Scotland, Ireland and Guernsey register opening-day wins
On a rain-affected opening day, the European Under-15 Division 1 tournament got under way on Monday with victories for Scotland, Ireland and Guernsey.
The title-holders Scotland gained a convincing win in Utrecht over last year's runners-up, Jersey, with Alex Main registering the top score of the day with 71. He and Andrew Umeed (40) put on 82 for the third wicket after Lyle Hill won the toss and elected to bat, and with the Scottish captain later contributing a rapid 30 (off 21 balls), the side reached 215 for eight off their allotted 45 overs.
This was despite a middle-order collapse generated by Jersey's John Donaldson, who collected four for 31.
Intermittent rain played havoc with the Jersey reply, delaying the resumption and then twice interrupting the innings. The second break led to a reduction to 32 overs, with Jersey now needing to add exactly 100 to their total of 53 for three in the remaining 16 overs.
This task proved well beyond them, despite the generosity of the Scots, who contributed 45 extras to their opponents' total of 78. None of the Jersey batsmen reached double figures, and this scorecard was even more remarkable for the fact that despite the bowlers' waywardness, the first six wickets to fall comprised five bowled and one leg-before. There were two wickets each for Gavin Main, William Edwards, and Chris Cash.
78 was also the total reached by hosts The Netherlands, chasing a revised target of 168 in Deventer after opponents Ireland had made 188 for nine. Ireland were in desperate trouble early after winning the toss and electing to bat: Dutch skipper Wessel Coster reducing them to 29 for four in a six-over opening spell in which he took four for 14.
James McCollum led the recovery with a fighting 50, and he and Peter Ferguson added 61 in a crucial fifth-wicket stand which only ended when Ferguson was run out by a direct hit from the third man boundary from Douwe Schoenmaker. Lee Cole chipped in with 30 and Peter Eakin hit an undefeated 28 in the closing overs to set the home side a fairly imposing target.
Eakin and Dean Curry quickly had them struggling on 6 for three, and after a long interruption for rain had led to a reduction to 40 overs, spinners Ben Hoey and Ferguson maintained the pressure. At 24 for six the Dutch were almost down and out, but Tony Staal and Ali Ahmed more than doubled the score for the seventh wicket, and with Edward Price top-scoring with a late 18 they managed to reach 78.
Curry, Hoey, Ferguson and Ruairi Willis collected two wickets apiece in a thoroughly convincing Irish team performance.
Guernsey proved too strong for Denmark on Salland CC's second ground in Deventer, bowling them out for 102, and then reaching a reduced target of 96 for the loss of four wickets and with more than twelve overs to spare after the game had been cut to 42 overs.
Wicketkeeper Mads Rasmussen top-scored for Denmark with 31, while Toby Belton and Joshua Kirk were the most successful of the Guernsey bowlers with two wickets each. Belton then led the way with 23 when Guernsey replied.