Brilliance in the field hands Jersey victory over Dutch
It was a day of shocks and recoveries at Rugby School as the European U15 Division 1 Championship began in, by turn, Baltic and beautiful conditions.
The Irish commenced their campaign with what, in the end, was a comfortable six-wickets victory over Guernsey, but at several stages in the match things had been very differently poised.
Guernsey skipper Tom Nightingale (47 off 63 balls) had chosen to bat first, a decision which looked more than justified as he and Nairn Guilbert (a belligerent 37) compiled 83 for the first wicket.
Having then lost their top three for only 24 additional runs, Guernsey may have feared collapse, but consecutive stands of 55 and 43 took them past 200.
Daniel Le Mesurier provided some late impetus with a brutal 28 (20 balls, 5 fours, and a six), while Rory Betley (53*) played serenely at the other end, raising his bat to the pavilion towards the close of the Guernsey innings.
Fiachra Tucker, delivering ten overs for only 29, was the pick of the nine bowlers used by the Irish, while Ben White claimed 2 for 35.
The pursuit of 240, even on grounds as small and fast as those here at Rugby, is far from easy and when Ireland were reduced to 38 for 3, all the wickets going to Fazakerley, that target seemed a distance away.
However, a crucial fourth-wicket stand of 112 between Tucker (68 from 67 balls, with 13 boundaries) and Rory Anders, and then an unbroken partnership of 91 between Anders and David Delany, first brought Ireland back into the game, then took it away from Guernsey.
Anders finished undefeated on 74 and Delany on 43, Ireland winning with as many as fourteen overs to spare.
Meanwhile, a stunning bowling and fielding performance from Jersey shocked the Netherlands at Rugby School today, last year’s champions going down by 30 runs in a low-scoring match.
Chasing only 181 for victory, the Dutch had raced to 44-1 at the lunch break, skipper William Price to the fore, and were firm favourites to complete a routine chase. But when Price was bowled by Solomon Warner for a rapid 42 (39 deliveries, 6 boundaries and a six), the wickets tumbled.
Warner, William Robertson and Benjamin all bowled tidily for Jersey, but it was the Channel Islanders’ fielding which put the Netherlands under telling pressure: as many as four batsmen were run out and several sharp catches were held; indeed, the standard in the field was never less than excellent, and often better.
Earlier in the day, Jersey had taken steps towards a more conventional victory, reaching 95 for 2 and laying the foundations for a challenging total. William Robertson, with 45 from 74 balls, had led the way. Yet, with the crucial wicket of captain Jonty Jenner, stumped sharply by Remco van de Giessen off the bowling of Pieter de Graaff, things had turned the way of the champions.
From that point, wickets fell steadily, most of them to the off-spin of Davi von Slobbe, who picked up 5 for 32. The Benjamins – Ward and Tait – offered resistance with 31 and 25, respectively, but Jersey were dismissed for 180 with twenty balls unused. Of course, given what followed, that would not matter much.
For the Dutch, a rest day may provide the perfect opportunity to regroup; Jersey, meanwhile, may go into tomorrow’s match against Ireland confident of taking another big scalp. In tomorrow’s other match, Scotland make their bow against Guernsey.
Guernsey v Ireland at Rugby School 1.
Ireland won by 6 wickets
Guernsey 240-8 (50 overs)
R Betley 53*, T Nightingale 47, N Guilbert 37
Ireland 241-4 (36 overs)
R Anders 74*, F Tucker 68, W Fazakerley 3-62
Jersey v Netherlands at Rugby School 2.
Jersey won by 30 runs
Jersey 180 (46.4 overs)
W Robertson 45; D van Slobbe 5-32
Netherlands 150 (42.1 overs)
W Price 42
ICC European U15 Division 1 table (as of August 13)
Ireland v Jersey (Ground 1)
Scotland v Guernsey (Ground 2)
Jersey v Scotland (Ground 1)
Netherlands v Ireland (Ground 2)
16 August: Reserve day
Scotland v Netherlands (Ground 1)
Guernsey v Jersey (Ground 2)
Netherlands v Guernsey (Ground 1)
Ireland v Scotland (Ground 2)
(All matches begin at 1100 local time)