[table and scorecards Group A] (Austria, Croatia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Italy, Norway)
[table and scorecards Group B] (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Jersey)
Ball-by-ball coverage: [Denmark v Israel] [Austria v Gibraltar] [Israel v Jersey] [Gibraltar v Norway]
The opening day was almost entirely dominated by the bowlers. Bowl first and win seemed to be the motto in most of the matches, and as a result we saw a lot of small totals that could hardly be defended. However, there are exceptions from every rule...
[day 1 report by Cricket Germany and pictures of the new kits]
Germany v Jersey:
German key figures: Imran Chaudhry 36 off 25 incl 3 sixes, Syed Farid Shah 2-19. Alright expecting to beat the elephants of the tournament would perhaps have been a little too much of an ask but I am so happy that two of the most reputable new players have immediately taken the bull by the horns. Gut gemacht Jungs!
Asif put France in and the Frenchies managed 126 off their 20 overs. Doable? Yes. After 5 overs Germany were 33-0. Doable? Hell yesss! The next update appeared 5 overs later: 45-5!!! WHAT??? Must be a typo surely??? After 15 overs they had recovered to 75, but were needing like 10/ov... eventually were all out for 92 in the 19th over, the young French quick Zika Ali taking 3-17. Our France specialist FarOOq Ahmed must be sitting at home with a bleeding heart!
Sorry I don't mean to sound negative, will love and support the German team always, but I'm just a bit gutted for the boys here, and tomorrow will be another difficult day with matches against Israel and Belgium, the latter having beaten both France and Denmark today! Some more thoughts on Germany can be found at the end of this post.
The legation from the Holy Land shared our fate today, got beaten by both their opponents, Denmark and Jersey, rather comprehensively, after being put in and not amassing enough for their bowlers to defend, although Herschel Gutman of course couldn't help being impressive. They will face us and France tomorrow.
Norway start with a win out of their two opening matches, they beat Gibraltar, who are still struggling and started into the tournament with two losses, the defeat against Austria being the other one. Italy fulfilled their expectations, and beat Croatia (narrowly) and Austria (convincingly). Guernsey and Jersey won both their matches as well, so the only hiccup has really been Denmark succumbing to Belgium.
What we can take from the day is that the favourites have justified their reputation, and are joined by the very strong Belgians.
Sorry my friends...
... if I really don't feel like writing more on today's events. While our bowling might suffice I have the nagging feeling that our batting is really the weak spot here. Am not happy with the absence of Tarun Rawat and Ashwin Prakash in particular, because (just my humble, ignorant and completely irrelevant opinion) we should perhaps try and give the youngsters a chance to gather some more international experience, but yeah "life is the biggest obstacle in life" I guess, and you can only pick 11 players for the match and have to make a harsh decision sometimes...
I will also keep beating the drum for Ayoma Abeywickrama, since judging from the Göttingen FB group updates he seems to be a good batsman, and deserves some more opportunities to show his class.
These views are all just based on hunches and gut feelings, so please don't bite my head off here... I also promise to be less grumpy tomorrow. A victory would help... perhaps against Israel, since a certain Israeli legspinner has announced that they would thrash us, so we have to give them a proper response ;)
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Go the Germs!