ICC Europe Media Release
Liam Benn was the toast of Greece on Tuesday with a match-winning 64 as Hellas won their first game at the ICC European Under 17 Division 2 Championship. They defeated Gibraltar by two wickets in a thrilling comeback at King's William's College.
With the two top teams from the first three days, Italy and hosts Isle of Man, not in action, it was a day for the rest to shine. As well as the famous victory for Hellas, however, there was a dramatic Austria collapse, the lowest score of the week by Germany and a third win for France.
Set 156 for victory, Hellas (Greece) were reduced to 41 for five but with the significant help of 64 by Liam Benn, they stormed back to win a thriller with 10 balls to spare.
The comeback had started with Benn and Michael Trigatzis doubling the score in a sixth wicket stand where the latter was happy to play the minor role - he had just three singles off his first 30 balls - but with 10 overs remaining, Hellas still needed 59 with just four wickets left.
Enter Georgio Kantas who scored 22 off 20 balls with four boundaries and with Benn they put on 54 in seven overs to give the Greeks the belief they could win.
However, the loss of both batsmen in the space of seven balls left Hellas still requiring 18 with only two wickets left. Adam Brown, however, rose to the occasion from No 10, hitting three boundaries to get his side within one run of Gibraltar's 155.
Brown thought he had won it next ball when he completed the second run for his extra cover drive but, incredibly, the batsmen ran one short and the scores were only tied. It was left to Panajoti Niko to hit the winning run in the next over and give Hellas that elusive first victory.
Austria lost their last seven wickets for six runs in an amazing collapse to give Spain a 15 runs victory at Cronkbourne. Needing just 120 for victory, the Austrians were coasting at 98 for three with seven overs left but Tom Vine took two wickets in four balls and there was a run-out in between to start the horrible slide. Next over Ben Girling claimed two wickets in two balls and although Dominik Haas prevented a third hat-trick in the tournament in two days, there was another wicket in the next over and it was all over with 19 balls unused when Sandeep Singh bowled last man Vaibhav Verma.
Once again Pathuppally, the Austria captain did not deserve to be on the losing side. He had figures of six for 19 - the third six-for in the tournament - as Spain were bowled out for 119. Germany were dismissed for the lowest total of the week as Switzerland comfortably defended a total of 108 at St Johns on the fourth day of the European Under 17 Division 2 Championships.
Only Tushar Marwaha, from No 10 reached double figures as Germany failed to recover from losing five wickets for seven runs in six overs to leave them almost down and out at 19 for six. The highest partnership was 12 for the last wicket between Marwaha and Oliver Filby who saw out 15 balls before being bowled by Ross Cameron with the scoreboard showing only 44. Ali Saleem and Midhun Lal, Monday's hat-trick hero, each took three wickets.
A fourth wicket partnership of 73 steered France to a six wickets victory over Belgium and put them level with Italy at the top of Group A.
However, the French must rely on Hellas producing the shock of the tournament on Wednesday, victory over unbeaten Italy, if they are to contest the final the following day.
Chasing 133 for their third victory in four games, Zika Ali with 45 not out and 38 from Avishka Liyanaarachchi eased France home with almost six overs to spare. Although Liyanaarachichi was out just four runs from the winning post, the win points were guaranteed.
If there had been a player of the match award, it would have been a formality as Ali took three wickets for 29, including Belgium top scorer Robert Sehmi for 33.
For full details visit the official ICC Europe Under 17 Division 2 site.