Jersey, Ghana, Italy and Guernsey all picked up vital wins as the ICC WCL Division 5 heated up on day two in South Africa.
Eight teams are fighting for just two promotion spots as they begin qualification for the 2023 World Cup, making each game vital, and only two sides have a 100 per cent winning record.
Jersey is one of those after chasing 248 to beat Germany by five wickets at Sahara Park, Willowmoorein Benoni, South Africa. Jonty Jenner was the glue which held the innings together, as he struck 68 not out, and was ably supported by Ben Stevens (53), Peter Gough (36) and Nat Watkins (34).
Jersey, who started with a six-wicket win against Vanuatu on Sunday, won the toss and elected to field – sending Germany into the middle. And the decision paid off immediately as Cornelis Bodenstein trapped Daniel Weston LBW in the first over. Germany recovered impressively through Mudassar Muhammad (32) and Amith Sarma (42), before Rishi Pillai helped push the score towards 200.
But Jersey continued to take regular wickets, with Stevens, Ben Kynman and Charles Perchard particularly influential – as they took two wickets each. Germany was bowled out for 248 from 49 overs, and Jersey got to work quickly, with Watkins and Gough putting on 42 for the first wicket. Asad Mohammad eventually broke that partnership by trapping Watkins LBW, but that brought Stevens to the crease and he hit a measured 53. Mohammad got his second wicket by clean bowling Stevens, while Harmanjot Singh got Gough.
That gave Germany hope, but Jenner arrived at the crease and stole the show as he hit 68 not out from just 65 balls with eight fours and a six. Mohammad continued to trouble the batsmen with a probing line and length, and he took his third wicket of the match by bowling Luke Gallichan. Corey Bisson (13) was also out cheaply, but Bodenstein (15 not out) was able to support Jenner – who stayed calm to fire Jerseytop of Group B ahead of Wednesday’s game with Ghana.
Jersey captain Perchard said: “I think we just put in a good performance on a good wicket. With the bat a platform was set and we just went at the rate required.
“I think the boys are all in good form and excited at the prospect of a semi-final, if we can get there. We are looking forward to playing Ghana in two days’ time.”
Germany skipper Pillai said: “I think we were about 40 runs short, I feared. If we had got those runs it would have been a different result.”
On Willowmoore Park B, Guernsey rebounded from Monday’s defeat to Germany with a fine display to see off Cayman Islands by six wickets.
Cayman Islands batted first and started strongly, with Sacha De Alwis (60) and Ramon Sealy (36) putting on 73 for the second wicket. Ryan Bovell (28) and Conroy Wright (21) also scored some vital runs, but David Hooper was a menace throughout with the ball – taking five for 36 as the Cayman Islands were restricted to 214-9.
In reply, Guernsey hit the ground running as Matthew Stokes (31) and Josh Butler (93) put on 97 for the first wicket before Oliver Newey backed that up with a superb 54 off just 38 balls. Jason Martin (17 not out) then steered Guernsey to victory, and condemned Cayman Islands to a second successive defeat, leaving them bottom of the table.
Guernsey go on to face Qatar in a must-win game, with a semi-final place on the line.
“We did not score enough runs or put enough pressure on when we were fielding so that is where we fell down,” said Cayman Islands skipper Sealy.
And Guernsey’s Jamie Nussbaumer said: “We are very happy. To bounce back from the Italy defeat in such a strong way is very pleasing.”
Elsewhere, Italy matched Guernsey’s superb run chase to beat Qatar by six wickets on Willowmoore Park C to preserve their 100 per cent start to Group A.
Italy won the toss and elected to field, and that looked the right choice when they removed Faisal Javid Khan off just the second ball of the match. But Iman-ul-Haq (36) steadied the ship, while Tamoor Sajjad (40) and Kamran Khan (33) carried Qatar to 209 all out from 46.3 overs.
