Champions Jersey and Nigeria promoted to WCL Division 5

Jersey made it five wins out of five today to be crowned champions of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6, securing promotion to WCL Division 5 in Malaysia early next year along with runners-up Nigeria.

Jersey celebrate with the trophy

Vanuatu finished 3rd in the table whilst it was disappointment for each of Argentina, Bahrain and Kuwait, who came in the bottom three and are relegated from the division.

Knowing that victory over Vanuatu at Farmers Field would be good enough to win the title, Jersey made no mistake in front of a strong home crowd, restricting their opponents to 189-9 in 50 overs and then knocking off the runs with 6.4 overs to spare.

A battling half-century from captain Peter Gough and 38 runs from man-of-the-match and player-of-the-tournament Ben Stevens set up the win, with Andrew Dewhurst (24* off 23 balls) thumping the ball to the leg-side boundary off the bowling of Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale to score the winning runs and seal an emphatic 7-wicket victory.

Winners Jersey

Proudly holding the WCL Division 6 trophy amidst flowing champagne and scenes of jubilation, Gough said, ‘It’s a great day for Jersey Cricket. This is one of the best days I’ve known since playing. Having been relegated a couple of times and having fought hard to stay in this division, getting promoted is huge.

‘We can’t wait for the challenge of Malaysia. We feel we can keep improving and we can’t wait to go back there and do well in Division 5.

Peter Gough holds the trophy aloft

‘We had some tired bodies out there today and we didn’t field at our best but to keep Vanuatu down to 189 on a flat wicket was a good job. I was then really pleased with our batting – we built some good partnerships and that proved to be enough.’

Player of the tournament Ben Stevens, who scored a total of 193 runs at an average of 48.25 and took 17 wickets at an average of 9.59, said, ‘It’s been a brilliant week personally but also obviously for the team. We’ve come here and bounced back from our disappointment in Sussex. To put together the five or six performances like we have has been unbelievable.’

Ben Stevens receives Player of the Tournament Award from Gerry Whitsey

Captain Mansale, whose Vanuatu side remains in WCL Division 6, said, ‘As a captain I’m truly proud of my boys for what they’ve done at this tournament. We’ve come a long way to be here and I’m proud of how they’ve carried themselves this week.

‘If only we could have won our first game against Nigeria then things might have been different. Falling six runs short against them really hurt us. But apart from that, I’m very proud of my boys.’

The Nigerian team was also in a celebratory mood after their resounding 8-wicket victory over Argentina at Grainville saw them finish 2nd in the table and book a place alongside Jersey in WCL Division 5 in Malaysia next year.

Adegbola congratulated

Fast bowler Oluseye Olympio tore through the Argentinian batting line-up to return figures of 6-23 in 9 overs, finishing as the tournament’s most prolific bowler with an overall wicket haul of 19, as Nigeria dismissed Argentina for 185 in 46 overs.

At one point the Argentinians were 26-6 and facing an embarrassingly low total as Olympio wreaked his havoc, but Lucas Paterlini (48), Bernardo Irigoyen (39) and captain Esteban MacDermott (34) came to the rescue down the order.

With half an eye on their Net Run Rate, Nigeria then came out all guns blazing in their run chase, opener Segun Olayinka smashing an unbeaten 94 from 73 balls, including eight 4s and six 6s, as the Africans cruised home in the 30th over.

Oluseye Olympio bowling

Nigeria’s delighted captain Kunle Adegbola said, ‘It’s a great thing to be in Division 5 and I am highly privileged to be the captain of this side which has been victorious throughout this tournament.

‘The team did brilliantly today – Seye Olympio and Saheed Akolade were both excellent with the ball and then Segun did a fine job with the bat. We’re all in high spirits.

‘I hope we do well in Malaysia and we’ll be looking to be promoted to Division 4. We’re going to prepare well because we know it’s going to be a tough task and a step-up in quality but we’re going to come hard in Division 5.’

Argentina’s captain MacDermott, whose side have now suffered four consecutive relegations, said, ‘I think we’ve played some good cricket throughout this week but it just wasn’t good enough to remain in the division or get promotion. It’s unfortunate that there are three spots for relegation so we’ll have to go down and regroup in the region, but we’ll work hard on the basics and try to make it back into the World Cricket League as soon as possible.

‘Our problem this week was that we didn’t put enough runs on the board batting first. The wickets were good to bat on and we got ourselves into good positions but we often couldn’t finish the job and ended up with small targets to defend.’

