Men’s T20I: Isle of Man 100-9 (McAuley 43; Peatfield 3-24, Breban 3-24) lost to Guernsey 101-2 (Damarell 52, Butler 37*; J. Burrows 1-7) by 8 wickets with 51 balls remaining
For the first time since 2004, the Guernsey and Isle of Man men’s national teams played each other in a competitive match. Competitive, in this context, does not refer to a comparison of the teams but instead were competing for more than just pride. The ICC sanctioned T20 International means that there were world ranking points at stake and gave both teams a chance to move further up the global table. But the context of this game was far greater than world ranking points; the game signals the return of Men’s T20Is since the start of the COVID-19 led to a worldwide halting of international cricket. Not only was the game the first men’s T20I, but the game was also part of a fantastic series of games that saw a number of different age group teams from the two islands compete. With cricket currently returning from an enforced break due to the ongoing pandemic, both cricket boards deserve a huge amount of praise for organising and fulfilling a wide array of fixtures which has seen three different age group teams and the senior team all in action, as well as a plane chartered to transport the 170-strong touring party to Guernsey
Taking place at College Field, Guernsey’s recognised home ground, the Isle of Man won the toss and elected to bat first. The teams appeared even for much of the first innings with the Isle of Man being able to string some positive partnerships together in the blustery but clear conditions. Debutant opening batsman Adam McAuley and George Burrows (13) combined for a 29 run partnership which put the team at 56-2 after 10 overs. However, Guernsey thanks to some fantastic bowling, were able to put a stop to the Isle of Man momentum and prevented the batting team from capitalising on their solid start. Guernsey’s bowlers all had fantastic games with William Peatfield (3-24) and Mathew Breban (3-24) both picking up three wickets, Luke Le Tissier picking up a brace (2-17) and Luke Bichard along with Anthony Stokes bowling tightly and deserve credit for their performances. The aforementioned performances took regular wickets and minimised scoring opportunities for the Isle of Man. Despite the pressure of a consistent flow of wickets at the other end, opening batsman McAuley (43) put in a fighting performance before being bowled with the innings’ penultimate delivery. The Isle of Man scored 100 in their maiden official men’s T20I, which may have looked a small total but chases like these often prove troublesome.
The second innings brought Le Tissier and Isaac Damarell to the crease. Damarell led the scoring for Guernsey during the early stages and formed an opening partnership of 21 with his partner. Le Tissier was out for 8 after being bowled by a good delivery from Langford which brought Guernsey captain Josh Butler to the crease. In a partnership of 74, both batsmen looked well in control and took Guernsey within touching distance of completing the victory. Damarell batted brilliantly scoring 52 off 31 balls, in an innings which contained six boundaries and three maximums, but was caught by Joseph Burrows off the bowling of Jacob Butler with the score on 95. New batsman Ben Ferbrache faced the one ball and finished 0* while Butler scored the winning run to finish 37*.
Guernsey displayed real quality with both bat and ball during the game; whilst the Isle of Man can take a lot of positives from their performance including the way in which debutant McAuley batted. Overall, it was a fantastic game of cricket and it was great to see the return of men’s T20I cricket in the emerging cricket world.
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