6 November 2010

Germans clinch nailbiter: ICC WCL 8 - Day 1

ICC World Cricket League Div. 8

Day 1
Low-scorer of epic proportions on what must have been an absolute bitch of a pitch. We made 128 runs after Zambia had put us in to bat. Germany all out after 41.2 ov. The good Rishi Pillai delivered the highscore of 39. It would have looked even worse without the 21 Zambian extras!

Ehsan Latif meets Imran Khan in Berlin  (c) E. Latif
BUT!!!!!!!!!! Zambia had similar problems to score, for instance they lost the 5th, 6th and 7th wicket for no runs when they still needed 38 and I thought at this time we were back in the game, especially when also the 8th wicket, probably the last recognised Zambian batsman, fell after a little while. But their tail could have clawed itself into the ground since the 9th wicket partnership went at 6/ov and they could even have continued at just 1.odd and would still have won. There was no need to take any risks.

But our bowlers had put their cold hands around the Zambians' necks and got the job finished. Rawalpindi (spin-) express Shakeel Hassan stuck out with 3-25 and kept it tight at 2.77. Dilshan, who was brought on by skipper Asif at the end, struck right in his maiden international over. Lahore-born leggie Kashif Haider supported him excellently with an economy of 2.10. It's been a while since I've seen a legspinner with such tidy figures *g*

And theeeeeeeen! Ehsan Latif returned to clean up the tail, mercilessly, the walking blade that he is! 4-43 for the leftarmer from Capital City. I do admittedly not know a lot about our team but Ehsan is someone you can bring on whenever you need a wicket; at the start he will make inroads and at the death you can safely entrust him the ball again. He was a tad leaky today but that's a price you won't mind paying for the clumps of wickets he returns. At the Euro Div 2 he got better and better during the course of the tourney, I hope he can repeat the trick in Kuwait now.

Match notes:
Rana-Javed Iqbal seems to have injured himself, as he stopped bowling after 4.1 ov. Bad news, very bad news. But I would like to mention that one can see much improvement in terms of conceding extras, compared to the Euro Div 2. A bit of trivia: Andre Leslie wasn't picked for the opener, while the Zambians picked all four of their Patels.

In the second Euro match Gibraltar put a total of 213 on the board, on a pitch completely opposite to the German one. They only lost 5 wickets. Kieron Ferrari topscored for them with 52, Ian Farrell followed with 45 and two others got 35 each.

Nice, alas, not nice enough. Because the problem herein was that the Bahamas replied in the very same fashion. The first wicket fell when they were already on 62. The Cricinfo scorecard got stuck on 169/2 but eventually revealed that the Bahamas won by 7 wickets with skipper Gregory Taylor highscoring with 74.

Not good. I won't speculate about the coming matches... but here we go: should the Bahamas continue to mow through the opposition and beat Zambia tomorrow we will have to have won against the Gibs. We beat them in the Euro Div 2 a few months ago and now we must beat them again to make sure we aren't dependent on a win against the Bahamas or Zam beating Gib and NRR. So tomorrow will be a black day for one of us. Germany must defeat the Gibs to keep control of their fate. However, it will break my heart. If we lose against them the cards will be reshuffled and all teams will still have a chance to make it, but it will be a lot tougher for us then. But if the Bahamas lose as well there will be an equilibrium in the table! It's gonna be a hell of a day tomorrow, as two 50-over games on the trot in the unfamiliar climate will demand everything from our non-professional players.

Group A:
Both of the defeated teams received unimaginable thrashings. The local heroes Kuwait completely annihilated Suriname with 257 balls to spare, and Vanuatu made short work of Bhutan, gave them a target of 338 and had them all out for 55. Well. Minnow cricket haha. It will become more interesting when the two Goliaths actually have to face each other.

So that's it for today. I think it was important that we started off with a victory and just like last time it completely killed me. For some reason this little amateur team means a lot more to me than our football side for instance. Every victory is a reason to celebrate. I am happy we could take the first hurdle. Now we must continue in this fearless fashion, I hope we can carry the German flag and the star-studded blue Euro manner into the semis.

MOTM!  (c) ICC

However, we must improve the batting. The team being Pakistan-dominated is no excuse.

Cheers and thanks for reading,


Anonymous said...

I always like this is type of article. Thank you.

Rishabh said...

Ah, congratulations on the German win.

Masuud said...

Big humpty dumpty congrats on the win.
I see a bit too much of Pakistan in there. Can't live with them nor can live without them!

p.s. Loved the last line. Haha,epic!

Wes ~PFCNFS~ said...

Thanks Rishabh, got another one today :D

Kazee I think it is good because they infuse us with the magical sparkle, just look at the bowling, Shakeel has been amazing in both matches and Ehsan and Kashif are great as well.

The last line, they must have read it and must have thought "WTH batting? We're gonna show you!" :D