Turned square by Paterlini

The wooden spoon showdown at FB Fields saw Bahrain beat Kuwait by 15 runs, wicket-keeper Shahzad Ahmed (46 off 50 balls, five 4s, one 6) top-scoring for the victors as they made 186 in 48 overs, whilst Raheel Khan (3-20 in 6 overs) impressed for Kuwait with the ball.

Kuwait then fought to the wire in their run-chase, number 10 batsman Azmatullah Nazeer (48 off 51 balls) hitting some big sixes as he rescued his side from 98-9 along with number 11 Shahrukh Quddus (20* off 27 balls) with a 73-run partnership, but their last-wicket stand was ended in the 47th over when Nazeer was bowled by Zafar Zaheer.

Reflecting on his side’s relegation from Division 6, Bahrain’s captain Yaser Sadeq said, ‘I don’t know what to say. We weren’t expecting this. We couldn’t cope with the conditions here and we’re not as bad as we performed but that’s cricket.

‘We haven’t played on turf wickets for the last three of four years so adjusting took us a few games. For the future, we have a good under-19s side coming through and they’ll be given chances now so Bahrain will look to bounce back.’

Kuwait’s vice-captain, Kashif Sharif, standing in for the injured Hisham Mirza, said, ‘This has been a disappointing tournament for us but Inshallah we will be back in Division 6 soon. We had selection issues with some of our key players so that weakened our team but Inshallah we will come back strongly in the future.’

Photographs: ICC/Barry Chambers

Day 5 abandoned due to rain as Jersey forced to wait

 

Play was abandoned due to rain on Day 5 in the Pepsi ICC WCL Division 6 tournament with all matches finishing as a ‘No Result’.

Sheltering from the rain

The last round of league matches will now be replayed on Sunday at the same venues and the final league table will be used determine the tournament rankings.

The heavy rain of the mid-afternoon, which prevented all of the matches from completing the 20 overs necessary in the 2nd innings for a result, came at just the wrong time for Jersey, who appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win over Vanuatu and certain promotion to WCL Division 5.

The Islanders, fielding first for the 5th time at this tournament, had bowled Vanuatu out for 135 in 44.3 overs and were 27-0 in their run chase before going into the lunch interval. But they never made it back out onto the field as the heavens opened.

Paul Connolly bowling

Vanuatu’s opening batsmen Trevor Langa (19) and Damian Smith (22) had earlier showed some mettle by putting on a solid 52 for the first wicket, seeing off the threat of new-ball pair Paul Connolly and Cornelis Bodenstein and seemingly building a good foundation for the innings.

But Tom Minty’s introduction into the attack swung the momentum in Jersey’s favour, the seamer dismissing both openers in consecutive balls, first Langa well-caught by Andrew Dewhurst at extra cover and then Smith leg before wicket.

Vanuatu’s captain and the leading run-scorer in the tournament Andrew Mansale safely saw off the hat-trick ball but Minty struck again in the 24th over, this time clean bowling Jelany Chilia for 5.

Ben Stevens bowling

At 76-3, Jersey then put a squeeze on whilst Mansale and 17-year old Nalin Nipiko looked to rebuild the Vanuatu innings, although the pair struggled to keep the score ticking over. Both were eventually undone by the left-arm spin of in-form all-rounder Ben Stevens, reducing Vanuatu to 93-5 and instigating a batting collapse.

Patrick Matautaava (27 off 30 balls) flashed the bat to pick up some valuable late boundaries off Bodenstein but wickets tumbled around him and he was the last man out in the 45th over, Luke Gallichan picking up his first wicket as Matautaava launched a short ball straight into the grateful hands of Bisson at deep mid-wicket.

Cut square by Corey Bisson

Jersey openers Gough (11*) and Bisson (16*), once again facing a testing little spell before the lunch interval, survived unscathed, both batting positively and finding the boundary with a selection of assured cuts and elegant on-drives, but that was to be the last of Jersey’s batting as the rain came down during the break.

Gough said, ‘This has happened to us several times before at tournaments. You get as close as you can to a result and then it gets washed out. It’s frustrating, but that’s life.

‘Vanuatu batted well at the start today but then we came back – Tommy Minty and Benny Stevens brought it back brilliantly and I was really pleased with our fielding performance so hopefully we can come back and do the same thing tomorrow.

‘We expect a different day and different conditions but we’re positive after the quality we’ve shown today.’

