Day 11 PREVIEW: FanCode ECS Malta – Matches 41 to 44
FanCode ECS Malta provides an opportunity for ten leading Maltese teams to showcase their skills on the magnificent island of Malta, contesting 48 games over 12 days. Every game will be live streamed worldwide on the European Cricket Network and on FanCode - a multi-sport aggregator platform, from the house of Dream Sports for the Indian Sub-Continent.
European Cricket Network live broadcasts four quarter-finals on Day 11 of the 2021 FanCode ECS Malta on Friday 25 June.
Four mouth watering knockout games await on the beautiful island of Malta.
MAR Marsa (6-2, NRR+1.602)
AUK Atlas UTC Knights (6-2, NRR+0.743)
AUM American University of Malta (4-4, NRR+0.072)
SOC Southern Crusaders (3-5, NRR+0.657)
RST Royal Strikers (1-7, NRR-3.072)
SKI Super Kings (8-0, NRR+6.786)
OVR Overseas (5-3, NRR+1.416)
MTD Mater Dei (4-4, NRR+0.219)
SWU Swieqi United (2-6, NRR-2.229)
GOZ Gozo (1-7, NRR-6.501)
1st Quarter Final - MATCH 41 (ECS21.476)
MARSA (MAR) v SWIEQI UNITED (SWU)
0700 GMT | 0900 CET | 1230 IST
MAR Last Five Matches: W W W L L (Avg Score For 97, Avg Score Against 76)
SWU Last Five Matches: L W L L W (Avg Score For 95, Avg Score Against 96)
Captain: Haroon Mughal
Wicketkeeper: John Grima
Projected Top Four: Nowell Khosla, Zeeshan Khan, Niraj Khanna, Haroon Mughal
Projected Opening Bowlers: Waseem Abbas, Fanyan Mughal
Spin Options: Sidharth Anand
MARSA Key Players:
Nowell Khosla, right handed opening batsman, natural strokemaker, has had an ordinary tournament with the bat according to his standards scoring just 84 runs in seven innings, but is in good form with the ball scalping seven victims at a miserly economy rate of 6.80.
Zeeshan Khan, one of the top players for Marsa, is fearless and loves to take on the new ball bowlers, top run scorer for Marsa with 180 runs from eight matches with 14 LONG maximos.
Niraj Khanna, right-handed middle-order batsman has racked up 173 runs from seven innings including a crafty half century and was named man of the match for this effort.
Waseem Abbas, national team opening bowler, gets good movement off the seam, his height helps extract good bounce off the pitch that troubles batsmen. Top wicket taker for Marsa with 11 scalps from eight matches, can also give it a whack with bat in hand.
Captain: Anil Qadir
Wicketkeeper: Anil Qadir
Projected Top Four: Imran Ameer, Anil Qadir, Atta Rabi, Ijaz Hussain
Projected Opening Bowlers: Umar Khan, Bilal Khan
Spin Options: Imran Ameer
SWIEQI UNITED Key Players:
Anil Qadir, captain, can be a game changer with his six hitting abilities, had a cracking day with the bat on Thursday mustering 71 runs in two games at a strike rate of 215, is second highest run scorer for SWU racking up a total of 116 runs from seven innings.
Imran Ameer, experienced opening batsman, has played domestic cricket in Pakistan, top scorer for SWU with 160 runs from seven matches including a fifty. Scored an unbeaten 42 off 21 balls to upset OVR in the last group match to bag his first man of the match award. Also a good spinner and has chipped in with five wickets as well.
Bilal Khan, right-arm medium fast bowler, has good control over the ball, was leading wicket taker for his side last year in the Malta summer league. Has been economical with the ball picking up six wickets and is joint leading wicket-taker for SWU, has mustered 67 runs with the bat.
Aqeel Raza, right arm fast bowler, has been impressive with the ball picking up six wickets in eight matches leading the wicket taking charts alongside Bilal Khan.
Reigning champions Marsa topped the group despite losing their last two games and not always looking in prime form. Now it’s all about the business end of the competition and a comfortable quarter-final awaits against Swieqi United, who despite managing to win their last game have often struggled to compete with more experienced sides.
Match Prediction: Marsa (MAR) to move imperiously into the last four.
2nd Quarter Final - MATCH 42 (ECS21.477)
ATLAS UTC KNIGHTS (AUK) v MATER DEI (MTD)
0900 GMT | 1100 CET | 1430 IST
AUK Last Five Matches: W W W W L (Avg Score For 86, Avg Score Against 71)
MTD Last Five Matches: W W W L L (Avg Score For 96, Avg Score Against 83)
Captain: Sujesh Appu
Wicketkeeper: Ajay John
Projected Top Four: Ciril Mathew, Samuel Stanislaus, Nithin Babu, Al Ameen Abdul
Projected Opening Bowlers: Sujesh Appu, Bose Paul
Spin Options: Samuel Stanislaus
ATLAS UTC KNIGHTS Key Players:
Samuel Stanislaus, Knights Mr Dependable, leading run-scorer in the previous edition for AUK and is heading the run scoring charts again this season racking up 128 runs in six matches, is also considered the best Knights fielder.
