Jersey stun Hong Kong with emphatic win
PETER GOUGH'S brilliant unbeaten 81 led his Jersey side to a shock but totally deserved win over Hong Kong in their T20 World Cup Qualifying encounter at Bready.
Gough shared an opening stand of 112 in just 76 balls with a belligerent Ed Farley, as the Channel Islanders made light work of a 153 run chase.
Farley was the aggressor in the opening stand, smashing four sixes and three fours in his 57 from just 35 balls.
The wicket-keeper batsman targetted the much vaunted Hong Kong spin attack, reducing the side that had beaten Bangladesh just last year into one that looked desperately short of ideas and options in the face of the relentless onslaught.
Farley's innings was ended by a spectacular catch in the outfield by Kinchit Shah, but by that stage the game was as good as won.
Gough took up the mantle after Farley's departure and together with talented teenager Jonty Jenner (10*) ensured there would be no nerves as the winning line approached.
Gough not surprisingly earned the MOM verdict for his unbeaten 81 from just 60 balls (10 fours).
Earlier Jersey's bowlers stuck to their task manfully, as Gough rotated his attack, never allowing the Hong Kong batsmen to settle.
The Jersey fielding was exceptional - a testament to the hard work on their fitness and skill levels installed by head coach Neil McRae over the past year.
They chased every ball - even the seemingly lost causes, and frequent diving stops meant Hong Kong were left frustrated in their quest for boundaries. This was typified by opener Anshuman Rath who had to wait until the 13th over to find the boundary ropes.
Rath top scored with 43 from 44 balls, while Irfan Ahmed hit 27 and Nizakat Khan 25 in their 153 for 6.
Left-arm spinner Ben Stevens was the pick of the attack, taking 2 for 22.
Jersey are back in action again tomorrow (SUN) when they take on PNG, once again at Bready.
It will be a challenge for the rank outsiders at the start of the competition to follow up this success with another win now that the surprise factor has gone - a second win however would leave Jersey dreaming of T20 World Cup participation - what a fairy-tale that would be!