BELGIUM 118 FOR 5 BEAT SPAIN 115 ALL OUT BY FIVE WICKETS.
Spain started their ICC CWC Qualifier Europe Division tournament with a match up against Belgium at Harlow Cricket Ground in Essex. The squads training preparations was hampered by a cancelled flight from Barcelona for the Cataluyna based boys meaning they did not arrive in the UK until yesterday morning.
With the other three matches of the day delayed by rain this was the only fixture to get off on time and Spain were put into bat after Belgium won the toss. Playing on a grass wicket was a new experience for a lot of the boys and it showed as there was a constant flow of wickets to the delight of the Belgian contingent in the crowd.
Sarmad Ali and Charlie Hunt batted well for 32 and 26 respectively, and Kyle Roper added some useful runs at the end of the innings but a final total of just 115 off 30 overs did not look like it would be enough at the interval.
Any hope that Belgium would suffer a similar batting collapse seemed unlikely as the two openers Aaryan and Aadit Sheth raced to 24 for no loss off the first five overs. Belgium then started to wobble and lost both openers in consecutive overs to leave them struggling at 25 for 2. Charlie Ruministrcz then bowled an excellent spell to keep Spain in contention and when lunch was taken at the 22 over mark Belgium were 69 for 4.
Spain then got an early breakthrough straight after lunch when Shehryaar Riaz clean bowled the Belgium skipper Sabyha for 26 but then the same bowler went for 15 in his very next over to take the pressure off the Belgium batsmen. Shaan Shah then saw his side to victory with an unbeaten 21 to give the Belgians a five wicket victory.
The Capitans at the Pre-Tournament Presentation.