Jersey through to semi-finals
Jersey have secured their place in the semi-final stage of the World Cricket League Division Five tournament in Benoni, South Africa, after beating Ghana in their final first round match today.
Playing on the Willowmoore Park B Field, Ghana captain Peter Ananya won the toss and chose to put the defending Division 5 champions in to bat. Things started well for Jersey, with Nat Watkins and Peter Gough putting on 57 for the opening wicket before Gough was caught behind for 30.
Watkins scored 44 before he was out, sharing in a 41 run partnership for the second wicket with Ben Stevens, whilst the Jersey top order all made contributions, the top five batsmen all making at least 30. Jake Dunford hit 27 from 22 balls down the order and he was unbeaten as their innings closed on 226-8.
Ghana lost both openers cheaply in their reply, and none of their batsmen were able to make a significant contribution, Obed Agbomadzie's 25 the top score. Ben Stevens took 3-17 as they were bowled out for 118, losing by 108 runs.
The other Group B game of the day was over on the C Field, with Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale putting Germany into bat after he won the toss. An innings of 71 from German captain Rishi Pillai, ably assisted by 47 from Harmanjot Singh, helped Germany record 227 before they lost their final wicket in the last over of their quota.
In reply, Vanuatu needed to chase down their target in 31.3 overs or less if they were to pass Germany on net run rate, and things started badly when they lost opener Jonathon Dunn early on. That brought Patrick Matautaava to the crease. It was an inauspicious start as he retired hurt when five not out. When he returned at the fall of the second wicket, he played out a dot ball before hitting a four to end the ninth over.
Two wickets, including captain Mansale, fell from the tenth over, leaving Vanuatu struggling on 58-4. Matautaava evidently then decided that he was going to win the game for his team almost single-handedly. The 11th over started with him hitting two fours and a six, and he continued to hit out from there.
He brought up his fifty in 36 balls and required just another 21 to reach his century. He wasn't finished there and took his team home to win by four wickets in 28.2 overs, ensuring that Vanuatu secured a semi-final spot. His final tally was 139 from 76 balls with 15 fours and 8 sixes in one of the most sensational innings in World Cricket League history.
In Group A, over on the A Field, Italy - who had already secured their semi-final place - took on the Cayman Islands. An innings of 105 from 88 balls from Damien Crowley - which looked like the best innings of the day at that point before Matautaava's heroics - helped them post 326-6 from their 50 overs.
Facing their second 300 plus run chase of the tournament, the Cayman Islands didn't get close. Sacha De Alwis and Ramon Sealy put on 84 for the second wicket after Ricardo Roach fell for a duck in the first over, with Sealy eventually scoring 89, but there was nothing else to write home about in their innings. Carl Sandri took 6-46 - the best ever innings bowling in one-day matches for Italy - as they were bowled out for 204, losing by 122 runs.
The other match in Group A on the main oval between Guernsey and Qatar was effectively a quarter final. Inam-ul-Haq won the toss and chose to put Guernsey in to bat first. Ollie Newey followed his 73 against Italy and 54 against the Cayman Islands with a knock of 80 before being caught by Tamoor Sajjad off his own bowling.
Josh Butler was the next highest scorer with 36, whilst Ben Ferbrache and Tom Nightingale also scored over 30 as Guernsey scored 231-9 from their 50 overs.
Qatar started their run chase well with a 112 run opening partnership between Inam-ul-Haq and Qalander Khan, the partnership ending when David Hooper bowled ul-Haq for 63. Khan scored 56 before he was the second man out, two wickets quickly following him, giving Guernsey hope with Qatar on 155-4 after being 143-1.
But number three Muhammad Tanveer held up an end, scoring 47 before he was the sixth man out in the 45th over. Just nine runs came from the next 15 balls before Kamran Khan fell, leaving Qatar needing 15 with three wickets in hand.
However there was no late collapse to save Guernsey as those 15 runs came in seven balls to secure a three wicket win for Qatar and ensure that Guernsey, along with the Cayman Islands, Germany and Ghana, would be relegated back to regional tournaments.
They will still have the 5th place play-offs to play and those will start tomorrow with Guernsey playing Ghana and Germany playing the Cayman Islands. The semi-finals - and promotion deciding - matches will also be tomorrow, with Jersey taking on Qatar whilst Italy face Vanuatu.