At the halfway stage in the European World T20 Qualifier at Desert Springs, Almería, unbeaten Jersey are just one win away from securing a place in one of next year’s global qualifiers, while Germany and Italy are likely to be fighting it out for the second qualifying spot.
Jersey’s well-balanced attack has so far been their trump card, even enabling them to defend a paltry total of 94 against bottom-placed Denmark on Sunday as they held on to win by five runs.
It was the islanders’ second narrow victory of the week: after a 44-ball 50 from Harrison Carlyon had guided them to 137 for seven against Germany in their opening game, the Germans gave them a real scare, reaching 133 for five thanks to 32 from Talha Khan and 31 not out from Faisal Mubashir.
Carlyon was again in the runs with 29 against Italy in their second match, but it was Ben Ward’s 33 not out which enabled them to reach 139 for five; Ward, Dominic Blampied and captain Charlie Perchard then picked up two wickets apiece as Italy collapsed to 98 all out.
Perchard was Jersey’s hero in their low-scoring victory over Denmark: after Ward made a steady 32, the skipper smashed 23 in just nine balls to get the total from 66 for eight even as far as 94, and he then took four for 14 in 23 deliveries to enable his side to squeeze out the win.
Germany recovered from that opening day defeat to beat Denmark by six wickets, thanks to a crucial second-wicket partnership of 58 between Michael Richardson (31) and Faisal Mubashir (36), but it was their four-wicket victory over Italy on Sunday which gave them a slight edge going into the second half of the tournament.
The Germans twice hauled themselves back into the match: after Nicolai Smith and Grant Stewart had given Italy a great start with a half-century opening stand the side was restricted to 103 for five, Muslim Yar taking three for 18, and Germany were then reduced to 12 for three before Dylan Blignaut (36 not out) and skipper Venkatraman Ganesan turned things round with a fifth-wicket partnership of 52.
Unsurprisingly after their chaotic build-up to the tournament, Denmark have found themselves consistently off the pace, losing by six wickets to Italy on the opening day before their defeats at the hands of Germany and Jersey.
A hint of better things to come may have been given by their dismissal of Jersey for 94, spearheaded by Bashir Shah’s three for 6 in four overs, but apart from single innings from Surya Anand, Saif Ahmad and Freddie Klokker the batting has been uniformly disappointing, leaving far too much onus on the bowlers.
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