Spain top of the table after day one
Hosts Spain can enjoy their day off tomorrow at the top of the table in Europe Division Three after they beat Finland this afternoon in La Manga.
Finland batted first, and their innings of 153-7 was built around 58 by Manoj Mahmada Achchige. The only other significant score in their innings was 23 by Madhu Bhandari. Atif Mehmood was expensive in his four overs, going for 36 runs, but did take three wickets in the process.
Spain's reply started with a 41 run partnership for the opening wicket between Tariq Ali and Armaghan Khan. Khan went on to score 46 before he was out in the 13th over.
Two wickets in the next over, with the score on 96, briefly slowed the home team down, but Nisar Ahmed and Farhat Mahmood were able to keep them in touch with a 34 run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Mahmood scored 26 from 16 balls before he was out, whilst Ahmed finished unbeaten on 25 from 14 balls. Needing 22 from the last two overs, Spain scored 19 from the 19th over and then hit the first ball of the final over for six to complete a four wicket win.
The other match in the afternoon saw Israel play Greece in the first match between the sides since 2006. Put into bat by Greece, Israel scored steadily but slowly throughout their innings, reaching 147-9 from their 20 overs.
Josh Evans top scored for Israel with 34, whilst Alexandros Souvlakis was the pick of the Greek bowlers with 3-28.
In reply, Greece were kept in check by the Israeli bowlers throughout most of their innings. They had reached only 88 when the fifth wicket fell in the 15th over. But the sixth wicket pair of Alexandros Souvlakis and Spyridon Nikokavouras were able to take Greece over the line.
In an unbroken partnership of 60, Nikokavouras contributed just three runs as Souvlakis smashed it all round the ground. He scored 60 from just 32 balls to help take his team to a five wicket win that seemed unlikely five overs previously.
Israel will hope to bounce back from their two defeats today when they take on Finland tomorrow afternoon. The only other game tomorrow will be between Belgium and Greece.
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