Jersey and Vanuatu will meet in the final of the ICC WCL Division 5 tomorrow after semi-final wins on another action-packed day of cricket in South Africa.
The competition marks the start of their 2023 World Cup qualifying bid, and Vanuatu and Jersey will now fight for the trophy after seeing off Italy and Qatar respectively.
Victory also sees the two sides earn promotion to ICC WCL Division 4, regardless of the outcome tomorrow.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Germany and Guernsey against Cayman Islands and Ghana respectively as the competition heats up ahead of its final day.
— Vanuatu Cricket (@vanuatu_cricket) September 6, 2017
Qatar arrived into the match on a high after booking a semi-final place on Wednesday, but it struggled when put into bat and lost influential captain Inam-ul-Haq for just five in the second over to Anthony Hawkins-Kay. Mohamed Tanveer (5) then departed just four overs later, while Qalandar Khan (4) survived ten overs before falling to Ben Stevens.
None of Qatar’s top five batsman reached double figures as Jersey’s in-form quick bowlers performed superbly – relishing the seamer-friendly conditions. But Tamoor Sajjad changed the game for Qatar, playing freely and striking the ball with menace and intent.
He hit eight fours and three sixes in his knock of 79, before he eventually fell to Cameron Bodenstein – who finished with two for 17 from his 5.3 overs. Hawkins-Kay was the pick of the bowlers for Jersey and finished with four for ten, as his team dismissed Qatar for 152 in 46.3 overs.
Jersey’s run-chase started steadily as Peter Gough and Nat Watkins put on 83 for the first wicket. Gough finished on 71 not out, while Watkins (37) and Jonty Jenner (33) made telling contributions. Qatar did not enjoy the same seamer-friendly conditions as Jersey, although Iqbal Hussain, Mohamed Nadeem and Sajjad all impressed. The trio all finished with one wicket each, but their failure to remove Gough made the difference as he provided the backbone to the innings in a seven-wicket victory.
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Jersey captain Charles Perchard said: “We are very happy. We have put in a lot of hard work before this tournament and for it to come off and help us reach Division 4 is a massive feeling.
“We are looking forward to getting into training and building on our success here.”
Qatar skipper Ul-Haq said: “We have to try hard to stay in the division. We will fight for each other and re-group.”
There were scenes of jubilation at Willowmoore B, where Vanuatu beat Italy by six wickets – thanks in large part again to Patrick Matuataava. Vanuatu won the toss and elected to field, but that did not look like the right choice when Damian Crowley (65) and Peter Petricola (60) steered Italy to 137-2. But the spin of Jelany Chilia got Vanuatu back in the game, and he finished with three for 32. Matautaava, Callum Blake and Andrew Mansale all chipped in with two wickets each as Italy were dismissed for 183.
Vanuatu started positively in reply, with Jonathon Dunn (39) and Joshua Rasu (35) building the innings nicely. But Matautaava, who scored a century on Wednesday to secure a semi-final spot, took over again – hitting 83 off 60 balls with 11 fours and two sixes to see them home by six wickets.
Elsewhere, Guernsey put the disappointment of missing out on a semi-final place behind it with a 23-run win against Ghana. The last match of another exciting day to finish came at Willowmoore A where Germany chased down Cayman Islands to win by five wickets. (ICC)