Following our efforts in the Global T10 Championship…
We moved onto our first Twenty20 Internationals in a triangular series featuring hosts USA as well as England.
We posted 145-7 against the home side with all-rounder Max Schutt (45) top scoring. Some late blows from Loic Iversen (27*) lifted us to a competitive total. We then restricted USA to 120-6 (Chung 2-14) to seal a famous 25-run victory!
The result sent shockwaves around the cricket world but our players couldn’t get carried away because next up was… England!
We were dismissed for 127 off the final ball of the twentieth over. Captain Louis Vincent (27) and Iversen (25) once again, elevated us to a respectable if not quite competitive total. Leg-spinner Kasper Beck (1-19) dismissed Jos Buttler (0) in the first over but the result was never in doubt. We picked up a couple more wickets though and had by no means disgraced ourselves against the might of England.
We bounced back by posting 142-7, against USA (An almost identical score to the first fixture!). Mark Markovic, having struggled at the top of the order, looked in fine form when making 38. He combined with Kingston Hall (34) for a partnership of 64. Skipper Vincent added 22 before claiming astonishing figures of 2-12 from four overs of his part-time slow-left-arm bowling. Young pacer Harry Singh (2-30) was also in the wickets before leg-spinner Kasper Beck (0-32) kept it tight enough in the final over to seal another victory.
Against England once more, we opted to field first only to see them post a whopping 195-3. Off-spinner Phillipe Fernandes bowled well to claim 2-27. He then top scored with 22* as we scratched our way to just 117-9. We would of course play England again in the final…
We lost the toss and were inserted to bat on a lush green deck in a match reduced to 16 overs per side because of rain. We were soon 22-3 but Nico Keller and Marko Markovic (14) added forty for the fourth wicket to save face. David Willey (1-10) deceived us with an array of slower balls and Adil Rashid (3-18) benefitted from our late innings slogging. Wicketkeeper Nico Keller carried his bat though. He remained undefeated on 43 from 47 deliveries and that sort of knock bodes well for longer format cricket. We finished on 92-7.
Helped by some sloppy fielding, England were soon 40 without loss in reply. However, Kingston Hall ran Jason Roy (23) out with a ridiculous direct hit from the boundary to get us into England’s batting unit. He’d chased the ball hard and far from given up despite England’s early flurry. Mo Castro (1-16) pinned Jos Buttler (28) on the full but the umpire ignored the bowler’s LBW appeal. A smart review however saw England slip to 58-2. Eoin Morgan blitzed 20 from eleven balls before Loic Iversen (1-9) had the opposition captain caught on the boundary. England won with a wide and 5.5 overs to spare but we’d at least put up some sort of showing in our first ever final.
Next, we travel to Ireland to play our first ever One-Day Internationals…