Malta Cricket squad prepare for important year ahead.

Malta Cricket squad prepare for important year ahead.

The Malta national cricket squad went through their first training camp of the year in preparation for key practice matches and T20 tournaments in Luxembourg (July) and Hungary (August).

The 4-day camp was held at the Marsa Sports Club under the guidance of Darren Scott, Head Coach of the Malta national cricket team. Darren is an ex-professional cricketer and England Cricket Board Level 3 Coach. The camp gave him the ideal opportunity to work with his players intensively and he was particularly impressed by the level of competition for places in the Malta team this time around.

Paul Bradley, Chairman of Malta Cricket, explained “there is definitely an increase in the depth of the squad. The national selectors will have a difficult task selecting the final squad for Luxembourg”.

The squad members took part in two T20 matches to put their learnings into action. Frank Spiteri, Vice-Chairman of Malta Cricket and leading run scorer for Malta, believes a training camp this early in the year is a considerable advantage over other nations in terms of preparation. “At a time when all other European teams are confined to indoor cricket or an enforced lay-off due to winter, we are the only cricketing nation in Europe hosting competitive league matches. It means our players will be better prepared for the international fixtures that lie ahead”.

The Malta squad have their next training camp set for April, together with 5 trial matches in 9 days against Romiley Cricket Club (Cheshire League – Division 2), Actonians CC (Middlesex Championship – Division 1), Harrow School, Grasshoppers CC Chairman of Malta Cricket and leading run scorer for Malta, believes a training camp this early in the year is a considerable advantage over other nations in terms of preparation. “At a time when all other European teams are confined to indoor cricket or an enforced lay-off due to winter, we are the only cricketing nation in Europe hosting competitive league matches. It means our players will be better prepared for the (Shropshire) and Wraysbury CC (Chilterns Cricket League – Division 1).

On the 3rd and 4th April, the Malta Junior Cricket Academy are also due to play against the David Byas Cricket Academy and a Hampshire Academy team. Several upcoming U17 players will be using these games as a stepping stone for selection to the senior national team.

In other news, Malta Cricket are delighted to announce that the following countyHoggardx640 teams (Berkshire, Essex, Warwickshire, Yorkshire Ridings, Kent and Surrey) will be participating in the Malta Seniors Cricket Festival between March 25th and 30th. The tournament will be the largest ever hosted in the Maltese Islands. The tournament dinner will take place on Friday 30th March with guest speaker Matthew Hoggard MBE, (former England international cricketer).

In 2005 Matthew was awarded an MBE from HM Queen Elizabeth ll in recognition of his outstanding services to sport and the community. In 2006, he was selected as one of the five “Wisden Cricketers of the Year”.

 

Krishna extend lead at top of Malta Cricket Winter League

Krishna CC 197 for 6 (B George 44; W Khan 2-40) defeated Marsa CC 142 (N Khosla 71; Z Rais 3-22)

Krishna are all but confirmed as Winter League Champions following a convincing 55 run victory against Marsa. Batting first, Krishna reached the highest team score of the league with 197 runs for 6 wickets from their allotted 25 overs. Basil George 44, Amar Sharma 37 and Al Ameen 28 were the major contributors. Of the Marsa bowlers, Waseem Khan was the most successful with 2 wickets.

Marsa’s opener Nowell Khosla was in search of quick runs however a chain of wickets at the other end saw them restricted to 43 runs for 4 wickets from the first 8 overs. Haroon Mughal joined Khosla and struck a quick-fire 28 but his dismissal effectively saw Marsa’s demise as they were finally dismissed for 142 runs. Khosla was the last man out for a gallant 71 runs, the highest individual score of the season. For Marsa, Ameen, Rais and Player of the Match Basil George took three wickets apiece. The latter being a recruit from Malta Cricket’s Social Inclusion Project, the Tape Ball Cricket League.

