May 26, 2008

World Cricket League

Leaders cement their positions

Martin Williamson

The third round of the ICC World Cricket League Division Five in Jersey again produced wins for the favourites, and with two rounds remaining, it seems that Afghanistan, Jersey, Nepal and USA are the teams likely to make the last four.

A fantastic innings of 92 from Jersey's Ryan Driver helped his side maintain their winning streak with a comprehensive 128-run victory over Bahamas. Driver, who has county experience in English cricket with Lancashire and Worcestershire, hit five fours and five sixes in his 85-ball innings as the home side made 206-4 in a 32-over game, before Andy Dewhurst destroyed the Bahamas batting order with 6 for 20.

"The team is confident at the minute but we're not being complacent at all. We've turned up every single day and beaten whatever opposition is against us. We're getting better with every game," said 29-year-old Driver. "We know the tournament is going to get a lot tougher but we want to rise to the occasion."

USA defeated Vanuatu by seven wickets, reaching a target of 89 with 4.4 overs to spare in a game in which rain prevented any play in the morning.

Nepal again recovered from a shaky start with the bat as they comprehensively defeated Norway by 108 runs. They were grateful to 51 from Mahaboob Alam, who yesterday took ten wickets, to steer them to 208, before bowling Norway out for 98.

And Afghanistan's winning run also continued as four wickets from Mohammad Nabi Eisakhil and three wickets for Hamid Hassan saw them bowl out Botswana for 128 all out in another rain-affected match. In probably their best batting display of the event so far, 62 from Karim Khan Sadiq sealed a comfortable victory by seven wickets.

Germany were the other winners of the day, enjoying a comprehensive win over Mozambique by seven wickets, with Ehsan Latif once again the star. He gained his second Man-of-the-Match award with figures of 3 for 13 which helped bowl out Mozambique for 96, although Latif received good support from Farooq Ahmed (3 for 14) and Javed Iqbal (3 for 40). In reply, Abdul Bhatti guided his side home with 32 not out as Germany reached their target with 21.5 overs to spare.

The match between Singapore and Japan was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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