THE European Cricket championship enters its Finals Week on Monday October 4, with England XI qualifying thanks to an unbeaten century from skipper Dan Lincoln.
An impressive Italy side that had earlier beaten the Czech Republic in the eliminator match took on England, who had got the better of titleholders Germany in Qualifier 1.
And Italy backed up their new-found status as contenders by posting an impressive 141 in their 10 overs against England in the Group C final.
But England are made of stern stuff and an unbeaten 105 from just 31 balls from England skipper Dan Lincoln chased down the total with three balls to spare.
The 26-year-old wicket keeper batsman, who has played county cricket for Kent and Glamorgan, is only the second man to hit a ton in the international T10 format.
Speaking about his expectations for Championship Week he said: “We obviously set out to get through the first week so we are very pleased to have done that. We’ve learnt a lot already; about how carefree and aggressive you can bat,” he said.
“It gets a bit nervy at times in such a short format and when things go wrong, they go wrong quickly, quite drastically. But we’ve done well with only one loss, but I think other sides have learnt from us as well so it’s been a good experience.”
England and Italy join hosts Spain and Belgium from Group A and the Netherlands and Austria from Group B in Finals Week, where the teams will play a round robin competition.
The winner of the Dream11 European Cricket Championship will be crowned on Friday, October 8 at the Oval de Cártama in Malaga, Spain.
Entrance is free, with drinks and food available each day of the contest.
For more details, including the full schedule, teams and links to high quality TV coverage, click here.