This year's Valletta Cup has come to an end with a close final between hosts Malta and Romania.

The visitors, who were surprise finalists after a rapid run chase against Gibraltar yesterday, elected to bat first after winning the toss. They lost skipper Ramesh Satheesan in the first over but fellow opener Taranjeet Singh played a typically quick innings. He was just kicking into a higher gear when he fell for 43 from 27 balls in the eighth over having scored two-thirds of his teams runs at that point.

Singh's dismissal led to a drop in the scoring rate and Romania were on 99 when the fourth wicket fell at the end of the 13th over. Vasu Sani put his foot on the accelerator though and scored an unbeaten 60 from 42 balls to help his team reach a decent score of 171-6 from their 20 overs.

The home team started their chase brightly with a 43 run opening partnership between Bikram Arora and Heinrich Gericke, both of whom scored 24. Romania's bowlers stayed on top of them though, despite Malta being cheered on by a small but vocal home crowd.

As the light began to fade and shadows lengthened, the toll of six matches in six days was evidently taking its toll on Malta, who often seemed to be rather laboured when running between the wickets. The boundaries they needed were hard to come by, partly due to a slow outfield and partly thanks to some at times inspired fielding by Romania.

The eighth wicket pair of Imran Ameer and Amer Sharma battled hard but their 42 run partnership just wasn't enough and the home team fell short by nine runs.

Earlier in the day Bulgaria chased 171 to beat Gibraltar by five wickets with only a ball to spare in the fifth place play-off, whilst in the third place match Romania scored 221-5 before restricting Hungary to 151-6 to win by 70 runs.

The week has seen some exciting cricket played and all teams will have gained valuable experience ahead of the first stage of European qualifying for the 2024 Men's T20 World Cup.