This Saturday sees the Malta Cricket Academy training from 9am followed by Game 7 of Winter League between Krishna CC and Melita CC at the Marsa Oval. Krishna can seal the Winter League Title with victory.

Player of the Match: Basil George
Umpire: Subhas Roy
Scorer: Eric Balakrishnan

Winter League table (after 6 matches) – Krishna 61, Melita 24, Marsa 23.
Batting: Amar Sharma 139 runs; Bowling: Varun Prasath 7 wickets.
Fielding: Amar Sharma 4 catches.

Photo: Player of the Basil George, a recruit from the inaugural Malta Tape Ball Cricket League

Full Scorecard

League leaders Krishna suffer shock loss to Melita

League leaders Krishna suffer shock loss to Melita

Melita CC 123 for 4 (S Byrne 36, M Towns 32; B George 1-11) defeated Krishna CC 122 all out (V Prasath 37*; J Hirschi 3-15, M Towns 3-21).

Melita CC were convincing winners thanks largely to the impressive all-round performance of Matthew Towns.

Krishna batted first and lost their first 5 wickets for 36 runs. A 43-run partnership for the last wicket salvaged some pride in an otherwise disappointing batting effort. For Melita, Jurg Hirschi and Towns captured 3 wickets each. Melita’s run chase was comfortable with Sean Byrne (36 not out) and Towns (30 not out) leading the way. National junior player Ethan Xuereb guided Melita to victory with 27 balls to spare.

This weekend sees Game 6 of the 2017-18 Winter League between Marsa CC and Melita CC. The losers of this clash can bid farewell to their chances of clinching the Winter League title.

Winter League table (5 matches) – Krishna 44, Melita 24, Marsa 20.
Batting: Niraj Khanna 105 runs; Bowling: Varun Prasath & Amar Sharma 6 wickets.
Fielding: Sam Aquilina and Amar Sharma (3); Andrew Naudi and Sean Byrne (2).

Full Scorecard:

Malta Cricket hosting T20 International Tournament.

Malta Cricket will be hosting an international cricket tournament from Thursday 5 October to Sunday 8 October at the iconic Marsa Sports Club.

The tournament will further enhance the profile of cricket in Malta and will be played in the dynamic Twenty20 format, each game lasting 3 hours. Malta is Europe’s most popular all-year cricketing destination with over 30 teams visiting every year. A Summer and Winter League take place for senior cricketers and the Malta Cricket Academy runs from October to May for boys and girls to learn the game in an organised way. Schools will be invited to send children to watch the games and meet the national players. The Malta squad have an exciting blend of youth and experience and it will be an ideal opportunity for Malta to develop its more promising players for the international tournaments that lie ahead.

The hosts are looking to further strengthen their recent record, which stands at 13 wins from their last 19 internationals.

Malta Squad:
Nowell Khosla (captain), Waseem Abbas, George Agius, Sam Aquilina, Bikram Arora, Adam Balakrishnan, Sean Byrne, Jaz Cable, Johnnie Grima, Niraj Khanna, David Marks, Haroon Mughal, Andrew Naudi, Michael Nazir, Luke Bradley (Junior), Ali Hamza (Junior).

Schedule:
Thu 5 Oct – 14:00-17:00 MALTA v Luxembourg
Fri 6 Oct – 10:30-13:30 Hungary v Luxembourg
Fri 6 Oct – 14:30-17:30 MALTA v Hungary
Sat 7 Oct – 10:30-13:30 MALTA v Luxembourg
Sat 7 Oct – 14:30-17:30 Hungary v Luxembourg
Sun 8 Oct – 14:00-17:00 MALTA v Hungary

For further information please contact the Malta Cricket Association at maltacricket@yahoo.co.uk. Gates will be open to the public and entrance is free.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg – Winners of the Continental Cricket Cup (2015)

 

 

 

 

Hungary

Hungary – Runners Up in the recent Euro T20 Cup in Poland (2017)

Luxembourg celebrate series win over Malta.

