Latvia has taken out the first leg of the 2011 Baltic Cricket 20/20 Cup, defeating Lithuania in the final in Tukums, Latvia on June 12. The result came as something of a surprise with pre-tournament favorites Estonia failing to even make it through to the tournament’s finale. Playing in the opening match on Saturday, Estonia – the only Baltic State to be officially recognized as a cricket playing nation by the sport’s governing body – knocked over hosts Latvia to get off to a winning start. Batting first Estonia amounted 131 for 7, while Latvia could only manage 110 for 7 in reply. Estonia then failed to back it up in the afternoon, however, by falling to Lithuania. Batting first, the Estonians inexplicably collapsed, finding themselves all out with just 69 on the board. Lithuania wasted little time in knocking off the target, getting there in the 12th over with six wickets to spare. On Sunday Latvia needed to beat Lithuania in the morning match just to be in with a chance of advancing to the final. They did just that, amassing 158 before restricting Lithuania to 117. Holding superior run rates, it was the Lithuanians and Latvians who advanced, whilst the Estonians were left speechless as they faced an early trip home. In the final, Lithuania batted first, working their way to a competitive total of 138. Following their batting escapades of earlier in the day, Latvia batted with confidence, claiming the match in nail-biting fashion by reaching the total with two balls to spare. The second leg of the tournament is set to be played at a yet-to-be-confirmed date in Vilnius with the final leg then to be played in Tallinn at an also a yet-to-be-confirmed date.
Estonia’s Rein Tarramae has failed to have any impact on the eighth stage Criterium du Dauphine, held in the Dauphine region of France between Sunday, June 5 and Sunday, June 12. In what may prove to be his last race before the Tour de France, which begins on July 2, Tarramae could only manage a final placing of 45th with a total time of 27 hours, 13 minutes and 27 seconds, 32 minutes and 56 seconds behind eventual race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain. Tarramae finished well back in the pack during the opening stage and it was only over the final few days that he was able to make any impact on the race, recording top 20 finishes in stages four through six as the race hit some hillier stages. Tarramae has been bookmarked by leading cycling journalists as one to watch in this year’s Tour de France, with many predicting the Cofidis le Credit en Ligne rider to record a top ten finish. Gatis Smukulis of Latvia also competed in the Criterium du Dauphine, finishing in 81st position, 53 minutes and three seconds behind Wiggins. Lithuania’s Ramunas Navardauskas and Tomas Vaitkus both failed to complete the race, withdrawing during stages six and seven, respectively.
Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia has suffered her sixth consecutive loss, losing out to fifth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic at the AEGON International in Eastbourne. Sevastova started promisingly, winning the opening set 7-5. Kvitova would show her class, however, coming back to easily take the second set 6-1 and the deciding set, 6-3. Kaia Kanepi of Estonia is also competing in Eastbourne this week, but at the time of The Baltic Times going to print, the result of her game against this year’s Roland Garros finalist Francesa Schiavone of Italy was still pending.