PREVIEW: MATCH 9 – Minhaj v Falco – European Cricket Series Barcelona November
The European Cricket Network live broadcasts the 2020 European Cricket Series Barcelona encounter between Minhaj and Falco.
Tune in to the live action Wednesday from 8:30am CET * 7:30am UK/GMT * 1pm IST from the Montjuïc ground in Barcelona, Spain.
Team Preview for Minhaj
Minhaj CC are playing in their first European Cricket Series. They started very shakily on opening day, scoring only 46 against Pak I Care, but rebounded to push reigning champions Catalunya CC in an entertaining match on Tuesday which went down to the wire. Minhaj lost that much by four runs but will be buoyed by their performance. As national champions of 2019, they will play off later this month for the right to represent Spain at the European Cricket League 2021.
Captain: Muhammad Aftab Nawaz
Main Wicketkeeper: Usman Mushtaq
Muhammad Riaz came into the side against Catalunya CC and made an immediate impression, top scoring with 29 off 17 balls including three maximos. He showed he had the power to put the ball over the ropes and also looked dangerous with the new ball, picking up 1 for 17 off his 2 overs. He's a key inclusion for Minhaj and I see him going from strength to strength as this tournament continues.
Muhammad Aftab Nawaz took over the reins on Tuesday and made a huge difference. His 2/14 with the ball was crucial in keeping Catalunya CC down towards the end of their innings. He will hope to build on that performance.
Sarfraz Ahmed was their only shining light on opening day, scoring 20 out of a dismal team total of 46. He keeps things tight with the new ball and always looks like he might pick up an early wicket.
Team Preview for Falco
Falco CC were runners up in the October European Cricket Series but have had a mixed start to this edition. After a narrow win in their opening match against Badalona Shaheen, they went down to Bangladesh Kings on Tuesday morning before XXXXX
Captain: Kamran Raja
Main Wicketkeeper: Awais Ahmed
Kamran Raja is a talented all rounder although I don’t think we’ve quite seen him play to his potential in the European Cricket Series so far. He will bat at number three or four and open the bowling – coming off a shocker of a match where he made a golden duck and was hideously expensive with the ball, I feel it’s a matter of time until he breaks out and this could be the match where he turns the corner.
Awais Ahmed hadn’t had a very successful start to this series but showed some determination in holding the Falco innings together in their last match, contributing 58 off 32 balls, opening the batting. The Spanish national keeper-batsman was the leading run-scorer across all teams in the October series and is if he’s firing on all cylinders will create nightmares for opposition bowlers!
Shahbaz Ahmed is a very useful cricketer. He can swing from ball one with the bat which is a very useful skill in T10 cricket, while he consistently picks up wickets with ball in hand. He is the man for the big situation and I expect him to step up in more big as this series progresses.
Mr Maximo’s tip: MINHAJ
Minhaj have been a formidable team domestically over the past year or two in Spanish cricket, although they appeared to suffer from stage fright in their European Cricket Series debut on Monday. The fared better without getting the result they wanted against Catalunya CC so they find themselves without a win after two days of action but I think they can continue improving and win this match against a Falco side who haven’t quite recaptured the sparkle that saw them make a run all the way to the final last month.
Tune in to the European Cricket Network to catch all of the action, available on FanCode on the Indian subcontinent and Sports Flick everywhere else around the globe!