The Malta Cricket team hosted the Luxembourg national team over the weekend, in which the visitors sealed a series win. After recent victories over Hungary, Russia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic; the Malta team were in confident mood but missed chances would prove costly in all three matches.

Proceedings began with Friday’s opening ceremony as both teams stood for their respective national anthems and were greeted by Hon. Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport.

Friday T20:action-from-sundays-international-at-marsa
After Luxembourg were sent in to bat, William Heath (67) and Tim Barker (31) laid the foundation for a decent score with a second wicket partnership of 61 runs. Vikram Vijh shifted the momentum in Luxembourg’s favour with seven boundaries in his 48 runs from only 25 balls. His cameo catapulted Luxembourg from 65 in the first 10 overs to a total of 164 for 3 from their allotted 20 overs. For Malta, Andrew Naudi and George Agius took a wicket apiece. Malta’s reply lacked the required conviction and application. Captain Nowell Khosla (27) and Andrew Naudi (22) provided some resistance but it was to be a convincing victory for Luxembourg by 63 runs. Off-spinner Chris Fry was the main wicket-taker with 4 for 18 runs.

Saturday 30 overs:
Luxembourg once again batted first and posted an imposing 30 over score of 271 for 9, led by Tim Barker (83 off 50) and Vikram Vijh (56 off 32). Opener, Joost Mees also contributed a valuable 42 runs. The visitors were particularly severe on all of the nine Malta bowlers used. For the home side, Niraj Khanna and Feroz Ahmed took 2 wickets apiece, John Grima was particularly tidy behind the wickets and Mark Sacco held two excellent catches in the outfield. Malta’s riposte began poorly with the early wicket of Sam Aquilina. Nowell Khosla (31) and Andrew Naudi (15) saw Malta recover to 52 for 1, before both batsmen fell in quick succession. Niraj Khanna scored his highest international score (65) as he shared in a 79 run partnership with Bikram Arora (15). Luxembourg’s comprehensive victory was complete as a flurry of Maltese wickets followed (6 wickets for only 15 runs). Paul Bradley and George Agius saw Malta to the close, as they reached a respectable score of 158 for 9.
For Luxembourg, youngsters Luka Dacic (2 for 21) and Chris Fry (2 for 27) were the pick of the bowlers. Captain Tony Whiteman also chipped in with 2 timely wickets.

frank-spiteri-and-nowell-khosla-batting

                  Frank Spiteri and Nowell Khosla shared in a 144 run partnership

Sunday 45 overs:
Luxembourg won the toss and elected to bat in the all-important 3rd match of the series with Malta looking for some consolation after two disappointing losses.
Luxembourg’s batting did not disappoint with contributions from all their batsmen. Chris Fry (72) and William Cope (40) provided a solid base for some late hitting by Tim Barker (34 off 18 balls). Malta’s spinners Andrew Naudi and Ronnie Sacco kept the Luxembourg batting line-up in check throughout the late overs and Malta went into lunch content with restricting the visitors to 266 for 7. For Malta, David Marks took 2 wickets for 48, while wicket-keeper Sam Aquilina snared a stumping and a catch.
After losing Aquilina with the score at 13, Nowell Khosla and Frank Spiteri set about consolidating the Malta innings. The pair reached the first drinks break with Malta at 60 for 1 from 15 overs. By the 30th over, they put on a further 100 runs and brought up their individual fifties. After a superb 144 run partnership, Khosla was finally caught in the deep for 70 runs. Niraj Khanna joined Spiteri and the pair put on another 32 in quick succession before Spiteri was adjudged LBW just 5 runs short of his century (95). With 60 runs required off the final 10 overs, Malta were still well placed for victory, however the dismissal of Khanna (25) and Naudi (23) saw the momentum shift again in Luxembourg’s favour. The Maltese lower order failed to see the home side through to victory, falling short by just 18 runs. The bowling honours for Luxembourg went to pace bowler Atif Kamal with 2 wickets for 28 from his 9 overs, while Vikram Vijh captured 2 for 29.

