European Under 23 Division 2 Championship

Fri, Aug 17, 2007 5:28 PM

Jersey followed up its victory at the ICC European Under 19 Division 2 Championship, with a win over France in the final of the Under 23 tournament in Guernsey yesterday.

The champions were not troubled by France in the final, winning by seven wickets. Put into bat, the French were bowled out for 80 with only one batsman, Ali Sarfraz reaching double figures with18.

The islanders then needed just 16.2 overs to knock off the runs, the loss of opener Sam Dewhurst for 34 fell just two runs short of their target, deprived them of an even more emphatic margin of victory.

Winning captain Pete Gough and his off-spin twin Danny Blasco took eight of the France wickets as the batsmen either hit out to a fielder, or missed and were bowled. The highest partnership was 17 between Sarfraz and Sulanga Hewawalandanage for the fifth wicket.

The latter then proved that off spin bowling was the key to taking wickets on the KGV pitch, finishing with all three for 27 but he just hadn't enough runs to play with and there wasn't even time for him to bowl a seventh over. Ed Farley scored the winning runs, the last from an overthrow summing up France's day.

After the Under 19 Division 2 triumph on home pitches last month, this win completed a quick double for Jersey but undoubtedly, it would have been even more satisfying if they had won it against neighbouring islanders Guernsey.

The tournament host missed out on a place in the final to eventual runners-up France. In the group stages, both sides produced victories over Italy, but the deciding fixture between the two sides did not produce a result due to bad weather. France qualified for the final against Jersey on run-rate, leaving a disappointed Guernsey to play off for third place against Gibraltar.

The hosts won the play-off at College Field by seven wickets, with 12 balls to spare as 15 year old Tim Ravenscroft enjoyed a good all-round game, following up his three wickets of off spin for 20 runs with an undefeated 58.

Gibraltar made 184 for nine in their 50 overs with Iain Latin repeating his heroics in the opening game against Germany as he rescued his side from 85 for seven. The No 7 batsman, who scored 72 not out on Monday, was ninth man out, in the last over, for 66 from 74 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

The Guernsey response began cautiously but James Warr and Blane Queripel added 54 for the first wicket in 21 overs before they were parted to lay the platform for their winning reply. Warr was out for 22 but Queripel and Ravenscroft then doubled the score in just 11 overs before the opener was dismissed for 44.

When rain arrived after 34 overs, Guernsey was six runs behind where they should have been but, after a 35-minute delay, the teams returned and the hosts were able to complete a comfortable victory, Ben Ferbrache scoring quickly towards the end to finish 34 not out.

The rain coincided with the end of the match at Port Soif, Italy bowled out for 59, the lowest total of the week by Germany who confirmed fifth place.

Germany won the toss and had no hesitation in batting, with Thivakaran Aritharan top scoring with 35 out of 187, the team bowled out in the 49th over. But that proved more than enough with only one Italy batsman, Gayashan De Silva, reaching double figures as the Italians lost their last six wickets for 17 runs, Aritharan taking four for 11.

The player of the tournament was Iain Latin for his two half centuries, while Luca Moscatellini of Italy was the leading wicket-taker with seven. There was a small measure of consolation for Guernsey who received a plaque for the most sporting team of the week on the field, as judged by the six umpires.

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