|European Under 15 (Division 2) Championship: Bologna, Italy, August 2009|
Clinical Italy outplay Belgium
Muhammad Adnan led by example to help his Italian side crush Belgium by 121 runs in their semi final clash with Belgium in Bologna.
There’s no doubt that a rejuvenated Italy fully deserved their win, playing positively with the bat, and bowling with great skill and determination, backed up some excellent fielding, which hasn’t always been the case this week during the tournament.
Adnan (58), hit 6 sixes and 3 fours in his rapid innings, which came off just 35 balls. He rode his luck at times, being dropped twice, but he was certainly effective when he connected cleanly, which he did with increasing regularity.
His dismissal, bowled by Naman Parikh sparked a mini collapse, which saw four wickets fall for just 21 runs, leaving the tie in the balance at 114 for 6.
However, as has often happened in this tournament, the heat sapped the energy of the fielders, who made an increasing number of mistakes, including dropped regulation catches, and Italy were off the hook.
No more so than Faysal Mia, who was dropped twice early on, and went on to score 33 from just 15 balls, hitting 4 fours and 2 sixes. He shared in a vital 9th wicket stand of 46 with Harpreet Singh (17), which enabled Italy to finish on a well above par 207 all out.
Parikh (3-43) was again the most successful bowler, while other contributions of note came from Josh Emerson (2-13), Jonathan Aron (2-37), Shalin Shah (1-25), and Paul Scarlett (1-22).
Any hopes of a successful Belgium run chase were soon dashed when the impressive Harpreet Singh removed both prolific openers Fraser McRae and Jonathan Aron in a fiery opening burst.
Shamin Shah (27) threatened briefly, but with the other ten batsmen making just 36 between them, a final total of just 86 says it all about the gulf in the teams on the day.
That Belgium made 86 was due to a last wicket stand of 21, the joint biggest of the innings, between Nicholas Dunn and Josh Emerson which held up the Italian celebrations.
Singh finished with the excellent analysis of 4 for 16, while captain Muhammad Adnan (3-8) again bowled with great variety and skill.
Salman Zaman (2-21) removed Parikh and Sehmi in the one over, during a phase when Belgium lost 7 wickets for just 14 runs to the rampant Italians.
A final clash with the high scoring Isle of Man is next for the hosts – on this form, they will be hard to beat.