The Isle of Man enjoyed back-to-back wins against Austria in the T20 bi-lateral international matches at King Williams Collegeon Sunday.
As the island side is currently ranked three places below the Austrian national team, currently 43rd in the ICC rankings, the Manx are set to improve their position in the overall T20 ICC rankings.
In the first match of the three-game series, Austria won the toss and chose to bat, reaching 149-5 in their 20 overs.
Mark Simpson-Parker’s 49 held the Austria innings together but an excellent fielding display with four catches and disciplined bowling from the five-man bowling attack restricted the target.
J. J, Griffin took 2-31 on his senior national team debut with Chris Langford, Fraser Clarke and Joe Burrows the other wicket takers.
In reply, an outstanding knock of 53 from 28 balls by Nathan Knights and 50 from 51 balls by Adam McAuley in a first wicket partnership of 91 put the Isle of Man in a strong position. This was before George Burrows, with 18 not out, and Eddie Beard, seven not out, saw them home with four balls to spare for a six-wicket win.
In the second game, Austria won the toss and again chose to bat. Although Razmal Shigiwal composed a well-made 57, which had Austria well placed at 80 for three wickets, the loss of six wickets for 13 runs saw them collapse to 137 all out.
The Isle of Man’s fielding was again excellent with two fantastic catches by Christian Webster and George Burrows restricting the Austrians to a low score. All the bowlers contributed with Matt Ansell 3-22 the pick of the bowlers, but Langford, Griffin, Joe Burrows, and Fraser Clarke also picked up wickets.
Knights again started the innings positively with 17 from 12 balls. There was a mini batting collapse at 26-3 but a fantastic partnership of 70 between Carl Hartmann (39) and Webster, followed by a match-winning partnership of 33 between Joe Burrows (11 not out) and Webster saw them comfortably home with five wickets to spare.
Webster finished with 59 not out in a very mature, well-paced innings from a player that hit a century in the under-17 ICC qualifiers in Guernsey last year.
Knights was chosen as player of the match in the first game with Webster picking up the individual honour in the second game.
The third and final game on Monday was called off because of rain.