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National Counties win European Championship

8 Oct 2021
National Counties win European Championship

National Counties XI won the Dream11 European Championship by beating Belgium by ten wickets in the final at the Cartama Oval in Malaga. 

National Counties, who represented England in the 15-nation T10 tournament, had earlier beaten Belgium by three wickets in a last ball thriller in the play-off match that secured their place in the final. 

But there were no alarms in the final as openers Harrison Ward (Oxfordshire and Sussex) and skipper Dan Lincoln (Berkshire) saw National Counties to a target of 149 with seven balls to spare. 

Lincoln stuck six sixes and six fours in his unbeaten 80 from 31 balls and Ward made 61 not out from 24 balls, an innings that also included six sixes. 

The opening partnership completed a productive tournament for Ward and Lincoln and ensured that National Counties completed a successful two weeks on the Costa del Sol having suffered only two defeats – against Italy and Belgium – in busy programme of 19 matches. 

Belgium’s total of 148 for six in the final was based on a third wicket partnership of 89 between Sherry Butt (54) and Ali Raza (43). 

Hertfordshire paceman Zaman Akhter broke the partnership when he bowled Raza and finished with three for 18 from his two overs. 

Earlier in the day it was Wales NC’s Richard Edwards who proved National Counties’ hero but in the unlikely role of a batsman. 

Edwards, a model of consistency as a new ball bowler throughout the tournament, walked out to bat for his first innings in the competition with National Counties needing 10 for victory with three balls of the match remaining having lost two wickets in the first three balls of the final over bowled by Waqas Raja. 

Having failed to score off the first ball he faced, Edwards then thumped the next for a six and when Raja overstepped off what should have been the last ball, the umpire signalled a no-ball. 

Edwards managed to take a single off that delivery and Wiltshire’s Arthur Godsal who scrambled two off the final ball. 

Earlier Godsal had taken three for 11 in his two overs and Same Pearce of Wales NC two for 19 but it was Berkshire’s Andy Rishton who took the man of the match award for his three for three from 11 balls to help dismiss Belgium for 94. 

Belgium then beat Netherlands by six wickets in their second qualifier match to reach the final.

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