All to play for in closing stages of the Open League

Five Continents took a step closer to reaching the semi-finals of the Open League at the weekend with a seven wicket win against Ljubljana CC at Markommannenstrasse on Saturday, their win putting them ahead 14 points ahead of United Nations CC, who have a game in hand over them, and whom they must play in August, which looks like being the crunch fixture in deciding who will take the fourth qualifying spot. An FCCC victory in the fixture would also close the door on United Nations' bid for a semi-final berth. Five Continents are currently in good form, with Sunil Kauschal also scoring a century in a friendly match, and the team having knocked Vienna CC out of the ACA Trophy.

Lords CC recovered from their shock defeat at the hands of Ljubljana CC in Valburga to register a commanding 140 run win over Pakistan CC, with half centuries by Ashwani Sharma and Deepak Sharma, as well as 40s from Wasif Mohammed and Ajay Grover and a massive 69 extras seeing them post 319 for 9 - believed to be an Open League record for matches at Markommannenstrasse. Pakistan in reply fell well short of the required target, with Ali Zulfiqar, 47, the highest scorer, with Wasif Mohammed taking four wickets.

The thriller of the weekend was between Ljubljana CC and Pakistan Falken CC, on Sunday at Seebarn. Ljubljana batted first and reached 293-7 thanks to a century by Mark Oman (105*) - the first for Ljubljana CC, ably supported by Dan Ryan (40) and Tom Furness (32). With Sameer Chopra (Bobby) on great form, and with a glorious innings of 129, for a while things looked as though Pakistan Falken CC might have been on target for a stunning victory, although once Bobby fell, Ljubljana were able to clean up the PFCC tail, to record a victory by 68 runs, with Mark Oman taking three wickets to become the second Ljubljana CC player to take 100 wickets for the club and to claim 13 points lifting them up the league table.

Pakistan CC has already cancelled its trip to Velden for a fixture against Ljubljana CC and a friendly against Salzburg CC, the latter replacing league opponents Zagreb CC, who had in turn announced that they would not be able to field a team against Pakistan CC. The big match of the forthcoming weekend will be Lords CC against Vienna CC, with a win for either side essential if they want to have any hope of overtaking Concordia CC in the league table.