to the semi final stages. They had the tournament's three centurions - Tariq Ali Anwan scored an incredible two of them in one day, hitting 150* and 148, while James Morgan scored the other.
Tariq finished on top of the batting aggregates with 476 at 95.20, also topping the strike rates at an incredible 214.41.
That still wasn't enough for him to capture the MVP award as the incredibly consistent Muhammad Mohsin of Cyprus pipped him to that presitigious accolade.
Mohsin finished second in the run aggregates - 305 at 76.25, but was also the leading wicket taker in the event with 14 at 11.43. For good measure he also finished second in the catching table with seven - just behind the Isle of Man's Ollie Webster.
A quite superb tournament, brilliantly handled by the hosts, with all 42 matches played in a wonderful spirit which showcased the depth and quality of European cricket.