Gibraltar cricket produces the goods on home soil against Luxembourg
Gibraltar cricket fans enjoyed another important T20I with the visit from Luxembourg this past weekend.
It was to be another series in which Gibraltar would come out level with the visitors, winning their first match and losing the second. For 15 year old Alex Sawyer, this was to be his debut for Gibraltar with praise coming from officials who described his progress as “improving day by day for the last two years.”
Gibraltar cricket president Mark Garratt, after the matches was to write in social media, “the last few weeks has seen this Gibraltar cricket squad play 6 games against three opponents who rank around our position or above us. To come away with 4 wins and 2 small margin losses is a tribute to the hard work all the players, coaches and support personnel have put in. I am looking forward to see how we have progressed up the ICC rankings after these games. An achievement to be proud of and a firm footing to build on, with the world cup qualifiers next year.”
1st T20I: Gibraltar vs. Luxembourg
The first T20I of the series between Gibraltar and Luxembourg, held at Europa Sports Complex on October 15, 2023, delivered a thrilling encounter. Gibraltar won the toss and chose to bat first. They posted a competitive total of 172/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
The standout performance of the match came from Gibraltar’s Kayron J Stagno, who was named the Player of the Match for his stunning century. Stagno blasted 101 runs off just 49 deliveries, featuring eight boundaries and seven towering sixes. His explosive innings set the stage for Gibraltar’s competitive total.
Apart from Stagno, Kenroy Nestor (18) and Samarth Bodha (11) provided some valuable contributions, helping Gibraltar reach their total. However, they lost wickets at regular intervals, with Luxembourg’s Mohit Dixit and Ankush Nanda claiming two wickets each.
Luxembourg’s chase began with Timothy Barker (10) and Shiv Gill (64) putting up a 64-run partnership for the second wicket. Gill’s aggressive knock included two boundaries and three sixes and kept Luxembourg’s hopes alive. The bowlers made their mark for Gibraltar, with Samarth Bodha taking three crucial wickets for just 16 runs.
In the end, Luxembourg was restricted to 148/8 in their 20 overs, falling short by 24 runs. Kayron J Stagno’s match-winning century and Gibraltar’s effective bowling display were the highlights of this exciting contest.
Result: Gibraltar won by 24 runs.
2nd T20I: Luxembourg vs. Gibraltar
The second T20I of the series between Luxembourg and Gibraltar witnessed a complete reversal of fortunes. This time, Luxembourg won the toss and elected to bat first, posting a competitive total of 165 runs.
Jigyasu Pant (40) and James Barker (48) were the standout performers for Luxembourg. Pant’s brisk 29-ball knock included four boundaries and a six, while Barker’s 43-ball innings featured four boundaries. Gibraltar’s Louis Bruce, Kabir Mirpuri, and Andrew Reyes picked up crucial wickets to restrict Luxembourg’s total.
In response, Gibraltar got off to a shaky start, losing their opening batsman, Louis Bruce, for a duck on the very first ball of the innings. The Gibraltar skipper, Kayron J Stagno, played a captain’s knock, scoring 68 runs from 46 balls, which included three boundaries and five towering sixes. However, his efforts weren’t enough to secure a victory for his team.
The rest of the batting order struggled to maintain a consistent run rate, and Luxembourg’s bowlers, led by Ankush Nanda, Amit Dhingra, and Vikram Vijh, kept the pressure on. Ultimately, Gibraltar finished at 154/8 in their 20 overs, 11 runs short of the target.
Result: Luxembourg won by 11 runs.
In the second T20I, Luxembourg managed to bounce back from their previous defeat, securing a hard-fought victory. Gibraltar’s Kayron J Stagno and Luxembourg’s bowlers were the standout performers in this closely contested match. The series concluded with both teams winning one T20I each, showcasing the competitiveness of the encounter.