Spain got off to the best possible start in the ICC Division Three tournament this week with a comfortable win over rivals Greece. Playing on the top pitch at La Manga the hosts won the toss and elected to bat.
La Seleccion opened with their regular partnership of Armaghan Khan and Tariq Ali. The latter was fresh from a century last weekend for his club side Alcorcon, but he was the one struggling initially as his partner Armaghan Khan took an immediate liking to the Greek bowling. As early as the 3rd over Triantifillis was taken out of the attack for bowling two beamers which meant the Greeks lost the use of one of their main strike bowlers for the rest of the innings.
Armaghan Khan made good use of the majority of the strike and scored freely before falling to a good catch from Vasillas when the score was on 38. Tariq Ali soon followed, snicking a high rising ball to the keeper with seven runs having been added to the total.
Gary Crompton came in and steadied the innings at one end whilst newcomer Munib Ranjah, making his ICC tournament debut lashed out and scored a belligerent 60 in just 34 balls. A quick fire cameo by Nisar Ahmed (39) and a nice little contribution from Tanveer Iqbal at the end of the innings gave Spain a challenging total of 187 for 8 from their over allocation.
In reply, Greece got off to the worst possible start when Goustis was trapped leg before first ball and then the wicket keeper Bogdos soon followed with just five on the board.
Skipper Manousis batted sensibly with help from Souvlakis to push the score to 51 before Talat Nadeem entered the attack and clean bowled Souvlakis. Koutsoufis lasted only two balls and Vasillas did marginally better, lasting three. The Greek resistence was finally squashed when Mounasis went for a well crafted 52, and the Greeks innings finally ended at 111 for 7.
The 76 run victory was the start Spanish supporters were hoping for. On the bottom pitch Israel lost out to Belgium by 39 runs. The afternoon games see Spain back in action, facing Finland on the bottom pitch at La Manga, whilst Greece will entertain Israel in the other game Wednesday afternoon.
Armaghan Khan caught Vasilas bowled Souvlakis 27
Tariq Ali caught Bogdos bowled Souvlakis 8
Gary Crompton stumped Bogdos bowled Vasilas 15
Munib Ranjah bowled Mounasis 60
Nisar Ahmed caught Karakantas bowled Mounasis 39
Atif Mahmood caught Bogdos bowled Manousis 0
Tanveer Iqbal caught Nikokavouros bowled Goustis 18
Farhat Mahmood caught Bogdos bowled Koutsoufis 0
Sajad Ali not out 4
Talat Nadeem not out 1
Yasin Mohammed did not bat
Total 187 for 8 off 20 overs
D Triantafillidis 1.5-0-24-0
A Souvlakis 3-0-19-2
S Goustis 4-0-26-1
I Vasilas 4-045-1
A Grammenos 2-0-22-0
A Koutsoufis 3-0-20-1
A Manousos 2-0-28-3
O K Nikitas 0.1-0-0-0
S Goustis Lbw bowled Tanveer Iqbal 0
A Souvlakis bowled Talat Nadeem 15
S Bogdos bowled Munib Ranjah 4
A Manousis caught Talat bowled Atif Mahmood 52
A Koutsoufis caught Yasin bowled Farhat Mahmood 1
I Vasilas caught Yasin bowled Farhat Mahmood 1
S Nikokavouros bowled Atif Mahmood 19
A Karakantas not out 11
A Grammenos Not out 1
O K Nikitos did not bat
D Triantafillidis did not bat
Total 111 for 7 wickets off 20 overs
Tanveer Iqbal 2-0-7-1
Munib Ranjah 4-0-19-1
Atif Mehmood 4-0-18-2
Talat Nadeem 4-0-19-1
Farhat Mahmood 4-0-32-2
Sajad Ali 2-0-15-0
SPAIN WIN BY 76 RUNS