Without serial winners Super Kings, we present a wide-open contest for our final event of another breathtaking year of action on the European Cricket Network.
Bugibba Blasters are the only debutant for the Encore and face a stiff test against tried and tested ECS performers, stacked with proven talent and experience.
In 2020, Southern Crusaders secured second spot in the group stages behind Knights with six wins, but fell at the semi-final hurdle to Marsa who timed their run to complete perfection. SOC were a little below par earlier this year with a 3-5 group stage record and made a premature quarter-final exit to Super Kings.
Mater Dei made a solid debut in the summer, but will have to improve on a 4-4 record, losing to the Knights in the quarter-finals. After a modest showing in 2020, Overseas were transformed earlier this year and following a serious improvement, marched all the way to the final, only to lose to the unstoppable Super Kings. Overseas will fancy their chances of going deep again from Group A.
In Group B, Marsa will be looking to repeat their strong showing from last season. After bagging only four wins in the group stages from ten games, Marsa marched to victory in 2020 following two strong knockout showings at absloutely the right time. Ironically, Marsa finished top of the group standings (6-2) earlier this year but lost in a massive shock in the quarter-final to debutants Swieqi United.
Atlas UTC Knights finished top of the standings during the group stages of the 2020 European Cricket Series Malta, the only unbeaten side with seven wins. However, Knights came unstuck in the all-important game, losing the Final unexpectedly to Marsa. After a promising 6-2 record in the group stages, the Knights came unstuck in the semi-finals earlier this summer to the overpowering Super Kings and will be looking to go one better this time around.
American University of Malta won only one game on debut in 2020 to languish at the bottom of the standings, but the University side made a massive improvement in the summer with four wins, before losing to Overseas in the quarter-finals. Gozo did manage to win one game on debut, but also racked up a series of unwanted records last season, including the lowest ever score in ECS history - 6 all out against SKI. Royal Strikers also managed only one win as well and have serious work to do as well to feature in the knockout stages.
Bugibba Blasters BB
Mater Dei MTD
Msida Warriors MSW
Royal Strikers RST