Day of mixed results for Manx under-17 cricketers
Islanders finish trip to Denmark with two Twenty20 games against Italy and Denmark
AFTER two defeats earlier in the week, the Isle of Man’s under-17 cricket side finally had something to cheer about on Thursday when they defeated Italy by eight wickets in the pair’s Twenty20 game at Svanholm Park, Copenhagen.
The Isle of Man cruised to victory with opener Adam McAuley making an unbeaten 72-ball 41.
He and Andrew Vels put on 31 for the first wicket, of which Vels made an aggressive 22 from 16 deliveries with four boundaries, but McAuley speeded up after his partner was bowled by Shahrukh Butt, as he and Sam Kebbell added 55 in nine and a half overs.
Then McAuley and captain Rowan Bird knocked off the remaining runs at a leisurely pace, finishing the match with 13 balls to spare.
Earlier, the Italian innings was held together by Hassan Ahmad, who batted almost throughout the twenty overs for 40. The only other batsman to reach double figures was Saifur Rahaman, who kept the scoreboard moving at the end to finish on 11 not out.
There were two wickets apiece for Seb Aycock and Vels, and one each for Nick White, Matthew Ansell and Ewan Quayle as the Manx bowlers kept up the pressure and contained Italy to a comparatively modest 104 for eight.
In their second Twenty20 game of the day the Manx lost to hosts and 50-over champions from earlier in the week Denmark.
The final match between the hosts and the Manxmen provided a fitting climax to the week, with the latter fighting back well when it seemed that the Danish top order would see their side to the most comfortable of victories as they chased a substantial target of 127.
Batting first, the Isle of Man became the first team of the day to score more than six runs an over, posting a total of 126 for nine, with Sam Kebbell the top-scorer with a splendid 28-ball innings of 45 not out which included one four and four sixes.
Adam McAuley and Andrew Vels had again given their side a good start with an opening stand of 37, Vels continuing in partnership with Kebbell to reach 32 before he became the second of three victims for left-arm spinner Mads Nyeng, who took three for 25.
Thereafter it was Kebbell who dominated the scoring, the rest of the batsmen adding only nine runs as the total advanced from 65 for two to 126.
If 126 was a daunting target the Danish openers showed no sign of it, 75 runs coming in just 8.2 overs as Fazan Ahmed and Mads Rasmussen hurled themselves at the attack, forcing Rowan Bird to make a series of changes in an effort to stem the flow of runs.
Rasmussen was particularly severe on anything loose, and his 41 came from just 22 deliveries with three fours and three sixes.
It was Bird himself who secured the initial breakthrough, thanks to an outstanding catch at long on by NicK White to remove Rasmussen. Nyeng and Salim Mondozay did not last long, but Ahmed continued unperturbed, and he reached 47 from 49 balls before Matt Ansell took a smart catch, again off Bird’s bowling.
And the Manx captain continued to bowl his side back into the game, bowling Saim Saeed and Adeel Akhtar to send Denmark tumbling to 105 for six and giving his side some hope of what would have been an extraordinary turnaround. Bird completed his four overs with the best figures of the day, four for 15.
But Lavanish Premachandran and Mati Malik were equal to the task, and they ensured that their side got home without further loss, Malik finishing the game with a straight boundary to give Denmark victory with 10 balls to spare.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west