Preparations for the European WCL8 Qualifier have got underway recently with Austria and France playing matches against Germany and Jersey respectively.

Austria's matches against Germany were played last weekend at the Seebarn Cricket Ground in Vienna.

Austrian captain Amar Naeem won the toss for Saturday's first game, and elected to put Germany into bat. Opener Andre Leslie was the main contributor to the German innings with 105 in their total of 207, whilst Satyam Subhash was the pick of the bowlers with 4-30.

Austrian opener Lakmal Kasthuria responded in kind with an unbeaten 116 from 90 balls as Austria chased down the required total in 29.2 overs to win by eight wickets, skipper Amar Naeem finishing the match in fine style with a six.

In Sunday's second match, Austria batted first after winning the toss, scoring 224 from 48.2 overs before they were bowled out. Imran Asif top scored with 58 before he was run out.

In reply, Germany chased down their target in 46.2 overs to win by four wickets. Kashif Mahmood top scored with 59, whilst Janardhan Siddaiah also contributed with 57.

At the same time, France were hosting Jersey at the Dreux Cricket Ground. In the opening match, France won the toss and chose to put Jersey into bat, who scored 214-8 from their 50 overs, with Andy Dewhurst top scoring with 73.

In reply, Usman Khan batted well for France, and had scored an unbeaten 81 from 79 balls when rain brought an early end to the contest. The French side had lost seven wickets though, and the Duckworth/Lewis calculation meant that they lost by seven runs.

It was another close match the following day, though when Jersey bowled France out for just 114, it certainly wasn't looking like it. Paul Connolly took 5-20 in the innings.

Ed Farley scored 61 opening the batting for Jersey in reply, but his team mates were collapsing around him, before he was ninth out with the score on 109. The last pair hung on in to score the required six runs too secure the one wicket win.

So the two sets of warm-up games were a mixed bag for the WCL8 Qualifier participants. Austria tied their series with Germany, and whilst France lost both matches against Jersey, they were close in both contests, and very nearly managed to defend a very low total. Both will be feeling confident for the WCL8 Qualifier in La Manga after having a good run out last weekend.