Mansale said, ‘It’s going to be a big opportunity for the boys to bounce back tomorrow. We didn’t perform the way we expected today so it’s good to be given another chance.

‘Having bowled at their opening batsmen we’ve worked out some new plans and we’ll look to use some different tactics from today. We’re happy to have faced their bowlers in these conditions so our batters will be better prepared for tomorrow.’

Onwuzulike bowling

Nigeria was also left regretting the arrival of the rain as they looked poised to beat Argentina at Grainville.

The Nigerians dismissed Argentina for 144 in 46.3 overs, captain Kunle Adegbola picking up 3-24 in his 10 overs and Osita Onwuzilike taking his first wickets of the tournament in returning 3-23 from his 10. Gary Savage top-scored for Argentina with 40 from 97 balls, including four boundaries.

In reply, Nigeria reached 26-1 in 6 overs, seemingly well set for a successful run-chase, but they will have to instead come back and try again tomorrow.

In the bottom-of-the-table clash, Bahrain made 238-9 in 50 overs batting first against Kuwait, Imran Ghulam top-scoring (57 off 36 balls, five 4s, three 6s) and Anil Hanif (39 from 67 balls, five 4s) and Adnan Butt (31 from 24 balls, five 4s, one 6) also making significant contributions.

Azmatullah Nazeer was Kuwait’s stand-out performer with the ball, bowling five maidens in a spell of 10 overs that went for 14 runs and included three wickets.

The tournament table remains unchanged following today’s action, meaning that all four of Jersey, Vanuatu, Nigeria and Argentina still harbour hopes of promotion if results go their way on Sunday.

Photographs: ICC/Barry Chambers

Jersey extend unbeaten run with crushing 8-wicket win over Argentina

Jersey continued their unbeaten run in WCL Division 6 with a crushing 8-wicket victory over Argentina at Grainville, all but assuring their promotion to WCL Division 5.

Ward Jenner presents MOM Award to Ben Stevens

Man-of-the-match Ben Stevens starred with both bat and ball, taking a 5-wicket haul and then making a classy 67 off 61 balls, including a 6 and seven boundaries, as Jersey romped to Argentina’s total of 176 with 20 overs to spare.

Fielding first for the 4th time in this tournament, Corne Bodenstein’s sharp opening spell got the ball rolling for the Islanders, picking up the wickets of the in-form Pablo Ferguson (2) and Hernan Williams (14) with some hostile fast bowling to leave Argentina 34-2.

Bodenstein bouncer

Martin Siri (78 off 113 balls, seven 4s) then fought hard to rebuild the Argentinian innings, putting on a solid 60-run partnership with Bernardo Irigoyen (36 off 32 balls, four 4s, one 6) to lead his side to 162-4 in the 43rd over and seemingly well set for a score in excess of 200.

But left-arm spinner Stevens had other ideas, tearing through the middle and lower order as Argentina collapsed to 176 all out in the space of a mere 19 balls.

Huge appeal by Ben Stevens

Stevens then compounded Argentina’s woes by piling on a game-winning 131 runs for the 2nd wicket with skipper Peter Gough (69* off 87 balls, nine 4s), putting the Argentinian attack to the sword with a flamboyant display of stroke-making, as Jersey cruised to victory and all but booked their place in Sunday’s final.

Captain Gough said, ‘At 160-4 we thought we’d be chasing 220 but then Benny (Stevens) did a great job with the ball, taking 4 wickets for barely any runs. The pitch then got better to bat on in the 2nd innings and it was a pleasure to bat with Stevo. He times it so well, boundaries come, he runs well and he moves the field around.

Punched into the covers by Peter Gough

‘Vanuatu on Saturday is a huge game for us. We want to win five from five so that’s like our final. We know they’re a good side and we’re looking forward to playing them.’

Argentina’s captain Billy MacDermott said, ‘Jersey outplayed us today. We had one good partnership and Martin batted really well, but they were good with the ball and they fielded tightly. Our total was never enough and they came out batting positively and they deserved the win.’

Elsewhere Nigeria bounced back from their heavy defeat to Jersey yesterday with a resounding 8-wicket wicket win over Bahrain at Farmers Field, keeping their promotion hopes alive.

Saheed Akolade (6-27 in 8 overs) produced an inspired display of fast bowling to rip through the Bahraini batting line-up, with only three batsmen reaching double figures in a total of 104 in 33 overs. Oluseye Olympio also impressed with ball, returning figures of 3-23 in 10 overs.

