JERSEY’S start to the second Cricket World Cup Challenge League Group B series was ideal, but the Caesareans were wary of the threat posed by Kenya yesterday.
It was a day that proved pivotal, as second-placed Hong Kong skittled out leaders Uganda for just 95, inflicting a second straight loss on the previously unbeaten hosts after they finished 62 runs short against Islanders on Friday.
The opportunity was there for Neil MacRae’s men to continue their climb up the table and close the gap on the new pace setters.
Captain Chuggy Perchard highlighted the importance of a winning toss and that is exactly what Jersey did – electing to bat first and setting Kenya a target of 275 to chase down.
Kenya mustered 179 in reply, for a 96-run defeat.
Nick Greenwood once again top scored and Jersey’s bowling attack once again proved potent as Anthony Hawkins-Kay claimed a five-wicket haul, fittingly rounded off by way of a catch from Dom Blampied, who took five wickets of his own against Uganda.
Despite the win, the ICC’s post-match media presenter was keen to question the form of Jersey’s middle order, to which Perchard laughed in response.
‘Not everyone is going to click every game we play,’ he said. ‘We have had key contributions from a number of players during our time out here and we back our entire team to come good.
‘It was great to see Antony [Hawkins-Kay] get a key contribution at the end [28 runs] and we set 275. I don’t feel like we have any concerns regarding our batting performances.’
Fittingly, Hawkins-Kay earned the man-of-the-match award for contributions with bat and ball.
The pace bowler said: ‘The top order of our batters really laid the foundation for the game. The target we set was solid and the wicket seemed to slow throughout the game.
‘For me, it was one of those days where everything seemed to click. The ball came out nicely and the wickets followed.’
In a parallel to the opening match, it was again the opening three batsmen who did most of the heavy lifting for the Islanders – this time at pace.
Harrison Carlyon scored 31 off as many balls and fellow opener Greenwood continued his fine form from the first game to race out to 66 off just 48 balls.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Lawrenson also efficiently surpassed the half-century mark before he was caught on 55.
However, Jersey stuttered through the middle order, as wickets continued to tumble – along with the run rate.
The tail-end salvaged the innings, though, with key contributions from Julius Sumerauer  and Hawkins-Kay.
If Kenya were after a response, their start was not it.
The Simbas were down 22/4 in seven overs thanks to some Hawkins-Kay magic, who claimed them all, but Rakep Patel and Collins Obuya kept a tidy partnership of 45 runs to reinstate their hope.
That was until Obuya’s drive down the ground was caught by Ben Stevens.
From there, more of the Kenyans were tumbling – all with fewer than 11 runs – apart from Patel, who moved on to 86 off 89 balls with an impressive display, including multiple 4s that bobbled along the long grass and weaved between infield marker cones.
Hawkins-Kay was the stand-out performer, as the pace bowler claimed his five wickets for just 18 runs off seven overs bowled.
However, Perchard also enjoyed a stellar spell, as he notched up three wickets for 23 runs off seven overs.
Jersey are back in action today [8am BST], against fifth-placed Italy at Kyambogo Cricket Ground.
The contest can be streamed for free on ICC TV.