The series saw Frank Spiteri become the first Maltese batsmen to pass 1500 international runs while Andrew Naudi became Malta’s most capped international cricketer with 55 caps, overtaking Malta’s all-time great all-rounder Michael Caruana (53 caps).

At the presentation ceremony, Luxembourg captain Tony Whiteman received the Winner’s Trophy, while Chris Fry was voted the Player of the Series with 77 runs and 7 wickets.

Score Summaries:
Fri 14 Oct – T20:
Luxembourg 164 for 3 (Heath 67, Vijh 48; Agius 1-24) defeated Malta 99 all out (Khosla 27; Fry 4-18). Player of the Match: Chris Fry (Luxembourg).

Sat 15 Oct – 30 overs:
Luxembourg 271 for 9 (T.Barker 83, Vijh 56; Ahmed 2-36) defeated Malta 158 for 9 (Khanna 65; Dacic 2-21). Player of the Match: Niraj Khanna (Malta).

Sun 16 Oct – 45 overs:
Luxembourg 266 for 7 (Fry 72, Cope 40; Marks 2-48) defeated Malta 248 for 7 (Spiteri 95, Khosla 70; Kamal 2-28). Player of the Match: Frank Spiteri (Malta).

Umpires: Les White, Joy Ghoseroy, Kevin Krishna, Subhas Roy.
Scorers: Eric Balakrishnan & Paula Calleja
Photography: John Rusher.

frank-spiteri-presents-chris-fry-the-player-of-the-series-award

          Frank Spiteri presents Chris Fry the Player of the Series Award

umpires-les-white-with-luxembourg-captain-tony-whiteman

          Umpire Les White with Luxembourg captain Tony Whiteman

Malta Cricket look forward to Luxembourg challenge.

Malta Cricket look forward to Luxembourg challenge.

This weekend the Malta Cricket team faces a stern challenge from Luxembourg over three consecutive days at the Marsa Sports Club.
The teams last met in the European Division 2 Championships in 2012, when Andrew Naudi led the Malta team to a thrilling victory, scoring 66 runs from only 27 balls.
Since then, both teams have tasted success competing in the European Cricket Development League. Malta won the 2014 Pan European T20 tournament in Hungary, whilst Luxembourg were victorious in the 2015 Continental Cricket Cup in Romania. The Malta team is looking to further strengthen their recent record, which stands at 13 wins from their last 16 internationals.

Schedule:
Fri 14 Oct: 2:30pm – 5:45pm (T20 International)
Sat 15 Oct: 1:00pm – 5:45pm (30 over International)
Sun 16 Oct: 11:00am – 5:45pm (45 over International)

Malta Squad:
Nowell Khosla (captain); Bikram Arora, Andrew Naudi, Frank Spiteri, George Agius, Mark Sacco, Ronnie Sacco, Sam Aquilina, John Grima, David Marks, Paul Bradley, Sean Byrne, Zubair Mohammed, Sumair Khan, Feroz Ahmed Akbar, Niraj Khanna, Siddharth Anand, Kalki Kumar.

Luxembourg Touring Party:
Tony Whiteman, William Heath, Atif Kamal, Christopher Fry, James Barker, Joost Mees, Luka Dacic, Richard Neale, Suhail Sadiq, Timothy Barker, Vikram Vijh, William Cope.

malta-winners-of-the-2014-pan-european-t20-tournament  luxembourg-winners-of-the-2015-continental-cricket-cup

Pan European T20 Tournament – Malta finish 2nd.

Malta finish 2nd in Pan European T20

The Malta Cricket team finished a gallant 2nd in the Pan European T20 tournament after reaching the final with three comprehensive victories in the group stages. Malta’s tournament started with an emphatic 9 wicket win over eventual tournament winners UCT from Dubai. Against Bulgaria, the Malta team enjoyed their most comprehensive win in T20 internationals (by 119 runs). The team then qualified for the final defeating hosts Hungary by 7 wickets.