Akolade congratulated

Nigeria then knocked off the runs with minimum fuss, opener Segun Olayinka making 50* in 80 balls, including four 4s and a 6, as victory was secured in 28.1 overs.

Nigeria’s skipper Adekunle Adegbola said, ‘Saheed’s bowling was awesome today and Oluseye did a great job in supporting him. Segun also occupied the crease well and did a good job for the team. Our last game now is against Argentina and there is nothing more or less for us than to be victorious. We’re going to give it our best to finish in the top two.’

Bahrain’s vice-captain, Anil Hanif, who stood in as skipper today for the injured Yaser Sadeq, said, ‘We weren’t up to the mark today. Our shot-selection was poor and this has been our problem throughout the whole tournament.

‘Our bowlers are doing a fantastic job and our fielding is good but our batsmen are continuously making the same mistakes. They’re getting set but then throwing their wickets away with rash shots. Credit to Nigeria though, they bowled and fielded well and took some good catches.’

Excellent opening partnership between Olinayka and Ofen set up the Nigeria win

Meanwhile Vanuatu kept themselves in the hunt for promotion with a comprehensive 5-wicket victory over Kuwait at FB Fields.

17-year old Nalin Nipiko, who captains the Vanuatu under-19s side, picked up the man-of-the-match award for his 4-30 in 8 overs as Vanuatu dismissed Kuwait for a mere 107 runs in 24.3 overs. Irfan Bhatti (31 off 37 balls, seven 4s) was only one of three Kuwaitis to reach double figures as Jelany Chilia also chipped in with 3 wickets for only 4 runs in 2.3 overs.

Nipiko (25 off 20 balls, four 4s) then contributed with the bat as he combined with yesterday’s centurion Andrew Mansale, who continued his good run of form with an unbeaten 39 from 53 balls, to take Vanuatu to a comfortable win in the 27th over.

Man-of-the-match Nipiko said, ‘I think the boys bowled really well today and we restricted Kuwait to a low total which was comfortable for us to chase down. I was really pleased with my personal performance because the ball was swinging around and I managed to control it well. We’re looking forward to the game against Jersey on Saturday and the boys will give it their best.’

Kuwait’s vice-captain Kashif Sharif, standing in for the injured Hisham Mirza, said, ‘Our batsmen didn’t perform today, similar to previous matches. The playing conditions are very different between here and Kuwait and we’re used to playing lots of T20 cricket so it’s been difficult adapting to 50 overs. Our bowlers have done well here but our batting has totally flopped.’

Tomorrow is a rest day and Saturday’s final round of matches will see Jersey take on Vanuatu at Farmers Field in a top-of-the-table clash, Nigeria meet Argentina in a crunch game at Grainville and Bahrain face Kuwait at FB Fields.

All matches start at 1100 BST.

Three in three as Jersey outclass Nigeria to top WCL Division 6

An inspired bowling and fielding display from Jersey proved too good for Nigeria as the Islanders romped to a comprehensive 6-wicket victory in the top-of-the-table clash in ICC WCL Division 6.

Ben Stevens receives MOM award from Ashraf Din

Bowling first in glorious sunshine at FB Fields, Jersey struck with the very first ball of the day, seamer Paul Connolly nicking off opener Onikoyi to captain Peter Gough at second slip. That moment set the tone as Nigeria’s top-order crumbled, Corne Bodenstein (2-18) joining Connolly (2-16) in doing the damage with the new ball and reducing the Nigerians to 36-4.

Nigerian wicket-keeper Ricky Sharma (53 off 110 balls, four 4s) battled hard for his side but wickets continued to fall regularly around him as Jersey’s bowling attack fired on all cylinders for the first time in this tournament.

Tom Minty bowled ten overs on the trot and picked up 2-31, including the prized wicket of Olatunji (9), who was dismissed by a stunning diving catch at mid-on from Connolly in the 11th over. Meanwhile left-armer Ben Stevens produced a man-of-the-match winning spell of spin to take three wickets for a meagre 13 runs in ten overs as the Nigerians were all out for 96 in 40.1 overs.

Miscued by Peter Gough

Jersey suffered a wobble at the start of their run-chase when they lost openers Gough (4) and Bisson (2) in quick succession, the former out pulling a short ball to mid-on and the latter cleaned up by fast bowler Oluseye Olympio, leaving them 7-2.

