Moshiur Rahman bowls Slovenia to defeat
A blistering 33-ball 76 not out from Murali Obili – following on from his hat-trick in the earlier game – and a five-wicket haul for Moshiur Rahman were enough to ensure that Estonia ended the opening day in pole position to secure promotion to Division 2.
After Tim Heath winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Estonian captain soon found himself at the crease, Bradley Eve removing Karl Peter van Buuren in the fifth over with just 16 on the board. Eve was in the course of a fine spell, conceding just nine runs from his four overs, six of them from his final two deliveries.
But with Nand Lal Riar again in a punishing mood, he and his skipper added 47 for the second wicket from just 37 deliveries before keeper Rok Bohinc, who had caught Van Buuren, combined with his brother Domen to remove Riar for 28.
Heath was in punishing mood, hitting five sixes in a 29-ball innings of 44, but eventually he, too, fell to Domen Bohinc, well caught at deep mid-on by Simon Kaucic. And in his following over the Slovenian seamer dismissed Marko Vaik to finish with three for 38.
From then on the innings was completely dominated by Obili, who hit eight fours and four sixes as he raced to his unbeaten 76, taking his side to an imposing toal of 170 for six from their 20 overs.
Chasing eight-and-a-half an over, Slovenia needed a good start and a steady stream of boundaries, but they were denied by a generally well-disciplined Estonian attack.
There were only four fours in the first ten overs of the Slovenian reply, and by the time Mark Oman was out in the fourteenth over, the first of Rahman’s five victims, the required rate had climbed to more than twelve an over. Oman had made 25, but it had taken him 41 deliveries to get there, with just a single boundary, all but six of his runs coming in singles.
Matthew Charlesworth, who had shown rather more aggression in making 16 from 18 balls, was caught by Van Buuren later in the same over, and at 77 for four with two new batsmen at the crease Slovenia were in some difficulty.
Their troubles deepened considerably in Rahman’s next, in which three more wickets fell, and with Heath picking up a wicket in between 77 for four had suddenly become 86 for eight.
There was no way back from there, and although Heath decided not to give Rahman a final over, leaving him on five for 14 from three, brothers Mart and Mario Tammoja collected a wicket apiece to end the Slovenian innings on 105, giving Estonia victory by a thumping 65-run margin.