For the first time in its two-decade history, the Icelandic Cricket Association is staging two tournaments at the same time. While the Íslensk Premier League (T20) competition continues on Sundays, the midweek Sixty Ball Shootout (T10) competition is about to launch on Wednesday evenings. The opening games take place this evening, at 1830 UTC.
The Sixty Ball Shootout began last season as a last-minute replacement for the cancelled European Cricket Series, a T10 tournament which has taken amateur cricket by storm all over the continent. Kópavogur were crowned champions, completing an historic season treble.
Hafnarfjörður feel hot
Sitting top of the table after the first four weeks of the ÍPL, the Hammers are enjoying a streak of good form, but they are relying heavily on two batsmen: Dushan Bandara (173 runs at 173.00) and Chamley Fernando (119 runs at 39.67). Others have chipped in here and there, but Hafnarfjördur could be in trouble if they lose both early. Mehmood Tariq has proven a useful addition to the seam attack alongside Mohammad Younas and Bandara.
Kit Harris’s prediction: Expect one of the big booming bats to come off more often than not. They’ll score more and faster than the other teams. Forecast: 1st place.
Vesturbær will be confident
With strong batting at the top in the shape of Sebastiaan Dreyer (93 runs at 46.50) and Avik Ghosh (62 runs at 20.67), expect them to get off to a good start in the early overs. Lee Nelson hasn’t come off yet, but he surely will. Combined with Sampath Nagarajan (35 runs at 35.00), the Volcano have a decent and fast-scoring top-order. They have a capable seam quintet in Kathir Narayanan, GK Ramachandran, Mohit Kotian, Sunil Tandra and Nagarajan.
Kit Harris’s prediction: They’ll compete with the bat, but their bowling attack is very samey. It’s all just right-arm slow-medium. A lack of variety will cost them. Forecast: 4th place.
Kópavogur are coming along
Batting continues to be the Puffins’ main worry. They have several players who can score a few runs (Bala Kamallakharan, Nolan Williams, David Cook, Abhi Chauhan and Jakob Robertson) but only Kamallakharan and Chauhan have scored at over a run a ball, and nobody has yet reached a half-century. Jegadeesh Subramaniyam (9 wickets at 4.89) is red-hot with the ball, with a five-wicket haul and a hat trick under his belt.
Kit Harris’s prediction: The bowling is in great nick and Subramaniyam will take down giants. The batting will cost them big time, though. Forecast: 3rd place.
Reykjavík may run riot
There have been good showings from Derick Deonarain (91 runs at 45.50), Lakshitha Bimsara (53 runs at 26.50) and Ravi Rawat (41 runs at 20.50) and the top order can score rapidly, but the Vikings don’t yet seem to know what their best batting order is. It all hinges on Deonarain and whether others can build partnerships and momentum with him. Bandara and Sadun Lankathilaka are bowing well, and Lal Mahagoda is in form with his offies.
Kit Harris’s prediction: They will compete hard with Hafnarfjörður and have a good chance of taking the title. They just don’t quite have the firepower the Hammers have. Forecast: 2nd place.