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Jersey coasts to WCL Division Five title

Tanzania in third ahead of Nigeria; first win of the tournament puts Guernsey in fifth place

Jersey coasts to WCL Division Five title - Cricket News
Tournament Referee Graeme Labrooy presenting the Player Tournament trophy to Benjamin Stevens.

Jersey scripted a convincing 71-run win over Malaysia to lift the ICC World Cricket League Division Five title at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (March 13). 

Tanzania overcame a spirited performance from Nigeria to finish third, while Guernsey thumped Cayman Islands to take the fifth spot.

Having registered comprehensive wins through the tournament after setting a target, Jersey again opted to bat, but lost Peter Gough for a duck in the first over bowled by Hiran Ralage. In next, Ben Stevens continued his good form, scoring a 119-ball 84 to steady the innings. His stand with Nat Watkins – who notched up a brlliant 116 off 138 balls, smashing 13 fours and two sixes along the way – yielded 151 runs in 36.4 overs. However, after Stevens was dismissed in the 38th over, the middle order crumbled as Jersey lost its last seven batsmen for just 35 runs.

Chasing 248, Malaysia’s openers added 56 runs for the first wicket, before Nasir Shafiq was dismissed for 20. However, Malaysia’s innings never got going as it was reduced to 140 for 5 in 33 overs. The Jersey bowlers made sure no lower order partnerships flourished, as they dismissed the last six batsmen for just 25 runs. Malaysia was all out for 176 in 44 overs.  

Stevens was adjudged Man of the Series while Watkins was Man of the Match, as Jersey remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. 

At the Royal Selangor Club, Tanzania held its nerve for a three-wicket win over Nigeria in the third-place play-off. 

After Nigeria opted to bat, Olajide Bejide carried the innings on his shoulder, scoring 106 off 129 balls, after his team was reduced to 90 for 5 in 26.1 overs. He took Nigeria to a respectable 225 for 9 in 50 overs. Hamisi Abdallah picked up four wickets for 34 runs.

The openers got Tanzania off to a brisk start, adding 25 runs in 3.4 overs, but Nigeria's bowlers were not going down without a fight. Led by Oluseye Olympio, who retuned figures of 3 for 27 from his nine overs, they reduced Tanzania to 47 for 5. Abhik Patwa (40) and Kassim Nassoro (66 not out) got Tanzania out of trouble with a 64-run stand in 19.1 overs, before Patwa was trapped leg before wicket by Joshua Ogunlola in the 30th over. 

Needing 114 off the last 20 overs, Benson Nyaikini (60) added 97 runs in 14.3 overs with Nassoro to put victory in sight. Nassoro then completed the formality, stroking two consecutive fours in the 47th over to take Tanzania home with three wickets in hand.

Bejide was chosen Man of the Match.

At the Bayuemas Oval, Guernsey finally registered its first win of the WCL Division Five with a comfortable win over Cayman Islands in the fifth place playoff. 

As they have done for most of the tournament, William Peatfield and Max Ellis applied the brakes on the scoring, as Cayman Islands was dismissed for 222 in its 50 overs after it opted to bat. In reply, a century stand between Lee Savident and Jamie Nussbaumer anchored Guernsey's chase, leading it to a seven-wicket win in the 37th over. 

After Peatfield made early inroads by dismissing opener Omar Bryan in the second over, Cayman Islands lost quick wickets to be reduced to 35 for 3 in 10.3 overs. Omar Willis then took control of the innings by sharing partnerships of 73, 35 and 18 with the middle order, till he was castled by Peatfield for a 79-ball 59. 

Ronald Ebanks, the captain, and Ricardo Roach put on 32 runs for the eighth wicket to take Cayman Islands close to the 200-run mark. After the skipper fell for 21, Roach added another 29 runs with the tail before being dismissed on the last ball of the innings. 

Chasing its first win, Guernsey put on a valiant effort from the outset despite losing early wickets. It lost Isaac Damarell and Oliver Neweyrs within the first five overs. Lucas Barker put on 77 runs with Savident. His dismissal in the 15th over for a 39-ball 54 brought Savident and James Nussbaumer together, who ensured a convincing win. Savident remained unbeaten on 98 off 104 balls, while Nussbaumer was 52 not out off 65.   

In the six matches played by all teams, Stevens finished as the leading run-scorer of the tournament, aggregating 403 runs at an average of 67.16. Khizar Hayat was the most successful bowler, picking up 15 wickets.

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