Gemma Dunning of the JCB
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SAUMUR SUCCESS FOR JERSEY WOMEN
Jersey's female cricketers returned from France victorious after winning their inaugural international series 2-0.
Choosing to bat first, Jersey made a confident start to the opening match, Amanda Smith and captain Gemma Dunning putting on 64 for the first wicket. Dunning was eventually dismissed for a composed 60 but by then Jersey were approaching 150 and Katie Ridley's rapid 43 not out pushed the total to 176 for 3.
France, who were also playing their first ladies international, showed flashes of batting strength but remained well shackled by the Jersey bowlers and finished 97 runs short, Lauren Jehan taking 2 wickets for 11 runs from her 4 overs.
The series was hosted by Saumur, one of only four cricket clubs in France, at a picturesque ground in the Loire Valley. Cricket has a small but dedicated following in France and the president of L'Association Franšaise de Cricket, Olivier Dubaut, was an interested spectator on Sunday morning, witnessing a national side drawn from all four corners of the country.
With Dunning and Ridley exploiting uneven bounce from a pitch damp from early morning dew the French, batting first in Sunday's game, opted to keep wickets in hand. However, Jersey's bowling was miserly throughout and despite 37 from captain Sharon Whiting France were restricted to 79, Dunning and Flo Copley with a wicket apiece and Alice Schemmelds taking two.
The responsibility of opening Jersey's reply fell to Michelle Leerson and Tracey Vallois and both sparkled with the bat, each falling within ten runs of the target for 26 and 33 respectively as Jehan hit the winning runs, earning Jersey the Olivier Dubaut trophy.
Gemma Dunning was full of praise for her squad. "I'm really proud of the whole team. We've learnt a lot from playing against boys' and men's sides in Jersey but playing our first international was a great experience."
Plans are already underway for a return fixture in Jersey next year as well as matches against other European opposition.