Malta seal series win over Hungary

The Malta Cricket team hosted the Hungary national cricket team last weekend, in which it sealed a 2-1 series win and consolidated its excellent record in the newly formed European Development Cricket League.
From their last 12 internationals, Malta have won an impressive 10 matches and lost only 2. The victories over Hungary added to recent triumphs over Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Malta National Team Offical Picture

Back row, David Carlisle (coach), Ronnie Sacco, Andrew Naudi, Niraj Khanna, Haroon Majeed, George Agius, Chris Chellew, Frank Spiteri, Mark Agius (MCA Chairman).
Front row, Parth Mehta, Mark Sacco, Nowell Khosla, Bikram Arora, Sam Aquilina, Malcolm Crabbe.

Chris Agius (Parliamentary Secretary) welcomes the Hungarian team

               Chris Agius (Parliamentary Secretary) welcomes the Hungarian team

MOC President Julian Pace Bonello greets the Malta and Hungary national teams

MOC President Julian Pace Bonello greets the Malta and Hungary national teams

Thursday’s opening ceremony started under threatening skies with both teams greeted by Chris Agius,

Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport. The first T20 international was Andrew Naudi’s 50th appearance for the Malta national team, second only to Michael Caruana (53 caps).

Andrew Naudi bowling during his 50th International for Malta

                 Andrew Naudi bowling during his 50th International for Malta

Frank Spiteri - the first Maltese batsman to pass 1500 international runs.

          Frank Spiteri – the first Maltese batsman to pass 1500 international runs.

Batting first, Malta’s captain Nowell Khosla (21) and Chris Chellew (45) put on 59 runs for the first wicket. Frank Spiteri (12), Ronnie Sacco (13) and a quick fire 30 runs off only 16 balls from Haroon Majeed saw Malta reach an imposing 163 runs from their allotted 20 overs. For Hungary, quick bowler Zeeshan Khan captured 5 wickets for 11 runs. In reply, Hungary lost early wickets to Andrew Naudi and George Agius with the rest falling at regular intervals before they closed their 20 overs 50 runs short, on 113 for 9. Shiraz Khan top scored with 25 runs. Malta’s bowlers and fielders restricted Hungary throughout and the bowling honours went to Bikram Arora and Parth Mehta (3 wickets
each). Malta’s keeper Sam Aquilina captured 2 stumpings and a catch while Mark Sacco, Chris Chellew and Haroon Majeed took 3 excellent outfield catches.

Friday’s 2nd T20 began after a warm welcome from Malta Olympic Committee President, Julian Pace Bonello.
It was an improved batting performance by the Hungarians with Marc and Stan Ahuja scoring 48 and 51 respectively. The pair combined in an 86 run partnership off only 13 overs. The Hungarians were especially severe on the Maltese bowling during the middle overs and 7 sixes catapulted them to a competitive total of 151 runs for 6 wickets. For Malta, Naudi, Khosla and Mehta took a wicket apiece. The Maltese run chase stuttered throughout and the run outs of Khosla (8) and Naudi (4) were particularly costly to the home side’s hopes. Following the dismissal of Niraj Khanna for 15, a fighting partnership between Majeed (36) and Mehta (24) brought Malta back into the contest. However, the demise of Ronnie Sacco, Sam Aquilina and Malcolm Crabbe signaled the end for Malta as they were bowled out for 133, handing victory to Hungary by 18 runs.

Sunday’s 3rd and final match in the series was a 50 over – One Day International.
Proceedings started early with Hungary electing to bat. A more focused and disciplined effort in the field by Malta saw Hungary dismissed for only 123 runs in 40.5 overs. It was once again Stan Ahuja (44 runs) who held the Hungarian batting line up together. Like Thursday, it was a real team effort by Malta and Parth Mehta (4 for 14) was well supported by all the other Malta bowlers.

The home team’s reply began briskly with Nowell Khosla striking 4 early boundaries before he was clean bowled by fast bowler Zeeshan Khan. Following the lunch-time presentation by H.E. Jane Lambert, the Australian High Commissioner to Malta; Frank Spiteri and Chris Chellew added an unbeaten 85 runs which sealed the victory for Malta with 27 overs to spare. Chellew’s 62 made him the top run scorer in the series, while Spiteri’s 26 runs made him the first Maltese batsmen to pass 1500 international runs for his country.

On Sunday evening a presentation dinner was held at the Marsa Sports Club with the awards presented as follows:
Man of the Series: P.Mehta (Malta) 
Best Batsman: S.Ahuja (Hungary)   
Best Bowler: Z.Khan (Hungary)

This brought to an end a very successful weekend for Malta Cricket and the 3-day event also raised a generous amount in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund.

Match Summaries:

Thu 1 Oct – T20: Scorecard
Malta 163 for 6 (Chellew 45, Majeed 30; Z.Khan 5-11)
defeated Hungary 113 for 9 (S.Khan 25; Arora 3-15)

Fri 2 Oct – T20: Scorecard
Hungary 151 for 6 (S.Ahuja 50, M Ahuja 48; Mehta 1-12)
defeated Malta 133 (Majeed 36, Zold 4-9)

Sun 4 Oct – 50 overs: Scorecard
Malta 124 for 1 (Chellew 62*, F.Spiteri 26*, Z.Khan 1-26) defeated
Hungary 123 (S.Ahuja 44; Mehta 4-14)

Umpires: Alan Swift, Les White, Joy Ghoseroy
Scorers: Eric Balakrishnan & Colin Jones

Match Reports:
Cricket World
Times of Malta
News United
Gozo News
Malta Sport

 

Krishna CC saunter Summer League

Marsa CC 165 all out (T.Azzopardi 32, L.Azzopardi 22; N.Khosla 2 for 9) beat Krishna CC 102 for 3 (S.Aquilina 27*, N.Khosla 21) by 63 runs.

