|European Under 17 (Division 2) Championship: Isle of Man, July 2008|
Belgium march on as Swiss claim first win
Belgium maintained their unbeaten record in Group B in Bochum on Monday, on a day that
was pretty well perfect for cricket, while at JHQ2 in Moenchengladbach Switzerland secured a first-ever European youth victory over a disappointing Hellas.
Spain won the toss and took the bold decision of putting the Belgians in to bat. Although Spain got an early breakthrough with an excellent piece of fielding to remove Shaival Mehta, it was the Belgian batsmen who dominated the proceedings, led by Jamie Farmiloe (40) and Akshat Sanghvi (33), with support from Mark Weighill (20), Edward Still (22) and Vikas Sharma (21 not out).
Spain's Ben Girling was the only bowler who gained respect as he bowled with good line and length and in his last spell took three wickets. None of the other bowlers made a decisive impression on the Belgians, who ended up on 186 for seven in their 40 overs.
The Spaniards didn't get off to the start they wanted, Joel Brook being run out and Ben Taylor caught soon afterwards, leaving the side on 15 for two.
Andre Sivier and Michael Garside set about rebuilding the innings, but Garside fell foul of the legspin of Farmiloe with the total on 51. Sivier held firm as wickets fell at the other end, but he was finally seventh out, caught at slip by Akarsh Mehta off the bowling of Zertish Ahmad.
Usman Chaudry then mopped up the tail, taking four for 14 in the process. Spain were dismissed for 106, giving the Belgians a comfortable 80-run victory.
The DCB President Brian Fell said in his presentation speech that the quality of today’s cricket was of a higher quality than one would expect, and this was true. The Belgian batting was more adept and deeper than Spain’s and they were more able to punish the bad ball.
The Man of the match award fell to the Spanish bowler Ben Girling for his opening spell and taking three for 25.
The plague of wides which has infested this tournament reached new levels in the match between Switzerland and Hellas, deservedly won by the Swiss.
Having won the toss and put Hellas in, Switzerland quickly had their opponents on the defensive, but the Greeks eventually did well to battle their way to 103 for eight off their 40 overs, having been 56 for seven at one stage.
They were assisted by a tally of 57 wides, more than half their total, only Nikolaos Bouzis reaching double figures.
David Kuster was again the most successful Swiss bowler with three for 37, but the pressure was maintained by brothers Waleed and Ali Saleem. Ali bowled eight overs, taking two for 9, but Waleed was even more economical, with figures of 8 – 4 – 6 – 1.
The Greek bowlers were even more profligate, conceding 70 wides (33 individual deliveries) in 23 overs as Switzerland coasted to a nine-wicket victory. Nine bowlers were tried in an effort to halt the Swiss progress, but the only wicket came from a run out, and by then the win was clearly in sight.