Spain confirmed their tag as one of the favourites for the title with a 203 runs victory over Malta at Sporting Alfas. Their total of 294 for nine has set the standard in the highest stakes and No 11 Sam Lupson is sure to be up there for fastest scorer. Coming to the middle with the hosts already on a commanding 230 for nine, Lupson then scored 45 off just 19 balls with five fours and three sixes. His partner in the unbeaten last wicket stand was Christian Munoz-Mills who finished a more modest 24 not out. There were still three other batsmen higher than him, led by man of the match Pedro Venus with 67 and Jimmy Morgan and Armaghan Khan who both made 38.
Malta’s reply got off to the worst possible start, losing a wicket to the first ball of the innings, Tanveer Iqbal took that one and added three more in his first six overs. With Malta on 29 for five, Iqbal was taken out of the attack and Andrew Naudi and John Callus, batting with a runner because of a hamstring injury, almost doubled the score before both batsmen were out in successive overs.
Michael Smith and Ronnie Sacco added 36 for the eighth wicket but they only delayed the inevitable and the last three wickets fell for one run to give Spain victory with more than 15 overs to spare.
The three winners all have a chance to make it two wins out of two on Tuesday. Spain play Portugal and Israel face Malta in La Manga while the Isle of Man and Belgium journey to Sporting Alfas.