European Division Three - Semi finals
Matches were again rained off in Belgium yesterday, with both semi-finals being completely washed out. They will both be replayed today.
Play did get started in the 5th place semi-finals, with Belgium beating Finland and Portugal beating Cyprus, though both matches were reduced overs encounters.
At Ohain in Brussels, rain reduced the match between hosts Belgium and Finland to 29 overs, and Belgium scored 171 before being dismissed two balls short of their quota. Shaheryar Butt top-scored with 44, whilst Stephen Viola was the pick of the Finnish bowlers with 3/19. Finland's chase started well enough with a 64 run second wicket partnership. Eight wickets then fell for 22 runs, Javed Iqbal picking up 4/20. Finland held on and batted out their overs, scoring 102/9, but much of that was down to the 41 extras given away by Finland.
Rain also affected the match between Cyprus and Portugal in Gent, though it only reduced the match to 42 overs. Portugal were put into bat by Cyprus, and a fine knock, and second highest innings of the tournament, of 87 from Nadeem Butt led them to the total of 234/6. Cyprus were never really in with a chance of reaching their target, losing wickets regularly as they were dismissed for 116. Babar Khan took 5/20, the third five wicket haul of the tournament so far.
Belgium and Portugal will now play off for 5th place on Saturday, whilst Cyprus and Finland will play off for seventh. Both Cyprus and Finland however will go straight back down to Division Four, to next be played in 2009.