Crowley leads Italy to Dubai
Italy have taken their place in the final of the European Division One Twenty20 Championship with a win over Jersey at Farmers Field today, but more importantly they have booked their ticket on the plane to Dubai for the global World Twenty20 qualifier early next year.
Italian captain Alessandro Bonora won the toss for the first time in the tournament, and didn't hesitate to bat on a pretty good looking Farmers Field wicket.
Wicket-keeper Hayden Patrizi got their innings off to a good start, scoring 28 from 25 balls before he decided to give bowler Ben Stevens some catching practice by lobbing it straight back to him.
Jersey were rotating their bowlers regularly, not letting the Italian batsmen settle, but Damian Crowley wasn't phased by their tactics, scoring 55 from 44 balls, with three big sixes whilst his team mates attempted to rotate the strike back to him, losing their wickets in the process.
Crowley was dismissed from the penultimate ball of the 18th over with the score on 117-6, and the next three partnerships took the score to 133-8. Ben Stevens was the pick of the Jersey bowlers with 2-29.
Jersey's reply initially progressed in similar fashion to the Italian innings, With Peter Gough attempting to play something of an anchor role.
He was running between the wickets well, turning ones into twos and twos into threes, but neither he nor the other Jersey batsmen were scoring enough boundaries, and that was to be their downfall.
They were well on track and ahead of the required rate at one point, having scored 77-3 after 11 overs.
But from then on, their run rate began to drop, and the next four overs yielded only 17 runs. The sixteenth over was bowled by Damian Crowley, and he took two wickets in the over to add to his fine half century.
In the last five overs, Jersey scored 21-4, which simply isn't good enough in Twenty20 cricket and finished on 119-9 to lose by 14 runs.
The other semi-final saw Denmark beat Guernsey, setting up an Italy v Denmark final and an all Channel Islands contest in the third place play-off.