Jersey, Guernsey to play off for title

Thu, Jul 26, 2007 2:36 PM

Guernsey completed a 74-run victory over the Isle of Man at Grainville on Thursday, ensuring that the Channel Islands derby at the same ground on Friday will effectively be the final of the Under 19 Division 2 tournament.

But it was a greatly improved performance by the Manx side, who fought back well to contain Guernsey to 216 for eight from their fifty overs and were then well positioned at one stage on 109 for two in reply. A break for rain disrupted their progress, however, and Guernsey in their turn reclaimed the match, taking seven wickets for 33 runs as the Isle of Man were all out for 142.

Jon Clark and Will Thomson got Guernsey off to a great start, putting on 72 for the first wicket before Max Stokoe broke through, dismissing for Thompson for 27. Clark soon followed, after making 41 off 62 balls, and when Jon Warr was run out it was 99 for three.

Peter le Hegarat made a splendid 39-ball 45, including five fours and a six, and after he was caught on the boundary, hitting over the top once too often, skipper Luke Nussbaumer chipped in to take his side through to a reasonably demanding total. Stokoe was the most successful of the Manx bowlers with three for 43.

Le Hegarat struck immediately when the Isle of Man batted, bowling Stokoe with his first ball, but Andrew Turner and Richard Kniveton restored their side's fortunes with a stand of 72. Turner was almost painfully circumspect at first, but Kniveton kept the scoreboard moving.

Kniveton was trapped leg-before by seamer Chris Dravers for 47, and was replaced by his brother Danny, but with rain threatening, the Manxmen gradually fell behind the required rate, and when a shower interrupted proceedings they had a 24-run deficit. The break did not last long, but when they players went back onto the field a wicket fell almost immediately.

That was the trigger for a succession of dismissals as leg-spinner Nussbaumer and off-spinner Tom Kirk took control. None of the last seven Manx batsmen reached double figures, as Kirk took five for 20 and Nussbaumer three for 27.

Having lost narrowly to Gibraltar on Wednesday, Israel held their nerve against Belgium, winning another low-scoring game by three runs.

Israel were bowled out for 106, with Gabriel Schachat top-scoring with 17. They had made a good start, reaching 31 before opener Reuven Bergman was run out, soon to be followed by Shlomo Korman, dismissed the same way.

It was, however, seamer Nirvam Shah and spinner Shalin Shah who were the chief destroyers, taking three for 21 and four for 11 respectively as Israel were dismissed in 40.3 overs.

The Belgian innings was wrecked by a superb spell from left-arm spinner Solomon Varsulkar, who took four for 19 as Belgium slumped from 34 for one to 41 for five, and with medium-pacer Schachat taking three for 32 and off-spinner Raz Ben Zaken picking up two, the innings closed just four runs short of their target.

In the final group, playing off for the bottom three places, Germany proved much too strong for France, winning by 104 runs.

The stars for Germany were all-rounders Tarun Rawat and Kashif Mahmood. Rawat opened the innings, making 68 from 123 balls, sharing partnerships of 53 with Shafraz Samsudeen and 64 with Mahmood, and after he was dismissed Mahmood went on to make 43, taking the score through to 160 for five.

French seamer Rameez Ihsan had got his side away to a great start by taking the first wicket with the total on 16, and he then came back to pick up three more as the German innings subsided, finishing with four for 44.

Germany's total of 198 was their highest of the week, and always seemed likely to be too much for the French. They reached 45 for the loss of only one wicket, but then Rawat and Pankaj Bedi took three wickets without addition to the score, and the French innings began to fall apart.

Rawat took another to end with three for 16, and Mahmood had three for 25. Opening bowler Bedi came back to claim the final wicket as the French were dismissed for 94. Only a substantial - and on the evidence so far, highly unlikely - victory over Italy on Friday will save France from last place in the nine-team tournament.

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