But an assured partnership between Stevens (19) and keeper Ed Farley (47*) steadied the ship, taking Jersey into the lunch interval at 42-2 with the job half done. Seamer Saheed Akolade (3-26 in 10 overs) impressed with the ball after lunch in picking up two more wickets but Farley saw Jersey home comfortably in the 23rd over, punching a full toss through the off-side to secure the 6-wicket win and extend the home side’s unbeaten run.

Chipped away by Ed Farley

Jersey captain Peter Gough said, ‘We improved on our bowling a lot today. Corne bowled a great first spell and Plod (Paul Connolly) bowled well. Ben Stevens was also outstanding and the Nigerians really struggled to play him. Of the 40 overs we bowled we never had a poor spell and this is probably the best we’ve fielded all tournament.’

‘With the bat, the partnership between Stevo (Ben Stevens) and Farles (Ed Farley) was crucial. All of our batsmen are feeling confident and we’re feeling good going into the game against Argentina.’

Nigeria’s captain Adekunle Adegbola said, ‘We started badly today, losing three early wickets, but big credit to Ricky Sharma who occupied the crease to take us to 96. Jersey’s openers were fantastic though and their spinners also did a great job.

‘We have to win our next two games but by God’s grace we’ll be 2nd at the end of today and I still believe that we will meet Jersey in the final.’

Elsewhere Argentina kept their hopes of promotion alive with a thrilling last over 1-wicket win over Kuwait at Farmers Field.

Huge appeal by Gary Savage

Saud Qamar (83 off 99 balls, 13 4s, one 6) and captain Hisham Mirza (30 off 30 balls, five 4s, one 6) starred for Kuwait with the bat as they were 205 all out in 44.2 overs.

Lucas Paterlini and Gustin Casime were Argentina’s most successful bowlers, returning figures of 4-45 and 3-26 respectively, whilst wicket-keeper Alejandro Ferguson completed five dismissals.

Argentina’s run chase then went down to the wire but Martin Siri’s 59 from 76 balls, including eight boundaries, and Lucas Paterlini’s late 35 from 43 balls proved just about enough for the South Americans, with Casime (8 off 2 balls) hitting a boundary from the 3rd ball of the final over to squeeze his side over the line.

Argentina’s captain Esteban Macdermott said, ‘I thought we started well today and Lucas bowled excellently, putting their batsmen under a lot of pressure. We had Kuwait 120-8 but then their number 6 and number 10 batted really well to get them to 205.

‘We started positively with the bat but lost our way in the middle so it fell to the bowlers to get us over the line. We’re playing Jersey tomorrow and I don’t think it could come at a better time. Spirits are up so we’re ready for them.’

More congratulations for Paterlini

Kuwait’s manager Sudhakar Shetty said, ‘Initially we didn’t play well today but we fought back and brought the game to a close finish. Man-of-the-match Saud Qamar batted brilliantly with the tail and that’s a positive we can take out of this game.’

At Grainville, a brilliant hundred from captain Andrew Mansale kept Vanuatu in the hunt for promotion as they moved into 2nd with a 35-run victory over Bahrain.

Having been put into bat, Vanuatu lost early wickets and were 47-3 in the 15th over. But man-of-the-match Mansale (101 off 119 balls, six 4s) showed a cool head to lead his side out of trouble, notching up a crucial ton and taking Vanuatu to 244 in 49.4 overs. Mirza Baig topped the wickets tally for Bahrain with figures of 4-52.

Andrew Mansale of Vanuatu who scored a MOM century

Aby John’s 3-40 and Nalin Nipiko’s 3-32 then did the business for Vanuatu despite a battling knock from Shahzad Siddique (84 off 98 balls, ten 4s, one 6).

Vanuatu’s captain Mansale said, ‘It was a great performance and I’m so proud of the boys. Scoring a hundred today was a great honour for me, representing my country as captain and putting the side in a good position after our early collapse, and I’m so glad the other batsmen backed me up all the way through to the last over.’

Jersey meet Argentina tomorrow at Grainville, Vanuatu play Kuwait at FB Fields and Bahrain play Nigeria at Farmers Field. All matches start at 1100 BST.

Photographs: ICC/Barry Chambers

Gough ton takes Jersey one step closer to promotion

A match-winning century from captain Peter Gough took Jersey one step closer to promotion to WCL Division 5 as they crushed Bahrain by 7 wickets on Day 2 of the Pepsi ICC WCL Division 6 tournament.

