Jersey have kept their dream of qualifying for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India alive, edging a fighting Uganda on net run rate to top their Challenge League group.
Despite a defeat to Kenya and Uganda’s thumping win over Hong Kong, the Channel Islanders could bank on some of their big wins earlier in the tournament to ensure their top-spot finish.
It means Chuggy Perchard’s team move on to the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off, where they will meet the bottom-four finishers of Cricket World Cup League Two, and the winner of the other Challenge League group, according to ICC.
Jersey weren’t at their best on the final day at the Grainville Cricket Ground in St. Saviour (Jersey), though it mattered little in the grand scheme of their hopes of progression. Bowled out for 172, Jersey were chased down by Kenya, who finished the tournament in fourth place.
Apart from the final day, Jersey were ruthless in the last leg of the tournament, making the most of the familiar home conditions. Beating Bermuda by 206 runs and Italy by 145 runs, they crucially claimed wins over Uganda and Hong Kong as the three teams battled for top spot.
By the time it came to number-crunching on the final day, overcoming Jersey on the table looked incredibly unlikely, though it didn’t stop them from throwing the bat at everything in their match against Hong Kong.
Simon Ssesazi and Arnold Otwani put on a staggering opening stand of 290 inside 43 overs, with the pair hitting 28 boundaries between them in the blitz.
Ssesazi’s 137 (134) and Arnold Otwani’s 129 (128) set up the Cricket Cranes’ total of 397/3, with Dinesh Nakrani (50 not out from 21 balls) and Riazat Ali Shah (50 off 22) putting on 103 in the last seven overs. It’s the third-highest List A total in matches featuring two Associate Members.
Kinchit Shah made a spirited 53 (51) in reply, though Hong Kong struggled to build partnerships, and were eventually bowled out for 179. The ever-present Frank Nsubuga, a fortnight away from turning 42, claimed 3/27.
Jersey now wait to see who they will take on at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off, with the top two of the six-team competition moving to the ten-team Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe next year.
With one leg remaining in the other Challenge League group, Canada currently hold the top spot for progression, while USA, Namibia, Nepal and Papua New Guinea are the teams that currently sit in the bottom four of Cricket World Cup League 2.
Press Release, Source: IANS