Curtain comes down on Over-50s’ cricket season
THERE were mixed fortunes for Channel Islands cricketers in their final two group qualifying matches in the ECB Over-50s championship this week.
The Islanders beat the Isle of Wight on Sunday before being defeated by their Hampshire counterparts on Monday.
Dave Piesing, a CI team official and player, said: ‘It looks like we will finish fifth in the group and that’s pleasing as we’ve had six debutants this year and having younger players coming in has made a big difference.
‘We’ve finished with two wins and five defeats and two of the defeats [both in Guernsey] were in the last over, so it has been a good season and all augurs well for 2019 and beyond.’
Against the Isle of Wight, at Newclose in sweltering conditions, the CI won the toss and batted in a match reduced to 40 overs a side.
After losing Jersey’s Dave Buxton and skipper Ward Jenner with 65 on the board, Guernsey’s Richard Veillard and Jersey’s Andy Brown put on a massive third-wicket stand of 201 before Veillard was dismissed for 132 off 118 balls.
Brown was left needing to score 11 off the final over to reach his own century, but was bowled for 91 from 78 balls as the CI closed on 292 for four.
The Isle of Wight soon found themselves in trouble as Guernsey’s Phil Mellon took two early wickets in a fine spell.
With Jersey’s Chris Searson and John Douglas also giving nothing away, that pressure brought two run outs and the home side were facing a massive defeat at 50 for five.
However the sixth-wicket pair of David Cobb (69 not out) and Steve Lewis (53) salvaged some pride but the Isle of Wight ended on 191 for six to leave the CI victors by 101 runs.
Against Hampshire, at the barely cooler Hook and Newsham Basics CC ground, Jenner again won the toss and elected to bat.
Veillard continued from where he left off the day before with a superb 98 off 83 balls, this time putting on 152 for the first wicket with Buxton (63 off 92 balls).
Veillard looked set for an even bigger score than the previous day when he was well caught low down at midwicket to deny him a richly deserved second ton of the trip.
After a middle-order collapse it was left to Brown to continue his own good batting form with 39 not out as the CI closed on 249 for six from 45 overs.
Hampshire’s openers put on 99 before Guernsey’s Trevor Gallienne got the opener Colin Day to chip to extra cover and Gallienne then took a superb caught and bowled to cheaply remove the number three.
In strode England O50s captain Keith Harsham, a regular thorn in the CI’s side, who smashed 51 off 39 balls to take the pressure off the opener Vincent Gardner, who had earlier survived a very confident stumping appeal off Piesing, but who went on to make 106 not out.
Hampshire’s number five, Mathew Thankachan, followed on from Harsham’s free scoring with an unbeaten 39 off 22 balls to see Hampshire home by seven wickets with five overs to spare.
- Full results inside Friday's JEP.