The two teams hadn’t met since the 20/20 tournament in Corfu a few years back where Malta enjoyed a good victory (an impressive 80 runs off 5 overs was the difference).
This time round the Luxembourg team were determined to put on a good show and in the end delivered a series victory 3-0. The Maltese were great hosts and Luxembourg cricket looks forward to welcoming them to Luxembourg in 2017.
Malta won the toss and sent Luxembourg in to bat. After losing an early wicket, William Heath (67) and Timothy Barker (31) set a solid foundation for Luxembourg with a good second wicket partnership of 61 runs. Vikram Vijh came into bat and with excellent shot selection and power, he quickly blasted 48 runs of just 25 balls, to give Luxembourg an end score of 164 runs from 20 overs. William Cope opened the bowling with Luka Dacic with William taking two early wickets and Luka taking two wickets later in the game. Suhail Sadiq came into the attack to give Malta some challenging bowling and Chris Fry didn’t make it easier for Malta by taking 4 quick wickets. Atif Kamal put more pressure onto the Maltan batsmen, by restricting their run chase with some excellent bowling. Tony Whitman ended the match by taking the last wicket, leaving Luxembourg with a convincing win over Malta, bowling the opposition out for 99 runs. Giving Luxembourg a 1-0 lead in the series.
Saturday 30 overs:
Luxembourg won the toss and elected to bat first. Following the loss of an early wicket, Joost Mess (42) and Timothy Barker (83) both showed their class against the Malta bowling attack with a second wicket partnership of 87 runs. Again Vikram Vijh was impressive with an imposing 56 off 32 to give Luxembourg an impressive total score of 271. Atif Kamal and William Cope opened the bowling on this occasion and both taking early wickets. Luka Dacic, Chris Fry and Tony Whitman took two wickets each. After the 30 overs were up Malta had scored 158/9, which meant that Luxembourg won by 113 runs and Luxembourg had won the series 2-0.
Luxembourg’s national cricket squad poses for a team picture in Malta on 14 October 2016. Pictured are Timothy Barker, James Barker, Atif Kamal, Vikram Vijh, Luca Galiver, Christopher Fry, Suhail Sadiq, William Heath, Tony Whiteman, Richard Neale, William Cope and Joost Mees. Photo: Luxembourg Cricket Federation
Sunday 45 overs:
Luxembourg won the toss and elected to bat. This time James Barker (21) and Chris Fry (72) opened the batting with a controlled performance. A solid opening partnership of 92 runs laid a good foundation. William Cope then came in and elegantly scored 40 runs from 40 balls, which boosted Luxembourg’s score close to 200 runs. Timothy Barker scored a quick fire 37 runs of 18 balls. After 45 overs Luxembourg had reached a respectable but average score of 266, a good bowling performance would be needed to defend the total. Atif Kamal and Richard Neale opened with some tight bowling, getting Atif Kamal 2 wickets. The Malta top order batsmen did well to push the score within striking distance, unfortunately this was assited by some poor catching by the Luxembourg side. Fortunately some excellent end of innings bowling by Richard Neale and Atif Kamal and Vikram Vijh ensured the Luxembourg team were able to restrict the Malta lower order batsmen. Malta managed 248 runs for 7 of 45 overs, which meant that Luxembourg won the last Match by 18 runs.