JERSEY’s cricketers might feel as though they let victory slip from their grasp in Namibia, having suffered a 31-run defeat to fellow Cricket World Cup hopefuls Canada.
The Islanders were in control for much of their play-off contest – the first of five over the next ten days – but experience eventually shone through for the second largest nation on the planet.
Defeat means that Jersey will likely need to pick up two wins against teams ranked higher than Canada if they are to claim One Day International status – and a million-dollar ICC cash injection – for 2024-27.
They face the tournament hosts tomorrow, before meeting Papua New Guinea, USA and United Arab Emirates between 1-5 April.
Captain Chuggy Perchard won the toss yesterday and sent the Canadians out to bat.
The decision paid immediate dividends as Jersey struck early and often.
Julius Sumerauer trapped Aaron Johnson lbw with the second ball of the innings, before picking up Pargat Singh’s in the fifth over, subsequent to
Anthony Hawkins-Kay’s wicket in the fourth.
When Nicholas Kirton walked in the ninth over, Canada were 52/4.
The North Americans consolidated, however, and made a vital 63 batting at four to steady the ship.
Harsh Thaker proved an able ally at the crease, as he amassed 27 before Perchard sent him walking.
The change of pace worked well for Jersey, as Perchard closed with three wickets from his ten overs, conceding just 38.
Spinner Ben Ward also proved efficient, grabbing 2-35.
The experienced Canadians made life difficult for Jersey, picking their opportunities to score.
Another vital innings, this time from Nikhil Dutta (56), helped his side towards a acceptable total of 238 from the allotted 50 overs.
Jersey had a far different game plan, knowing wickets in hand would prove vital down the stretch.
Not concerned about run-rate, Harrison Carlyon and Nick Greenwood set about playing their way in to new surroundings.
After a few overs of sparring, the former opened up his shoulders to 18 runs from 21 balls before a superb slip catch sent him back to the pavilion.
Meanwhile, Greenwood, who was on just two from 13, had decided his eye was in.
The New-Zealand based batsman grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, finding boundaries at will to keep the Canadian bowlers honest.
At the crease alongside him was willing compatriot Josh Lawrenson, whose innings showed a mentality far beyond his fledgling years.
Greenwood would eventually walk for 59 from 70, while Lawrenson’s discipline earned him 66 from 101 as the pair laid the foundations for the middle order to see Jersey home.
Jersey were ahead on wickets and runrate but the experienced Canadian bowlers removed Asa Tribe for just four and Jonty Jenner for 20.
Ward and Sumerauer soon followed for six and 13 respectively as Jersey relented control of the contest.
The rate crept higher and wickets continue to tumble, as Jersey lost control over the tie.
Canada ruthlessly skittled the Jersey tail to secure victory.
Jersey must finish above two out of three of the sides also fighting for ODI rights – Canada, UAE and PNG – to secure One Day International status for the first time.