22 July 2011

Euro Div 1 T20 - Day 2 - Germany Are Back With A Bang

[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)
Ball-by-ball coverage: [Croatia v Norway] [Jersey v Belgium] [Jersey v Denmark] [Guernsey v Italy]

Day 2, originally to be played on Wednesday, got completely rained out, so the teams had 24 more hours to recover from the two Tuesday matches and gather their spirits. The weather improved vastly on Thursday and luckily allowed for proper results from all matches.

[day 2 report by Cricket Germany]

Yeah what shall I say, after two straight losses we have registered back to back wins on Day 2, absolutely amazing, and for me personally one of these days on which I will happily trade any pay TV cricket broadcast for seven or eight delayed score updates on a slow website.

Israel v Germany [really really awesome gallery]

Since Israel were sadly not looking too great on Day 1 most of my and the team's hopes would have rested on beating the Negev nurdlers and then seeing where the momentum can take us from there.

Israel opted to bat and Daniel Hyman looked dangerously well-settled making a half-century before getting wrestled down by Kashif Haider (a splendid 2-16 for the leggie from Bochum) stumped by Ben Das, who was back behind the wicket! Some double figures were racked up by other batsmen as well and Israel reached 138 off their 20 overs. Of course -the regulars among you have seen this coming- I cannot leave Rana-Javed Iqbal's 2-22 unmentioned hehe.

Our batting had seemed to be a bit wobbly and although 138 doesn't look unchaseable I thought ok let's see. And indeed, both openers went out without scoring and No. 4 Kashif Mahmood didn't hang around for too long either, all three of them falling prey to Eliezer Samson, but lucky is the side that calls a Khan their own! Captain Asif (59*, 7x4) ganged up with Imran Chaudhry (60*, 2x4, 3x6) for a thrilling 109-run partnership to see the 'Germs' home within little more than 16 overs, lacking the respect especially for the bowling of Herschel Gutman, who went at 10/ov.

YES! Germany had bounced back, got the first win under the belt and that always seems to get us going, and not for the first time King Khan leading from the front provides the backbone for a great partnership that eventually results in a victory.

Germany v Belgium

With a much more optimistic approach we took on the powerful Belgians. I had not realised that they had lost their first game of the day versus Jersey, scoring a miserable 85 all out, and so they suffered their second defeat in one day, this time by the hands of, let's be frank, Rana-Javed Iqbal, as despite a decent German batting performance (144 off 20 overs mainly thanks to Dilshan Rajudeen) and some devilishly good bowling by Syed Shah (3-19), the ever-performing Shakeel Hassan (2-22) and Kashif Haider once again (2-28) Belgium only needed 6 or so from the last over with two wickets in hand, and who if not Javed could have been picked for this job! A runout and two dot balls later he held the final wicket in his hand! Okay okay I'm shutting up already. But hey, death over madness is the whole point of T20 :)

Concerning the batting I would like to add that Dilshan probably felt he was due a score and boy he delivered it, 58 off 47 from the young opener, a half century that provided the foundation for Germany's successful defence.  A useful contribution came from Shakeel Hassan; Fazal Rathore made 16* in Boom Boom style. And, tadaaa, Javed gave himself the runs he needed to bowl that last over, adding 14 off 16 at the end of the German innings.

Wicketkeeping-wise the coach juggled his act yet again and this time he asked Kashif Mahmood to slip into the gloves. A catch, two runouts and a stumping leave me with nothing to complain about! ;)

Furthermore I have ordered temple construction for the two new players Syed Shah and Imran Chaudhry, wow.... stunning performances right from the start. Chaudhry, in his amazing knock against Israel, was batting with a runner from the 7th over on and still made the highest score of the match, simply astonishing. If you consider that the side is more or less a patchwork job, since so many new players have been added, the understanding must be like amazing. Shah on the other hand, of who I had known embarrassingly little, except that he had recently moved from Göttingen to Hamburg and is considered a "great spinner", absolutely justifies his reputation.

Sorry for this brainless stuttering, just trying to do some maths here, as the official match report will probably not be up before tomorrow. But!!! German national scorer Wraye Wenigmann -cheers!!!- bestowed this absolutely priceless gem of a team photo upon me, look for yourself, I am still trying to pop my eyes back into my head:

Dear fellow cricket bloggers, look closely at this picture, or click to enlarge if necessary, and then tell me if your teams love you the same :P

Thank you so so so so much everybody! And by that I also mean Mr. @Cricket_Germany, Brian Mantle, as well as Brian Fell for his gripping match reports, which really enable you to relive the entire action, and first and foremost also all of the players that have previously played for Germany and did not manage to travel to the Channel Islands this time, but have carried us from the European 50 over league straight through to the WCL Div. 7;  thank you for all the hard yards you have put in for the side, this place would be so much more boring without you.

We have now climbed to the fourth rank in the table, with Belgium and Israel below us! Tomorrow Denmark, what will we be able to muster I wonder... we were tipped as one of the teams who could make it into the semis... hey Jungs, was haltet ihr von der Idee? Ehsan wie siehts aus? ;)


Unfortunately Israel have registered another two losses today, first against us (see above) and in their second match, in which they bowled so well and restricted France to 112, they folded completely and could only make 80 in their reply. To be honest their performance so far leaves me with a big question mark above the head. Can't really blame it on Gabi Schachat's absence anymore, can you... :(

I *know* they can do better than this, not sure why they aren't clicking quite yet, there is heaps of individual talent in the side, perhaps they are a little overawed by the presence of all these bully teams, dunno... Depending on the doability, it would be important for them to organise bilateral matches, of course their geographical situation doesn't make it easy for them to just hop across the border, but maybe something regular can be organised involving the Mediterranean teams... just some mutterings from a tired brain.

"De odders" (Dhoni):

Group A: Austria had sensationally beaten hosts Guernsey in the morning, but crumbled to 64 all out against Norway later on and had no chance defending this total.  Norway have won three out of their four matches so far, impressive performance by the Norsemen! Gibraltar celebrated their first victory of the tournament in their match against Croatia, the latter are winlessly stuck at the bottom of the table.

Group B: Denmark are back with two wins from their today's matches, they also beat hosts Jersey and are occupying the top spot in Group B. Annoyingly France, having got beaten by Denmark today, are ahead of us only because of their superior net run rate. Grrr.

Alright I've just realised that somebody has obviously replaced my brain with mashed potatoes, so that's good night for today and thanks a lot to the great people who were so kind and wasted their time talking to me over the course of the day, from Germany as well as from other countries, you are awesome :D

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PPS: If you detect any BS in this post let me know... will gladly put it right... tomorrow! ;)


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