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Gibraltar Women Crowned Women’s Cricket Central Europe Cup Champions

The Gibraltar Women’s cricket team emerged victorious in the Women’s Cricket Central Europe Cup, securing the championship title with a series of dominant performances. Their journey to the top was marked by a mixture of decisive victories and a lone setback, demonstrating the vast progress that the squad is making as cricket sets into their new era since arriving at their new home at Europa Sports Complex. The game having taken a new life since 2019 with both youth and women’s cricket making big strides.
The women’s cricket success in the international stage against the Czech Republic and Croatia coming on the back of positive results against Estonia earlier this spring.
Having already also hit the headlines by fielding the oldest player to play internationally, Gibraltar is also seeing some other talents emerging.
Nikki Caruana and Elizabeth Ferrary among the key performers this weekend that took Gibraltar to voctory. Both earning themselves player of the match awards during the tournament.

Match 1: Gibraltar Women vs. Czech Republic Women (June 14, 2024)
In the tournament opener, Gibraltar Women set a strong tone by defeating the Czech Republic Women by 54 runs. Batting first, Gibraltar posted a competitive total of 141 for 4 in their 20 overs. Nikki Caruana anchored the innings with an unbeaten 49 off 61 balls, supported by valuable contributions from Elizabeth Ferrary (15) and Lauren Payas (16*). Extras played a significant role, contributing 34 runs to the total.
Czech Republic’s bowlers struggled with discipline, conceding 23 wides and 7 no-balls. Magdalena Ulmanova and Anushree Kshirsagar each took two wickets, but Gibraltar’s batting lineup proved resilient.
In response, the Czech Republic Women could only manage 87 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. Katerina Tesarikova (23) and Tereza Kolcunova (23) were the top scorers, but the Gibraltar bowlers, led by Elizabeth Ferrary (2 for 13) and Yanira Blagg (2 for 11), kept the Czech batters in check. Caruana’s all-round performance earned her the Player of the Match award.

Scorecard Highlights:
- Gibraltar Women: 141/4 (20 overs)
- Czech Republic Women: 87/7 (20 overs)
- Player of the Match: Nikki Caruana (Gibraltar) - 49* off 61 balls

Match 3: Gibraltar Women vs. Croatia Women (June 15, 2024)
Gibraltar faced a setback in their second game, losing to Croatia Women by 29 runs. Batting first, Croatia posted 127 for 6, thanks largely to a superb innings by Erin Vukusic, who scored 63 off 44 balls. Ferrary and Benatar each claimed two wickets, but Croatia’s total was bolstered by 36 extras.
Gibraltar’s chase faltered as Vukusic starred with the ball too, taking 3 for 27. Despite Christine McNally’s 12 and Helen Mumford’s 14, Gibraltar could only reach 98 for 7 in 20 overs. Vukusic’s all-round brilliance earned her the Player of the Match award.

Scorecard Highlights:*
- Croatia Women: 127/6 (20 overs)
- Gibraltar Women: 98/7 (20 overs)
- Player of the Match: Erin Vukusic (Croatia) - 63 off 44 balls and 3/27

Match 5: Gibraltar Women vs. Croatia Women (June 16, 2024)
Gibraltar bounced back with a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Croatia in their third match. Croatia was bundled out for just 62 in 17 overs. Elizabeth Ferrary (3 for 11) and Yanira Blagg (2 for 6) were exceptional with the ball.
In reply, Gibraltar chased down the target in just 11.4 overs without losing a wicket. Captain Amy Benatar scored 21* and Caruana 24*, sealing a dominant win. Caruana’s all-round performance (24* and 2/10) earned her the Player of the Match award.

Scorecard Highlights:
- Croatia Women: 62 all out (17 overs)
- Gibraltar Women: 63/0 (11.4 overs)
- Player of the Match: Nikki Caruana (Gibraltar) - 24* off 29 balls and 2/10

Match 6: Gibraltar Women vs. Czech Republic Women (June 16, 2024)
In the final and decisive match, Gibraltar Women showcased how far they have now progressed in their development by defeating the Czech Republic Women by 104 runs. Batting first, Gibraltar amassed a formidable 200 for 5 in their 20 overs. Elizabeth Ferrary played a magnificent innings, scoring 68 off 54 balls, supported by Lauren Payas with a quickfire 54 off 41 balls. Once again, extras contributed significantly with 40 runs.

The Czech Republic, facing a daunting target, crumbled to 96 all out in 14.1 overs. Benatar was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 8, while Blagg took 3 for 14. Ferrary’s all-round effort (68 and 1/14) was rewarded with the Player of the Match award.