Nithin Babu, the right hander has been in good nick of late racking up 74 runs in six innings, will be the key man in the middle order considering several injury woes in the AUK squad.
Sujesh Appu, the AUK captain has put his hand up in the absence of several key players and is leading the wicket taking charts for his team scalping seven victims in eight matches.
Justin Shaju, one to watch with the ball, can swing the ball around at a decent pace, picked up seven wickets in the previous edition with best figures of 3-24. Looked sharp with the ball picking up two wickets and conceding under six runs an over, has also mustered 45 runs with the bat.
Captain: Sam Aquilina
Wicketkeeper: Sam Aquilina
Projected Top Four: Cornelius Younus, Azeem Sathi, Michael Nazir, Sam Aquilina
Projected Opening Bowlers: Muthu Kumaran, Faisal Naeem
Spin Options: Michael Nazir, Atif Sharazy, Salman Khan
MATER DEI Key Players:
Cornelius Younus, left-handed opening batsman who likes to go after the bowlers from ball one. He is the top scorer for MTD with 112 runs from eight matches .
Azeem Sathi, a destructive right handed batsman, and fierce medium pace bowler, has mustered 94 runs and picked up seven victims. He has also won a man of the match award for his all-round performance.
Michael Nazir, former national team player, decent batsman who times the ball very well. A crafty off-spinner who can deceive batsmen with his change in pace. Has racked up 92 runs in seven innings and has picked up four wickets with the ball.
Faisal Naeem, the 35-year old medium pacer is the top wicket taker for MTD with EIGHT wickets from eight matches and a best return of 3-14.
Atlas UTC Knights come into this game on the back of an horrendous defeat to Royal Strikers to squander top spot in the standings and a potentially easier quarter-final. MTD have a 50% win loss record and are not without a chance.
Match Prediction: Despite having a few injuries, Atlas UTC Knights (AUK) should bounce back to winning ways and seal a spot in the semis.
3rd Quarter Final - MATCH 43 (ECS21.478)
SUPER KINGS (SKI) v SOUTHERN CRUSADERS (SOC)
1100 GMT | 1300 CET | 1630 IST
SKI Last Five Matches: W W W W W (Avg Score For 118, Avg Score Against 72)
SOC Last Five Matches: L W W W L (Avg Score For 94, Avg Score Against 80)
Captain: Bikram Arora
Wicketkeeper: Affy Khan
Projected Top Four: Bikram Arora, Gopal Chaturvedi, Varun Prasath, Affy Khan
Projected Opening Bowlers: Ashok Bishnoi, Varun Prasath
Spin Options: Amar Sharma, Bikram Arora
SUPER KINGS Key Players:
Affy Khan, big hitter, can take the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye, scored his maiden ECS fifty against Gozo hammering an unbeaten 24-ball 79. He is third highest scorer in the tournament with 183 runs at a staggering strike rate of 261.
Varun Prasath, the left-hander is leading the scoring sheets this season, plundering 290 runs from eight games at a strike rate of 203. He also has the highest individual score of the tournament - a blistering 39-ball 98* vs Overseas. Has also hit the most sixes in the tournament with 28 hits over the ropes.
Bikram Arora, SKI and Malta national team captain, has racked up 143 runs from six matches including a 21-ball 55 in the record breaking match against Gozo.
Ashok Bishnoi, leads the bowling attack for SKI, swings the ball away from right handers at pace, is the top wicket taker so far scalping 11 wickets from six matches. Returned second best figures in ECS history, 6-3, against Gozo earning a man of the match award as well.
Yash Singh brings a lot of value to the SKI side with his clever spin bowling. He has picked up 10 wickets in seven matches at a splendid economy rate of just 6.24.
Captain: Michael Goonetilleke
Wicketkeeper: Gopal Thakur
Projected Top Four: Ryan Bastiansz, Michael Goonetilleke, Zeeshan Yousaf, Gopal Thakur
Projected Opening Bowlers: Zeeshan Yousaf, Lakshitha Senavirathna
Spin Options: Jojo Thomas, Ryan Bastiansz, Azwan Kamaleen, Eranga Jayawardhana, Aneel Shahid
SOUTHERN CRUSADERS Key Players:
Zeeshan Yousaf, all-rounder, big hitting opener, moves the ball both ways, picked up eight wickets leading the wicket taking charts and piled up 150 runs in the previous edition, is a good outfielder too. Has played good hands in all the games scoring 93 runs in all and has picked up five wickets as well.
