This is what my friend Zeeshan replied, when I told him about yesterday's saddening defeat. Now I am smiling, somewhat happier... how right he is! Nevertheless, we are are now left in the situation of having to play winless Croatia, the carriers of the red lantern in Group A, in today's play-offs...
[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)
Denmark v Germany [gallery]
Not many words shall be said anymore about the crushing defeat handed to us by table toppers Denmark. The Danes had immediately recovered from their little slip-up against Belgium and bullied their way to victory against both our batting and bowling. Since this is a blog and not a newspaper I claim the liberty not to mention the Messrs. Klokker, Ahmed, Pedersen, or Bashir Shah ;)
However, my thoughts go out to our veteran quick Rana-Javed Iqbal, who in his heroic attempts to keep the wickets from tumbling hurt himself on the chin and had to be treated at hospital. Hopefully, hopefully it is nothing too serious and he can take the ball in hand again today. Speaking of German cricket greats, here's another nice pic kindly provided by national scorer Wraye (who needs a Twitter account, unless she already has one):
|The Germs during practice in their new, heaps awesome and incredibly stylish training kits. Click to enlarge.|
Israel v Belgium
Although Israel were bowled out for 106 I believed for a long time they could pull off a stunning victory. Josh Evans, who has had a tough time in the Island this year, bounced back with a magnificent bowling performance of 3-14 off his 4 overs and sent three of the Belgian top order batsmen back to the hutch, and after the Israelis had taken another two wickets Belgium were reeling at 57-5. But that was the last wicket Herschel's men could take and so unfortunately they finish the group stage without a victory, which In my humble opinion does not display their potential in the slightest.
Please refer to the match reports linked above for more results, I would just like to mention the once-in-a-lifetime performance by Austria's captain and wicketkeeper Amar Naeem, who, in Austra's match against Croatia, smashed an incredible 100* off 63 and collected 5 stumpings and a runout. A truly kaiserliche performance, I hope the Austrian cricket board pays him in Linzer Taler :P
So after the group stage is over the play-offs take place today, in which the teams face their counterparts from the opposite group each, you know the pattern: A1 v B2, B1 v A2, and so on. Since we finished second last in our group we are meeting the 6th ranked team of Group A, which is Croatia. Here's hoping for a big big big win... relegation looms!
List of today's fixtures, the matches start at 10:00 GMT/11:00 BST/12:00 CET:
* Italy v Jersey (Farmers)
* Guernsey v Denmark (FB Fields)
* Austria v France (Grainville)
* Norway v Belgium (Les Quennevais 1)
* Gibraltar v Israel (Les Quennevais 2)
* Croatia v Germany (Victoria College)
To be honest I have no favourites concerning the two qualifier spots for the World T20, but will hope that among these two Guernsey could make it. At the end of the day of course whoever takes the honours will be Europe's best possible representatives at the World Twenty20 Global Qualifier to be held in spring next year.
I will be keeping an eye on the score and my fingers crossed for the men in red and so should you. We are absolutely capable of beating Croatia, but they are in the same desperate situation as us and so I expect them to fight nail and tooth. But that's one of our strengths, too, and the weather looks good, so all that's left for me to say is
Go the Germs! :)
Or, as Brian Mantle puts it: "Verlieren ist heute verboten."
PS. extra happy cheers back @ Kashif Mahmood ^^