Day 1 PREVIEW: FanCode ECS Sweden Malmo – Matches 1 to 4
FanCode ECS Sweden Malmo provides an opportunity for ten teams to showcase their skills, 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 T10 matches on Day 1 of the 2021 FanCode ECS Sweden, Malmo on Monday 2 August.
Reigning champions Ariana AKIF (AF) dominated European Cricket Series Malmo last season with a 5-1 win-loss record, losing only to Ariana CC in a Golden Ball finish in the group stages. AF will also be joined in Group A by European Cricket Series Gothenburg 2020 champions Jonkoping in their title defence. It will be interesting to see how these two top teams fare against each other later in the week.
Ariana (ARI) is famous for its power hitting which was certainly on display at European Cricket Series Malmo last season, when ARI went unbeaten in the group stages. Ariana CC were unfortunate to succumb in the final against Ariana AKIF, but will be determined to go one step better this time around.
Jonkoping (JKP) have been one of the top teams in Sweden. JKP were promoted to the Elite division after being crowned champions of the Swedish T20 League in 2017. JKP won the SCF T10 league in 2020 before enjoying a fantastic run at European Cricket Series Gothenburg last season with 4-1-1 record in the group stages, before going onto win the tournament comfortably.
Malmo (MAL) boast some good ex-Swedish national team players including Rajan Sharma who is also the current U19 national team coach and still an active player at the age of 58! However, Malmo endured an ordinary season last term finishing third in Group B with two wins and two losses. MAL later lost the Shield Final to finish sixth overall.
Helsingborg Royals (HRO) did not prosper last summer, going winless in four attempts at European Cricket Series Malmo 2020. HRO are placed in a tough group, but will be keen to put on a better showing this year.
AF Ariana AKIF (0-0, NRR+0.000)
ARI Ariana CC (0-0, NRR+0.000)
HRO Helsingborg Royals (0-0, NRR+0.000)
JKP Jonkoping (0-0, NRR+0.000)
MAL Malmo (0-0, NRR+0.000)
MATCH 1 (ECS21.604)
ARIANA AKIF (AF) v MALMO (MAL)
0630 GMT | 0830 CET | 1200 IST
MATCH 2 (ECS21.605)
ARIANA AKIF (AF) v MALMO (MAL)
0830 GMT | 1030 CET | 1400 IST
AF Last Five Matches: W W L W W (Avg Score For 111, Avg Score Against 81)
MAL Last Five Matches: L L NR W L (Avg Score For 101, Avg Score Against 106)
ARIANA AKIF (AF)
Captain: Dharmender Singh
Wicketkeeper: Ihsan Shirzad
Projected Top Four: Ihsan Shirzad, Khaled Mohammad, Delawar Khan, Abdul Naser
Projected Opening Bowlers: Delawar Khan, Abdul Naser
Spin Option(s): Anudeep Gudimella, Dharmender Singh, Rahatullah Rahatullah
ARIANA AKIF Key Players:
Abdul Naser, hard hitting batsman, third highest run scorer in the tournament last term mustering 165 runs at an average of 55 and SR of 236. He hit the joint most sixes with 20 long hits over the ropes. Picked up FIVE wickets as well.
Khaled Mohammad, a talented top order batsman, racked up 101 runs last term at a SR of 171 at European Cricket Series Malmo 2020.
Delawar Khan, one of the top all-rounders in the AF side, bowls tight lines scalping FOUR wickets at an economy of 6.62 and scored 42 runs last term at European Cricket Series Malmo 2020.
Captain: Hammad Rafiq
Wicketkeeper: Bilal Zaigham
Projected Top Four: Bilal Zaigham, Hammad Rafiq, Sunny Sharma, Qaiser Munir
Projected Opening Bowlers: Saqlain Shah, Hassan Zaigham
Spin Option(s): Hammad Rafiq, Yarjan Mohammadi
MALMO Key Players:
Hammad Rafiq, star all-rounder, attacking middle order batsman, has the ability to take spinners apart on his day. A wily and reliable off-spinner, he will look to make breakthroughs in the middle overs. He was top scorer for Malmo last term atEuropean Cricket Series Malmo 2020 racking up 116 runs and also picked up four wickets.
