Dry Ugandan pitches could suit Island spinners

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JERSEY captain Chuggy Perchard says his side have already learned a lot from their short time in Uganda.

The Island’s men’ side have work to do in their pursuit of Cricket World Cup qualification, having lost three of their opening five fixtures in Challenge League B – a preliminary group-stage tournament – in 2019.

They will be thrown straight into the deep end, with an opening fixture against unbeaten group leaders Uganda at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala on Friday.

However, Perchard feels that the warm-up matches against Uganda A earlier in the week have placed Jersey in good stead.

‘We have learned so much about the surfaces over here already,’ he said.

‘With the couple of warm-up matches and training it’s clear the conditions are far different to what we are used to back home.

‘It is incredibly humid out here and the pitches are very dry and low – which is suitable for our potent spin attack.

‘Opening up against Uganda will be a challenge. They will be very strong and we are expecting a decent crowd to be behind them, so it is important for us to control that and try and prevent them growing into the game.’

Head coach Neil MacRae changed his team dramatically between the first and second warm-up games, which gave the entire squad an opportunity to acclimatise.

The captain also alluded to the fact that their first-choice matchday XI is far from set in stone.

‘We have used the matches to look at some things and give everyone within the squad the chance to earn a spot for the opening match,’ he said.

‘The pitch looks very spin friendly, so they should enjoy that. It also means the pace bowlers have had to adapt.

‘They will be bowling far more at the stumps as opposed to in the “corridor of uncertainty” as they won’t get much joy from swing out here.’

Perchard and his men begin their campaign at 8am (BST) on Friday. The matches can be watched on ICC TV.

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