Sunday afternoon’s final began with UCT winning the toss and electing to field first. Malta made steady progress but lost captain Nowell Khosla (8) and Vice-Captain Bikram Arora (10) within the first 8 overs. Haroon Mughal’s 38 off 24 balls took Malta to 97 for 3 off 12 overs, however his wicket saw UCT seize the initiative. Malta reached the respectable tally of 145, largely thanks to Zubair Raja who finished unbeaten on 31.

In reply, UCT lost two early wickets and scored 36 for 2 from the 6 over Powerplay. 24 runs came from the preceding two overs and shifted the momentum to the UCT team. Opening batsman Ali Azmat rode his luck and notched up an unbeaten 95 to steer UCT to victory by 7 wickets. For Malta, Agius, Bradley and Chellew shared the wickets to fall.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Malta team, especially after defeating UCT so convincingly on the opening day of the tournament. The team did Malta proud but failed at the final hurdle in their bid to defend the trophy they won so well in 2014.

Final Standings:
1st: UCT; 2nd: MALTA, 3rd: Romania, 4th: Hungary, 5th: Bulgaria.

Malta jispiċċaw it-tieni fit-Turnament Pan Ewropew T20 tal-Krikit.

It-Tim Nazzjonal Malti tal-Krikit, tilef fil-final, wara li kkwalifika għal din l-istess final permezz ta’ tliet rebħiet konvinċenti. It-Turnament għat-tim Malti beda tajjeb ħafna meta għelbu b’disa’ wikits lil UCT Dubaj, liema tim eventwalment rebaħ it-turnament. Kontra l-Bukgarija t-tim Malti rebħu b’vantaġġ ta’ 119-il ġirja, li huwa wkoll rekord f’kompetizzjonijiet T20 għall-Maltin. Wara għelbu lill-Ungerija b’vantaġġ ta’ seba’ wikits biex b’hekk għamlu ċert mill-final.

Il-Ħadd waranofsinhar, fil-final, UCT Dubaj, għażlu li jiffildjaw l-ewwel. Il-Maltin ma qagħdux lura għalkemm tilfu lill-kaptan Nowell Khosla (8) u l-viċi-kap Bikram Arora (10) wara l-ewwel 8 owvers. Haroon Mughal kiseb 38 ġirja minn 24 ballun, u hawn Malta kienu tellgħu 97 ġirja għal 3 minn 12-il owver. Iżda malli nqala’ Haroon, it-tim Malti ħass in-nuqqas ta’ dan il-plejer, biss Malta xorta rnexxielhom itellgħu skor tajjeb ta’ 145 ġirja, grazzi wkoll għall-Zubair Raja li kiseb 31 ġirja bla ma nqala’.

Fl-Innings tagħhom, Dubaj tilfu żewġ wikits kmieni u tellgħu 36 ġirja għal żewġ wikits mis-6 owvers milgħuba fiċ-ċirku ż-żgħir. Il-Battitur ta’ Dubaj, Ali Azmat tella’ 95 ġirja bla ma nqala’, u tista’ tgħid li kien hu l-mutur wara r-rebħa ta’ UCT Dubaj fuq Malta għal 7 wikits. Agius, Bradley u Chellew laqtu wikits għal Malta.

It-tim Malti spiċċa b’daqsxejn togħma qarsa, l-aktar meta wieħed iqis il-mod konvinċenti ta’ kif għelbu lill-istess Dubaj fl-ewwel logħba tat-turnament u peress li l-Maltin kienu qed jiddefendu dan l-istess titlu li rebħu fl-2014

Klassifika Finali:
1. UCT Dubaj; 2. MALTA, 3. Rumanija, 4. Ungerija, 5. Bulgarija.

Pan European T20 Tournament – Malta beat Bulgaria

Malta team go top after battering Bulgaria.

