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National Counties win group final in European Championship

2 Oct 2021
National Counties win group final in European Championship

Captain Dan Lincoln swept National Counties to the Group C title of the European Championship in Malaga with a brilliant century that secured a thrilling six wickets win over Italy. 

Berkshire batsman Lincoln, who has played T20 cricket for Middlesex and for Kent in the County Championship in the last two seasons, pummelled 105 not out from just 31 balls to take National Counties to victory with three balls to spare in the T10 contest at the Cartama Oval. 

National Counties, who are representing England in the 15-nation tournament, were set a challenging target of 142 but they got there thanks to Lincoln whose eleventh six took him to his century and also clinched victory in the Group C final. National Counties finished on 144 for four. 

Italy had sprung a surprise by beating National Counties in a group match on Wednesday and another upset was on the cards when their captain Baljit Singh made 62 from 19 balls, including eight sixes, to take them to 141 for six. 

But Singh’s innings was quickly eclipsed by Lincoln whose explosive innings also included eight fours. 

Lincoln’s Berkshire team-mate Andy Rishton gave excellent support with 24 from nine balls, three of which he hit for six. 

National Counties reached the group final by beating Germany, also by six wickets, in their qualifier match earlier in the day. 

Germany made a competitive 99 for four in their ten overs but National Counties eased home with two full overs to spare thanks to 51 from Oxfordshire and Sussex opener Harrison Ward. 

He struck four sixes and six fours from just 18 balls and Rishton again played an important role down the order with 31 not out – three fours and two sixes – from 16 balls. 

National Counties now go forward to the second stage of the tournament , the Championship Week, where they will play hosts Spain on Monday October 4. 

Double-headers against Netherland and Belgium follow on Tuesday October 5 and Italy and Austria on Wednesday October 6. 

The play-offs follow on Thursday October 7 with the qualifiers and final on Friday October 8.

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