Peter Gough who scored a century as Jersey beat Bahrain by 7 wickets

Chasing 245 at Les Quennevais in front of a strong home crowd, Gough (100 off 122 balls, ten 4s) was the rock of the Jersey innings, sharing an opening stand of 105 with Corey Bisson (56 off 65 balls, four 4s, one 6) and then putting on 109 for the 2nd wicket with Ben Stevens (69* off 57 balls, ten 4s, two 6s).

The Jersey skipper brought up his ton in the 39th over with an imperious off-drive that raced to the cover boundary, warmly greeted by a standing ovation from his team-mates.

He was unable to add to his score but by then the game was Jersey’s, with Andrew Dewhurst (10 off 12 balls) hitting the winning runs 5 overs later.

Man-of-the-match Gough said, ‘I’m chuffed. I was a bit scratchy at the start and I felt lethargic in the 40s but from 60 onwards felt brilliant. I found some rhythm and by the end the ball was flying off the middle of the bat and I was hitting it cleanly down the ground.

Peter Gough gets the MOM award from Ward Jenner

‘With the ball we weren’t at our best today. We bowled a lot of extras and we didn’t field as well as we normally do. But I’m chuffed to bits with the batting. Stevens and Bisson did a brilliant job. We’ve had two good batting performances in two days and we hope to continue that against Nigeria.’

Bahrain captain Yasir Sadeq said, ‘I really have no complaints against my team today. Jersey played extraordinarily, especially the batting. They really applied themselves and there was nothing we could do. But we will be playing Jersey in the final, trust me.

‘Our batsmen aren’t used to playing on turf wickets so we were pleased to post 245. Tahir Dar scored a good knock of 65 and everyone chipped in. But in the bowling department there was nothing in the pitch and we really appreciated the Jersey innings.’

Elsewhere, Vanuatu bounced back from their first day defeat to beat Argentina by 6 wickets at FB Fields.

Andrew Mansale bowling for Vanuatu

They restricted the South Americans to 169 all out in 49.4 overs, Pablo Ferguson the top Argentinian run-scorer with 54.

Damian Smith (73*) and Samson Kalworai (45*) then starred for Vanuatu with the bat, leading their side to a comfortable victory in 42.5 overs.

Vanuatu’s coach Peter Wooden said, ‘Our boys played brilliantly today. It was a wonderful win. We played some great cricket against Nigeria and to come out after that tough loss and play some superb cricket was fantastic.

‘The bowling was brilliant, particularly our spinners, and then the 100-run partnership between Samson and Damian was first-class.’

Argentina’s captain Esteban Macdermott said, ‘We didn’t perform with the bat today, we didn’t put enough runs on the board. Credit to Vanuatu though, they bowled tightly and their fielding was exceptional. Ferguson’s 50 is one positive for us to take out of the game and I hope he can carry on like that for the rest of the week.’

Meanwhile Nigeria continued their good run of form by notching up a big 111-run win over Kuwait at Grainville.

Huge appeal by Sajid Kalam

Batting first having lost the toss, Nigeria posted an imposing total for the second time in this tournament, making 263-9 in their 50 overs. Dotun Olatunji (66) top-scored whilst Ricky Sharma (47) and Kunle Adegbola (44) made important contributions.

In reply, Kuwait never really looked like troubling the Africans and were all out for 152 in 40.2 overs. Adegbola added to his early runs by taking 4-24 and Oluseye Olympio returned figures of 3-37.

Kuwait’s captain Hisham Mirza said, ‘Like yesterday our batting didn’t click. Nigeria played very well to make 263 but we have issues with our batting. We’re missing six key players from this tour because of selection issues and that’s been a big setback for us. But we’re going to fight back and try our best with this team and see how things go against Argentina.’

Tomorrow is a rest day and matches will continue on Wednesday 24th July. Jersey will meet Nigeria in a top-of-the-table clash at FB Fields, Vanuatu face Bahrain at Grainville and Kuwait will search for their first win when they take on Argentina at Farmers Field.

All matches start at 1100 BST.

Gallichan leads Jersey to 6-wicket victory over Kuwait

A man-of-the-match performance from 18-year old Luke Gallichan led Jersey to a convincing 6-wicket victory over Kuwait in their opening fixture of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6.

Keith Dennis presents MOM award to Luke Gallichan of Jersey

Chasing 180 in glorious sunshine at Grainville, Gallichan made an unbeaten 72 from 114 balls including seven boundaries, as he showed a maturity beyond his years with a determined and courageous innings.

Gallichan came to the crease with Jersey in a tricky situation at 8-2 in the 3rd over, having lost skipper Peter Gough and Ben Stevens to the new ball, leaving an awkward 20-minute spell to negotiate before the lunch interval.