Ryan Ricky Bastiansz, scores quickly, is good off the back foot, mustered 175 runs including 15 towering sixes in the previous edition. He is currently leading the scoring sheets for SOC racking up 135 runs from seven innings.
Bilal Khan is one of the fastest bowlers in Malta with the ability to move the ball both ways, has been economical with ball getting three prized wickets so far, can also contribute with his pinch hitting abilities, has mustered 58 runs.
Jojo Thomas, right arm finger spinner, joint leading wicket taker scalping eight wickets in December 2020. Picked up 11 wickets in eight games this season leading the wicket taking sheets for SOC with a best return of 3-4.
Lakshitha Senavirathna, the right arm medium pacer has picked up eight wickets this season including his best ECS figures of 4-24 against Marsa.
Unbeaten Super Kings meet inconsistent Southern Crusaders in the third quarter-final. While SOC are capable of beating any team on their day, it seems a monumental task to get past this in-form SKI side.
Match Prediction: Super Kings (SKI) to saunter past SOC into the last four.
4th Quarter Final - MATCH 44 (ECS21.479)
OVERSEAS (OVR) v AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF MALTA (AUM)
1330 GMT | 1530 CET | 1900 IST
OVR Last Five Matches: L W W W L (Avg Score For 112, Avg Score Against 95)
AUM Last Five Matches: L L L L W (Avg Score For 76, Avg Score Against 106)
Captain: Jurg Hirschi
Wicketkeeper: Sean Byrne
Projected Top Four: Charl Kleinepunte, Andy Naudi, Heinrich Gericke, Callum Burke
Projected Opening Bowlers: David Marks, Aron Oulton
Spin Options: Jurg Hirschi, Callum Burke, Andrew Naudi, Jack Barritt
OVERSEAS Key Players:
Jurg Hirschi, right-arm leg-spinner, unorthodox but highly effective, joint leading wicket taker in December 2020 with 10 scalps. Has already picked up 10 wickets this time around in just eight games with a best return of 4-13.
Andy Naudi is peaking at the right time for OVR mustering his first fifty this season against SWU and was awarded man of the match for his fine effort. Has racked up 95 runs in six innings and has contributed with the ball as well picking up four wickets.
Heinrich Gericke, the right handed batsman has been in good touch scoring 83 runs in four innings at a staggering strike rate of 268 including NINE huge maximos. The wicket-keeper batsman has scored over 84% of his runs in boundaries alone.
Clyde Palmer has racked up 83 runs in three innings. Looked good with the ball on Thursday nailing yorkers at will and was rewarded with a couple of wickets as well.
Charl Kleinepunte, left-hand opening batsman, has the ability to bat through the innings. Also a left-arm medium pacer who can swing it and extracts plenty of bounce off the pitch, top scorer for OVR mustering 145 runs in just four games including a 29-ball 58 against MTD.
Captain: Jit Patel
Wicketkeeper: Darshit Patankar
Projected Top Four: Mittul Patel, Saneesh Kumar, Darshit Patankar, Zoheb Malek
Projected Opening Bowlers: Jit Patel, Mittul Patel
Spin Options: Tarak Shah, Zoheb Malek
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF MALTA Key Players:
Zoheb Malek, the all-rounder has racked up 87 runs at a healthy strike rate of 155 and is the leading wicket taker for AUM scalping EIGHT wickets in eight matches.
Darshit Patankar, the wicket-keeper batsman has mustered 224 runs from eight games at a strike rate of 167 including two unbeaten fifties. Darshit has been delivering the heavy scoring for AUM and is the second highest run scorer in the tournament.
Shubh Patel, the 25-year old fast bowler has been exceptional with the ball for AUM this season picking up five wickets with a best return of 3-8 in the opening game. Shubh bowled a staggering NINE dot balls in his two overs against a raging Marsa in the second game Monday.
Saneesh Kumar, a young, talented opening batsman, second highest run scorer for AUM amassing 155 runs from seven games.
Jit Patel, captain, bowling all-rounder, the left-arm medium pacer brings variety to the AUM bowling line-up. Has picked up six wickets in eight matches this term.
Both these sides are much-improved from last season, with AUM in particular picking up four wins as opposed to just one last term.This season, Overseas have been very competitive, only coming seriously unstuck against the all-conquering Super Kings before going down to SWU in the final group match. However, with key players back for this all-important encounter, OVR will fancy their chances here, having beaten AUM twice in the previous edition.
Last time they met: OVR 96 def AUM 94 (1 Dec 2020)
Match Prediction: Overseas (OVR) to squeeze into the semis in an entertaining match.