ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010
Day 4 [click here for day 3]
Massively important matches today. Germany HAD TO win over Norway to stay among the top teams, while France were battling the mighty hosts, and the table enders Israel and Gibraltar fought for their first points.
Norway won the toss and elected to bat. I didn't believe my eyes but their top order collapsed like a card house, mainly thanks to a searing Ehsan Latif, who ran through the Viking batsmen like a hot knife through butter. Seems I posted his picture a bit prematurely hehe. Massive cheers on my end of the things. 4-33 for the pacer from Berlin. The hundred is one of these mentally important milestones in the game and when Norway brought their ton up in the early 30s I began to pull the air in through my teeth. They were 6 down but somehow there was this vibration in the air that they wouldn't plan on getting all out soon. Well, 10 overs later they were still only 6 down but had arrived at 148, with their main batsman Shahbaz Butt unbeaten on 53. Seven overs still to come and I thought that's gonna be a difficult chase now. Although Germany took another 3 wickets before Norway had completed their innings, I cringed when the scorecard refreshed for the last time: there stood a staggering 209 runs on the board. HORROR.
So Germany were forced to score more than 4 an over, doesn't sound problematic if you are sitting directly inside the current T20 tornado, but I honestly have to confess that my heart was hanging a bit lower than usual.
However, the run chase started with a brisk 45-1 after 10 overs, fantastic quick start and all lights on green. Also at 60-1 after 15 ov. I wasn't worried yet, but then the cruise got stalled. Throughout almost the entire innings skipper Eggleston kept carrying the flag, but his scoring rate nearly froze at some point, while at the other end of the wicket the batsmen kept wandering off. I am far from blaming him for that, I guess the Norwegian spinners just put enormous pressure on our batters. However, the run rate kept creeping up, and there came a period when we nearly needed to score at a run a ball, and I didn't know how the batsmen would deal with this tension. Towards the end of the innings, when, according to my calculations, Rishi Pillai, but in fact Satya (34), joined Egg at the crease, a sudden surge went through the figures, my eyes nearly fell out! Might be that they had also taken the powerplay then, but suddenly we only needed 13 from 24 balls and finishing the Vikings off had become a mere formality.
WOW not bad brother!!!!!
It's a huge pity that Eggleston got removed on 87, but nevertheless he pulled off a captain's knock of epic proportions, which I had secretly been hoping for since the tourny had started. The key to our success was to keep the wickets in hand that you need to hit out hard at the end, and Germany batted awesomely here.
|Skipper James Eggleston delivered a captain's knock (c) DCB|
Here's the progress of the match:
Norway 44-4 (14 overs) Ehsan Latif 3-24
Norway 52-5 (16 overs) Ehsan Latif 4-29
Norway 72-5 (21 overs)
Norway 82-5 (27 overs) Ehsan Latif 4-33
Norway 88-5 (30 overs)
Norway 107-6 (34 overs)
Norway 148-6 (43 overs) Shahbaz Butt 53*
Norway 209-9 (50 overs) Shahbaz Butt 73
Germany 27-0 (5 overs)
Germany 45-1 (10 overs)
Germany 60-1 (14 overs)
Germany 60-1 (15 overs)
Germany 76-1 (20 overs)
Germany 93-1 (26 overs) J Eggleston 39*
Germany 114-1 (30 overs) J Eggleston 52*,
96 from 120 balls needed
Germany 130-3 (35 overs) J Eggleston 57*,
80 from 90 balls needed
Germany 148-4 (40 overs) J Eggleston 67*
Germany 178-4 (44 overs) J Eggleston 80*,
32 needed from 36 balls
Germany 197-4 (46 overs) J Eggleston 82*
13 from 24 balls needed
Germany 213-6 (49.3 overs) J Eggleston 87
France accumulated a total of 189 runs and fought like lions, but it proved not defendable against the stalwart Guernsey batsmen. I had hoped the French could be strong enough to beat Guernsey and by doing so open the door to the top again for themselves and especially also for Germany, but cricket is the game where Guernsey always wins. I needn't point out that Frith was both in the runs and in the wickets again.
In the basement duel between the two, errm, pointless teams Israel bagged a well-deserved victory against the weak Gibraltarians. I've always had the feeling that Israel had lucked out on a couple of occasions and it was about time for them to stride off the field as winners. The light blue team managed an excellent total of 200, and, sadly expectedly, the Gibs failed to chase it. Eshkol Solomon scored a record-breaking 120 runs for his country, while in the second innings a young leggie called Josh Evans pained Gibraltar with 4-21. Can't help grinning all around the head, legspin for president!
Now let's have a look at the table. Guernsey are throning at the top unbeaten and unbeatable, followed by the mighty good Germans, who have only lost the match against the hosts. France and Norway have won two matches each and Israel are probably safe from relegation now. Unless the rules have been changed again.
|Tim Ravenscroft drives... the Germans bonkers! (c) ICC/CricketEurope|
On a sidenote I would like to mention that Tim Ravenscroft of Guernsey, who, alongside Jeremy Frith, annoyed the hell out of our bowlers in yesterday's match, has signed a development contract with Sussex CCC, congratulations and respect!
So in general one can state that this has been a very successful day, although the Frenchies stuffed it up and now Guernsey will win the tournament. What Germany gains from it is further superiority over France :P Each team has one match left to play, Germany will face the Israelis and hopefully beat them, Norway have to put up with the hosts and Gibraltar will receive another massive drubbing from France.
That's it for today,