Jersey bowlers tie down Oman to take Division Five title
Anthony Hawkins-Kay's unbeaten 60 was backed up by a sklllful team bowling performance with the ball as Jersey exacted revenge for a loss during the group stage to defeat Oman by 44 runs at St Saviour on Saturday. Oman raced out of the gate chasing a target of 195 thanks to Zeeshan Maqsood's 43 off 22 balls, but Oman's innings floundered after he fell to an athletic return catch by Hawkins-Kay until they were eventually all out for 150 in the 46th over.
Oman won the toss and sent Jersey in under difficult bowling conditions. Rajeshkumar Ranpura seized the movement on offer with a fantastic swing bowling spell, bowling ten overs unbroken at the start of the match to finish with 3 for 21. He removed both openers and Jonty Jenner to peg Jersey back at 51 for 4 in the 19th over. The pressure continued to rise on Jersey with Cornelis Bodenstein taking 31 balls to get off the mark in his innings before he eventually fell edging Ajay Lalcheta behind for 15.
But Hawkins-Kay was joined by Corey Bisson and the pair battled through the next phase for a 71-run stand to give Jersey hope and their confidence was boosted further by being able to see off the threat of Munis Ansari, who offered little support to Ranpura at the start of the innings and was ineffective late as well in finishing with 0 for 51.
Hawkins-Kay had brought up his 50 in 73 balls and though he only scored two boundaries was able to pounce on tired Oman fielding to push hard consistently for twos and threes, scoring ten and three respectively. Oman's catching was as ragged as their ground fielding on the day, dropping no less than four chances including Hawkins-Kay at slip on 12, as Jersey finished on 194 for 7.
Maqsood scored all but four of Oman's first 47 runs - finishing with a tournament best 350 on the week - as he peppered the square boundaries early on in the Oman chase, hitting six fours and two sixes in all. But he was fooled by a change of pace from Hawkins-Kay, who dove forward in his follow through to snatch the ball and with it Oman's chances of maintaining an undefeated record.
Ben Kynman charged through the opening created by Hawkins-Kay, taking the next three wickets in an excellent swing bowling spell to leave Oman 67 for 4 in the 18th as Oman's top-order failed once again at the tournament. A 42-run stand for the seventh wicket by Noorul Riaz and Swapnil Khadye provided a faint hope for Oman of making a comeback. The two men were the only others besides Maqsood to reach double-figures, but both eventually fell to the left-arm spin of Nat Watkins and Ben Stevens for 29 and 24 respectively.
Kynman came back to take his fourth, bouncing out Ranpura for the ninth wicket to end with 4 for 10 and a tournament-best 15 wickets. Six balls later, Ansari slogged Watkins to Charles Perchard at long on to end the match. Though Kynman's figures were best on the day, he received ample support from Perchard, who was virtually unhittable while extracting plenty of seam and swing to end with 1 for 14 including three maidens bowling ten straight from the ninth to the 27th.
In the third place game, Guernsey staved off a game effort from Vanuatu to hold on by 19 runs at St Martin. Chasing a target of 231, Vanuatu appeared on course for victory at 121 for 3 in the 24th over as Nalin Nipiko and Patrick Matautaava enjoyed a 67-run stand, but Nipiko struggled for support after Matautaava was bowled by Jamie Nussbaumer for 42.
With 10 overs to go, Vanuatu needed 71 with five wickets in hand and Nipiko still there on 61, but Simpson Obed and Nipiko fell on consecutive deliveries in the 44th for 17 and 68 respectively to snuff out Vanuatu's chances of staying in Division Five and they were eventually dismissed on the last ball for 211.
Matthew Stokes and Oliver Newey provided the platform for a Guernsey win, sharing a 108-run stand on the way to each making half-centuries. Stokes eventually was fourth out for 82 and finished as Guernsey's leading scorer in the event with 247 runs, second overall behind Oman's Maqsood.
Tanzania scraped by Nigeria with one wicket to spare in the fifth place playoff at St Clement. Chasing a target of 214, they got there with a ball to spare with the last-wicket pair scoring 28 off 16 balls to do it. Arshan Jasani top-scored with 53 in the Tanzania chase and Leke Oyede took 5 for 51 for Nigeria.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna