JERSEY Cricket’s head coach was “delighted” with his young squad’s performance in their T10 European Cricket Championship debut in Spain last week.
Neil MacRae’s side looked assured as they won six consecutive games to cruise into finals week later this month, finishing as Group B winners.
The much-changed squad was predominantly comprised of under-19 stars, including five senior debutants; Theo Pullman, Louis Kelly, Jack Kemp, James Smith and Will Perchard.
MacRae said: “Fielding a young side in our debut in the T10 tournament was exciting for us.
“Playing on an artificial turf in this format with such short boundaries was a first for us.”
T10 matches consist of ten overs per innings, leading to short, sharp matches that typically suit an aggressive style of play.
“We wanted to utilise the helpful batting conditions and short boundaries by implementing an aggressive and confident style from the off,” added MacRae.
“Charlie Brennan was particularly explosive at the top of the innings, superbly backed up by the Tribe brothers, Zak and Asa, Josh Lawrenson, Patrick Gouge and debutant James Smith.
“Having a young side generated a great energy, particularly in the field where we saw some excellent work across the tournament.
“I was particularly happy to see every member of the squad positively expressing themselves on a big stage.
“The Group B final was a great success. Chuggy’s experience with the new ball was crucial for us and he bowled excellently.
“He was well backed up through the middle overs by spinners Asa Tribe, Toby Britton and Louis Kelly, while paceman Theo Pullman was very impressive to conclude the innings.”
Skipper Perchard took three wickets for 26 runs in his two overs, with Toby Britton chipping in with two wickets as Jersey restricted Belgium to 105/9.
MacRae continued: “We were very pleased to have the extra pace in the bowling department with Julius Sumerauer.
He, and many others, are now playing top-level club and county cricket in the UK and that experience is showing in their performances.”
After a difficult start for the Islanders that saw Brennan and Zak Tribe out in the first three balls of the innings, a stunning partnership developed between Asa Tribe and Josh Lawrenson.
The pair added 109 runs from just 6.1 overs, including eight sixes to see Jersey home.
Asa Tribe continued his magnificent form, scoring an unbeaten 37 from just 13 balls, with three fours and as many sixes, including a towering strike to win the game.
Meanwhile, Lawrenson stole the show with a bruising 68 not out from 24 deliveries, including eight fours and five maximums.
Undoubtedly, the phenomenal scoring rate throughout was testament to the intent set about from the outset by MacRae’s men, which he was keen to emphasise.
MacRae said: “We wanted our young squad to make a statement. To enjoy it as much as possible and ensure that people watching at home were thoroughly entertained.”
The side return to Spain for the finals week of the European Cricket Championship between 16-20 October.
The winner of each of the six qualifying groups, plus Netherlands, will fight it out to determine the champion.