The European Cricket Network live broadcasts the 2020 European Cricket Series Barcelona encounter between Minhaj and Badalona Shaheen.
Tune in to the live action Thursday from 8:30am CET * 7:30am UK/GMT * 1pm IST from the Montjuïc ground in Barcelona, Spain.
Team Preview for Minhaj
Minhaj CC were Spanish domestic champions in 2019 but had a rough introduction to the European Cricket Series in their first match, compiling only 46 in their opening match. They have improved as the series has gone on, but at only one win out of four matches, this seems to be a must win if they are to be contenders.
Captain: Muhammad Aftab Nawaz
Main Wicketkeeper: Usman Mushtaq
Muhammad Riaz was outstanding in Minhaj’s last match against the Bangladesh Kings. He performed an outstanding double of 50 runs and two wickets, but unfortunately for Minhaj, it wasn’t enough to topple the Kings on Wednesday evening.
Jafar Iqbal was instrumental in Minhaj's solitary win against Falco on Wednesday morning, scoring an unbeaten 53 off only 20 balls at number four, hitting the ball very crisply. He couldn’t repeat the dose later in the day, but he is certainly one to watch.
Khizar Ali hasn’t capitalised on his opportunities at the top of the order so far. He is capable though – who could forget his cameo of 70 off 26 balls for Pak Montcada last month!
Team Preview for Badalona Shaheen
Badalona Shaheen CC also find themselves with a lone win out of four matches this week, albeit with a pretty tough draw early in the tournament. They look a more dangerous lineup than in the previous series, bolstered by the inclusion of Kuldeep Lal. Still, the time is now if they are to make a run for a semi-final place.
Captain: Dilawar Khan
Main Wicketkeeper: Hamza Ali
Kuldeep Lal was the leading run scorer in the first ever ECS back in March although he was a bit quiet last month in Barcelona. He has roared back to the top of the charts this week with some big hitting and has now scored in excess of 500 runs in ECS cricket. Usually a wicketkeeper, he has been destructive when thrown the ball in this series with seven wickets including an incredible spell of 4 for 5 against the powerful Pak I Care side. If he fires, Badalona Shaheen will be tough to stop.
Babar Khan will open the batting. Having given away the gloves temporarily due to an injury sustained early in the week, he remains and important cog of the batting machine for his team. With natural keeping option Kuldeep bowling so well, we’ve seen Hamza Ali assume the duties behind the stumps in Babar’s place.
Hamza Saleem is a very good all-round cricketer. The Spanish representative is only going at eight runs per over in this series, picking up four wickets along the way. He’s also more than useful with the bat in hand, able to pick up boundaries early in his innings so his team don't lose too much momentum after a wicket falls.
Mr Maximo’s tip: BADALONA SHAHEEN
Minhaj came through for me yesterday when I tipped them to upset Falco, and I find myself tempted to tip them to win the first match of the day once again. However, I have a feeling Badalona Shaheen will click into gear on Thursday morning and defeat Minhaj to keep their finals aspirations alive. This is a must-win for both teams so I’m expecting some good hard cricket, just the way we like it in the European Cricket Series!
Tune in to the European Cricket Network to catch all of the action, available on FanCode on the Indian subcontinent and Sports Flick if you’re watching from anywhere else around the world.