The delayed semi-finals in the European Division Three championship were played yesterday, with Croatia thrashing Malta and Spain beating the Isle of Man in a thriller.

Malta chose to bat first against Croatia, and one has to wonder why, as the Croatian bowlers tore through the batting line-up. Only one Maltese batsman reached double figures as they were bowled out for just 66. Croatia knocked off the runs required in just over 20 overs, losing only one wicket along the way.

The Isle of Man beat Spain twice in La Manga last year, and would have been favourites for the semi-final match. Spain put on a 54 run opening partnership though most of their batting line-up didn't really get started and they reached 179/8 from their 50 overs.

The Manx reply started badly, losing their first four wickets for just 38 runs. The middle over recovered, but they continued to lose wickets. At one point they needed just one run to win, with one wicket and two overs left. They went for the winning run, but Garreth Roome was run out by David Yarwood, leaving the game tied. The tournament regulations showed that in the event of a tie, the team that lost the fewer wickets would be declared the winners, and Spain thus joined Croatia in the final.