Guernsey fall just short in low-scoring thriller

JERSEY lived up to their billing as favourites as the 50-over men’s inter-insular returned – but only just.

Guernsey opener Luke Le Tissier playing a pull shot. (Picture by David Ferguson, 31229416)
Guernsey opener Luke Le Tissier playing a pull shot. (Picture by David Ferguson, 31229416)

As the old cricketing cliche goes, you can only evaluate a pitch once both sides have batted and at Farmers on Saturday neither side got to grips with the surface in a low-scoring thriller that left Guernsey wondering just what if they had scored another 20 runs or so?

As it turned out, home captain Chuggy Perchard showed all his experience and maturity to guide his side to an extremely tense two-wicket win having come to the crease with Jersey having been reduced to 74 for 7 chasing just 107 for victory.

Despite the quality of batsmen at their disposal, the top score for the hosts was merely 18 from both Nick Greenwood and Jonty Jenner while Perchard finished unbeaten on 17 as he and Elliot Miles saw them across the line.

‘Obviously at halfway it was pretty gloomy, we knew we had probably under clubbed. But then to get them eight down was a really good effort by us,’ said Guernsey captain Josh Butler.

‘I guess in one-off games a good effort doesn’t really count too much, it’s frustration more than anything.

‘It would have been a different game if we had posted 150 instead of 106, a bit more pressure, but then they might have batted in a different way.’

Guernsey’s opening stand of 20 between Luke Le Tissier and Zak Damarell proved to be the third highest partnership of the innings and was not surpassed until the eighth wicket pair came together.

Perchard proved to be the pick of the bowlers, taking 2 for 10 from his 10 overs, while there were three wickets apiece for Elliot Miles and Asa Tribe.

Guernsey slumped to 50 for 7 at one stage before Ant Stokes and Will Peatfield came together to add 22 and then top-scorer Peatfield was joined by David Hooper for the highest stand of the innings worth 27.

Peatfield made the same amount himself before he was the ninth man to fall and the last pair took Guernsey into three figures.

But the Sarnians learnt a lot about the conditions and when it came their opportunity to bowl, Bichard excelled with 2 for 26 while the rest of the overs came from pace-off bowlers.

Stokes and Adam Martel both claimed a couple of wickets on the turning pitch with their left-arm spin and there was also one apiece for Hooper and Le Tissier, but in the end they were to fall just short.

‘I think this contest is a massive lesson for all the players,’ said Jersey coach Neil MacRae.

‘Our batting line-up has been incredible this summer and the performances of the top five are at a level we’ve not seen before.

‘What today shows is that there are no easy chases and our focus needs to be at 100% every single game.

‘That being said, we have to credit Guernsey and how they bowled. They bowled efficiently and straight – Luke Bichard had a brilliant spell.’

Captain Perchard revealed that he was surprised Guernsey had chosen to bat first on a damp pitch early in the day, but Butler defended his decision.

‘I know the wicket was a bit sticky, especially in the morning. It looked difficult to bat on all day, to be honest. There was an excessive amount of turn.

‘But we always wanted to bat first, especially when we were getting off the coach at five minutes before the toss.

‘It would have been a pretty hard task for our boys to win the toss and field first after travelling over, especially with their strong batting line-up.

‘We wanted to try and get a score on the board and try and build some pressure, which we did but ultimately we knew with 106 you’d probably win one in 50 games against this Jersey side.’

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