Jersey will travel to the ICC T20 European Qualifier with their heads held high next week, having dented Guernsey’s confidence with a 3-0 InfrasoftTech T20 inter-insular whitewash.
The hosts were made to work for Channel Islands bragging rights in the inaugural tri-series at Farmer’s Field, but Ash Wright’s squad will take little solace from a weekend dominated by Jersey’s fielding unit as batsmen from both sides endured a number of testing outings.
After successfully defending 122 to claim a 14-run triumph and a 1-0 series lead on Friday night, Jersey repeated their efforts on Saturday morning with a six-run success off 128. The hat-trick was completed on Saturday afternoon with an eight-wicket win, after Guernsey were skittled out for 110.
Man of the match Jonty Jenner produced an outstanding piece of fielding on the boundary to turn the crucial second match on its head late in the second innings – jumping over the line and swatting back Luke Le Tissier’s hit for six in mid-air when all looked lost. A boundary would effectively have given Guernsey the win for 1-1 overall.
Speaking between Saturday’s two contests, Jersey captain Chuggy Perchard said: ‘The batting has been a bit under par, but the boys have shown unbelievable fight with the ball and in the field. To be able to defend those scores is terrific and it takes a bit of pressure off winning it with one game to go.
‘The beauty of T20 cricket is the game can swing so quickly either way. Within the space of a couple of balls they were on top [on Saturday morning] and then we got a couple of wickets straight away and all of a sudden we were on top again. It’s a great format, it’s exciting to play and it’s great for the fans.’
Jersey relied on solid contribution from the middle order on Friday night, but it was Jenner (46) providing the main source of stability at number two in the second game as those around him struggled to find rhythm.
In a similar fashion to 16 hours earlier, the conditions proved unfavourable for those at the crease and the Caesareans were again forced to defend a modest total (128/8), despite reaching 20 in the opening two overs.
However, MacRae’s men drew confidence from the fact that those same conditions would also hamper Guernsey, and the visitors’ attempts to keep their inter-insular challenge alive were dealt an early blow when captain Josh Butler was caught for 0.
The six-over power play left much to be desired from a Sarnian point of view – bringing just 20 runs – but for Jersey it offered valuable foundations for an unassailable lead.
Three wickets fell in that period, although it could well had been five, with Julius Sumerauer – man of the match on Friday – twice having his hands stung in the field on the stretch.
Guernsey were protecting their wickets better than Jersey had, but they were well short of the required run rate in the first half of their reply. That was until Luke Le Tissier (33) walked into the frame at six, teaming up with Ben Ferbrache (40) to usher their side to the brink of victory.
The sixth-wicket partnership took Guernsey from 51 runs to 110 in the 18th. They required 19 off 16 balls to send the inter-insular into a decider, but Jenner’s acrobatic stop on the boundary halted the batting momentum in an instant.
Three more wickets fell in the following nine balls – leaving Elliot Miles and Sumerauer on four wickets apiece for 14 and 24 runs respectively.
Ben Kynman – unused with the ball so far – was introduced in the final over with Guernsey requiring 13, and he did enough to send his side 2-0 up.
Discussing Jenner’s six-saving effort right under the Farmer’s scoreboard, Perchard added: ‘That bit of fielding was something else. We train incredibly hard and do it regularly in training, but to be able to put it into practice in a match is unbelievable. Jonty is an incredible fielder and it shows why he he’s been 12th man for England.’
‘When Luke Le Tissier came in [in game two] we put the pressure back on and got somewhere near, but I would have hoped we could have chased those scores. It’s very disappointing to be honest.
‘We need to get a result over the line. For whatever reason we seem to flap a bit when we come up against Jersey.’
Corey Bisson (43) and teenager Harrison Carlyon (33) both remained unbeaten in the third match to maintain their team’s perfect record.