|World Cricket League Division 5, Singapore, February 2012|
Kneller and Hooper return Guernsey to winning form
At the Singapore Cricket Club, heavy rain delayed the start of the match to past 11am, with the fixture ultimately reduced to 42 overs. The Guernsey side stumbled once again with its batting, albeit this time the side were not anchored by in-form Jeremy Frith but instead Ross Kneller stepped up to the plate and made a patient 86 after some poor batting by the Channel Island side and some good bowling by a rejuvenated Argentina.
Pablo Ryan used his fast bowling to tempt the Guernsey batsmen into hitting the ball up into the hands of the nimble fielders and Esteban MacDermott’s side had Guernsey reeling on 4-53 by the 14th over but a middle-order led by Kneller along with Stuart Le Prevost and Ben Ferbrache enabled the island to increase its total to a more respectable 213 despite more wickets falling due to Guernsey players edging the ball into the hands of Argentina’s fielders.
In reply, Argentina were 3-36 before the rains hit in the 15th over, and after a break for the downpours, the match was further reduced in overs to 29 with the target revised to 163. Upon resumption, Argentina promptly lost another wicket and the team was on 85-5 with six overs to make the target.
Ultimately, it proved too great a target for Argentina, despite a good effort from veteran batsman Grant Dugmore, along with Martin Siri and Matias Paterlini. The Argentinians struggled against Hooper’s medium-pace, the 20-year-old clean bowling both Paterlini and Hernan Williams.
Frith’s spin also proved useful today with the all-rounder snaffling the wickets of Gary Savage and Siri to contribute to the victory but all the bowlers proved useful today – a fact Kneller admitted to post-match.
“The rain interruption happened when we were in a good position – we had already taken three wickets and were keen to keep them on a low score when they were trying to chase down over 200 – but after the rain delay I suppose we got a bit worried as the shorter the new target is the more even it becomes. That being said, we knew they needed something like 10 an over and our bowlers all did really well today to restrict Argentina.”
Kneller said he knew that he had to get runs with the bat today after a disappointing performance from the top order: “We had lost four quick wickets early on and I knew going in I had a bit of pressure to bat going in alongside the skipper. I wanted to set a base so we could have wickets in hand and ultimately we got a good score and a win.”
Tomorrow the side face Malaysia at Kallang, a side the team most recently beat back in September last year in WCL Div. 6 but the team are not reflecting on that win says Kneller.
“We are going in with a clean slate for this match against Malaysia. At the beginning of the week we’d never beaten Bahrain, so we went in quite fired up – and it’s what I imagine Malaysia will feel like tomorrow – a need to put things right, but we’re going into this fixture not thinking about the past fixtures and we just want to focus on a good performance to give us a good chance of promotion and a win.”