Danes Stay Unbeaten With Brace Of T20 Victories
The Twenty20 matches at Svanholm Park on Thursday may not have been part of an official competition, but Denmark retained their unbeaten record in the week with wins over both Italy and the Isle of Man.
The final match between the hosts and the Manxmen provided a fitting climax to the week, with the latter fighting back well when it seemed that the Danish top order would see their side to the most comfortable of victories as they chased a substantial target of 127.
Batting first, the Isle of Man became the first team of the day to score more than six runs an over, posting a total of 126 for nine, with Sam Kebbell the top-scorer with a splendid 28-ball innings of 45 not out which included one four and four sixes.
Adam McAuley and Andrew Fels had again given their side a good start with an opening stand of 37, Vels continuing in partnership with Kebbell to reach 32 before he became the second of three victims for left-arm spinner Mads Nyeng, who took three for 25.
Thereafter it was Kebbell who dominated the scoring, the rest of the batsmen adding only nine runs as the total advanced from 65 for two to 126.
If 126 was a daunting target the Danish openers showed no sign of it, 75 runs coming in just 8.2 overs as Fazan Ahmed and Mads Rasmussen hurled themselves at the attack, forcing Rowan Bird to make a series of changes in an effort to stem the flow of runs.
Rasmussen was particularly severe on anything loose, and his 41 came from just 22 deliveries with three fours and three sixes.
It was Bird himself who secured the initial breakthrough, thanks to an outstanding catch at long on by Nicholas White to remove Rasmussen. Nyeng and Salim Mondozay did not last long, but Ahmed continued unperturbed, and he reached 47 from 49 balls before Matt Ansell took a smart catch, again off Bird’s bowling.
And the Manx captain continued to bowl his side back into the game, bowling Saim Saeed and Adeel Akhtar to send Denmark tumbling to 105 for six and giving his side some hope of what would have been an extraordinary turnaround. Bird completed his four overs with the best figures of the day, four for 15.
But Lavanish Premachandran and Mati Malik were equal to the task, and they ensured that their side got home without further loss, Malik finishing the game with a straight boundary to give Denmark victory with ten balls to spare.
The Danish batsmen had shown a greater disposition to play their shots when they batted first against Italy in the opening game, despite the fact that they managed only one boundary in their entire innings.
That came from Mati Malik, who was the mainstay of the batting with a 52-ball 44; coming in at 17 for one when Mads Rasmussen was caught behind by Asif Ali off the bowling of Imran Khan, he was seventh out in the final over with the total on 109.
He had shared useful partnerships of 30 with Fazan Ahmed (23) and 36 with Salim Mondozay (15), getting the total up to 65 for two by the end of the 13th over, but both were bowled by Zeeshan Faiz, who finished with two for 23 from his four overs.
The Danish cause was not helped by two run-outs, a reflection both of some poor running and a much sharper performance by the Italians in the field.
Chasing 112 to win, Italy never really recovered from finding themselves on 7 for two in the third over, and they, too, suffered from indifferent judgement between the wickets, three run-outs contributing to their woes.
Only Hassan Ahmad (16), Abdullah Chowdhury (16) and Imran Khan (12) reached double figures, and with two wickets apiece for Adeel Akhtar and Mati Malik – the latter finishing the innings with two for 2 in five deliveries – the Italians were all out for 74 in 16.5 overs.
Italy suffered a second defeat when the Isle of Man cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket victory, with opener Adam McAuley making an unbeaten 72-ball 41.
He and Andrew Fels put on 31 for the first wicket, of which Fels made an aggressive 22 from 16 deliveries with four boundaries, but McAuley speeded up after his partner was bowled by Shahrukh Butt, as he and Sam Kebbell added 55 in nine and a half overs.
Then McAuley and captain Rowan Bird knocked off the remaining runs at a leisurely pace, finishing the match with 13 balls to spare.
Earlier, the Italian innings was held together by Hassan Ahmad, who batted almost throughout the twenty overs for 40. The only other batsman to reach double figures was Saifur Rahaman, who kept the scoreboard moving at the end to finish on 11 not out.
There were two wickets apiece for Sebastian Aycock and Vels, and one each for Nicholas White, Matthew Ansell and Ewan Quayle as the Manx bowlers kept up the pressure and contained Italy to a comparatively modest 104 for eight.
Denmark U17 v Isle of Man U17 at Svanholm Park, Copenhagen.
Denmark U17 won by 4 wickets
Isle of Man U17 126-9 (20 overs) SE Kebbell 45*; MT Nyeng 3-25
Denmark U17 127-6 (18.2 overs) F Ahmed 47, MH Rasmussen 41; RJ Bird 4-15
Italy U17 v Isle of Man U17 at Svanholm Park, Copenhagen.
Isle of Man U17 won by 8 wickets
Italy U17 104-8 (20 overs) Hassan Ahmad 40
Isle of Man U17 105-2 (17.5 overs) AP McAuley 41*
Denmark U17 v Italy U17 at Svanholm Park, Copenhagen.
Denmark U17 won by 37 runs
Denmark U17 111-7 (20 overs) M Malik 44
Italy U17 74 (16.5 overs)