Malta 183 for 1 (C.Chellew 109*, N.Khosla 34) defeated Bulgaria 64 (H.Mughal 3-15, S.Khan 3-16, P.Bradley 2-5).

The Malta cricket team once again cruised to a thumping victory by beating Bulgaria by 119 runs. It was Malta’s biggest win in a T20 international. Malta’s total of 183 included a century for Chris Chellew and 34 runs from Captain Nowell Khosla. A great team display in the field saw Bulgaria restricted to the lowest team score of the tournament (64 runs). Haroon Mughal, Sumair Khan and Paul Bradley were the major wicket-takers, while Mark Sacco did a fine job as stand in wicket-keeper, taking 2 catches.

Malta now sit top of the table with 7 points, and a result against hosts Hungary in Sunday’s early game will cement their place in the evening’s final.

Standings:

  • MALTA – Played 3 – Points 7
  • UCT – Played 3 – Points 6
  • Romania – Played 2 – Points 2
  • Hungary – Played 2 – Points 1
  • Bulgaria – Played 2 – Points 1

Pan European T20 Tournament – Malta victorious over UCT

Malta team begin with solid victory over UCT.

Scorecards:
Game 1 - Malta v UCT:
Malta 123 for 1 (Chellew 72*, Arora 26*) defeated UCT – Dubai 122 for 5 (Malik 63*, Chellew 2 for 14)

The Malta cricket team began the Pan European T20 tournament with a thumping 9 wicket win over UCT from Dubai. Malta cruised to victory largely due to an unbeaten 81 run partnership between Bikram Arora and Chris Chellew. Tomorrow (Thursday) Malta will take on Romania at 10:00am.

Turnament Internazzjonali Pan Ewropew T20 tal-Krikit

It-Tim Nazzjonal Malti tal-Krikit, beda dan it-turnament importanti b'rebħa solida kontra UCT Dubaj.

Malta 123 għal 1 (Chellew 72*, Arora 26*) għelbu lill-UCT Dubaj 122 għal 5 (Malik 63*, Chellew 2 minn 14)

It-Tim Nazzjonal Malti wera s-saħħa tiegħu b'din ir-rebħa li fiha rat lill-Maltin jiksbu xejn anqas minn 9 wikits. Bikram Arora u Chris Chellew kellhom sehem kbir f'din ir-rebħa bil-81 ġirja li tellgħu bi sħab.

Għada Malta jilagħbu kontra r-Rumanija fl-10.00am

Melita stay in touch with victory.

Malta Cricket League: Melita stay in touch with massive victory.

Match 4: Melita CC 163 for 7 defeated Krishna CC 39 all out.

Justin Farrin-Thorne bowled Melita to victory over Krishna with an inspired spell of 4 wickets for 8 runs. Earlier his side a reached a respectable 163 runs, thanks largely to Derek Ali (37*) and Frank Spiteri (25*). Farrin-Thorne also chipped in with a valuable 21 runs, while Ben Aquilina made a valiant 15. Jayden Rossouw was the pick of the Krishna bowlers with 2 wickets for 21 runs. A calamity of batting errors saw Krishna reduced to just 18 runs for 3 wickets from their opening 6 overs. It went from bad to worse for them as they were dismissed for a paltry 39 runs in only the 12th over. Farrin-Thorne’s astonishing match was made complete as he threw down the wickets from the mid-wicket boundary for a run out that sealed victory for Melita by a massive 124 runs. Jain Ganapathy and Zubair Raja took the other wickets to fall.

Main Umpire: John Grima

Scorer: Eric Balakrishnan

League Standings (after 2 matches):   Marsa 29, Melita 19, Marauders 13, Krishna 7,

Next weekend sees the completion of Round 1 of the Malta Cricket League with Krishna CC v Malta  Marauders CC (Sat 10:30am) and Marsa CC v Melita CC (Sun 10:30am).

On Thursday 14th, The Malta national squad faces a Malta Select XI in the first of two warm-up matches before competing in the Pan European T20 International Tournament in Hungary later this month.