In a thrilling climax to Luxembourg’s T20 League on Saturday, defending champions Optimists just held on to retain the title by the narrowest of margins despite losing to challengers Heritage.
With three teams finishing the competition level on points the issue was decided by net run rate, and the Optimists (on 1.210) ended just 0.063 of a run ahead of their rivals. Star, who also won on Saturday, were a further 0.046 of a run behind in third place.
The Optimists had set things up with a total of 171 for eight, with openers James Barker (38) and William Cope (27) starting with a 38-delivery stand of 41, keeper Joost Mees making a 16-ball 29 and Ed Packard doing even better with 39 from 18 deliveries.
Anit Dhingra took two for 22 for Heritage and Aanand Pandey three for 41.
Heritage were then faced with the task of not only achieving a demanding target, but doing so quickly enough to tip the NRR calculation in their favour.
Pandey, with 59 from 50 deliveries and Tony Whiteman with 65 from 39, including seven fours and two sixes, gave them a great chance, but despite their efforts and an unbeaten 17-ball 32 from skipper Vikram Vijh they did not complete their eight-wicket win until the first ball of the final over, just too late to swing the balance their way.
Star were faced with a similar challenge after Warriors had made 142 for six against them, mainly thanks to Anshuman Bhadauria’s 46.
Star’s chase, too, was successful, captain Anoop Sinha smacking 56 from 49 deliveries with eight fours, but again it went into the final over and was just insufficient to overhaul the teams ahead of them.
In Denmark’s Elite Division, half-centuries by Jonas Henriksen and skipper Zahid Shah set Svanholm up for a total of 225 for eight, and Henriksen then took three for 13 in four overs as Soraner could only manage 117 for nine in reply. It was Svanholm’s second win of the new season.
KB had an even easier victory over Albertslund, dismissing their opponents for 122 and needing only 21.1 overs to reach their target.
Farmers Caesareans maintained their unbeaten record in the Jersey T20 Premier League, despite a 71-ball knock of 92 not out by Walkovers’ Jamie Brewster.
His side’s total of 138 for two proved insufficient against the Farmers, with Patrick Gouge making 48 and Josh Lawrenson 37 not out as they knocked off the runs in 15.5 overs.
In the day’s other game Old Victorians’ openers Corey Bisson and Jake Dunford made 40 and 38 not out respectively to get their side to 121 for five, and St Ouen battled their way to 99 for nine in response, Scott Simpson’s two for 13 and Sam Dewhurst’s two for 16, both from four overs, ensuring that the Old Boys stayed in control.
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