Heavy overnight rain and a wet morning in Guernsey threatened to impact the morning fixture between Norway and the home side Guernsey at KGV. The match between Italy and Jersey was postponed to the afternoon to give the ground at College Field a chance to recover in the hope of getting all 15 fixtures completed.
Guernsey won the toss and chose to field in a match reduced to 16 overs, hoping to utilise the morning conditions to their advantage. This seemed to pay off with the early dismissal of the Norwegian captain Raza Iqbal. It was a strong performance from Walid Ghauri (38 off 28 balls) at number three to get the Norwegian team to a decent score of 95 from their 16 overs. Wickets were shared between the Guernsey bowlers, with Jordan Martel recording the best figures of 3 for 15/3.
In the reply, it was the Guernsey captain and player of the match Josh Butler (36 off 37 balls) who pushed his side to the brink of their first victory in the tournament, supported by contributions from his middle order. The game provided tension and a spectacle for the home crowd until the end, with an out-of-the-blue maximum from David Hooper (12 off 11 balls) levelling the sides, before a quick single from the penultimate ball of the innings secured victory for the hosts.
In the afternoon at KGV, Denmark faced old rivals Germany, with the winning side remaining in contention for promotion to the T20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE. Losing three key players to injury, Germany was keen to settle in their replacements and aim for a convincing win. A blistering opening spell from Isatullah Dawlatzai (1-15/4) and Craig Meschede (1-19/4) brought the breakthrough early on. Anique Uddin (31 off 29 balls) led the fightback with the middle order contributing despite losing wickets at regular intervals. Denmark eventually finished on 109 for 8 from their 20 overs.
Germany made short work of the chase, opening with Craig Meschede (67 off 43 balls) who entertained the crowds with a brutal display of hitting. Denmark captain Hamid Shah was at the receiving end of this, getting hit for 5 sixes in his one over. He got his revenge though, catching out Meschede off the bowling of Ahmad (1-19/4). However, the damage was already done with Germany reaching the winning score in the 15th over soon after. The result gives Germany hope of an unexpected comeback, as they are still in with a chance to overtake Jersey at the top of the table on net run rate, providing they can put in two strong performances on the final day of matches.
At College Field, the start of the vital clash between Italy and tournament favourites Jersey was delayed by 40 mins to give the ground the best chance to recover from the morning rain. With no loss of overs, Italy chose to field and were rewarded by early wickets, including a run out at the non-strikers end from a straight drive. Undeterred by this unfortunate dismissal, it was a brilliant innings from Jonty Jenner (71 off 54 balls) that set up the unassailable total for Jersey. Hitting sixes to all parts, including a glorious shot over the cover boundary and a six clearing the trees on the edge of the ground, Jonty looked set to get the first century of the tournament before a good catch at mid-wicket from Joy Perera brought an end to his innings. Jersey pushed on regardless, with Ben Ward hitting a six off the last ball to get their final score to an imposing 149.
Jersey completed an all-round performance, putting Italy under pressure in the field. The Italian batters struggled to unleash their usual free flowing style of play, with Jersey restricting the number of boundaries in the powerplay. With the required run rate climbing higher each over, the Italian batters were left forcing their shots, resulting in a number of catches from the Jersey fielders. Captain Charles Perchard (4-14/3.5) led from the front, with Antony Hawkins-Kay (2-9/3) and Dominic Blampied (2-13/3) picking up two wickets apiece. Jersey secured the win in the 17th over, bowling out Italy for 76.
The results mean Jersey sit at the top of the league table with a convincing net run rate advantage. Mathematically, both Germany and Italy are still in with a chance to progress, but both will need to win their remaining fixtures convincingly on the final day of play. The game to watch will be Germany vs Jersey, in what looks to be the decider, at College Field in the afternoon.