Newcomers dominate Division 2

Tue, Jul 24, 2007 2:58 PM

The new order of European youth cricket made itself fully apparent in the final round of matches in the first phase of the under-19 Division 2 tournament on Tuesday, as newcomers Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man all secured victories to proceed to the play-offs for the top three places.

Hosts Jersey took on top seeds Gibraltar in the final Group A match at Victoria College, with the victor set to win the group. They won the toss and inserted the opposition on a damp, soft pitch, and then kept the Gibraltarian batsmen pinned down with some generally accurate bowling.

Opener Kieron Ferrary made a patient 39 for Gibraltar, while skipper Kabir Mirpuri batted even longer for 37 as he held the innings together. He was ninth out, stumped off a wide in the final over, but his side's total of 130 for nine never seemed likely to be enough against a powerful Jersey batting line-up.

Slow left-armer James Perchard was the most successful of the Jersey bowlers with three for 21, with Tom Gibbs and Mark Chipperfield picking up two for 21 and two for 9 respectively.

With the pitch playing easier after lunch the Jersey batsmen made short work of the Gibraltar total, knocking off the runs in 28.5 overs for the loss of three wickets.

Captain Tom Wherry led the way with a 58-ball innings for 53, taking the lead in an opening stand of 65 with Sam de la Haye. Edward Farley contributed 30, while Sunday's centurion Chipperfield made 21 not out to see Jersey through to the win.

Neighbours Guernsey had an even more emphatic victory over France, running up 271 for six and then bowling their opponents out for 74. Jon Clark and Will Thompson went at a run a ball for the first ten overs, and then Jon Warr and Kris Moherndl put on 152 for the fourth wicket, the highest partnership of the tournament so far.

Moherndl's 55 came off 65 balls, while Warr stayed to the end of the innings, finishing with 92 off 133 balls.

Pick of the French bowlers was skipper Jonathon Houghton, whose 10 overs went for just 28 runs, with one wicket.

Guernsey's seamer Peter Le Hegarat collected three quick wickets at a cost of 15 as France subsided to 31 for four, and only Jack Hardy managed double figures in a disappointing batting display. Medium-pacer James Mullen produced a remarkable spell, taking four for 21 in six overs including a hat-trick – 10 of the 21 runs came from wides!

And the third of the newcomers, the Isle of Man, were too strong for Germany, securing another seven-wicket win.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, Germany were soon in trouble at 29 for three, but skipper Kashif Mahmood and wicketkeeper Haris Bhatti restored some credibility to the innings with a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket.

After Bhatti was dismissed Mahmood continued steadily with Tarun Rawat, but when the captain was run out it signalled the beginning of another collapse which saw Germany reduced to 114 for eight. Christoph Schulte-Cloos saw them through to 147, however, before Max Stokoe took the last two wickets to finish with three for 17.

Pankaj Bedi picked up both openers at the start of the Manx innings to put the islanders on 11 for two, but brothers Ricky and Danny Kniveton took the match beyond Germany's reach with a stand of 94 for the third wicket. Danny was the more aggressive, making 58 from 70 balls, while Ricky again played a captain's innings and was there at the end on 47 not out.

These results mean that the play-offs for the top three places will start tomorrow with a match between Jersey and the Isle of Man, with Guernsey the third participant in the group. The group contesting fourth to sixth comprises Gibraltar and Israel (who play tomorrow) together with Belgium, while the bottom three will be Italy, Germany and France.

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