|European Division 1: Jersey, July 2010|
Jersey make it four out of four
Jersey ensured that they would go into Mondayís final round of matches with an unbeaten record by recording a commanding six-wicket victory over Scotland A at Farmers Field on Saturday, but Ireland A showed that they would not surrender their European title easily with an even bigger win over Netherlands A.
After Scottish captain Qasim Sheikh won the toss and elected to bat Jersey quickly seized the initiative, new ball bowlers Chris Jones and Ryan Driver reducing their opponents to 20 for four. The Scots batted without great conviction, and matters deteriorated further when spinner Ben Stevens weighed in with two wickets and the total was 41 for six.
Then Stuart Chalmers (24) and Marc Petrie (39) buckled down, more than doubling the score in an invaluable seventh wicket stand, and with Zeeshan Bashir contributing an enterprising not-out 32 towards the end they managed to get the total up to 149 for nine.
Jones was the pick of the Jersey bowlers with three for 26, while Driver and Stevens took two each, and the bowling was backed up by some excellent catching. Sam de la Haye held on to two splendid ones at mid-off, while Driverís catch at midwicket to dismiss Petrie was as good as one is likely to see anywhere.
There was time for seven overs before lunch, and Jersey reached 27 without loss. Immediately after the interval, however, Stuart Chalmers struck one and Tyler Buchan twice, and on 41 for three the hostsí challenge was in danger of faltering.
But Driver and Peter Gough gradually restored some order, adding 93 in a fourth-wicket stand which took their side to within sight of victory. Chalmers returned to remove Gough when he had made a patient 26, but Driver now went onto the offensive, striking some mighty blows as he reached 70 not out, from 107 deliveries, by the time Jersey reached their target with eleven overs to spare. Driver was, to nobodyís surprise, declared Man of the Match.
Netherlands A were similarly put under pressure by Ireland A after winning the toss and electing to bat, but there was no recovery comparable with Scotlandís as they were all out for 86 in 41.2 overs.
The experienced Tom de Grooth top-scored with 34, but apart from him only Tom Heggelman and Lucas Brouwers reached double figures. Albert van der Merwe was the most successful of the Irish bowlers with three for 13, and there were two wickets each for Reinhardt Strydom, Shane Getkate and Andrew Balbirnie.
When Ireland replied Strydom smashed an 18-ball 43, with three fours and four sixes, earning himself the Man of the Match award in the process, and although James Hall and James Shannon did not bat with the same freedom they were nevertheless able to take their side to the win for the loss of two wickets with more than 30 overs in hand.
At Les Quennevais Denmark recorded their first win of the tournament by beating Italy by three wickets. The Italians batted steadily to reach 173 for nine, opener Hayden Patrizi giving them a good start with 30, and Hemantha Jayasena, Michael Raso and Gayashan Munasinghe all contributing in the middle order.
Jacob Larsen bowled an economical spell in taking three for 15, and David Borchersen later claimed three for 26.
Denmark, too, made a good start, Freddie Klokker making 48, but Munasinghe returned to the attack to put them under pressure, and at 149 for six the Italians were in with a chance. Rizwan Mahmood, however, denied them with a solid 66 not out, facing 92 deliveries and hitting five fours and a six.
Munasinghe finished with four for 26, but it was Mahmoodís innings which settled the match, and it earned him the Man of the Match award.