Overnight rain and solid drizzle in the morning couldn’t spoil the first day’s play as the opening round of fixtures of the 2017 ICC World Cricket League – Europe Division 1 got off to a successful start.
Sweden, Norway and Germany recorded their first wins in the six team tournament. The winner of the round robin will promote to World Cricket League Division 5, which takes place in South Africa in September.
Norway v Austria
After a delayed start at VOC, the Norwegian captain chose to bat against Austria. Norway made a positive start with openers Raza Iqbal (51) and E Ul Haq (40) putting on a solid partnership of 86 before the loss of Ul Haq. A strong innings from Iqbal came to an end in the 31st over to the off-spin of Mohamad Zalmai.
Norway got to the total of 210/4, with late contributions from RR Shinde and A Iqbal. In the 2nd innings, the Austrian batters kept the scoreboard ticking over despite a regular loss of wickets. LK Arachchinge played some inventive shots for his 78 Runs, taking Austria to within 60 runs of the total.
The scoreboard pressure mounted in the final overs as the Norwegian bowlers applied pressure through the combination of dot balls and wickets. A stunning catch from A Iqbal put an end to Arachchinge’s innings and to Austria’s hopes of winning the game.
France v Germany
Only one over of play was lost at Voorburg CC where France played Germany in the opening fixture. Germany put on a strong bowling display, bowling out the French for 143. With ME Latif, Mudassar Muhammad and Shahil Momin taking three wickets a piece.
Player of the match Mudassar Muhammad was both economical and devastating taking three wickets for 22 runs in his 10 overs. The German batters made short work of the French total. Openers Daniel Weston (35 off 79) and player of the match Mudassar Muhammad (102 off 62) setting up the win in the 24th over.
Belgium v Sweden
In the closest game of the day, Sweden beat Belgium with two balls left in the last over. Heavy rain delayed the start at Kampong CC in Utrecht and the overs were reduced to 30 before a ball had been bowled. Sweden won the toss and chose to field. Sweden put on a strong display in the field, taking wickets regularly and producing two run outs.
The Belgian batters amassed 132 runs before the fall of the last wicket in the 30th over, with A Raza recording the highest score of 39. The Swedish batters were looking to build partnerships and did so with captain M O’Connor top scoring with 31.
Disciplined bowling from the Belgians meant that the game went right down to the last over. Azam Mohammad hit the winning runs with two balls spare.
FULL SCORECARDS HERE: https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-cricket-league/europe-division-one/results