26 July 2011

Euro Div 1 T20 - Final Post, Finally!

[galleries] [match reports] [tournament home on cricinfo]
[table and scorecards Group A] (Austria, Croatia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Italy, Norway)
[table and scorecards Group B] (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Jersey)
[results and scorecards play-offs]


Germany v Gibraltar [report by Cricket Germany]
Well well. Germany lost their last match against Gibraltar, and perhaps it's because the Gibs are slowly overcoming their long-term slump, or because Germany had made some very bold line-up changes ahead of the match to give the back-up players another opportunity to gather experience, rested Javed and Milan, played three wicket-keepers and pushed Asif down to 8... yup, Germany had actually travelled to the Islands with three potential keepers in the luggage, and in the final we played all three of them, a funny constellation you won't see too often in an international match.

Ehsan Latif finished the tournament on a high, he had been bowling really well, but perhaps would have liked a few more wickets, but against the old foes Gibraltar he bowled just magnificently, 2-19 plus 15 runs, I'm very pleased for him. Kashif Haider enjoyed a fantastic tournament (more on this further below) and also in the last match he showed the opposition where the frog has the curls, 2 wickets, although they came at a price, and 23 runs as a middle order batsman.

The others

A few remarkable results were achieved on the last day, Israel rammed the broken Croatians into the ground and won by a large margin, they will be wondering why it took them until the last match day to deliver such a brilliant performance. The strong Norwegians also dominated in their last match, bundled France out for 70 and strolled home. Denmark inflicted on Italy what was essentially the great-grandmother of a drubbing, you rarely get to see an implosion like this Italian one, congratulations go to our northern neighbours for deservedly earning the crown.

Glory to the king

Kashif Haider (c) Cricket Germany
Been thinking of awarding a player with the "PFCNFS German Player Of The Tournament Award" and am ending up handing it to Kashif Haider :)

He's been the best and probably most consistent and reliable German bowler of the competition with 11/164 at 14.90 a piece and a more than decent economy rate of 5.85, and I liked how he approached his batting tasks -which included a brutally hammered 37* in the decider against Croatia- with a confidence that earned him the No. 6 spot in the batting line-up in the last match, in which he successively top-scored. Not bad for a guy who is classified as a tailender and usually bats below the other spinners and Rana-Javed Iqbal.

I'm wondering if he could be a lower middle order prospect for the future, i.e. as a pinch hitter in T20s, but nobody knows how the team will look in two years... however, not many will disagree if I say that it's cool having an aggressive, effective and experienced leggie like Kashif in the side and I hope he stays available for a long time to come.

Some other players really impressed me as well:

I liked what Dilshan Rajudeen was doing up there at the top, two matchwinning knocks in seven matches plus some really excellent stuff with the ball and in the field. Wish the tournament had been a little longer, so that he could have really started to thrive. Had the feeling that he was becoming some sort of core unit over the course of the competition. Dilshan was the second strong contender for the PFCNFS award :)

Two other names that kept sticking to my mind like glue were Syed Shah and Imran Chaudhry, I think they really contributed key performances and justified their selection especially if you consider that they had big shoes to fill. Both of them fired right from the start and turned out as key players quickly.

Kashif Mahmood and Ayoma Abeywickrama were kind of rivalling for the WK spot with Ben Das, which resulted in all three of them getting the gloves chucked at their heads seemingly randomly; all did well as far as one can interpret from the scorecards, but Kashif stuck out to me, Ayoma didn't get a lot of chances to shine, but I would really like if they got some more opportunities in German colours.

Of the veterans Javed Iqbal (I hope he has recovered from his injury), captain Asif Khan with his big knocks and Shakeel Hassan proved their class once more, I needn't make a big wave here about the hard yards they're putting in for the team time and time again, but would just like to say that I am really, really happy about the seniors that are playing for Germany, hopefully all them will be there again in two years...

Speaking of two years, I had actually planned to attach a longer rant about the ICC's politics in the regions, but it's still kinda halfbaked and I need to wait for some further info.

So all I'd like to say at this point is how glad and grateful I am to be able to follow such an awesome team (that includes the staff) and would like to express my thankfulness for the great rollercoaster ride and respective happy ends to each of these adventures in the past 12 months, can't wait until the Germs climb the bus or plane again to travel the world and show what hard wood they are made of. Thanks everyone for the great time.


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Anonymous said...

Wes, do they have a Associatoin qualifying tournament for the World Cup one dayers or is it taken on the matches teams play as one-offs or series during the year?


Wes ~PFCNFS~ Blog said...

Hello Lou, always nice to see you around. The participating Associates are determined via the World Cricket League, the global 50-over league system, in which the best Associates and Affiliates from the ICC regions play. Currently there are eight divisions (Germany for example plays in Div. 7), and the four top-ranked teams of Division 1 -this is where Ireland and the likes play- will travel to the 50-over World Cup.

So I got told ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to say, nice blog, and fascinating to see how much work people are putting in to establish cricket in Germany. Big kudos and keep up the good work.