In Group 1 of this European sub-regional B qualifier for the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, Guernsey’s hopes of reaching the final rested on Bulgaria, who they needed to beat Austria by a big margin.

It ended up being a big win but, unfortunately for Guernsey, in the other direction. Austria batted first and scored 206-4 with Iqbal Hossain (71 from 34 balls) and Armaan Randhawa (78 not out from 45) the leading run scorers. Hristo Lakov was the only Bulgarian batter to reach double figures with 14 as they were bowled out for 48, losing by 158 runs and securing Austria’s place in the final.

In the other Group 1 match, Luxembourg were bowled out for 129 but were able to successfully defend this total. Saransh Kushretha and Atif Kamal both took three wickets as Slovenia were kept to 124-8 from their 20 overs, a 5 run win for Luxembourg.

In Group 2, France had a mathematical chance of passing Norway on net run rate, but their total of 183-7 ensured that Norway would qualify even if France bowled out Estonia for 0. Gustav Mckeon continued his rich vein of form, scoring 87. Rain adjusted Estonia’s target to 150 from 16 overs and they scored 124-8, losing by 25 runs.

In the other Group 2 match Switzerland captain Faheem Nazir scored 113 from 67 balls as his team scored 183-8 from their 20 overs. There was no centurion for the Czech Republic in their reply, but they still chased down their target with 2.2 overs to spare, Sazib Bhuiyan top scoring with 51 from 25 balls.

Austria will now meet Norway to decide which team progresses to the European final alongside Group C winners Denmark, Group A winners Italy, the two teams relegated from the global qualifier for 2022 Germany and Jersey and any European teams that fail to finish in the top eight places at this year’s T20 World Cup and are ranked outside the top 12 teams on the ICC rankings.