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Bowlers dominate on day one of ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Europe Division 2 Qualifier

Munib Safi's hat-trick helped Sweden beat Guernsey off the last ball, while Netherlands and Belgium also recorded victories in their respective matches.
  • Netherlands (242 all out) dismiss Norway for 41 in a strong all-round display
  • Belgium (118/5) bowl out Spain (115 all out) to win their first U19s clash
  • Munib Safi takes a hat-trick to help Sweden (119/8) to victory on the last ball against Guernsey (118/8)
  • All-round performance from Hassan Raza powers France (213/6) to a victory over Italy (124 all out)

Sweden v Guernsey

Sweden beat Guernsey on the last ball, in what would turn out to be the closest match of the day. Guernsey were in trouble early on, finding themselves on 22/5 in the sixth over. Munib Safi did the damage, dismissing the entire top four, taking a hat-trick in the process.

Guernsey staged a decent recovery, eventually posting 118/8 in their 31 allotted overs. Heavy overnight rain had delayed the start of the matches at Bishops Stortford CC as the groundsmen were tasked with removing remnants of the deluge in the early hours of Monday.

In the reply, Sweden lost wickets at regular intervals to give Guernsey hope of an unlikely win. In the end, however, it was left to No.8 batter Samiallah Khalil to hit the winning run off the last ball of the game.

Video Videos 31 Jul 18
U19CWCQ Europe Div 2: Sweden v Guernsey - Munib Safi hat-trick
Munib Safi claims a brilliant hat-trick for Sweden.

Italy v France

France made a strong start to their tournament, defeating rivals Italy by 89 runs. Having been sent in to bat, the French batters made full use of their 35 allocated overs, scoring 213/6. Opener Hassan Raza just missed out on a century, scoring 98 runs (13x4, 3x6) in 109 balls.

The Italians found themselves in early trouble, losing their first four wickets for just seven runs. Victory seemed unlikely from that point, however; the Italian middle order stayed in the hunt, putting on several partnerships to push the score to over 100. However, it was not to be this time, as they were bowled out for 124.

Norway v Netherlands 

Netherlands won the toss and chose to bat in the encounter with Norway, which was reduced to 42 overs a side. The Dutch batters projected an air of confidence, as they rotated the strike against the Norwegian pace-bowling attack. The Norwegian’s bowled and fielded with great spirit and energy and were rewarded with wickets at regular intervals.

It was a captain’s knock from Boris Gorlee (61 off 71 balls) which steadied the ship for the Dutch, in partnership with Nehaan Gigani (37 off 43 balls). The loss of Gorlee and Gigani triggered a wobble in the middle order, but a final-wicket partnership with some late hitting from Govert Trappenburg (28 from 17 balls) lifted the score to an imposing 242.

The Norwegian innings got off to a bad start, with a mix up leading to a run out in the first over. The Dutch bowlers kept applying pressure, with just one of the bowlers conceding more than two runs an over. Off-spinner Arnav Jain proved destructive with the ball, taking 5/10 in his nine overs. Norway was dismissed for 41 in the 26th over.

Belgium v Spain 

Belgium won the toss and chose to field in the only match of the day to commence at the original start time of 11am. The Belgian bowling attack took advantage of swinging conditions, taking early wickets against the Spaniards. Shaan Shah (3/20 off seven overs) and Sabhiya Jain (4/10 off seven) took the bulk of the Spanish wickets.

In the chase, Belgium gave their fans some nervy moments as they lost wickets at unfortunate times. The middle order batters showed patience and determination, though, as they gradually built towards the Spanish score. Belgium surpassed the Spanish total in the 34th over, giving the teams the opportunity to start their recovery towards the next matches early.

Wednesday 1 August

With the rain of yesterday long in the memory, both games on match day two got underway on schedule.

At a sunny St Margaretsbury CC, Netherlands won the toss and chose to bat. After 14 overs, Netherlands stand on 58/2, with Denmark claiming the early scalps of Etman and Rasool.

In today’s other match at Harlow CC, Spain have won the toss and decided to put Norway into the field. At the time of writing, Spain sit on 49/2 after 13 overs, with both opening batsmen parting way.

Live coverage of both matches can be followed at

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