Krishna CC - 2016 Summer League Champions 2Krishna CC - 2016 Summer League Champions celebrateSunday’s final match of the Malta Cricket’s CricHQ Summer League saw Krishna CC face Marsa CC in what was a league decider. Marsa not only needed to win the game but pick up more bonus points than their opponents to take the title.

The match at the Marsa Sports Club started with Krishna winning the toss and electing to field first. Marsa captain Tony Azzopardi (32) and Mark Sacco (20) made a brisk start, putting on 39 runs in the first 6 overs. Sher Khan (21 runs off 13 balls) and Liam Azzopardi (22 off 21) kept the momentum going during the middle overs. A cameo by Ronnie Sacco (13 off 11) saw Marsa finish their allotted 25 overs on 165 all out. For Krishna, Nowell Khosla (2 wickets for 9 runs), Sid Anand (2 for 30) and Kevin Krishna (2 for 37) were the major wicket-takers. Arora and Khosla also picked up crucial run outs to see Krishna pick up 4 bonus .

To win the title, Marsa now needed to bowl Krishna out.
Krishna’s chase of 166 started impressively with man of the moment Sam Aquilina remaining unbeaten on 27 runs off his allotted 30 balls. Captain Nowell Khosla (21 off 17) and Bikram Arora (15 off 13) were both dismissed just as they started dominating the Marsa bowling attack. Krishna reached 41 runs in their first 7 overs but Ronnie Sacco and K.Kartik pulled back the run rate with a combined 10 over spell for only 29 runs. It effectively ended Krishna’s chances of winning the game but meant they only needed to keep wickets in hand to win the league title. John Rusher’s 1 run (not out) was arguably the most valuable of his career as he occupied the crease for his entire allotment of 30 balls. Justin Farrin-Thorne and Sharon Lazar saw Krishna CC to the end, as they finished on 102 runs for 3 off their 25 overs.

 Marsa picked up 13 points for their victory but fell tantalisingly short of capturing the league title.

It brought to an end a very successful CricHQ Summer League with final standings as follows: Krishna CC 67, Marsa CC 65, Melita CC 54, Marauders CC 25.

Leading performers were Bikram Arora (Krishna), Haroon Mughal (Marsa), Andrew Naudi (Melita) and Dean Arnold (Marauders).

Bikram Arora won the league’s Most Valuable Player and the Batting Award (177 runs), while the Bowling Award went to Sarfraz Ali (10 wickets).

Scorecard

View All Results       League Standings       League Leaderboards

Match Reports:
Cricket World
News United
Times of Malta
Gozo News
Malta Sport
Malta First
Malta Today

This weekend sees the resumption of Malta Cricket’s touring team series with Tongham Cricket Club visiting from Surrey, UK.
They will face the Marsa Representative side on both Saturday and Sunday with matches starting at 10:30am.

Malta Team Training Camp

The Malta Cricket Association is pleased to announce its squad for the forthcoming Malta T20 cricket tournament being held at the Marsa Sports Club, Malta between 01- 04 October. Nowell Khosla (Capt), Sam Aquilina, Bikram Arora, George Agius, Chris Chellew, Haroon Mughal, Frank Spiteri, Niraj Khana, Ronnie Sacco, Mark Sacco, Andrew Naudi, Malcolm Crabbe, Parth Mheta. The Malta team went through their paces this week with cricket professional Daniel Salpietro. Daniel is enjoying a very successful season as club pro with Norden Cricket Club in the Central Lancashire League and took time out to assist the national team in their final preparations.

Malta Cricket at the Cultural Fair

Representatives of the national Malta Cricket teams, Sam Aquilina and Frank Spiteri, were joined by members Garret Kampff, Chris Belford and Eric Krishna in a successful promotional event for the Australian High Commission, showcasing Australian sports at the Ta’ Xbiex Cultural fair.

Fond farewell to Mike Caruana

This weekend the Malta Cricket Association paid tribute to a great Stalwart of Malta Cricket, Michael Caruana who is soon to be emigrating to Australia. And what a fantastic weekend it was!
On Saturday Mikes XI beat the Presidents XI by one run. Chasing 218, the final run was scored off the last ball of the final over, with Mike fittingly scoring a 50 for his side.
On Sunday a tribute dinner held in his honour saw members past and present with their family’s celebrate Mikes achievements and wish him and his family the very best for their future in Australia.
Well done to the MCA family for making the weekend a very memorable one!

Malta 2nd in Central Europe Cup

A combination of bad weather and bad luck cost Malta their 7 game winning streak and the chance of returning with any silverware from the recent Central Europe Cup. The team did return with some new records for Malta Cricket. Malta’s score of 193 v Sweden is the highest ever by a Malta team in a T20 international. Captain Nowell Khosla scored 92 not out in the same game and this was subsequently raised by Chris Chellew’s 93 not out against Poland.
Tournament Video (courtesy of Czech Cricket)