Bilal Zaigham, solid top order batsman, technically correct, usually bats through the innings allowing others to bat around him and take charge of scoring quick runs.
Qaiser Munir, right arm fast bowler, usually bowls at the death, targeting the stumps. Is the biggest hitter in the team, can hit monster sixes for fun.
Reigning champions Ariana AKIF will be strong favourites to get off to a winning start against Malmo. The best chance for MAL to rack up a win will come in the opening match as the two sides get used to the pitch and playing conditions.
Last time they met: AF 106 def MAL 74 (5 Aug 2020)
Match Prediction: Ariana AKIF (AF) to win both meetings against Malmo.
MATCH 3 (ECS21.606)
ARIANA CC (ARI) v HELSINGBORG ROYALS (HRO)
1030 GMT | 1230 CET | 1600 IST
MATCH 4 (ECS21.607)
ARIANA CC (ARI) v HELSINGBORG ROYALS (HRO)
1230 GMT | 1430 CET | 1800 IST
ARI Last Five Matches: W NR W W L (Avg Score For 97, Avg Score Against 100)
HRO Last Five Matches: L L L L (Avg Score For 70, Avg Score Against 94)
ARIANA CC (ARI)
Captain: Nusratullah Sultan
Wicketkeeper: Qader Khan
Projected Top Four: Mahmood Babar, Asif Meer, Nusratullah Sultan, Bashir Ahmed
Projected Opening Bowlers: Atif Muhammad, Absar Khan
Spin Option(s): Dawood Shirzad, Mahmood Babar
ARIANA CC Key Players:
Nusratullah Sultan, captain, a solid top order batsman, amassed 155 runs in four innings at an average of 77.50 and SR of 207 including three man of the match performances atEuropean Cricket Series Malmo 2020.
Bashir Ahmed, technically sound, racked up 120 runs in five innings with a best score of 56* off 28 balls vs Malmo atEuropean Cricket Series Malmo 2020.
Dawood Shirzad, the wily leg spinner impressed last termatEuropean Cricket Series Malmo 2020 scalping SIX wickets in five games.
HELSINGBORG ROYALS (HRO)
Captain: Madhan Prabu
Wicketkeeper: Madhan Prabu
Projected Top Four: Abinash Panda, Pramod Kompella, Prasanjit Behera, Madhan Prabu
Projected Opening Bowlers: Gour Sadashiv, Sachin Shetty
Spin Option(s): Rohit Saproo, Abinash Panda
HELSINGBORG ROYALS Key Players:
Abinash Panda, a talented opening batsman, capable of playing fast paced innings. Can bowl quick off spinners and is one of the best all-rounders in the HRO side. Top run scorer and wicket taker for HRO atEuropean Cricket Series Malmo 2020 scoring 92 runs and picking up three wickets.
Rohit Saproo, a tricky slow bowler, the angle and speed at which he bowls will make it tougher for batsmen. Useful middle order batter, can contribute vital runs.
Madhan Prabu, captain, right hand middle order batsman, one of the best hitters in the HRO lineup with a career strike rate of over 140. Will be donning the keeping gloves this season, but can also bowl if needed.
Gour Sadashiv, fast bowler, can produce inswingers at decent speed, highest wicket taker for HRO last season and is generally economical.
Prasanjit Behera, a talented all-round cricketer, a good technical batsman, has the ability to bowl tight line and length with good swing. He is also a gun fielder.
Ariana will fancy their chances of doing the double over the Royals. As in the opener, HRO best chance of claiming a win will come in the first meeting, as the two sides acclimatise themselves with the conditions. Winless in ECS so far, HRO will be pushing hard to claim that elusive first win.
Match Prediction: Ariana CC (ARI) to rack up two comfortable wins.
Tune into the live action from Sweden from Monday to Saturday from 0630 GMT * 0830 CEST * 1200 IST *