ICC World Cricket League Div. 8
Germany and Gibraltar:
Can't believe it. 363. I gazed at the score and simply refused to believe it. Last night in the blog I said we need to improve the batting and today, in the second ODI within two days, Germany put 363 on the board.
Well we must also look at the following: Gibraltar seem to lack penetration in the bowling department. They couldn't take wickets against the Bahamas, and obviously they also couldn't take wickets against us. The pitch seems a very good one for batting, but I think the Gibraltarian bowling weakness played a role as well.
I will not keep harping madly on this, just pointing our matchwinners out quickly: Milan Fernando with a massive 151 from 140 balls. Wow. Skipper Asif Khan with a ton as well, 109 from 104. Shakeel Hassan contributed 48 and was also badly in the wickets again with 4-43, what a beautiful bowler. Milan struck with the ball, too; in his first over he removed Mark Bacarese and in his second Iain Latin. MOTM, baby!
|Click to watch Christian Rocca talk about cricket in Gibraltar|
(Windows Media Player)
Horrible tragedy for the Gibs as their vastly experienced skipper Christian Rocca, who has been leading the side for 24 years now and stood firm when his comrades were falling one by one, was bowled by Shakeel on 99. I have no words for the Gibraltarian drama. Please refer to the intro post linked at the top to hear Chris talk about his hopes ahead of the tournament. Gibraltar are in a very desperate situation, finishing last in the Euro Div 2 (I guess that means relegation to Div 3) and now they are perhaps even facing exit from WCL 8.
In the second match in Group B Zambia beat the Bahamas convincingly [ICC gallery]; that puts the Bahamas' victory over Gibraltar into perspective and gives us hope for the third game. It means that Germany are leading the table now with two wins, while the Bahamas and Zambia have one win each and the Gibraltarians are still waiting for first points. But we must not feel too safe, because if we lose against the Bahamas on Tuesday and Zambia beat Gibraltar three teams will have two victories and advancement will depend on the NRR. If we win, Gibraltar can still go through with a landslide victory over Zambia. According to my measly calculations Gib's and Zam's net run rate differs by 2.325 points. It is freezing my heart really. I feel absolutely terrible for the Gibs and wish we didn't have so much blood on our hands but they are in a difficult transition phase and once their young players have gained experience I am confident they will be back with a bang and make us beg for mercy. They might have to walk the path of sorrow, though, before that happens. Click on the pic to learn more about the well-developed grassroots structures in Gibraltar.
In Group A we have seen interesting results today. In the "clash of the mauled" Bhutan beat Suriname by 11 runs [ICC gallery]. But also the two bullies of the opening day, Kuwait and Vanuatu, encountered [ICC gallery]. And here we are seeing Kuwait inflicting a brutal defeat upon Vanuatu. Although Kuwait were all out by the penultimate ball both their openers posted centuries and some handy 20, 30 odd scores in the middle order took them to a massive 401. Not chaseabale for the Vanuatuans, they managed 240 in their 50 overs. However, they should be able to beat Suriname and thus reach the semis in the slipstream of Kuwait. Kuwait have definitely underlined their claim of the crown and so far have performed as expected.
Well that was quite a bloodshed in the desert today. I am happy, though, that we have won 2/2. Let's make it 3/3, shall we?