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ICC EUROPEAN T20: Jersey and Guernsey join Denmark and Italy in Finals Day


Group A
Norway maintained a crucial advantage over Group A rivals Gibraltar at Horsham on Friday morning, winning their final pool match by just 9 runs.

Matthew Hunter stunned the Norwegian batsmen by removing Ansar Iqbal and Suhail Iftikhar with the first and third deliveries of the opening over of the match, but then Santosh Rathakrishnarajah and Ehtesham ul-Haq led the recovery with an entertaining 80-run partnership.

Bacarese claimed four wickets and finished with four for 24, but Saleem Ali contributed a 22-ball 33 and skipper Shahbaz Butt added 21 not out from 12 balls towards the end, Norway closed on 169 for eight.

The Gibraltar batsmen played steadily in response, and were able to keep plenty of wickets in hand. But Kieron Ferrary took 44 balls to make his 35.

Captain Iain Latin and Bacarese came together with the total on 83 for three, 87 needed from only 40 deliveries, and although they responded splendidly the task proved just too great. Although 16 runs came off that last over Gibraltar finished ten runs short of their target.

Italy also withstood a determined challenge, from Austria in their case, to maintain their unbeaten record in Group A.

The Austrians, who have been one of the surprises of the tournament, did extremely well to restrict Italy to 142 for nine, with Satish Kaul claiming three for 27 – removing the top three of Dinidu Marage, Peter Petricola and Andy Northcote by the time 58 runs were on the board – and Imran Goraya taking four for 24.

Carlo Sandri top-scored for Italy with a 24-ball 39 which included three fours and two sixes, and Alessandro Bonora made 22.

Austria were soon in desperate trouble at 44 for five, with three wickets for Damian Crowley and two for Alauddin, and only Armaan Randhawa of the top order was able to master the Italian bowling for any length of time.

When they were both dismissed by Sandri with the total on 114, however, the game swung back Italy’s way, and Austria were eventually all out for 131. This result was close enough, though, for Austria to stay ahead of Norway and finish third in the Group A table.

Already assured of a place in the semi-finals and a repeat of their 2011 encounter with Denmark at that stage of the competition, Guernsey’s final opponents were Sweden.

The Swedes always struggled for runs against a lively and varied Guernsey attack, and at 54 for six seemed in danger of being bowled out for one of the week’s lowest totals.

They were rescued by Sunny Sharma and Shahid Sarwar, who added 78 runs in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand which enabled them to reach 132 for six. Sharma made 51 from 38 deliveries with seven fours and a six, while Sarwar made 31 from 25 balls with two sixes.

Jeremy Frith was again the most successful of the Guernsey bowlers, taking two for 26, and when his side replied he made 47 from 32 balls with eight boundaries to bring his tally for the week to 274 runs at an average of 91.33.

Two early wickets gave Sweden brief hope of pulling off a shock, but Frith and GH Smit, who made an unbeaten 46-ball 51, took Guernsey to within sight of victory, and then Smit and David Hooper finished the job with 21 balls remaining.

Group B
After France had beaten Germany earlier in the day, Jersey knew they had to either beat the Isle of Man or just avoid a heavy defeat in order to join Group B rivals Denmark in the semi-finals at Hove tomorrow.

But they had an almighty scare when some excellent bowling from the Isle of Man had them reduced to 99-8, at one point losing four wickets for just 13 runs. Alex Stokoe was the pick of the Manx bowlers with 3-12.

The Jersey tailenders managed to recover the Jersey innings by putting on 42 for the last 2 wickets to take the total to 141 all out from their 20 overs.

Any hopes the Isle of Man had of chasing down that Jersey total would have evaporated when they quickly found themselves on 24-4. Alex Stokoe was their one bright spot with the bat, scoring 35 before he was fifth out, but he was the only batsman to make double figures.

The team were restricted to 109-8 from their 20 overs, losing by 32 runs. Cornelis Bodenstein was the pick of the Jersey bowlers with 3-27.

A team cheering on the Isle of Man was France, who got themselves a sniff of a semi-final spot with a 28 run win over Germany earlier in the day.

