Mahmood, spinners take Denmark to title
Denmark won the European Division One Twenty20 final after beating Italy by six wickets in St Clement. Italy chose to bat and were left in tatters by the Danish bowlers, who skittled their opposition out for 83.
Andy Northcote's 38 (off 37 balls) was the only score over 20 in the Italy innings, and he was bowled while attempted a heave against legspinner Bobby Chawla, who took 3 for 26. Chawla was responsible for tearing through the top order and left-arm spinner Bashir Shah (3 for 14) crippled the middle order. Northcote had added 43 for the second wicket with Damian Crowley, who also perished while attempting a big shot, holing out to long-off. Italy were in a sound position at 67 for 2 in the 12th over, but in a dramatic collapse, lost the next eight wickets for 16 runs.
Denmark stuttered in their chase and slipped to 16 for 3 in the fifth over. But Rizwan Mahmood's patient 31 (off 47 balls) and Aftab Ahmed's 24 (off 18 balls) saw them to victory with 11 balls to spare. Mahmood's innings under pressure won him the Man-of-the-Match award. Both Denmark and Italy will participate in the World T20 qualifiers in the UAE next year.
Jersey finished third in the tournament with a convincing eight-wicket win over Guernsey, also at St Clement. Guernsey's innings began unsteadily when they were reduced to 20 for 2 but Ross Kneller's 37 (off 32 balls) was the glue that held their innings together. With no sizeable partnerships and 19-year old left-arm spinner Ben Stevens (4 for 14) on fire, Guernsey made 158 for 8. Jersey had little trouble reaching the target. Edward Farley's 90 (off 48 balls) was the mainstay of their innings; it also played a role in winning him the tournament's Most-Valuable-Player Award. Jersey won in 17.2 overs.
Norway took fifth place after a six-wicket demolition of France in St Martin. Norway chose to field and blasted France out for just 70. Forty-one year old Pakistan-born medium pacer Zaheer Ashiq's 4 for 2 in 1.3 overs proved too much for France. Norway lost both their openers for ducks, No. 3 batsman Ashiq for 6 but Zeeshan Ali's 33 not out (off 40 balls) took them to victory with 19 balls remaining.
Gibraltar won the ninth place play-off, beating Germany by 23 runs in St Helier. Gibraltar recovered from 13 for 2 to 157 for 7. A third-wicket partnership of 65 between Mark Bacerese and Kieron Ferrary, which was the highest of the match, helped Gibraltar to a defendable total. Germany's innings was punctuated by wickets and they were bowled out for 134. Iain Latin took 3 for 34.
Croatia finished the tournament in last place, losing by 86 runs to Israel in St Brelade. Herschel Gutman scored 51 (off 37 balls) and small contributions from the rest of the batting line-up took Israel to 172 for 7, a target that was too stiff for Croatia. Eliezar Samson took 4 for 7 and nine of the Croat batsmen failed to get into double-figures. They were bowled out for 86.