On a day dominated by the bowlers Skanderborg triumphed over Herning by four wickets to clinch the Danish Elite Division championship, although their win didn’t come without some uncomfortable moments.
After inserting their opponents Skanderborg saw them reach 60 for one in the 15th over before Christian Peck took a hand, claiming three for 28 and helping to restrict the visitors to 126 for eight.
But then Surya Anand took three for 29 when Skanderborg replied, and although Nicolaj Damgaard made 31 and Shangeev Thanikaithasan 28, it took an unbeaten 34 from former national captain Michael Pedersen to get the leaders over the line, albeit with more than 25 overs to spare.
Skanderborg’s win meant that the outcome of the clash between Svanholm and KB could not affect the championship, and Svanholm had the double frustration of winning by an insufficient margin to leapfrog over KB on net run rate and into second place.
KB could only manage 115, Saran Aslam top-scoring with 37, while Sauf Munir claimed three for 25 for Svanholm and Hamid Shah and Jonas Henriksen picked up two apiece; the home side then knocked off the runs for the loss of four wickets.
In the remaining game Soraner were all out for 125 at Ishøj, despite Vibhor Chaudhary making the highest individual score of the day with 42, while Absar Khan took for four for 18.
Sidharth Mayar then responded with four for 40 for Soraner, but Ishøj ran out winners by four wickets.
In Division I Glostrup clinched the title and their return to the top flight by dismissing Esbjerg for 77 and winning by seven wickets; they will replace Albertslund in next season’s Danish Elite Division.
Changing of the guard in Italy
The quarter-finals of the Italian 50-over championship produced some surprises, with one of the outstanding sides of the past decade, Pianoro, eliminated by Jinnah Brescia, who chased down a target of 172 to win by four wickets.
Roma posted the biggest total of the day with 310 for five, going on to dismiss Asian Latina for 180 and win by 130 runs, while Kings XI pulled off a thrilling four-run victory over Royal Parma.
In the remaining game Bergamo dismissed Milan Kingsgrove for 152, successfully defending their own total of 208.
This weekend also saw the start of the T20 Coppa Italia, with victories for Pioltello, Jinnah, Baracca Prato Cricket Stars and Napoli, while there was a win apiece for Brescia and Bergamo United, Trentino Aquila and Albano, and Kent Lanka and Capannelle.
<b>Prague Spartans, Vinohrady make the top four</b>*
Wins for Prague Spartans and Vinohrady in the <b>Czech</b> Pro40 Division 1 at the weekend, confirmed a place for both in the semi-finals, and ensured that Prague Barbarians would be playing in Division 2 next season.
Brno’s three-wicket defeat by the Spartans on Saturday, despite Rahat Ali’s six for 20 for the losers, meant that the Moravian side would miss out on the top four unless the Barbarians pulled off a surprise win against Vinohrady the following day, but Vinohrady posted a comfortable eight-wicket victory to make sure of their own spot.
Chasing Brno’s total of 171, the Spartans could thank 56 from opener Parth Bhalodiya and 70 from Varun Mehta for their victory, while Neeraj Tyagi and Sagar Reddy did most of the damage with the ball, taking three for 20 and three for 32 respectively; Ushan Gunathilake top-scored for Brno with 52.
Barbarians were soon in trouble against Vinohrady on Sunday despite a solid 62 from Murali Sai, and were all out for 137; Arshad Yousafzai cleaned up the tail to finish with three for 21.
57 from keeper Mikulas Stary set Vinohrady on course for victory, and then Shaun Dalton (37 not out) and Frederyck Heyenrych (24 not out) finished the job to complete the win in just 23.3 overs.
Vienna Afghan to meet Cricket Tigers in Austrian grand final
Two remarkable innings and a dramatic collapse were the story of the play-offs in Austria’s T20 Division 1 at Seebarn at the weekend.
In the first semi-final Qadir Gul Utmanzai’s 47-ball 106, including six fours and nine sixes, and a third-wicket stand of 141 in 11.5 overs between Utmanzai and Razmal Shigiwais (60 from 42) propelled Vienna Afghan to 217 for five against the Austrian Cricket Tigers.
The Tigers could only manage 160 for seven in reply, Umair Tariq top-scoring with 42; Zabiullah Ibrahimkhel took three for 20 for the Afghans.
But Utmanzai’s effort was surpassed by Cricketer captain Bilal Zalmai’s 160 not out from 80 deliveries against Salzburg the following day. Hitting 15 fours and nine sixes, Zalmai completely dominated the Cricketers’ total of 216 for three, and Salzburg were restricted to 175 for seven in response.
As winners of the second semi-final Cricketer now took on the Cricket Tigers, and suffered a complete reversal of fortunes as they were dismissed for just 65 in 14.1 overs; this time Zalmai was caught behind for 6, and his opposite number Muhammad Shahbaz took three for 10 from his four overs.
Shahbaz then made 26 from 18 deliveries before he was run out, the Tigers needing only 8.4 overs to complete a six-wicket victory and set up a rematch against Vienna Afghan in the grand final.
- This article was modified on 15 September to include a report on the match between Vinohrady and Prague Barbarians.
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