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SPAIN V MALTA - TRIANGULAR SERIES - LA MANGA
 
2nd April 2019

Spain came out of the triangular series with Estonia and Malta unbeaten, and more importantly, showed renewed energy and focus under the guidance of their new National Team Coach Pete Williams.

The first game against Malta was the last match on day one of the Triangular series and with both teams having won their matches against Estonia it would decide who sat on top of the leaderboard after each team had played two matches .

Malta batted first but found the strength and depth of the Spanish bowling too difficult to handle. Only two of the Maltese batsmen reached double figures as the visitors managed just 98 for 9 from their twenty overs. Tom Vine was the pick of the bowlers for Spain, finishing with figures of four for 28, whilst debutant Taqueer Hussain also bowled well and bagged his first ever wicket for the hosts, by clean bowling Sumair Khan in the fourth over to start the Maltese demise.

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Spain v Malta toss on Day One.

In reply, Spain proved equally dominant with the bat, and knocked off the required runs for the loss of just three wickets. Cataluyna CC star Yasir Ali continued his good league form with a fine half century.

Match two against Malta was equally one sided with Spain recording an emphatic 109 run victory. Winning the toss and batting first the opening partnership of Awais Ahmed and Paul Hennessy put on 155 for the first wicket partnership. Their effort, accomplished in 15 overs, put them in seventh place on the T20I leaderboard, sandwiched in between Sharma and Dhawan of India and Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith of the West Indies. 

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P. Hennessy & A. Ahmed                        Seventh position - Highest partnership for the 1st wicket

Hennessy was finally out for 71 off 44 balls, but Ahmed went on to make a century, hitting a six off the last ball to end unbeaten on 102 and displaying the imposing look of 206 for 2 on La Manga´s electronic scoreboard.

The Spanish bowling attack enjoyed similar success and Malta ended up 97 all out on the penultimate ball of the innings. Spain´s fielding was impressive, and that was reflected in two excellent run outs, whilst the evergreen Faran Afzal ended up with three wickets, with his new style spin bowling, that threatens to be as equally effective as his excellent seam bowling that fans have been used to up until a few months ago.

The final day of the tournament was a complete washout as the rain came down in buckets at the Murcia resort. The gala dinner on the Sunday evening was an excellent way to cap a very successful event and plans are already afoot for a similar tournament next year involving more teams and more competition. 

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