Turf on fire as Brigade advance to Friday shoot-out

Brigade made it six wins on the bounce in their European League group with two more exciting victories on Thursday and will now have a couple of bites at making it through to the outright final which takes place in Malaga tomorrow afternoon. 

Andy Britton’s side started the day with a 7-wicket win over table toppers Royal Tigers of Budapest who had already progressed to tomorrow morning’s 1st v 2nd qualifier courtesy of their superior run rate.

Skipper Harsh Mandhyan made 23, Abhishek Kheterpal 21 and Stan Ahuja 17 as the Hungarians were all out for 89 from the final ball of their 10th over. Iftikhar Hussain bowled really well again to pick up 3-14, Ryan Macbeth started a superb day for himself with 2-12 and skipper Britton chipped in with 2-15.

The Brigade captain then hit 3 fours and a six in his 25 at the start of the reply and the good work was continued by Adam McDaid (25 not out) and David Barr (20 not out) as Brigade timed the chase to perfection to win with 3 balls to spare.

That win meant that the North West side only needed to keep their NRR advantage over Griffins in the afternoon game to secure a place in the morning play-off against a team they’ve now beaten twice this week.

That said, in their way was Guernsey outfit Griffins, the only team to lower Brigade’s colours since they arrived on the Spanish coast. And this one turned out to be another thriller, decided by a superb all-round performance by Ryan Macbeth.

‘Turf’ was promoted to the top of the order after several decent efforts with the bat and that turned out to be a masterstroke from Britton as he and Graeme McCarter (21) put on 38 for the first wicket.

Brigade lost their way a touch in the middle overs, losing a couple of wickets for not many runs but the Donegal man stood firm. Macbeth finished on 55 not out (5 fours 3 sixes) and that meant that his side had 100 runs to defend in the crunch game. The reality was that Griffins needed to knock the runs off in 9 overs to leap-frog their opponents in the table but Brigade just managed to keep them at arms length.

The dangerous Luke Le Tissier hit a quickfire 17 and Jason Martin’s 16-ball 30 kept the Channel Islanders in the contest, while a late 23 not out from David Wallen had the North West side looking nervously over their shoulders towards the end.

Hussein’s 2-17 slowed things down, but it was that man Macbeth who was to have the final say as he bowled the last over of the contest, conceding just a single run off the bat to finish with superb figures of 2-10.

The Beechgrove side really does have the wind in their sails going into the last day of the tournament and a great chance now for them now to finish off in style.

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