Hosts clinch Division 2 title

Fri, Jul 27, 2007 1:28 PM

Jersey won the European Under 19 Division 2 championship at their first attempt on Friday, securing a five-wicket victory over Channel Island rivals Guernsey in a tightly-fought match.

The heroes of the day were Ed Farley and Matt Hanley, who came together when Jersey were on 77 for four chasing Guernsey's total of 223 for nine, and put together a 140-run partnership which steadily took the game away from their opponents.

Guernsey had begun well after being put in to bat, Jon Clark and Will Thompson making 52 for the first wicket before Clark was given out caught behind off seamer Anthony Kay for 30. Thomson followed 11 runs later, caught by Mark Chipperfield off spinner James Perchard's first ball, and when Perchard bowled Jon Warr, Guernsey were 83 for three.

Ben Ferbrache and Kris Moherndl added 51 for the fourth wicket, giving their side a decent platform, and after Moherndl went for 25 Ferbrache and Peter le Hegarat put on a further 43. Ferbrache reached his half-century, his first of the tournament, but was out soon afterwards for 54, made off 84 balls, and the Guernsey innings lost momentum as the Jersey bowlers produced an effective final ten overs.

Le Hegarat stood alone as wickets continued to fall at the other end, and had reached 36 not out by the time the innings closed. Perchard finished with two for 41 from his ten overs, while Richard Blackburn took two for 22 from seven.

223 was a somewhat disappointing total in the circumstances, and it seemed unlikely to be enough. But Jon Warr had other ideas, dismissing both openers by the time the score had reached 24. First he had Sam de la Haye caught in the slips, and then pulled off a superb diving catch off his own bowling to get rid of Tom Wherry. It was a major setback for Guernsey when illness forced him to leave the field after he had bowled six overs.

A 43-run partnership between Farley and Mark Chipperfield gave the home side some hope, but they were behind the required run rate, and when Kris Moherndl removed Chipperfield with the last ball of one over and Tom Gibbs with the first ball of his next, they found themselves on 77 for four.

That brought Hanley in to join Farley, and they gradually gained control of the match. Farley in particular was hard on anything at all loose, and his innings was certainly one of the highlights of the tournament. He was dropped twice off Luke Nussbaumer shortly before he reached his fifty, once to a high, steepling chance and the other a sharp return catch, but he rode his luck and became increasingly dominant as the innings progressed.

He reached his century off 121 balls with Jersey just ten runs short of their target, but was caught soon afterwards when Moherndl returned to the attack. But Hanley, who had brought up his own fifty, was not to be denied, and he and Anthony Kay hit off the remaining runs to give Jersey a memorable and thoroughly-deserved victory.

Gibraltar, meanwhile, claimed fourth place in the tournament, after the Isle of Man, with a seven-wicket win over Belgium. Shalin Shah and Jamie Farmiloe top-scored for Belgium, each making 32 in a total of 162 for nine, with Robbie Skinner taking three for 45 to become the leading wicket-taker in the competition, and Vishal Kainth three for 28.

A 112-run stand for the third wicket between Akhil Viz and Kieron Ferrary gave Gibraltar the upper hand, and Ferrary remained to the end, finishing on 73 not out as Gibraltar won with more than three overs to spare.

In the match to decide the wooden spoon, France successfully defended a total of 124, bowling Italy out for 84. Italian seamers Luis di Giglio and Fida Hussain did the damage with five for 35 and four for 17 respectively, but Jack Hardy struck back for France with five for 30, while Rameez Ihsan took three for 26. Jean Luc Lambourdiere was top scorer in the match with 30.

Four players tied on six votes each for the Player of the Tournament award: Tarun Rawat (Germany), Solomon Varsulkar (Israel), Kabir Mirpuri (Gibraltar) and Danny Kniveton (Isle of Man). After their performances throughout the week were reviewed by a jury, the award went to Kniveton. The Isle of Man also won the Spirit of Cricket award.

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