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Jersey threw the ICC European Division 1 Championship wide open on Wednesday as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Ireland A at Les Quennevais, while elsewhere the heavy rain which enveloped Jersey in the afternoon produced two tight finishes in rain-reduced run chases.
Jersey’s new-ball pair of Ryan Driver and Chris Jones seized the initiative after Ireland A chose to bat first, quickly reducing their opponents to 39 for 4. The Irish were in real trouble at 61 for 6. Albert van der Merwe managed to get the total up to 128 but his side finished on that score in the 46th over. Stevens finished with 3 for 15 and Jones with 3 for 20.
Jersey openers Dean Morrison and Ed Farley had reached 40 before rain intervened, and after the break they extended their opening partnership to 63. Driver and Morrison then added another 41. Morrison, having made a match-winning 66-ball 55, departed with Jersey needing 21 for victory. Peter Gough and Jones knocked off the remaining runs as Jersey completed their win with nearly 20 overs to spare.
Scotland A claimed a second win by beating Denmark by five wickets in a game at FB Fields. Put in by Scotland, Denmark began steadily despite the early loss of key wickets. The Scottish attack generally bowled with great discipline, Tyler Buchan and Zeeshan Bashir the most economical with 2 for 30 and 1 for 27 respectively from their ten overs. Denmark managed to reach 175 for 5 due to some controlled aggression from Martin Pedersen and Jacob Larsen.
But then, just 14 deliveries into the Scottish reply, a succession of heavy showers held up play for three-and-a-half hours, and when the match could continue there was time only for the minimum 20 overs. The target was revised to 95 and Ryan Flannigan’s 23 from 20 balls, including one massive straight six, proved to be the decisive innings. Although they lost five wickets in the process Scotland A got home with seven balls to spare.
In the remaining game Netherlands A accounted for Italy by three wickets after their innings at Grainville was cut to 30 overs. Italy were put in to bat and were in desperate trouble against the new ball, collapsing to 38 for 5. They were rescued by a fine knock of 56 from Michael Raso, who added 84 for the sixth wicket with Gayashan Munasinghe, and Italy reached a comparatively respectable 153 for 7. Mohsin Ghaznavi was again the leading wicket-taker for the Dutch with 3 for 32.
The Dutch batsmen did not find conditions any easier after a long interruption for rain, and at 46 for 4, chasing a Duckworth/Lewis target of 114 in 30 overs, they were in danger of a second successive defeat. Skipper Tim Gruijters steered them towards victory with a fighting 28, with Heggelman and 17-year-old wicketkeeper Werner Erkelens, playing for his country for the first time, knocking off the remaining runs without further loss.