Batting first after winning the toss, France managed to keep wickets in hand throughout their innings, always a key in Twenty20 cricket. Waseem Bhatti and Williamdeep Singh led the way for them with 45 not out and 44 respectively as they scored 152-3 from their 20 overs.

Germany's reply was led by an innings of 32 from 24 balls by Kashif Mahmood, but he wasn't helped when Germany lost three wickets for just 2 runs in a seven ball period across the sixth and seventh over.

Mahmood was out in the ninth over with the score on 58-5, and whilst a 23 run sixth wicket partnership gave the German reply some credibility, they were never likely to chase down the target, and were restricted to 124-9 from their 20 overs.

Also today Denmark recorded a huge win over an out of sorts Belgian squad down to just 12 players due to injuries. Freddie Klokker stood in as captain for an injured Michael Pedersen, and he had no hesitation in electing to bat first after winning the toss.

He obviously found the pitch to his liking as he smashed 87 from just 46 balls to provide the bulk of Denmark's total of 199-4 from their 20 overs. He was helped by 48 from Kamran Mahmood.

In reply the Belgian opening pair put on 21, but that was the sole decent partnership in what became a procession of Belgian wickets. The first wicket saw them lose five wickets for 8 runs in less than three overs, and they were eventually restricted to just 75-9 from their 20 overs to lose by 124 runs.

The margin would have been higher had it not been for a resilient 15 from Shaival Mehta towards the end of the innings. Syed Bashir Shah was the pick of the Danish bowlers with a superb 4-17.

Jersey will play Italy in the first semi-final at Hove tomorrow, whilst Denmark will take on Guernsey. The winners of the two semis will then play the final under floodlights at 6:30pm but more importantly book their tickets to the UAE for the global qualifier in November.

Live streaming of the Finals Day will be available on ICC Europe website and the tournament website by clicking HERE

Brief scores
Group A

Germany v France at Preston Nomads Pitch One
France beat Germany by 28 runs
France 152-3 (20.0 overs)- W Bhatti not out 45, W Singh 44
Germany 124-9 (20.0 overs)- K Mahmood 32, S Srinivas 22; S Malik 3-19

Denmark v Belgium at Preston Nomads Pitch One

Denmark beat Belgium by 124 runs
Denmark 199-4 (20.0 overs)- F Klokker 87, K Mahmood 48;
Belgium 75-9 (20.0 overs)- N Shah 18; S Bashir 4-17

Isle of Man v Jersey at Preston Nomads Pitch Two
Jersey won by 32 runs
Jersey 141 (20 overs)- PW Gough 26, BDH Stevens 28; ADL Stokoe 3-12
Isle of Man 109-8 (20 overs)- LRF Lacey 35; C Bodenstein 3-27

Group B
Gibraltar v Norway at Horsham Pitch One

Norway beat Gibraltar by 9 runs
Norway 169-8 (20.0 overs)- E Ul-Haq 42, A Saleem 33; M Bacarese 4-24
Gibraltar 160-3 (20.0 overs)- M Bacarese 50 not out, K Ferrary 35

Italy v Austria at Horsham Pitch One
Italy beat Austria by 11 runs
Italy 142-9 (20.0 overs)- C Sandri 39, A Bonora 22; I Goraya 4-24
Austria 131 all out (18.5 overs)- S Kaul 44, A Randhawa 29; Crowley 17-3

Sweden v Guernsey at Horsham Pitch Two

Guernsey won by 7 wickets
Sweden 132-6 (20 overs)- Sunny Sharma 51not out, Shahid Sarwar 31not out; JDJ Frith 2-26
Guernsey 134-3 (16.3 overs)- JDJ Frith 47, GH Smit 51 not out

Saturday fixtures:
Austria v France, (5th/6th play off) Blackstone Pitch 1 10.00; Sweden v Belgium, (11th/12th play off) Blackstone Pitch 2 10.00
Norway v Germany, (7th/8th play off) Blackstone Pitch 1 14.00; Gibraltar v Isle of Man, (9th/10th play off) Blackstone Pitch 2 14.00;

Italy v Jersey (Semi-Final 1) Hove 11.00; Denmark v Guernsey, (Semi-Final 2) Hove 14.30; Semi Final 1 winner v Semi Final 2 winner (Final) 18.45.

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