JERSEY seemed to have the United States in their grip, but a stunning turn-around ended in a 66-run defeat for the Channel Islanders at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division Five tournament in Nepal.
This second loss in Kathmandu almost guaranteed Jersey could not achieve promotion this year, with the Americans and Nepal out in front with three wins in three games. Events at Tribhuvan University looked like being so different when the United States slipped to 55-5 after a great spell by Ryan Driver, the Jersey captain.
Jersey must have felt confident of repeating their league win of 2008, but a sixth-wicket partnership of 118 between Carl Wright, with 76, and Aditya Thyagarajan, undefeated with 83, changed the picture. Then an electrifying display by Rashard Marshall — five sixes in a 21-ball innings of 42 not out — took the game right away. The Gough off-spin twins were roughly treated, with Jonathan conceding 58 off his nine overs after an early wicket and Peter going for 60 in eight wicketless overs.
The Americans’ 50-over score 253-6 on an awkward pitch was always likely to be too many. Though Dean Morrison and Samuel de la Haye showed good form all too briefly, no batsman could find the big innings required. The former Guyana off-spinner Lennox Cush, with 4-37, sealed victory for his side.
Man of the match Wright had to leave the field early due to a finger injury sustained while keeping wicket. He said: “I’m delighted – it was a real team effort to achieve the victory. The pitch was difficult to bat on, so I aimed to occupy the crease for as long as possible and eventually it paid off for me. The situation called for that type of innings.”
Fog delayed the start of play between Nepal and Bahrain at the Army Ground in Baktapur, a game which ended with an easy eight-wicket win for the hosts, their captain Paras Khadka hitting 71 not out.
Singapore slipped to 106-7 while chasing Fiji’s total of 194, but 94 not out by Monish Arora squeezed out a two-wicket win with 14 balls to spare. That meant Singapore, Division Six champions, could still achieve back-to-back promotions.
At Army Ground:
Bahrain 114 all out, 42.5 overs, 47 overs per side (Basant Regmi 4-11, Sanjam Regmi 3-18)
Nepal 115-2, 22.5 overs (Paras Khadka 71*)
Nepal won by eight wickets
At Tribhuvan University:
United States 253-6, 50 overs (Aditya Thyagarajan 83*, Carl Wright 76, Rashard Marshall 42*)
Jersey 187-9, 50 overs (Dean Morrison 36, Samuel de la Haye 36; Lennox Cush 4-37, Saurabh Verma 3-19)
United States won by 66 runs.
At Engineering Ground:
Fiji 194 all out, 48.5 overs (Josefa Rika 32, Sevoke Ravoka 30; Pramodh Raja 4-26)
Singapore 198-8, 47.4 overs (Monish Arora 94*; Sakaraia Lomani 3-33)
Singapore won by two wickets