Once again, Carlton took control of both their play-off matches today (Thurs 24th) at the Cartama Oval in Malaga, Spain.
First up for the undefeated Scots were Cluj, whom Carlton had beaten by 12 runs earlier in the week. The Romanian champions started positively with two boundaries in the first two balls however it was Gupta who finished the over in style dismissing Singh.
Evans followed up with two wickets in a strange 12 ball 2nd over and at the midway point Cluj had moved to 41/4. Carlton kept up the pressure with wickets for Southwell, Gupta and Mohammed (2) restricting Cluj to 86/8 in their 10 overs.
Coach Gilmour had wanted the team to grow their experience in the run chase and they stuttered early on until Southwell’s maximum at the end of the 3rd over upped the run rate. From then on, Carlton looked in total control throughout the innings and this was exemplified in the 8th when Shah put the foot to the accelerator hitting four consecutive boundaries to win the match with eight wickets and 19 balls to spare.
Next up for the Arrows were the Swiss Champions Olten, who had finished 2nd to Carlton in the Group stages.
Once again Carlton opened with the ball in hand and pretty much snuffed out any opposition in the first seven balls reducing their opponents to 5/3. To their Swiss credit, Olten battled on, but with Raza and Beattie on top form they finally capitulated in the 8th all out for 59.
A target of 60 was never going to trouble Carlton and again they built up their score steadily until the 7th over, when Shah decided it was time to end proceedings hitting three consecutive boundaries. A no-ball ended the match with Carlton winners by eight wickets.
Carlton Coach Stevie Gilmour has seen his side improve each day and said “That was our best day yet with two good run chases and I am pleased to see us applying what we have learnt in this format. I thought the spinners Raza and Beattie were great today with important wickets at a low economy rate.
“Southwell again looked confident with the bat winning the player of the match award versus Cluj and Shah looks like he has mastered T10 cricket already.
“We will be missing Hugo tomorrow as he needs to return home for work, however that gives the opportunity for one of our other players to step up and be a match winner.
“We are all excited about tomorrow and going for two wins.”
It’s the final day of Group C tomorrow and Carlton play Cluj in qualifier 1 at 8am which if they win puts them into the final at 4pm. If they lose to Cluj, they have a second chance at a place in the final in Qualifier 2 at 1pm.