ICC Europe Media Release
Italy confirmed that they will be the team to beat at the European Under 17 Division 2 Championships on the Isle of Man when they gained sweet revenge over Belgium in the top match on the opening day.
The Belgians had won the last Under 17 final, against Italy, two years ago but this time they were blown away by a superb Italian bowling display which seems certain to cause the rest of their opponents plenty of problems later in the tournament.
Muhammad Adnan started the Belgium collapse with the wickets of Robert Sehmi and Jonathan Aron in successive balls and that was to be a feature of the innings. With three golden ducks, three bowlers were on a hat-trick but like Adnan before them, Jakub Peret and Harpreet Singh failed to make it three in three. Still their final figures were impressive with Adnan taking two for five, Peret four for 13 and Singh three for 17.
After Sehmi's 30 and Fraser McRae's 17, no else reached double figures for Belgium as they slumped from 46 for one to 76 between the 10th and 22nd overs.
Italy captain Roshendra Abewickrama took the first wicket, just two balls into the innings to follow his classy knock of 76 from 98 balls which was the backbone of his side's total of 214 for five.
Isle of Man, hosting an ICC tournament for the first time, made a confident start with a 66 runs victory over Germany at Cronkbourne. In the only game of the day to be reduced by a persistent drizzle - play was held up for almost three hours - the hosts made 180 for seven in 37 overs and then dismissed their opponents for 114, taking the last nine wickets for 45 runs in 12 and a half overs.
Carl Wagstaffe (35) and Adam McAuley (53) put on 91 for the first wicket in 19 overs to put Isle of Man in control and although they were reduced to 130 for five they added 50 in the last seven overs. Krishna Cholleti made 37 at the top of the German innings but when he was second out, the Isle of Man bowlers completed a straightforward victory, Robert Hester the most successful with four wickets for 23.
Ben Girling took six wickets as Spain beat Switzerland by 38 runs at Crosby. Chasing Spain's 176, the Swiss were in trouble at 92 for six but a stand of 41 in just six and a half overs between Ali Saleem and Ross Cameron keep the Swiss in the hunt and Spain under pressure - until a run out hurried the game to its conclusion.
Girling finished with six as the Swiss were bowled out for 138. Spain captain Joel Brook took the other three wickets.
Spain's innings was built around Charlie Cook's 59. Coming to the wicket after the loss of two wickets in six balls, which left Spain 51 for four, he slammed seven fours and two sixes off just 46 balls before he was seventh out with the total on 163.
France enjoyed the easiest win of the day, by a massive 222 runs, as Gibraltar were bowled out for 56 inside 22 overs.
The islanders had no answer to the spin of Zika Ali who finished with the remarkable figures of five wickets for three runs from four overs as Gibraltar slumped from 34 for three to 48 for nine. Only Julian Freyone held up the rampant French, facing 77 balls for his 23 after Zain Zahir took two early wickets.
Gibraltar ended up using eight bowlers, which was probably a mistake, as they conceded 69 runs in the last five overs with Haroon Rashid blasting an unbeaten 34 from 17 balls with three fours a six. But the biggest hitting came from Avishka Liyanaarachchi who hit three maximums and five other boundaries in his 61 which came off just 47 balls.
For full details, including match photographs, and full scorecards visit the Official ICC Europe UNder 17 Division 2 site