Denmark recorded an emphatic 58 run victory over Guernsey at FB Fields in St Helier to seal their place in the tournament final but, more importantly, earn their place in the ICC World T20 global qualifier in Dubai in 2012.
After Denmark had made a well-compiled 136 for four in their 20 overs, Guernsey's batting fell apart after a bright start and collapsed to 44 for seven. Although the tailenders added some consolation runs, the game was effectively over at that stage. Excellent bowling and fielding by the Danes proved simply too much for Guernsey with just two batsmen, Ravenscroft and Moherndl, managing to reach double figures.
Winning the toss, Michael Pedersen decided to bat and his decision was justified right away as Freddie Klokker and Shehzad Ahmed put on 55 in the first eight overs before Klokker went down the pitch to slow left armer Jeremy Frith as was easily stumped by Kimber. Pedersen and Ahmed then took the score to 79 in the 12th over when Pedersen went back to Gary Rich and was bowled. Ahmed followed soon after when he skied Rich out to deep mid wicket and Kris Moherndl ran in to take a superb diving catch. Ahmed's 40 included a six and three fours.
The loss of these wickets reduced Denmark's momentum considerably with only one boundary coming in the next seven overs. However, the final over produced 16 runs as Aftab Ahmed cracked three boundaries. Despite the late flourish of runs, Guernsey must have felt that the target was well within their grasp. Although the first over of their innings produced two runs, 16 came from the next as Ravenscroft hit Bashir Shah for a four and a six.
However, Lee Savident fell in the next, bowled playing half-forward to Anjum. A couple of boundaries then followed from Ravenscroft but, trying to repeat a pull over mid-on which had brought him a boundary from the previous delivery, he only succeeded in finding the hands of Michael Pedersen at mid-on. Wickets then fell rapidly as the Guernsey batsmen played a series of over-adventurous shots which the situation did not require. Kimber holed out to mid off in the 6th over and Le Prevost played a heave two overs later and was bowled. Bashir Shah then took three wickets in an over - Frith was bowled, Smit went for a big hit and skied it to extra cover and Kneller was stumped - and so ended Guernsey's hopes of a place in Dubai. Bashir Shah ended with four for 23, while Michael Pedersen took two for 8 in his four overs.
Italy has taken their place in the final of the ICC European Division One Championship with a win over Jersey at Farmers Field today, but more importantly they have booked their ticket on the plane to Dubai for the ICC World Twenty20 global qualifier early next year.
Italian captain Alessandro Bonora won the toss for the first time in the tournament, and didn't hesitate to bat on a pretty good looking Farmers Field wicket. Wicket-keeper Hayden Patrizi got their innings off to a good start, scoring 28 from 25 balls before he decided to give bowler Ben Stevens some catching practice by lobbing it straight back to him.
Jersey were rotating their bowlers regularly, not letting the Italian batsmen settle, but Damian Crowley wasn't fazed by their tactics, scoring 55 from 44 balls, with three big sixes whilst his team mates attempted to rotate the strike back to him, losing their wickets in the process. Crowley was dismissed from the penultimate ball of the 18th over with the score on 117-6, and the next three partnerships took the score to 133-8. Ben Stevens was the pick of the Jersey bowlers with 2-29.
Jersey's reply initially progressed in similar fashion to the Italian innings, With Peter Gough attempting to play something of an anchor role. He was running between the wickets well, turning ones into twos and twos into threes, but neither he nor the other Jersey batsmen were scoring enough boundaries, and that was to be their downfall.
They were well on track and ahead of the required rate at one point, having scored 77-3 after 11 overs. But from then on, their run rate began to drop and the next four overs yielded only 17 runs. The sixteenth over was bowled by Damian Crowley, and he took two wickets in the over to add to his fine half century. In the last five overs, Jersey scored 21-4, which simply isn't good enough in Twenty20 cricket and finished on 119-9 to lose by 14 runs.
With Denmark defeating Guernsey in the other semi-final this has set up an Italy v Denmark final and an all Channel Islands contest in the third place play-off.
Norway defeated Belgium by 3 wickets at Les Quennevais to reach a fifth place play-off against France. Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Norway restricted Belgium to 119-8 in 20 overs. Norway’s bowlers started well with the new ball, dismissing both of the Belgian openers with only 11 runs on the board. Belgium then stuttered to 64-6 before Simon Newport (24) and Shaival Mehta (15) put together a useful 44-run partnership. Ali Raza also chipped in with some useful runs down the order, making a brisk 31 in 25 balls.
In reply Norway initially struggled to 21-3 but Zaheer Ashiq (26) and Muhammed Zeeshan Ali (26) stabilised the innings with a 29-run partnership. Ali then fell to Akshat Sanghvi but a fine knock from Iftikhar Hussain, making 31 in 26 balls including two 6’s, saw the Norwegians home with 4 balls to spare.