Guernsey and Jersey surge ahead


Croatia batting against GermanyJersey and hosts Guernsey again recorded emphatic victories to move two wins clear of the other countries after three rounds of matches in the ICC Europe 2nd Division championship. Germany defeated Croatia to move into third place on run rate, ahead of France and Gibraltar.

At College Field Guernsey won the toss and chose to bat against France. Matt Oliver began very aggressively and when Lee Savident was caught with the score at 48, the latter had contributed just nine of the runs. Oliver and Jeremy Frith then added 40 before Oliver was run out for 65, his innings having lasted 82 balls and including ten fours and a six.

Although Ravenscroft went cheaply, Frith and Stuart Le Provost pressed on with a partnership of 67. Le Provost made 39, including two sixes, and Frith completed an excellent half-century before he was caught by Arun Ayyavooraju. The Guernsey effort faded slightly in the final few overs to leave them on a final score of 208 for eight.

Although France reached 56 before their second wicket fell, they struggled throughout against a tight Guernsey bowling attack. Blane Queripel was especially difficult to get away as he bowled a spell of six overs for just 8 runs. Left arm spinner Frith made his way through the French middle order and when the eighth wicket fell at 96, Frith had claimed five victims for just 25 runs. A late flurry from Qureshi and Sahaya took France to a total of 132 in the 45th over.

Jersey put Gibraltar in to bat at KGV and they soon tasted success when Ian Farrell was bowled through the gate by Ryan Driver. Mark Barcarese, Keiron Ferrary and Kabir Mirpuri all got good starts but then fell in the twenties as they found the Jersey bowling difficult to get away. When the seventh wicket fell at 107 and overs were runninbg out fast, Gibraltar looked unlikely to record a competitive total. However, some late hitting by Rex Purnell and Chris Phillips helped them to a final tally of 153 for eight.

When Jersey's turn came to bat they experienced few problems, accumulating 62 for the first wicket before Peter Gough fell to Mirpuri for a stylish 36. The score moved on to 98 before Nigel Crocker was run out for 34. Ryan Driver failed to score in a partnership of 21 with Matthew Hague, but the latter saw his side home without further loss and with more than 14 overs to spare.

Croatia and Germany met at Port Soif, with both sides eager to open their account in the tournament. The toss went Croatia's way and they sent Germany in to bat on an easy-paced pitch.

Phillip Siljeg, opening the bowling for Croatia, produced an impressive spell in which he removed James Eggleston and Abdul Bhatti, the latter without scoring. When Paul Vujnovich claimed his second wicket, that of Farooq Ahmed caught by Chris Pivac, Germany were in some difficulty at 73 for four. Satyanarayana Srinivas and H Bhatti then combined to produce what was probably the decisive partnershipo of the match, adding 64 before Srinivas was dismissed for 45. Bhatti continued on to make 48 before he became Siljeg's third victim. The German innings closed on 180 in the 50th over.

Croatia once again began well, putting on 35 for the first wicket before Paul Vujnovich fell for 10. Pivac followed without scoring, stumped as he wandered out of his ground. Craig Sinovich and John Vujnovich saw the total to 70 at which point Sinovich was caught off Kashif Haider. At 96 John Vujnovich, who had looked in total control, was bowled by Eggleston. Thereafter it was a steady procession of batsmen back to the pavilion as Haider and Eggleston worked their way through the Croatian lower order. Croatia finished 42 runs short of Germany's total as the rain which had fallen intermittently throughout the match finally settled in for the evening.