- All round dominant display seals first place for Netherlands in the final against France
- Denmark defeat Guernsey in a topsy-turvy match to claim third place finish in the competition and secure promotion to ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Europe Division 1
- Norway finish fifth after convincing win over Italy
- Sweden successfully chase 126 against Belgium to finish seventh
France vs Netherlands
With promotion secured for both teams, the final presented an opportunity to make a statement towards next year’s Division 1 event. Netherlands batted first for the fifth time in five matches to post a very strong 281 for 6 after their 50 overs. Captain Gorlee (99) once again led from the front, only just missing out on a century after being caught in the field. Gorlee put on a 166-run partnership with Etman (84), who made another solid contribution for the Netherlands. The bowling efforts of Bazhirak (4/60) dismissed the middle order to prevent the Dutch from crossing the 300-mark.
France openers Raza (40) and Amjad (29) started strong in the reply, putting on an opening partnership of 86. The loss of Raza with the score on 100 triggered a collapse in the French batting order as five wickets fell for just 10 runs. It was Dutch spin-attack who capitalised, with Jain (5/31) taking his second five-wicket-haul of the tournament. Leg spinner Boissevain (2/17) maintained the pressure at his end, bowling five maidens in his spell. France lost their final wicket with the score on 127, confirming five wins out of five and a first place finish for the Netherlands.
Guernsey vs Denmark
The battle for third place had added significance, with the winning team securing promotion to Division 1. Denmark chose to bat after winning the toss, attacking early in the first powerplay despite loss of wickets. Guernsey utilised the spinners well, taking wickets at regular intervals to pull the momentum their way. It was a special effort of Demark captain Shaheen (53*) and Adnan (14*) to fight their team out of trouble at 170 for 9. Shaheen and Adnan combined to put on a 60-run partnership, to push the Denmark total to a respectable 230/9.
Guernsey openers Le Tissier (33) and Ellis (32) started patiently. Denmark showed great skill in the field, saving numerous boundaries and preventing the batters from rotating the strike. With the required run rate climbing steadily, the Guernsey batters had to take more risks bringing a breakthrough for Denmark in the 17th over. The loss of Le Tissier for Guernsey in the 29th over, with the score on 96, proved a crushing blow. Guernsey went from 96/2 to 102/6 in the space of four overs, putting the momentum firmly in the hands of Denmark. Shaheen completed an all-round performance to take player of the match, leading Denmark from the front, taking four wickets for 16 runs in his ten overs. Guernsey lost their final wicket with the score on 132, confirming Denmark as the third and final team to gain promotion to the ICC U19 CWC Europe Division 1 event in 2019.
Italy vs Norway
Norway have demonstrated a steep learning curve with the bat throughout the tournament, going on to post their highest score yet in the fifth place play-off against Italy. Mangal (40) combined with captain Niazi (84) to put on a 122-run partnership to get the Norwegians out of trouble at 71/5. Ahmadzai (57) combined with the lower order to push the score to an imposing 240 before Norway were bowled out in the 49th over. Rizwan (4/45) was the most successful bowler for Italy, picking up four clean bowled wickets.
In the reply, Italy struggled with the Norway pace attack, with Mangal (3/14), Niazi (3/45) and Malik (2/10) sharing the bulk of the wickets between them. Italy opener Kashan (47*) carried his bat through the innings as he was forced to watch the wickets fall at the other end to prevent him from reaching a half-century. Italy were eventually all out for 94 in the 24th over.
Sweden vs Belgium
It was a low scoring affair in the play off for seventh place, as the two teams faced off at Coggeshall CC. Belgium batted first after being sent in by Sweden and built runs with great patience and determination once again. Captain Jain top scored with 34 off 84 balls taking his side to 126 before losing their final wicket in the 47th over. Wickets were shared equally between the Swedish bowlers, with a stand out performance from Jabbar with 3/15.
Sweden were determined to chase the total down after coming agonisingly close against Italy two days earlier in the final group game in another low scoring thriller. Partnerships were key, with five of the Swedish batters reaching double figures. Economical bowling from Jain (1/11 off 10) and Niaz (3/25) meant that victory for Sweden was not easily secured. Sweden eventually scored the winning runs in the 48th over for the loss of six wickets to secure seventh position.
Winners – Netherlands (qualified for ICC U19 CWC Europe Division 1)
2nd place – France (qualified for ICC U19 CWC Europe Division 1)
3rd place – Denmark (qualified for ICC U19 CWC Europe Division 1)
4th place – Guernsey
5th place – Norway
6th place – Italy
7th place – Sweden
8th place – Belgium
9th place – Spain
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