Spain national squad during 2019 La Manga T20 Tri-series - Image by Cricket Espana @Cricket_Espana (Twitter)
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Host’s Spain remained unbeaten in the 3-nation T20 Tri-series and won the tournament, after the final day’s matches were abandoned due to weather conditions at La Manga Club cricket ground. Spain won both their encounters against Estonia XI and Malta (T20I games) in the first two round-robin group stage, while Malta finished 2nd in the points table with two wins over Estonia XI, who remained without a win.

Spain won both their T20I matches against Malta pretty convincingly. The 2nd T20I match between the countries saw Spain put up a massive 200+ total on board before restricting Malta below 100 to register a comfortable win. The highlight of the match being Spain’s maiden T20I century scored by Awais Ahmed (102 n.o off 64), and in the company of Paul Hennessy (71 off 44), the opening pair put up 155 runs to give Spain a blistering start. Awais became the 28th player in International Cricket to have scored a T20I century and his knock was the 41st T20I century scored in all T20I matches played till date.

Spain’s Awais Ahmed congratulated by team-mates after his unbeaten maiden T20I century against Malta – Image by Cricket Espana @Cricket_Espana (Twitter)

Malta kept loosing wickets at regular intervals without any acceleration in their scoring rate, as they got bowled out for 97 in their 20th over. Faran Afzal was the pick of the bowlers with 3/11 in his 4-overs spell, who also finished as the highest wicket-taker in the Tri-series with 7 wickets from 4 matches. Spain’s Tom Vine picked up 6 wickets in 2 matches, while Malta’s Niraj Khanna and Estonia XI’s Kalle Vislappu picked up 4 wickets each in as many games.

Malta’s Bikram Arora (101 runs from 4 matches) and Niraj Khanna (86 runs from 4 matches) showed promise with the bat, and while their contributions were mostly against Estonia XI, more competitive matches will definitely help them to put up more consistent performances against tougher opponents. Spain’s Paul Hennessy (78 runs from 4 matches) and Faran Afzal (62 runs from 4 matches) contributed well with the bat for the home side. Spain’s Yasir Ali also registered a T20I half-century to his name on the opening day’s action in the tournament.

La Manga Club will next host T20I matches when the ICC Women’s WT20 Europe qualifiers takes place, which will see Scotland, Netherlands and Germany take part.

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