Hasnat Ahmed’s four for 37 did much of the damage for Italy, who then began the run chase in earnest – attacking Qatar’s bowling from the off. Gian Meade (51) and Rakibul Hasan (62) each managed fine half-centuries before Dan Crowley (46) and Peter Petricola (21 not out) secured victory.
Italy face Cayman Islands in the final group game, while Qatar battle Guernsey.
Italy captain Gayashan Munasinghe said: “We have got the Cayman Islands next and we need to improve on our fielding. We have got a rest day coming up so that helps us.”
And Qatar’s Iman-ul-Haq said: “We needed partnerships but we just could not get any. I think we were a little bit tired after our first match.”
On Willowmoore Park A, there was plenty of late drama as Vanuatu almost pulled off a spectacular victory against Ghana despite being seemingly on course for defeat. Batting first, Vanuatu was restricted to just 124 all out from 47.2 overs, with Ghanaian Obed Agbomadzie taking three for 22 in a superb bowling display.
Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale top scored with 26, while Ronald Tari (24) and Patrick Matautaava (16) also chipped in with valuable runs to help edge Vanuatu past 100. Ghana, who lost to Germany in their opening match, started brightly in reply through Frank Baleri (27) and Peter Ananya (50).
But Vanuatu got back into the contest by taking four wickets for just nine runs to shake Ghana, and set up the possibility of a remarkable victory. However, Godfred Bakiweyem kept his cool and scored the final two runs Ghana required to wrap up a two-wicket success.
Ghana captain Ananya said: “It feels good to win a game, especially an important one. It is such a great feeling. We now need to focus and achieve what we came here for. After that there will be a party.”
And Vanuatu captain Mansale said: “I think we were batted poorly today. You want to put something on that you can defend but you can’t defend 124 in these conditions.”
Scores in brief
Guernsey beat Cayman Islands by six wickets at Sahara Park, Willowmoore, Benoni
Cayman Islands 214-9, 50 overs (Sacha De Alwis 60, Ramon Sealy 36, Ryan Bovell 28; David Hooper 5-36)
Guernsey 216-4, 36.3 overs (Josh Butler 93, Oliver Newey 54, Matthew Stokes 31; Conroy Wright 1-25, Alessandro Morris 1-37)
Jersey beat Germany by five wickets at Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Germany 248 all out, 49.2 overs (Rishi Pillai 46, Amith Sarma 42, Brandon Ess 33; Ben Stevens 2-35, Ben Kynman 2-38, Charles Perchard 2-45)
Jersey 251-5, 44.4 overs (Jonty Jenner 68 not out, Ben Stevens 53, Peter Gough 36; Asad Mohammad 3-53)
Italy beat Qatar by six wickets at Willowmoore Park C, Benoni
Qatar 209 all out, 50 overs (Tamoor Sajjad 40, Inam-ul-Haq 36, Kamran Khan 33; Hasnat Ahmed 4-37, Gayashan Munasinghe 3-52)
Italy 212-4, 41.5 overs (Rakibul Hasan 62, Gian Meade 51, Damian Crowley 46; Tamoor Sajjad 2-42, Khurram Shahzad 1-19)
Ghana beat Vanuatu by two wickets at Willowmoore Park A, Benoni
Vanuatu 124 all out, 47.2 overs (Andrew Mansale 26, Ronald Tari 24; Obed Agbomadzie 3-22, Vincent Ateak 2-31)
Ghana 125-8, 33.5 overs (Peter Ananya 50, Frank Baleri 27; Nalin Nipiko 3-41, Jelany Chilia 2-24)
TEAM M W L T P
Italy 2 2 0 0 4
Qatar 2 1 1 0 2
Guern 2 1 1 0 2
Caym 2 0 2 0 0
TEAM M W L T P
Jersey 2 2 0 0 4
Ger 2 1 1 0 2
Ghana 2 1 1 2 2
Van 2 0 2 0 0
6 September: Group A: Cayman Islands v Italy (Willowmoore A); Guernsey v Qatar (Willowmoore Park); Group B: Germany v Vanuatu (Willowmoore C); Ghana v Jersey (Willowmoore B)