|European Division 2: Guernsey, July 2010|
French celebrate Bastille Day with a close win over Norway
After these two teams were both involved in close finishes yesterday, with Norway beating Israel and France losing to Germany, they put on another close run contest at College Field today, with France emerging victorious to celebrate Bastille Day.
Norway won the toss and elected to bat first in sunny conditions. They started well, with William Barton and Zaheer Ashiq putting on 55 for the first wicket. But some tight bowling from France had them reduced to 96-6, Shahid Malik taking 3-20.
The team recovered well, with Shahbaz Butt top scoring with 35. Faisal Qureshi provided some late order impetus with 18 from 8 balls to take the total to 196-9 from their 50 overs. Arunkamar Ayyavooraju also took three wickets with 3-38.
After a thunderstorm delayed the restart by half an hour, the top of the French reply was held together by an excellent innings from Jonathan Houghton, who scored 61 from 70 and held the upper order together. The scoring rate dropped once he was out, as Norway started to creep ahead.
Norway were changing their bowlers frequently, not letting the French batsmen settle. But Ali Ackbar took the game away from Norway with 29 from 28. There were some tense moments when he was out in a wicket maiden, but Usman Khan hit the third ball of the penultimate over for four to secure the two wicket win.
Tomorrow is a rest day in the tournament, and on Friday France will play Israel whilst Norway will take on Gibraltar.