Scorecard Highlights:
- Gibraltar Women: 200/5 (20 overs)
- Czech Republic Women: 96 all out (14.1 overs)
- Player of the Match: Elizabeth Ferrary (Gibraltar) - 68 off 54 balls and 1/14

Championship Conclusion
Gibraltar Women’s consistent performance throughout the tournament saw them crowned champions of the Women’s Cricket Central Europe Cup. Their ability to recover from setbacks and dominate crucial matches was key to their success. Nikki Caruana and Elizabeth Ferrary were standout performers, showcasing exceptional skills with both bat and ball. The team’s collective effort and strategic prowess were evident as they lifted the trophy, bringing pride to Gibraltar cricket.

The Final - Match Report
Gibraltar Women vs Czech Republic Women, Final Match Report - Women’s Central Europe Cup

Gibraltar Women clinched the Women’s Central Europe Cup title with a resounding 104-run victory over the Czech Republic Women in the final match, held at Vinor, Prague. The comprehensive win was anchored by stellar performances from Elizabeth Ferrary and a dominant team effort in both batting and bowling departments.

Gibraltar Women Innings

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Gibraltar Women set an imposing total of 200/5 in their allotted 20 overs. Elizabeth Ferrary led the charge with a brilliant 68 off 54 balls, showcasing a mix of aggression and composure. She was well-supported by Lauren Payas, who scored a quickfire 54 off 41 balls. The innings was bolstered by a substantial number of extras, with the Czech bowlers conceding 40 runs through wides and no-balls.
The Czech Republic bowlers struggled to find their rhythm, with only a few breakthroughs amidst the onslaught. Magdalena Ulmanova and Anushree Kshirsagar managed to claim two wickets each, but the disciplined and aggressive batting from Gibraltar ensured a formidable total.

Key Batting Performances:
- Elizabeth Ferrary: 68 runs off 54 balls
- Lauren Payas: 54 runs off 41 balls
- Extras: 40 runs

Czech Republic Women Innings
Chasing a daunting target of 201, the Czech Republic Women faced early setbacks and could never recover. They were bowled out for 96 in just 14.1 overs. Gibraltar’s bowlers were relentless, led by Amy Benatar and Yanira Blagg, who dismantled the Czech batting lineup with remarkable efficiency.
The Czech innings started with a glimmer of hope as Avaniben Joshi and Tereza Kolcunova tried to build a foundation, but consistent breakthroughs kept the pressure on. Key dismissals by Elizabeth Ferrary and Yanira Blagg ensured that the Czech Republic could not mount a significant challenge.

Key Bowling Performances:
- Amy Benatar: 4 wickets for 8 runs
- Yanira Blagg: 3 wickets for 14 runs
- Elizabeth Ferrary: 1 wicket for 14 runs

Fall of Wickets and Match Progression

The Czech Republic’s chase was hampered right from the start. The first breakthrough came when Anushree Kshirsagar was run out for 5, courtesy of a sharp fielding effort by Blagg and Barton. Following this, regular wickets fell:

1. Anushree Kshirsagar run out (Blagg/Barton) - 0.4 overs
2. Avaniben Joshi bowled by Benatar - 4.6 overs
3. Tereza Kolcunova bowled by Ferrary - 5.5 overs
4. Zuzana Franova bowled by Benatar - 6.2 overs
5. Jana Kominkova bowled by Benatar - 6.3 overs
6. Katerina Tesarikova bowled by Blagg - 11.1 overs
7. Erika Kuncova bowled by Caruana - 12.3 overs
8. Sarka Kolcunova bowled by Blagg - 13.1 overs
9. Zuzana Flamikova bowled by Blagg - 13.2 overs
10. Romana Mikulaskova lbw by Benatar - 14.1 overs

Despite brief resistance from Katerina Tesarikova, who scored a quick 24 off 20 balls, the Czech innings folded quickly. The final wicket fell at 14.1 overs, with Romana Mikulaskova trapped lbw by Benatar for a duck, sealing the comprehensive victory for Gibraltar.

Player of the Match
Elizabeth Ferrary was deservedly named Player of the Match for her outstanding all-round performance, scoring 68 crucial runs and taking a vital wicket. Her contributions were instrumental in both setting up a massive total and in maintaining the pressure during the Czech innings.

Final Scorecard:
- Gibraltar Women: 200/5 (20 overs)
- Czech Republic Women: 96 all out (14.1 overs)
- Result: Gibraltar Women won by 104 runs

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