Malta fall just short in bid to retain Pan European T20 title

The Malta team at the airport prior to departure
The Malta team at the airport prior to departure
©Malta Cricket
 
The Malta team in Hungary
The Malta team in Hungary
©Malta Cricket
 

Malta ended the 2016 Pan European T20 tournament in second place to UCT of Dubai, just missing out on retaining the trophy they won two years ago.

Malta's tournament started well, with an emphatic nine-wicket win over eventual tournament winners UCT.

Against Bulgaria, the Malta team enjoyed their most comprehensive win in T20 internationals, as they ran out victors by the impressive margin of 119 runs.

The team then qualified for the final defeating hosts Hungary by seven wickets.

Sunday afternoon’s final began with UCT winning the toss and electing to field first. Malta made steady progress but lost captain Nowell Khosla (8) and vice-captain Bikram Arora (10) within the first eight overs.

Haroon Mughal’s 38 off 24 balls took Malta to 97 for three after 12 overs, however his wicket saw UCT seize the initiative. Malta closed on a respectable scoere of 145, largely thanks to Zubair Raja, who finished unbeaten on 31.

In reply, UCT lost two early wickets and were 36 for two at the end of their six-over powerplay.

The momentum switched back towards them as 24 runs came from the next two overs, however. Opening batsman Ali Azmat rode his luck and notched up an unbeaten 95 to steer UCT to victory by seven wickets. For Malta, Agius, Bradley and Chellew shared the wickets to fall.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Malta team, especially after defeating UCT so convincingly on the opening day of the tournament.

Nevertheless, the team did Malta proud but failed at the final hurdle in their bid to defend the trophy they won so well in 2014.

Final standings: 1st UCT, 2nd Malta, 3rd Romania, 4th Hungary, 5th Bulgaria

© Cricket World 2016


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