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Italy defeated Denmark by 18 runs and were crowned ICC European Division 1 Champions under lights on Finals Day in Hove although both sides had confirmed their place at the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the UAE during November
Italy, who won the toss and chose to bat under the lights, got off to an ideal start with an opening partnership of 82 by Andy Northcote and Dinidu Marage who scored 41 runs including five fours before being dismissed off the bowling of Syed Bashir.
Andy Northcote who batted fantastically throughout brought his 50 up in 31 balls, shortly after Peter Petricola was dismissed by a brilliant catch on the boundary by Aftab Ahmed for 31. Carl Sandri came and went in his opening ball being stumped by Freddie Klokker.
Northcote whose excellent batting performance showcased many sublime shots, scored an unbeaten 68 from 41 balls including 10 fours. Captain Damian Crowley let loose in the final few overs scoring a quick fire 66 runs including 3 sixes. Syed Bashir, Hamid Shah and Bobby Chawla all took a wicket a piece and Italy ended on a commanding 215 for 3.
The Denmark run chase suffered an early setback with Carsten Pedersen falling for 2. Freddie Klokker, Denmark's star man and leading run scorer for the tournament with 464, batted steadily alongside Aftab Ahmed.
Italian captain Damian Crowley's breakthrough came in a timely fashion trapping Ahmed lbw for 29. After some superb batting Klokker was dismissed for 58 in 36 balls leaving Denmark at 138 for 3 in 12.3 overs.
Kamran Mahmood brought his fifty in 27 balls, but was shortly dismissed for 58 after being caught and bowled by Crowley. Denmark's hopes began to slip away as Hamid Shah was out for 8 and Taha Ahmed was bowled by Marage and 26 off the final over was out of reach.
Italy's captain Damian Crowley was delighted with the victory. " I am pretty much lost for words, winning the tournament has been great effort and shows the character in our squad," he said
The Most Valuable Player was awarded to Klokker who said: " It is always nice to win prizes, but we are very disappointed with the loss. My 129 not out in the semi-finals was the best I have ever batted. It was an amazing wicket here at Hove and it has been a great tournament."
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