The National Counties XI made a successful start to their Dream 11 European Championship campaign with victories over Germany and Finland in Malaga.
National Counties, representing England at the 15-nation T20 tournament at the Cartama Oval, defeated Germany by six wickets in their opening Group C match and followed up with another emphatic nine wickets success against Finland later in the day.
Germany were dismissed for 55 with ten balls of their ten overs unused as Richard Edwards (Wales) took two for seven from his two overs and Herefordshire leg-spinner Alex Russell filleted the tail by taking three for four in the eight balls he bowled.
National Counties recovered from losing Dan Lincoln (Berkshire) and Tom Bevan (Wales NC) in the first five balls of the innings to chase down their target in just 37 balls.
Oxfordshire’s Harrison Ward, who is contracted to Sussex, made 41 not out from 18 balls with 36 of his runs coming in boundaries – four sixes and two fours.
Finland set National Counties a slightly stiffer target in the second match of the day having batted the full ten overs to reach 71 for six.
Sam Pearce of Wales, who played for Glamorgan in this season’s Royal London One Day Cup, took two for four in his only over with Edwards, Russell and Andy Rishton (Berkshire) taking a wicket apiece.
Ward continued where he left off against Germany, making 40 from just 12 balls with four sixes and three fours in an opening stand of 67 in 21 balls with Lincoln.
Ward departed when five runs were needed for victory but Lincoln struck the next ball for six to finish unbeaten on 26 from ten balls as National Counties romped home with 38 balls to spare.
National Counties face Italy and Germany in their next Group C matches on Tuesday September 28.