September 21, 2011

World Cricket League

Jersey hold on for tight win

Andrew McGlashan

Jersey upset the form book as they clung on for a seven-run victory against tournament leaders Malaysia at Bayuemas Oval to claim their first win of the event. Jersey were defending 171 and Alex Cooke claimed the final wicket when he had Shahrulnizam Yusof lbw with more than seven overs of the chase unused. However, the real hero was Anthony Hawkins-Kay who took 4 for 22 to earn the Man-of-the-Match award. He claimed two early wickets as Malaysia stumbled in their reply and at 76 for 6 their chance appeared to have slipped away.

But the lower middle-order showed fight and a 53-run stand between Suresh Navaratnam (37) and Eszrafiq Aziz (25) meant the odds slightly favoured the hosts. That was when Hawkins-Kay swung the game again with two wickets in two overs, yet still it wasn't over as Malaysia got to within 10 of the target before the final two batsmen fell in seven deliveries.

It hadn't been an easy day for run-scoring throughout and Jersey found themselves 28 for 3 in the 12th over. The key partnership came from Corey Bisson and captain Peter Gough as they added 88 in 28 overs to ensure a competitive total. Malaysia, though, will rue the 12 wides and three no-balls they conceded.

"The pitch was helping fast bowling today and I was definitely getting it in the right places to take the wickets," Hawkins-Kay said. "It was definitely a tough game and Malaysia played really well and pushed us right up to the end. I have to say it does feel fantastic to score our first victory of the tournament, especially after two really close games that resulted in losses for us. Today's win really is fantastic, let's hope it keeps coming."

Kuwait were indebted to Abid Mushtaq's rapid innings as they chased down a Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target of 161 in 29 overs against Fiji at the Kinrara Oval. Mushtaq hit 43 of 24 balls in a first-wicket stand of 73 in less than 10 overs to ensure Kuwait were ahead of the pace after rain had intervened. Iniasi Cakacaka tried his best to keep Fiji alive with 3 for 13 from six overs, but the chase was comfortably completed by Saud Qamar and captain Hisham Mirza. Earlier, Fiji had done well to recover from 38 for 3 as Josefa Rika (55) and Waisake Tukana (50 not out) added 73 but, as is often the case, chasing under D/L proved an advantage.

"I tried to play my normal opening game and tried to remain on strike as much as I could to help us make the target," Mushtaq said. "It was all about us playing a sensible innings since the last few matches which we've lost have been because we have not been sensible in our performances.

"It's important now that we continue to bat well and continue to win all our games to come in the tournament. I think Fiji were a good side despite our winning today; they challenged us but now we have to remain focused on winning every game. Every player has to give it his all for the side."

The game between Nigeria and Guernsey was abandoned after 47 overs but Nigeria had produced an impressive recovery from 18 for 5. Lee Savident and Jamie Nussbaumer, yesterday's Man of the Match, did major damage with the new ball before Olajide Bejide played a fine hand to reach an unbeaten 87 off 106 balls.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew McGlashan
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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