|European Division 4: Cyprus, September 2009 2010|
Austria enjoy big win
AUSTRIA enjoyed the biggest win on the opening day of the Championships at Happy Valley, easing past Finland, who were bowled out for 147, by 117 runs.
The Austrians, an unknown quantity on their return to international cricket, could be the surprise package of the tournament based on this first game. They actually only scored 254 after winning the toss and electing to bat but they were given another 10 runs during the second innings because Finland batsmen insisted on running down the middle of the pitch and suffered two lots of penalty runs.
It was the second and third discretions of the match, the Finns having started their innings with five runs on the board because of a couple of Austrian batsmen being penalised for the same offence.
Ben Loader was the backbone of the Austria innings. Coming in at first wicket down in the second over, he stayed until the 31st scoring 78 off 117 balls. He shared a stand of 82 with Laxmal Kasthuriarach for the third wicket, the latter making 48 off just 57 balls with five fours and a six. Both were victims of Obaidullah Sadiqui who finished with three for 46 but Bilal Khan trumped him with the last wicket, in the 48th over, to claim four for 56.
The bonus runs at the start failed to boost the Finland reply with only two batsmen, Shabir Sheerzad and, from No 8, Zaki Kamal getting into the 20s. The most successful Austrian bowler was also the most economical, Satish Kaul with four for 21, before Wasif Saluja came on to take the last two wickets in just two overs and wrap up an emphatic win.