The Isle of Man claims the Division 2 title
The Isle of Man became Division 2 champions at the Marina ground on Saturday afternoon with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Sweden.
Chasing a modest Swedish total of 122 for seven, the Manxmen were set on their way by a splendid opening partnership between Max Stokoe and Gareth Morris, who put on 104 in twelve overs before Stokoe holed out to Sunny Sharma at long on off the bowling of medium-pacer Azam Khalil. He had made 33 from 36 deliveries, with four boundaries.
Morris, whose 71 came from 41 deliveries and included five fours and five sixes, was caught four balls later, but by this time the Isle of Man needed only 11 for victory, and Philip Littlejohns and Oliver Webster knocked off the runs in just twelve more deliveries, taking their side home with more than five overs to spare.
Earlier, Sweden had battled to set a competitive total against a persistent Manx attack, and although they reached 51 for one at one stage, it took them more than ten overs to do so. They had also suffered the loss of Ashik Imtiaz, who was forced to retire with an injury when he had made 22.
Sunny Sharma top-scored with a run-a-ball 24, but the heart of the Swedish batting was torn out by a fine spell from Mark Williams, who took three for 23 in his four overs. With Max Stokoe claiming two for 16, the innings never really developed the necessary momentum, and 122 was well short of a winning total. That was quickly proved by Stokoe and Morris’s decisive opening stand.
In the battle at Messonghi for seventh place, Estonia’s Vineeth Govind put Portugal on the back foot after they had won the toss and elected to bat, taking three for 17 in a four-over spell which helped reduce the opposition to 48 for five.
But Khalid Izaz led a Portuguese recovery with a 26-ball 49 which included five sixes, and with Bilal Safdar contributing 21 and Muhammad Mirza 22 not out, they eventually reached 164 for eight. Sivalingam Arunachalam also took three wickets for Estonia, at a cost of 33 runs.
Moshiur Rahman gave his side a chance with a 28-ball 47 when Estonia replied, he and Remo Raud putting on 65 for the first wicket, but once he was out the tempo slowed, and in the end the Estonians could only manage 133 for eight, losing by 31 runs.
There were two wickets apiece for Khalid Izaz, Nadeem Nazar and Lakhbir Kensrey as the Portuguese pegged the Estonians back, making sure that they finished the tournament in seventh place.