CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK | MATCH 1 (ECC21.073) BELGIUM (BEL) v ITALY (ITA) 0700 GMT | 0900 CET | 1230 IST
BEL Group StageTimeline: W W W W L W L L W W (Avg Score For 134, Avg Score Against 119)
ITA Group Stage Timeline: L L L L W W W W W W L (Avg Score For 112, Avg Score Against 98)
Captain: Sheikh Sheraz
Wicketkeeper: Ali Raza
Coach: Abhijit Harikrishna Khan
BELGIUM Key Players:
Saber Zakhil, fearsome hitter, currently lies fourth in the world for sixes hit this year in T20i with 19 in seven matches. Highest scorer for BEL plundering 178 runs at a SR of 234 and deservedly bagged three man of the match awards. He can also chip in with crucial wickets in the middle overs and has picked up SIX wickets so far.
Ali Raza, wicket keeper batsman, very good behind the stumps and equally better in-front of it. Second highest scorer for BEL racking up 172 runs in 10 games including a 21-ball 57 vs Sweden in first week.
Shagharai Sefat, produced some impressive spells in recent ECS history, spearheads the Belgian attack. Top wicket taker for Belgium picking up 10 wickets. Returned best figures of 4-21 and blasted 28 off just nine balls to take his side to an emphatic victory over Sweden in the opening week.
SheikhSheraz, captain who leads by example with bat and ball. Played a few crucial knocks in the opening week leading his side to victories mustering a total of 118 runs in the process.
Omid Rahimi, fearsome right handed batsman, one of the best finishers in the tournament, has plundered 126 runs at a strike rate of over 242. Has scored over 87% of his runs in boundaries.
Adnan Razzaq, right arm pacer who has decent pace and is consistent with the ball. Second highest wicket taker for his side scalping EIGHT wickets.
Captain: Baljit Singh
Wicket Keeper: Nisar Ahmed
Projected Top Order: Rajmani Sandhu,Nisar Ahmed, Amir Sharif, Baljit Singh
Projected Opening Bowlers: Muhammad Imran, Ravi Paul, Amir Sharif
Spin Options: Jorawar Singh
Coach: Kamal Kariyawasama Indipolage
ITALY Key Players:
Baljit Singh, right arm medium pacer with good numbers in international T20. The experienced campaigner can also swing the bat hard. Second highest scorer for ITA racking up 211 runs in 10 innings. Muscled a brilliant match winning 43* off 20 balls vs ENG XI to take his side to a first ECC win. Mustered 62* off 19 in the Group C Final against ENG XI again. Has also picked up NINE wickets.
Amir Sharif, right handed batter and right arm pacer, capable of swinging the ball away from the right hander at pace, top wicket taker in the tournament so far scalping 17 wickets including a best return of 4-19 vs GER in the opening game. The all-rounder is also the second highest run scorer in the tournament blasting 324 runs in 11 games including 80* off just 26 balls in the Eliminator and 57* off 24 in the second qualifier.
Jaspreet Singh, right arm medium pacer, has been good throughout the tournament picking up 13 wickets in nine games with a best return of 3-7 sv CZR.
Nisar Ahmed, wicket keeper batsman, has plenty of T10 experience playing in the ECS, third highest scorer for ITA racking up 164 runs in nine games including a match winning 51* off 22 vs CZR in the Eliminator.
Italy might have succumbed in the Group C final but surely have serious momentum on their side. ITA are way ahead of Belgium in the ICC T20I rankings and will be bolstered by the addition of star all-rounder Rajmani Sandhu. BEL have also added a few big names to their squad including former captain Sherry Butt and talented all-rounder Burhan Niaz who impressed in the T20I series against Malta. The Championship Week opener promises to be an entertaining affair.
Match Prediction: Italy (ITA) to win the Championship Week curtain-raiser.
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