Netherlands XI have dominated their group at the ECC. / ECN

Netherlands XI run rampant in week two at the European Cricket Championship

The Dutch national team went into Thursday's games unbeaten, topped their group and are the favourites to make it to Championship Week

SHAY CONAGHAN MALAGA.

Netherlands XI have taken group B of the European Cricket Championship by storm following a very strong display during the opening four days of the second week of the competition, currently being played at the Cártama Oval.

Netherlands XI defeated both Sweden and Hungary on the opening day by 11 and five runs, respectively. They then beat Denmark by 14 runs and Sweden by a comfortable five wickets on Tuesday, before annihilating second-placed Finland by 92 runs on Wednesday.

The Dutch side went into Thursday's games with a comfortable four-point lead over the Fins; and an early morning win against Hungary meant that the Dutch topped the group and secured their spot in Friday's Qualifier 1. The Finnish side's two other defeats came at the hands of Sweden and Denmark, but the loss to Netherlands XI was a big blow for their chances of finishing first.

The Dutch will play against Finland in Qualifier 1 today (Friday 11.30am) to see who makes it to the group final; while Sweden and Denmark battle it out to remain in the running of competing in the final against the Q1 winner.

Spanish cricket can only grow after shock success in Cártama

Despite qualifying for the next stage of the European Cricket Championship, Spain had already made their mark on the tournament after finishing second in their group to Ireland XI, whom they would go on to beat in the group final.

For Spanish national team captain Christian Muñóz-Mills, the team's performance will only bring good things. "What we achieved last week helps cricket's growth in Spain a lot," he told SUR in English. "In the end, it's something that's exhibited and is watched."

"It's hard for us because of the money issue. The fact we [played] well will attract sponsors to keep growing, building more fields and bring more coaches so Spaniards can start playing," he explained.