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Jersey’s Old Victorians make mixed European start

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Old Victorians are the second Jersey club side to compete in the European Cricket League after Farmers in 2022 and 2023

Jersey champions Old Victorians have finished third in their group in the European Cricket League and will play in Tuesday’s knockout stages.

They will face Bulgarian side Akademik Sofia in an eliminator after winning two of their four pool matches.

They were beaten by 18 runs by Swiss side Olten on Monday having won one of their first two matches a day earlier.

They went on to beat Afyonkarahisar from Turkey by 128 runs in their final game at the Cartama Oval in Spain.

The win came a few hours after a chastening loss to Olten, who Olten smashed the islanders for 169-7 in their 10 over innings as they hit a total of 19 sixes and 10 fours.

In reply Old Victorians could only get to 151-5 off their 10 overs.

Opener Raihan Stanikazi set the tone for Olten, hitting 20 off the first four balls before being caught.

Yasotharan Thirunavukarasu and Malyar Stanikzai put on 84 in just four-and-a-half overs for the second wicket before Thirunavukarasu was caught for a 21-ball 43 that included six sixes while his partner went on to make 59 off 22 balls including seven maximums.

Scott Simpson took 2-40 while Edward Giles was the only Old Victorians bowler to concede less than 20 runs in his two overs as he returned figures of 1-19.

Old Victorians struggled with the bat early on as opener Charlie Brennan was run out for one in the opening over while fellow Jersey international Jonty Jenner was caught for 13 as they slumped to 32-3 off 3.5 overs.

Jamie Watling and skipper James Duckett showed some resistance as they put on 73 for the fourth wicket to help secure a losing bonus point before Duckett was run out for 29 to leave Old Victorians on 105-4 off 7.2 overs.

Watling went on to score an unbeaten 71, his impressive innings from 27 balls including nine sixes.

The loss leaves Old Victorians third in the group ahead of a final game against winless Turkish side Afyonkarahisar later on Monday.

The top four teams in the five-strong group progress to the knockout stage on Tuesday with the winners making the final round in two weeks.

Watling century earns big win

Watling continued his great form with the bat as the Jersey side thrashed winless Afyonkarahisar in the final pool match in Group C.

Having lost opener Grant Donaldson for a duck with his very first ball Watling and Brennan put the Turkish side to the sword with a 179-run stand.

Watling hit 104 not out – the fourth-highest total in the tournament – as he crashed nine sixes and 11 fours in a 31-ball knock.

On any other day Brennan’s 31-ball 65 not out would have stolen the show as he hit three sixes and eight fours.

In reply Old Victorians’ bowlers were too much for their opponents as they restricted them to just 51-4 off their 10 overs.

Theo Pullman conceded just four runs off his two overs while as Rob Duckett took 1-6 off one over and Louis Kelly 1-8 while wicketkeeper Elliot Corbel produced a fine runout with the final ball of the game.

Mixed first day for islanders

Charlie Brennan
Jersey international Charlie Brennan was Old Victorians’ leading batter on Sunday

The islanders began their campaign with a 15-run loss to Portuguese champions Gamblers on Sunday morning.

Scott Simpson took 2-15 and Matthew Webb 2-20 as Gamblers registered 109-6 in their innings with Karanbir Singh hitting 40 off 18 balls and Simranjeet Singh 32 off 14 balls as the pair put on a 39-run fifth-wicket stand.

In reply Old Victorians could only manage 94-8 off their 10 overs as their batters struggled to overcome a poor start.

Opener Brennan and Duckett both top-scored with 17, but they could not recover having slumped to 31-4 after 3.4 overs.

But Jersey got their first win in their second game on Sunday as they registered an eight-wicket win over Bulgarian side Akademik Sofia.

Webb again impressed with the ball, snaring 3-13 as the Bulgarians ended on 95-8 from their 10 overs.

Jersey international Brennan hit 45 not out as he and fellow opener Jenner (23) put on 42 for the first wicket inside the first three overs.

Ed Giles went for four in the next over with the score on 57-2 as Duckett and Brennan – who hit four sixes and three fours in his 23-ball knock – guided Jersey to their target in 7.2 overs.

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