Jersey bounce back with win - but only just
Jersey have bounced back after their defeat to Denmark this morning with a win over a Germany, but it was a closer game than many would have predicted, with Germany coming close to pulling off a famous upset.
In glorious sunshine at Preston Nomads Cricket Club, Jersey won the toss and elected to bat first. They got a great start with Peter Gough and Ed Farley putting on 76 for the opening wicket before Farley was caught going for one big shot too many, having scored 30 from 22 balls.
Gough followed soon after for 41, whilst Andy Dewhurst scored 30 to help take Jersey to a very competitive total of 166-5 from their 20 overs. Shakeel Hassan bowled well for Germany, going for just 14 runs from his four overs.
In reply German opener Kashif Mahmood played the anchor role early on, scoring 37 from 34 before he was out in the 12th over with the score on 85-3. Nafees Ahmed was already on another big hitting innings at this stage and he went on to score 35 from 25 balls, falling in the 17th over with the score on 134-5.
At this stage it looked like Germany could well be in with a chance of winning the game, and their manager Brian Mantle was pacing around the boundary edge, obviously showing nerves. But Jersey held on, with skipper Gough getting his field placings spot on, as every time Germany hit the ball it seemed to go to a Jersey fielder.
Germany were eventually restricted to 159-6, the seven run winning margin to Jersey being of real credit to Germany, who fought to the end in a game many expected them to lose.
Meanwhile next door on ground two, France managed to pull off a remarkable win over Belgium after looking completely out of it at one point during their innings.
Batting first after winning the toss, they contrived to collapse from 36-2 to 39-5, leaving them in all sorts of trouble. But Waseem Bhatti led a recovery, scoring 55 from just 53 balls, and when he was out he had helped take the score to 98-6.
The tailenders then did the job that the rest of the top order should have done, helping to take the French total to 121 before they were bowled out in 17.5 overs. Shahid Muhammed and Waqas Shafiq both took three wickets for Belgium.
In reply, whenever Belgium looked to be building a partnership, France took some quick wickets and put Belgium back in a rebuilding phase. Usman Khan devastated the French lower middle order with 4-18, helping to bowl Belgium out for 99, France winning by 22 runs.
A win for France tomorrow morning over Germany will put them level on points with Jersey, and they'll then be keen to watch to see if the Isle of Man can beat Jersey to give the French a shot at finals day. Jersey will be heavy favourites, but anything can happen in Twenty20.