16 July 2010

No Wickets, No Win


ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010

Day 3

Ehsan Latif opens the bowling for Germany   (c) DCB
Germany lost to the favourites Gibraltar but it wasn't like we didn't have a chance. Well we knew they wouldn't humiliate us but we also fancied a medium-sized chance to interrupt Guernsey's unbeaten run. Guernsey decided to field first and managed to take only 6 wickets, what a difference to their previous matches. The problem was they also bogged us down quite a lot, mentionable in particular J Frith, who took 3 for 37, of which the wickets of Asif Khan and Farooq Ahmed pained me especially because from that point on I saw us getting all out, but Rishi Pillai and Shakeel Hassan established a heartmeltingly nice partnership at the end of the innings and got both into the 30s to lift Germany's score to 188. The comment thought the total was ok but Guernsey would chase it. Nevertheless it would have been better if Farooq had been allowed to contribute some lusty strokes. Fernando had a good start as well.

Hmm hmm. I was more hopeful, trusting the bowlers to run for their lives and make early inroads, as they always did, and to derail the Guernsey train early. Ehsan Latif and later on Shakeel Hassan, once more in collaboration with Rishi, took a wicket each, but apart from that drought prevailed. Frith carried the bat and basically won the match for his team, Ravenscroft, who had joined him after the second wicket, didn't show the nerves of Queribel or Savident and kept sticking around. How annoying that must have been, like running against a wall over and over again. The batsmen scored boundaries at will and the run chase was finished after the 39th over.

Well that was quite a cold shower. I am not unproud of the boys, they've kept their heads up and worked like dogs, but I can't see anybody else beat the Guers, except for France maybe, which could help us a bit, but would also mean that France grab more points than we could approve of.

France put a huge total on the board, 271-9 with Ayya (78) being again the key batsman. Unlike Germany, Israel obviously couldn't take the last wicket. They fought back bravely but were all out after 49.3 overs, 65 runs short of the target.

This is pretty amazing. The Gibs, who got totally belted in their two previous matches, reached a total of 189-6, bizarrely exactly the same score as Germany, plus 1 run. It took Norway 44.1 overs to chase this down and they lost 7 wickets on the way. Gibraltar will be happy about the improvement but a loss is a loss.


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