|European Under 15 (Division 2) Championship: Bologna, Italy, August 2009|
Manx move into final with record-breaking effort
The Isle of Man broke all records for European 35-over competition in their semi-final against Germany at Rastignano on Thursday, racking up a massive 361 for five and then containing their opponents to 124 to win by 237 runs.
They maintained a scoring rate of 10 an over throughout the innings after Germany won the toss and invited them to bat, Ryan Burns setting the pace with a 59-ball knock of 110, including 19 fours and three sixes. He dominated an opening stand of 114 with Rowan Bird, their best of the tournament, and saw the total through to 183 before he was third man out, failing to make his ground when going for a quick single.
And then, as the German fielders wilted under the Italian sun, Nick Moffitt and Shaun Kelly added another 122 for the fourth wicket, both batsmen making a rapid half-century. Moffitt was the next to go, having made 53 from 44 deliveries with eight fours and a six, and he was followed by Kelly, whose 59 came from the same number of balls and included 11 boundaries.
The Manx batsmen were still not finished, however, as Tom Whiteway (32) and Richard Jackson (20) put on another 43 in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership, enabling their side to set the Germans their huge target.
All the German bowlers came in for heavy punishment, but the best performances came from Chase Edwards (none for 33 from four overs) and Anjuli Mathur (none for 24 from three).
It was, of course, an impossible total to chase, especially for a side which has struggled with the bat throughout the tournament, and in truth Germany made little attempt to chase it.
Only Christian Hein, batting at Number 7, showed any real sign of aggression, hitting a fine 37-ball 54, with eight fours and two sixes, through he was helped by some poor catching by the Manx fielders.
At the other extreme, Leonard Gerhards concentrated on survival, facing 80 deliveries in making 11 not out.
The Manx bowlers kept up the pressure, generally bowling a good line and length, Matt Ansell taking two for 25 and David Haywood one for 25, while Sam Kebbell had one for 3 in four overs. The spinners, too, bowled well, Kelly proving a handful for all the German batsmen with one for 11 from seven overs, and left-armer Sebastian Aycock produced a better spell than his figures of none for 42 might suggest.
The Isle of Man could scarcely have moved more convincingly into the final, but Germany will need to lift themselves for Friday’s third/fourth play-off.