Sandri backs Italy to pull of surprises
Italy batsman Carl Sandri believes his side have a puncher’s chance of claiming a top two finish in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 Tournament to advance to the next stage of World Cup qualifying.
Australian-born Sandri was a key contributor in the visitors posting a formidable total yesterday, stroking 44 runs against a Bermuda Select at Sea Breeze Oval.
The right-handed batsman shared in a key fifth-wicket partnership with Damian Crowley to help his team to a comfortable win.
“The conditions were a bit challenging to start off with but it was good to get used to the local surroundings and get a chance to see how the elements factor into a match,” said Sandri.
“It was a good total for us; it would be great if we advance and we back ourselves to make some noise in the tournament. If we can put out some good performances then it’s a real possibility that we can do some big things.”
Sandri previously played for Victoria second XI in Australia before moving to England to play county cricket for Worcestershire Second XI.
He qualifies to play for Italy by way of his Italian heritage, and was selected as part of Italy's fourteen man squad for the 2012 World Twenty20 qualifier in the United Arab Emirates last March.
In his nine matches in the competition, he took 13 wickets at a bowling average of 19.23, with best figures of for wickets for nine runs and ended the tournament as Italy's joint leading wicket-taker alongside Crowley.
Italy finished the tournament in tenth place and therefore missed out on qualification for the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Despite the disappointment of missing the finals, Sandri reckons the experience the team has gained from recent tours will help Italy fly the European flag with pride and even pull off a few surprises.
“We fancy ourselves to get results, we are the only European side here so we want to carry the European banner with pride and impress a few people,” he said.
“The conditions here are a bit like in Dubai where we just left so hopefully we are on the rise and we just needed to get here, settle in and prepare ourselves for the bigger picture.”
Italy were promoted to the 2011 ICC World Cricket League Division Three, where they came fourth to remain in the division this time around.
They open their campaign in Bermuda against Oman on Sunday at Lords in St David’s, before facing off against USA on Monday at the National Sports Centre.
These matches are followed by contests against Uganda on Wednesday, Bermuda on Thursday and finishing with Nepal next Saturday.
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