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July 27, 2011
Denmark got off to an impressive start in the European Under-19 Championship Division Two, thumping Belgium by 168 runs in Castletown. Having been put in to bat, Denmark's openers put together a stubborn 61-run opening stand, but Belgium hit back with two wickets for the addition of no runs. Hamid Shah, however, changed the complexion of the game with a busy 110-run stand with Anders Bulow. Shah stroked 70 off 72 balls, while opener Bulow was more cautious in making 78 off 110 balls. Basit Raja and Siddique Raja ensured Denmark got a flying finish, contributing 40 and 33 respectively in quick time. Chasing 303, Belgium fell behind the eight-ball steadily following a 27-run opening stand. Hameed helped himself to a five-wicket haul, while Aqeel Amjad finished with 3 for 19 off ten stifling overs. With no batsman managing to pass 30, Belgium folded without a fight in 33 overs.
After France were bowled out for 183 in the 47th over, they would not have expected to win the match by a margin of over 100 runs. However, Israel crumbled in a shocking display that lasted less than 20 overs, handing France a 128-run win in Mullen-e-Cloie. Batting first, France stumbled to their sub-par total due to the inability of their batsmen to build on starts. Six batsmen were dismissed for scores between 14 and 29, as they kept losing steam through an underwhelming batting effort. Nir Dokarker, Itamar Kehimkar and Josh Evans finished with two wickets apiece, leaving Israel with what seemed like a manageable chase. Their openers pushed the score to 18 for 0 before things went pear-shaped in a hurry. Shifron Waskar (10) was the only batsmen to get into double-figures, as the French bowlers skittled Israel out for 55, with Zika Ali the most impressive with figures of 4 for 5 in 3.1 overs.
Italy cruised to a 171-run win against Germany in another one-sided affair in Tromode. The win was built around captain and opener Roshendra Abeywickrama's sparkling 156 at just under a run-a-ball. He shared a 95-run opening stand with Abdur Bhuiyan to set up the innings and though none of the other Italy batsmen managed to contribute substantially, they ensured the innings never lost momentum. Abeywickrama hit 15 fours in his innings before becoming the Italian ninth wicket to fall. Mansor Mubarik's four-wicket haul did not really stall Italy's progress since it came at an uneconomical 7.66 runs per over. Germany's chase of 288 fizzled away in the face of some incisive new-ball bowling, and they stumbled to 116 all-out in the 34th over.
The other encounters of the day were so one-sided that they made Spain's 85-run humbling of Gibraltar in Castletown the closest finish of the day. Gibraltar began brilliantly thanks to opening bowler Matthew Hunter, whose efforts helped reduce Spain to 2 for 0 and later 27 for 5. Spain then launched a stirring recovery through their captain Joel Brook and No. 7 Charlie Cook. Brook was cautious in his approach, making 82 off 134 balls, but Cook was adventurous in his 51 that came at better than run-a-ball. The pair added 95 to haul their side out of the woods, before Guy Dumas skittled out the tail, leaving Brook undefeated. Hunter, who finished with a five-for opened the batting as well, but he proved to be no Rock of Gibraltar. Opening bowlers Jack Sunderland and Ben Girling rocked the chase early with a flurry of wickets that left Gibraltar gasping at 43 for 6. Philip DJ Dumas provided some late resistance, but it was only a matter of time before Gibraltar succumbed for 97 in under 25 overs, with extras contributing 26.
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