Guernsey Press

Progression shows in wins against Austria

THE hills were alive with the sound of Sarnian success in Austria at the weekend.

The Guernsey women’s team after winning their series away to Austria 3-1. (Picture from Guernsey Cricket, 32471417)

In their quest to achieve their first ICC ranking, the Guernsey women’s squad overcame their hosts 3-1 in the four-match T20I series played at Seebarn Cricket Ground near Vienna.

‘On the pitch, the women certainly performed on that front – an excellent performance all-round to win 3-1,’ said coach Ben Ferbrache, who added that everyone chipped in individually across the weekend.

‘It gets us some ranking points. We’re hopeful that our 2019 fixture against Jersey gets us some more ranking points – if that’s able to happen we’re not sure yet – but we could be as high as mid-40s in the world, which is an incredible achievement from where we started the year.’

Having endured something of a nightmare journey due to a flight cancellation, which resulted in the Sarnians leaving the island on Saturday evening before spending the night at Heathrow then departing for Vienna at 6am on Sunday, Guernsey began the series with back-to-back wins in that day’s double-header.

In the opening match, after electing to bowl, the Greens performed well in the field to restrict their hosts to 84 for 5 from their 20 overs with Molly Robinson the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 13, both wickets being stumpings for captain Krista De La Mare.

The run chase got off to a bad start as Guernsey lost two wickets in the first over, but opener Rosie Davis held the innings together with an unbeaten 31 and a useful cameo from Bex Hubbard helped them reach their target inside 17 overs to win by five wickets.

Roles were reversed in game two with the Sarnians batting first and compiling 122 for 7 with Hannah Eulenkamp and De La Mare joint top-scorers on 23.

Austria made a good fist of their run chase with Priya Sabu scoring 41 not out at the top of the order, but economical spells from Claire Jennings, Emily Merrien, Robinson and Fran Bulpitt helped Guernsey to an eight-run win.

The hosts ensured the four-match series went down to the final contest, though, as they began Monday brightly to win game three by 15 runs.

Again Sabu was in the runs, making 45 as Austria posted 114 for 8 with the wickets shared around including three run outs, before the home side took wickets regularly during the reply to restrict Guernsey to 99 for 9 with Hubbard contributing an unbeaten 33.

Coincidentally, she made the same score in the final game of the series, but this time in a winning cause as the Greens ended their trip on a high.

Hubbard shared in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 71 with Eulenkamp as Guernsey reached 121 for 3 and they then bowled out Austria for 93 with Jennings taking three wickets and Eulenkamp two.

Ferbrache revealed that there are already more matches in the pipeline for his squad.

‘Playing more and more ICC fixtures is our main aim – the players are really keen to continue.

‘Getting away on tour always teaches you more and more, and it actually gels you as a unit as well. That was a take away of this week, how tight knit the team are and that’s always a real positive.

‘We’ve still got some players to come back in as well, which is even better.’

More from Ben Ferbrache on the latest episode of the Guernsey Press Sport Podcast, out today.