Farmers set for Spain return

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FARMERS CAESAREANS captain James Perchard is ‘delighted’ that his team will return to Spain to compete in the European Cricket League, against national champions from around the continent.

Last season marked the first time that the Premier Division champions headed to Malaga to represent Jersey in the competition, with Farmers bowing out in the semi-finals.

While the defending Island champions were desperate to return to the event, they had to fend off a gritty Old Victorians side in the 2022 T20 final – a team who had their sights set on a debut appearance in Spain.

‘I think we could have done without the stress of a winner-takes-all final, but it made for a great match of cricket,’ said Perchard.

‘OVs fought hard all season long with Charlie Brennan scoring 16 off the last over to secure the T10 title for them.

‘But moments like this is why we play and with the ECL now on the line, there is certainly a few more nerves with that opportunity to play for.

OVs won the toss and batted first, setting 135 – a total the Farmers captain believed to be a little bit short of par.

He said, ‘The pitch certainly flattened out as the day went on. I felt like 145 was a good score while we did the toss, so to hold them to 135 was a good effort from us with the ball.

‘But finals are funny things and a score that could be chased at a canter during a normal league game becomes that much harder when there was so much on the line.

‘It was a nervy hour, but we have to credit Zak Tribe on a brilliantly mature innings under the circumstance.

‘We lost a couple quick wickets and got off to a slow start, but he managed to hang around and once we were ahead of the rate, it was a case of keeping the scoreboard ticking over.’

With over 60 million viewers during the previous ECL tournament, Farmers grew in confidence as the week progressed and their captain feels the experience gained will help them this time around.

‘We had to learn quickly while we were out there,’ said Perchard.

‘Our form was poor initially and tactically we got it wrong in the first couple of days.

‘We were on astro over there and what usually works back here on that surface, with slower balls gripping just wasn’t the case there.

‘The teams we were facing were used to that format and it didn’t work.

‘Once we decided to bowl with some pace and seam, we became far more competitive, losing in the semi’s to the eventual winners.

‘We had a really tough group to progress out of which might have hurt our chances, but the challenge of having the strongest group, with a really solid set of teams to test ourselves against was brilliant.

‘I do feel like we will return wiser, after that experience and it’s something all the lads are excited about.’

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