Denmark, Italy Qualify For ICC WT20 Qualifier
Denmark and Italy have earned a place at the ICC World Twenty20 2014 qualifying event in Dubai in November after winning their ICC European Division One Championship semi-finals at Hove.
Italy beat Jersey by six runs in a thriller before a 57-ball century from Freddie Klokker set Denmark up for 1 113-run hammering of Guernsey and the two sides will play off for the final from 18:30 local time (17:30 GMT).
Denmark's innings started poorly when Carsten Pedersen was bowled by Jamie Nussbaumer from the third ball of the match with the score on just two. But Klokker and Aftab Ahmed proceeded to put on 140 for the second wicket, with Aftab contributing 54 from 35 balls before he was out bowled by Max Ellis.
Kamran Mahmood was out two balls later, also bowled by Ellis. Rizwan Mahmood then joined Klokker at the crease and the pair put on 84 in the last seven overs to take the Danish total to 226 for three. Klokker eventually finished on 129 not out, a score that would have been a record had this been an official T20 International.
His innings featured 18 fours and two sixes, one of which sailed out of the ground and came from just 64 balls, a strike rate of 201.56. It was a superb knock and a pleasure to watch for the crowd that had come to watch the game at Hove.
It was a tough ask for Guernsey to chase down what has only been beaten twice in the county Twenty20 Cup on this ground, and they struggled to keep pace with that formidable total.
Battling against an almost entirely spin based bowling attack from Denmark, who didn't bring on a seam bowler until the final over. GH Smit was the sole bright spot for Guernsey, scoring 23 from 17 balls.
Guernsey were eventually restricted to 113 for nine, losing by 113 runs. Raja Basit Javed and Bobby Chawla both took three wickets for the victorious Danes.
Italy join Denmark in the final of ICC Europe Division One, but more importantly their trip to the World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE later this year, after beating Jersey in the first semi-final.
Italy won the toss and elected to bat first, with Dinidu Marage and Andy Northcote starting the innings with a quick 31 run partnership in 3.5 overs. His dismissal saw Italy go from 31 without loss to 56 for four in five overs before Marage and Bonara put on 33 for the fifth wicket.
That partnership ended when Marage was caught by Jersey captain Peter Gough having made 42. Bonara followed three overs later for 23 with the score on 107 for six, and the Italians made 120 for nine from their 20 overs, Ben Stevens the pick of the bowlers with three for 21.
In reply, Jersey started circumspectly, but slowly built up pace. However the dismissal of Andy Dewhurst for 18 to take the score to 71 for three sparked a collapse. Peter Gough was next out for a well made 41, and before long Jersey found themselves on 91 for six with two overs to spare.
Alexander Cooke briefly gave them some hope in the final over and got them to needing 11 from the final 4 balls. But two wickets in two balls soon swung the game back to Italy, who eventually won by six runs to secure their place in the global qualifier, sparking wild celebrations amongst their players.
© Cricket World / ICC Europe