Croatia and Luxembourg post their first wins and stay in Division 2
With one team due to be relegated to Division 3, Luxembourg and Croatia chose the bottom four play-offs at Messonghi as the ideal moment to post their first victories of the tournament, against Cyprus and Malta respectively.
Richard Neale (35) and Tim Barker (39) laid the foundation for Luxembourg’s total of 142 for eight after Michaelis Kyriacou had won the toss and put them in, while Joost Mees contributed a 14-ball 20 not out at the end of their innings.
But Mees had to watch as Muhammad Mohsin removed Tony Whiteman, Nitish Gandhi and Chris Evans with successive deliveries to complete an outstanding hat-trick.
Mohsin also made 22 when Cyprus replied and Nimal Durayalage top-scored with 29, but with Gandhi, Evans, Neale and Piran Merkl each collecting a brace of wickets, the Cypriots could only manage 115 for nine, going down by 27 runs and facing a relegation decider on Saturday against Malta.
Croatia maintained their Division 2 status with an exciting last over victory over Malta. Chasing Malta's score of 127, Croatia needed 11 runs to win with 8 balls remaining but a four and a six in successive balls by Paul Musin saw his side home to their first victory of the competition.
In Malta's innings opener Nowell Khosla made 43 from 39 balls while Michael Griznic picked up three wickets. An opening partnership of 73 which lasted into the 12th over gave Croatia just the start they needed and then Paul Musin completed the task with his unbeaten 22.
In the play-offs for fifth to eighth places, Finland defeated Portugal by four wickets, while Hellas proved too strong for Estonia, winning by seven wickets. Finland will now meet Hellas for fifth place, while Portugal and Estonia will contest seventh spot.
Jonathan Scamans was the batting hero for Finland, coming in at 22 for one and making 39 before he was sixth out at 113, just eight short of their target. Portugal had been dismissed for 120 in the last of their allotted overs, Tariq Sarfraz having the remarkable figures of three for 9 from four overs and Obaidullah Sadiqui taking three for 26.
Estonia’s Tim Filer was again amongst the runs in his side’s match against Hellas, making 45 from 44 deliveries with three fours and two sixes. He and Murali Obili put on 73 for the third wicket, but Estonia could only manage a total of 113 for seven.
Hellas reached their target in 18.2 overs, Andreas Koutsoufis top-scoring with an unbeaten 27, while there were also useful contributions from Spyridon Nikokafouras (23), Anastasios Manousis (21) and Alexandros Souvlakis (23).