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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.