World Cricket League: Jersey top group but Guernsey relegated in South Africa

Ben Stevens (left) and Peter Gough
Ben Stevens (left) has made 116 runs and taken 10 wickets in Jersey's three group games

Jersey cruised into the World Cricket League Division Five semi-finals with a 108-run win over Ghana, but Guernsey have been relegated.

Jersey finished top of Group B with a 100% record in South Africa and will face Qatar in the last four.

Guernsey faced Qatar in Group A knowing victory would take them through, while a defeat would see them go down.

They posted 231-9, but Qatar chased it down with three wickets and 13 balls remaining to set up the Jersey clash.

Eight teams have been battling it out for the two promotion spots in the tournament on the outskirts of Johannesburg, which marks the start of the global qualification process for the 2023 World Cup.

Guernsey go down

Guernsey lost the toss and then lost opener Matt Stokes (6) in the sixth over. After a watchful start he edged behind off the bowling of medium-pacer Muhammad Tanveer.

Runs were hard to come by in the early overs against accurate Qatari bowling, but Ollie Newey struck 80 to help Guernsey post a target of 232.

Qatar began their innings brightly, in direct contrast to Guernsey's start with the bat, and brought up 50 runs without loss within nine overs.

Group A
Italy (Q)3306
Qatar (Q)3214
Cayman Islands3030

Opener Inam-ul-Haq smashed nine boundaries on his way to 63, but fell to David Hooper's bowling which claimed 10 wickets in the three group games.

Spinner Max Ellis took 2-40 as Guernsey pulled themselves back into the contest, but Tanveer's 47 from 62 balls steadied the ship as Qatar held their nerve to go through.

The Sarnians will now play in the placing play-offs later this week along with Ghana, Germany and the Cayman Islands, who also drop out of the global league structure into the regional, continental divisions.

Jersey one win from promotion

Jersey, meanwhile, were also put into bat first and knew that a win over Ghana would see them top their pool with three wins from three.

Openers Nat Watkins (44) and Peter Gough (30) set a solid platform but no-one in Jersey's normally strong middle order could make a big contribution as good Ghana, fielding on a bumpy outfield, and some soft dismissals saw the Channel Islanders restricted to 226-8.

Group B
Jersey (Q)3306
Vanuatu (Q)3122

In reply, Ghana found themselves struggling on 20-2 after just 3.1 overs, with Corne Bodenstein striking twice early on.

Tight bowling from spinners Ben Stevens (3-17) and Watkins (2-31) stifled the run-rate and got regular breakthroughs to help ensure Ghana fell well short, all out for 118 in the 37th over.

While Jersey now face Guernsey's conquerors Qatar next, Vanuatu will take on Italy in the other semi-final after progressing on net run-rate.

The two eventual finalists will earn promotion to division four of the World Cricket League.

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