The third team joining Malta and Spain in the triangular event at La Manga last weekend was Estonia.
Unfortunately, several players from the Eastern European country did not meet the eligibility clearance required by ICC Europe to make it a T20I event so the matches were re-classified as friendlies.
Nontheless the games were taken very seriously by both sides and it was the hosts that won both matches to stay unbeaten through the course of the tournament.
In game one between the two sides Spain won the toss and elected to field. Within three balls Spain had claimed their first wicket when opening bowler Ravi Panchal clean bowled Rahman. That set the tone for the innings with the Estonians constantly losing batsmen at regular intervals. With runs hard to come by only Tim Heath (15) and Marko Vaik (14) reached double figures. The top score for the visitors was 25 extras, which included 24 wides, the only displeasing statistic for the bowling attack of Spain. Estonian finally finished their 20 overs on 86 for 7 with Faran Afzal taking two wickets for just five runs.
In reply the hosts breezed past the required total of 87 without any loss. Faran Afzal hit 58 and Adam Algar 17 in a comprehensive victory that gave the Spaniards a boost of confidence heading into their T20I game with Malta.
Game two with Estonia on the Saturday of the competition was again one sided with Spain dominating. Batting first this time they conjured up the impressive score of 183 for 4 from their over allocation. All the batsmen made contributions but it was Vinod Vini with 40 not out that top scored.
In reply Estonia stuttered to 84 for 8 with Stu Hook top scoring on 17. Spain used eight bowlers during the innings utilizing their strength and depth and seven of the eight bowlers bagged a wicket.
In the games between Estonia and Malta it was the Maltese that turned out winners in both games to secure second place in the triangular tournament. Plans are afoot to try and increase the numbers next year for the competitiuon, and it is hoped that this will becaome an annual event on the Spanish cricket calendar.
Match One – Spain v Estonia – Friendly
Match Two – Spain v Estonia – Friendly