Together with Corey Bisson, who made 45 from 85 balls including five boundaries, they saw off the early pressure and put on a crucial 97 runs for the 3rd wicket.

Boundary for Corey Bisson

The Jersey pair neutralised the threat of Kuwait’s experienced spin attack with well-judged aggression and intelligent running between the wickets, taking the home side to 105-2.

Bisson then fell in the 30th over, caught at long-off trying to lift Irfan Bhatti over the top, and when Ed Farley was dismissed for a duck two overs later it looked like Jersey might be in trouble.

But the home side kept their cool, the experienced Andrew Dewhurst joining Gallichan at the crease and making an unbeaten 33 from 35 balls, hitting back-to-back boundaries in the 42nd over to see Jersey over the line.

Andy Dewhurst made an unbeaten 33

Gallichan said, ‘It was my first innings in the WCL Division 6 and I’m thrilled to have scored 72 and to have won the game for our side. I was sent in as a ‘lunch watchman’ but I managed to stay there until the end and I’m really pleased with my performance.’

Jersey set up the victory by bowling Kuwait out for 179 in 39.5 overs.

Early wickets for Anthony Hawkins-Kay and Cornelis Bodenstein first reduced the Kuwaitis to 30-2 in the 6th over, but then a blistering 66-run partnership between Muhammed Khan, 40 off 45 balls, and Kashif Sherif, 39 off 34 balls, put Jersey on the back foot.

Captain Peter Gough chopped and changed his bowlers as Jersey tried to stem the flow of runs but the Kuwaitis were regularly finding the boundary with some expansive hard-hitting, moving their side on to 99-2 in the 16th over.

Big hit by Kashif

The highlight of the strokeplay was an audacious slog-sweep by Khan off the quick bowling of Bodenstein that sailed over the cow-corner boundary for 6.

But Jersey wrestled back the momentum when Tom Minty, fresh into the attack, removed the two danger men in quick succession, both smartly caught behind by Ed Farley standing up to the stumps.

Wickets then fell regularly as Kuwait collapsed to 132-7, Ben Stevens and Charles Perchard chipping in whilst Paul Connolly dried up the runs with a tight spell of testing seam bowling.

Ben Stevens bowling

Muhammed Amin and Usman Waheed then put on a valuable 32-run partnership for the 8th wicket to steady the ship and take Kuwait to 164, but their stand was broken when Amin gloved a turning Stevens delivery to a diving Gough at first slip.

Opening bowler Corne Bodenstein then finished off the tail with some clinical strike bowling, Farley taking a classy one-handed catch to his left to dismiss Waheed and Gough pouching another sharp chance in the slips as Kuwait failed to bat out their allocated overs.

This left Jersey a testing 40-minute spell to face before the lunch interval and they looked in a spot of trouble as they lost both their skipper Gough and Stevens in the 3rd over.

Sajid Manzil drew the Jersey captain into a loose drive outside off-stump that was taken at first slip and the Kuwaiti opener then rapped Stevens on the pad next ball in front of all three to leave Jersey 8-2.

Azmatullah in pursuit

It was at this point that Gallichan joined opener Bisson at the crease and their key partnership began.

Jersey captain Peter Gough said, ‘We didn’t bowl as well as we would have liked in the first 18 overs but Paul Connolly, Tom Minty and Ben Stevens pulled it back really well. Kuwait were flying and we thought we’d be chasing 250 so we did a good job to restrict them.

‘With the bat, we were 8-2 and there was a lot of pressure on our men so I was delighted with how Luke and Corey handled the situation, both before and after the lunch interval. I’m pleased with how we played spin today so we’ll look to take that forward against Bahrain tomorrow.’

Kuwait’s captain Hisham Mirza said, ‘We got off to a good start but then came the collapse and 180 was a poor total for a 50 over game. We got some early breakthroughs through Sajid Manzil and there was turn out there for our spinners but Jersey played them well.’

Captains Hisham Mirza and Peter Gough (1)

Jersey coach Craig Hogan said he was delighted with Gallichan’s performance but that his side had room for improvement. ‘Luke’s performance was sensational today. To be told at the start of a 10-minute break that he was going to be sent in as a ‘lunch watchman’, and to bat the way that he did and carry his bat was brilliant. I’m very proud of him.

‘I thought we played well in the latter half of the game but we started poorly. We didn’t bowl in the areas we needed to on this sort of wicket and it was disappointing that Kuwait were able to get away from us early on. But we would’ve taken 180 at the start of the day and we took some really good catches and bowled in better areas in the middle overs.’

