ICC World Cricket League Div. 8
Germany v Bahamas:
|Extreme lack of Kashif Haider photos, so here's Ehsan|
bowling with a German headband on. (c) ICC
I am speechless. And so are the Bahamas. They dealt well with all other bowlers but were totally (i.e. completely and entirely) done in by the legspin. Kashif shone with utmost tidy figures in the first match as well, and now he reaps the fruit of his work with a huge and I mean huge bucket of wickets. Germany had been struggling to make inroads before he came on, the Bahamas negotiated the pace well and when they were already past 80 Rishi Pillai was the only one who could take a wicket, but then the legmaster from Lahore came on.
Here is the fall of his first seven wickets, which came all consecutively:
3-111 (21.1 ov), 4-117 (23.1 ov), 5-117 (23.4 ov), 6-123 (25.2 ov), 7-128 (27.2 ov), 8-134 (27.5 ov), then the 17-year old Bahamas kid Jermaine Adderley had a go at him and got a few boundaries in, which "messed" Haider's figures up as he couldn't go at below 3 anymore. But the skipper brought offie Shakeel back on (my second choice... I would have switched to left arm pace at first but I'm biased) and Adderley went back to the dressing room. The last man was then taken out by Kashif again, who finished with 8-25 at 3.00. Sensational stuff from the Punjabi, who plays for the Bochum CC in Germany. Bahamas all out for 152 after 31.2 overs.
The Bahamas had won the toss and decided to field, on the batting front Rishi Pillai grabbed the laurel once again with 51, skipper Asif and Milan Fernando made 40 odd each, the others contributed enough to give us a defendable total of 258. I would say these three are our keys in the batting line-up. Dilshan Rajudeen had been dropped for the experienced André Leslie, hmm I think that was inevitable. It's a real pity; he would perhaps have taken a bit more time to settle in but it's hard to find your feet when you are chucked into such a pressure cooker right away.
Very well fought, boys! I had thought we would maybe have a chance against the smaller teams but leaving the group stage with 3/3 is pretty amazing. I really like how our top order has fared so far and on the bowling front there is always something fantastic happening. I think the spot in the semis is well-deserved and hopefully we won't do a "Redbacks" now and choke one step before the final, after racing through the group stage with burning wheels. Thursday will show!
I've only just discovered that someone writes in-depth match reports directly from the German camp, they are not signed but perhaps it's the coach or some other staff member, so if you want to re-live the matches here are the reports for match 1 v Zambia, match 2 v Gibraltar and match 3 the Kashi story. Edit, I think the reports are written by Dr. Brian Fell, the chairman of Cricket Germany.
And here is André Leslie's first blog about the tournament, published at "Beyond The Test World", the Cricinfo section for blogs about the minor teams. André describes his feelings and the atmosphere in the camp after the first two victories. Edit, he has now released his second blog, it's about the Kashif match of course, must read, I found it really funny :D
|They've updated the photos with the most important pic of the day! Kashif Haider with his MOTM trophy :) (c) ICC|
Gibraltar v Zambia...
...well what shall I say. Last chance saloon. GIB chose to field at Hubara Ground, that was the pitch on which we successfully but narrowly defended 128 batting first against the same opponent. So Gibraltar might have thought fielding would give them a chance, but they couldn't prevent Zambia from racing to 286, which, I think, again exposed their weakness in the bowling department. So there was no way they would inflict such a drubbing on Zambia that they still would have a chance to make the semis. Their batsmen batted cautiously but lost too many wickets right away, the target moved into unreachable distance.
Just like in the previous match, when skipper Christian Rocca played a lone hand, it was Kieron Ferrary this time with a century, but no aid from the others. Offie Mark Bacarese was the best Gibraltarian bowler while on the Zambian side right-arm quick Gladson Kandela continued his good form from the previous match. So Gibraltar are winless after the group stage and finish bottom of the table.
In English: they lose their spot in WCL Div 8, and as they have also finished last in the Euro Div 2 this year they will first have to play a decider against the winner of Div 3, which will take place in October next year, to retain their spot in Div 2 in 2012, and then from there they must try to be the best Div 2 team out of those that are not playing in WCL 8 or higher already, in order to qualify for WCL 8 again (no guarantee for this info but I think this is how it works, we qualified in the same way this year). A very hard and rocky road lies ahead of the Gibraltarians and I hope they can resume their change of generations with some success and we can see them back in two years, but if they lose the play-off against the Euro Div 3 winner then, ah well, I don't know :(
|Zimbabwe, Germany, Redbacks, Highveld Lions, Gibraltar: the good boys wear red. (c) ICC|
As expected Vanuatu beat Suriname comfortably [ICC gallery] and are thus finishing second after Kuwait, who inflicted an absolute shock defeat upon the poor pitiful Bhutanese [ICC gallery]. I don't know how to say it. You have to look at the scorecard and see it with your own eyes.
The talkative Vanuatu keeper Trevor Langa writes a blog at "Beyond The Test World" as well, check out his first three posts: after winning over Bhutan, after the loss against Kuwait, and today's blog after the victory over Suriname.
We did everything right. The third win secured us the "easier" semi against Vanuatu. It will be a damn tough job but I think we are fortunate not to have to face Kuwait right away. I think this might be a pretty even contest and hopefully, hopefully we can win this match. The Zambians finish second in our group with two victories and will have to march straight to the lions. I am really not envying them. But they have battled hard and are tough fighters, I wouldn't put it past them to nip the Kuwaitis in the butt.
So our next goal is now to get a spot in the final and thereby ascend to Div 7. That would be unbelievable. If we lose we must at least win the small final to finish third and retain our place in Div 8. So these are the next steps now for the German team. The Cricinfo match report linked at the top says that Germany look like the only team capable of tackling the Kuwaitis, I am honestly pushing this thought away and only looking to the game against Vanuatu next. If we beat them and get promoted we can play freely against Kuwait, but that is still a long way to go, and Kuwait will have to beat Zambia first, who will fight nail and tooth I hope.
That's all for today; as usual euphoria and sadness were walking hand in hand, can't wait for Thursday,