From the outset it appeared clear that the six teams included in ICC Challenge League B could be divided into three pairs: Hong Kong and Kenya both harbouring expectations for a higher status, Jersey and Uganda desiring to consolidate their recent progress, Bermuda and Italy limiting their aspirations to that coveted fourth place, at the end of the triple round robin, that will insure the maintenance of the list A status.
With this in mind, today’s inaugural game between Jersey and Uganda had very much the flavour of a direct elimination bout between boxing contenders. The islanders won an all important toss and put the East Africans in. The score of 39/3 at the end of the powerplay must have given them great satisfaction, especially because all three wickets were taken by millennial Julius Sumerauer, capable of extraction bounce from what looked for the other bowlers a relatively docile pitch.
Uganda, however, did not cave in. Ukani (47 from 56 balls) and Masaba (40 from 83) got entrenched eventually being dismissed when they tried to lift the tempo. At 138/5 in the 33rd over, Jersey had seized back control. Nakrani, undefeated on 79 from 70 deliveries, stole the momentum from Henry Cavill’s countrymen, well supported by Riazat 37 off 44. In the end, Uganda could be content with their final score of 248/8.
Jersey’s reply was safe and cautious, maybe a bit too much. At 46/2 in the 15th over with both openers gone and the asking rate nearing a run a ball a repairs job was required. Ben Stevens (43 from 58) and Nick Greenwood (40 from 55) responded. After Steven’s dismissal Jonty Jenner sustained the chase with a run a ball 30. At 161/3 with Jersey requiring 88 off 79 balls the chase was on. The dismissal of both batsmen in the space of three deliveries checked the islanders hopes dramatically. Dominic Blampied and Corey Bisson gave their best to keep Jersey in the hunt but consecutive dismissals between the end of the 44th and the start of the 45th over, with 50 still needed, took the game out of Jersey’s reach, the channel men finishing in the end 25 short.
Points table and schedule: here.