Jersey meet Bahrain at Les Quennevais tomorrow, starting at 1100 BST.

My day at Wimbledon

Being blessed with infinite good fortune, I went to the first day of Wimbledon this year. It’s a heady tale of Roger, Rafa and British despair with cameo appearances by my Dad.

Before I begin, a bit of back story. My Dad has been an LTA official for over 25 years. He was a linesman in the 1981 Bjorg-McEnroe final (my greatest claim to fame!) and luckily he’s able to get us a few tickets each year in the umpires’ ballot.

So it was by this feat of fatherly love that I found myself at the gates of SW19 on Monday morning having driven in VIP-style to the umpires’ parking area. I slightly envied the hardy souls in the famous ‘queue’, who were no doubt loving the experience as only the British can.

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First stop of the day was the Order of Play where I decided that Court 12 would be the place to go. Lots of good seeds playing and Brit James Ward too. This is why you definitely don’t need Centre Court tickets on Day 1. There’s just so much quality tennis happening around the grounds.

But setting off I saw a large crowd had gathered around Court 11 so I went over to investigate. Lo and behold, who do I see casually warming up with Martin Cilic and Goran Ivanesivic (!?) but …

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The Fed!

It was funny to see how casual and calm he was. A few leisurely back-hands here, a couple of top-spin serves there. This was the Fed in first gear and you wouldn’t have guessed he was hours away from kicking off the defence of his Wimbledon title. And all the while he still managed to radiate his consummate awesomeness.

Still giddy after my encounter with tennising greatness, I then looked to my left and the day got even better. Rafa and crew had rocked up! Court 11 was clearly the warm-up court of choice for the big names.

Never have I seen such a marked contrast between two tennis players. Whereas the Fed was all effortless grace and easy does it, Rafa was a picture of intensity and focus. Uncle Toni would feed balls from the baseline and Rafa would whip them back with that wicked left-handed top-spin flourish. Just look at the eyes in the picture and you can see the intensity.

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I managed to scramble my way towards the front of the crowd as they were leaving and I got Rafa to sign my ticket. Everyone was wishing him ‘Good Luck’ in English so I thought I’d push the boat out for him and make him feel at home.

‘Buena suerte’, I said.

‘Gracias’, Rafa replied.

I’d just spoken to Rafa Nadal in Spanish! Chuffed to bits and feeling like every hour I’d ever spent cramming Spanish into my little head was worth it, I trotted off to Court 12 to enjoy my first bit of play of the day.

I watched the fiery Fabio Fognini lose in 4 sets to Jurgen Melzer. The guys in the crowd next to me were taking bets on Fognini getting disqualified because of all the racket-throwing but alas the German did for him first. Efficient, disciplined stroke play prevailed over flashes of Italian brilliance.

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I then headed over to Court 16 to watch my Dad. He was doing the baseline on the Verdasco v Malisse match (a real tough tie for Round 1!) and he made some good calls. One memorable point saw Malisse serve big to the Verdasco backhand but the Spaniard hit a sweet return winner on the run that just clipped the baseline, which Dad did well to call in!

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When he came off court we went to drink some tea and eat strawberries and cream in the umpires’ buttery. This is one thing that you quickly learn about Wimbledon. Every single cliché is true. Everyone is eating strawberries and cream. Everyone is drinking Pimms. Everyone is talking about the weather.

It’s like an unashamed parody of all the quirks of British life and it was glorious to be a part of. If anyone’s ever feeling a bit anti-royalist, disillusioned with these Isles, ashamed of its past, I prescribe you a good dose of Wimbledon. It does wonders.

And my day at Wimbledon wouldn’t have been complete without a bit of British disappointment. I saw James Ward crash out in his first-round match in four sets to the tenacious Lu Yen-Hsun. He did his best to get the crowd behind him but his serve started to collapse in the fourth and from then on it never looked good.

I finished the day by watching a bit more of my Dad on Court 16 and taking this photo outside Centre Court. One for the album.

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All in all it was a great day full of great memories. Bill Bryson once said, ‘If you have never been to Durham before, go there at once.’ The same is true of Wimbledon. Even if you can’t stand tennis and couldn’t tell your Rafa from your Roger, you must go, at least once.

It’s the atmosphere, the people, the queuing, the weather, the strawberries, the tennis, the smiling faces. It’s good for the soul.