Lightning doesn't strike twice, does it? It did at Derriaghy this evening as - twenty-four hours after Scotland defeated Ireland on the last ball - Jersey scraped through by one run, again off the last ball, against the Netherlands.
Needing five to win from the last over with one wicket left, Paul van Meekeren had seemingly guaranteed a tie for the Dutch by driving Charles Perchard through the covers, but a brilliant diving stop from Andrew Rabet at long-off kept the batsmen to a couple. Three dot balls followed before van Meekeren took a single to leave last man Werner Erkelens needing two from one. Perchard, as was required, bowled it full and straight and though Erkelens did get bat on it it was only enough to return the ball to the bowler, who comfortably won the footrace to the non-strikers' stumps, sending Jersey into raptures.
Earlier in the day, Jersey captain Ben Stevens could have been ruing his decision to bat first as his side was reduced to 58 for 6 by some impressive Dutch seam bowling. Skipper Sebastian Braat led from the front, picking up 3 for 28 in his ten, while Philip van den Brandeler continued his good firm by taking 3 for 26. The most economical spell, however, belonged to left-armer Zacahary van Baren, who got through his ten for only fourteen. From here, though, Alex Noel (30) and Alex Cooke (31) staged a recovery, and their dogged seventh-wicket partnership of 64 hoisted the Jersey total into the realms of competitiveness: 140 for 8.
In reply, the Dutch started equally poorly, losing wickets to the seam of Perchard, Cooke, and Noel before Stevens and James Faudemer took over. The left-arm spinners bowled beautifully together, conceding only 29 runs from their combined overs. Indeed, by the time the seamers returned, and when Aiden McGuire ran out van Baren to leave the Dutch 102 for 8, the Islanders had become favourites.
Nevertheless, a ninth-wicket stand of 33 between van Meekeren and the tenacious James Gruijters swung the match back towards the Netherlands before Gruijters - whose mature 42 was undoubtedly the innings of the day - was caught at point with the score on 135. By this stage, a number of Derriaghy locals had made their way to the ground and so a sizeable crowd was present to witness another remarkable climax in this absorbing week of cricket.