FOUR wickets for Julius Sumerauer and an 85-run outing for Harrison Carlyon provided some solace for Jersey as they ended their ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying campaign with a fourth loss from five.
The Islanders, who began the elite tournament with hopes of securing One Day International status for 2024-27, finished 66 runs adrift of United Arab Emirates in Namibia on Wednesday, in their final Qualifier Play-off contest. The result left them ranked fifth at the six-team tournament, ahead of Papua New Guinea, and facing another four-year cycle as a ‘Challenge League’ nation.
Jersey were far from inferior at arguably the biggest tournament in their history – putting up strong shows against the likes of USA, Namibia and Canada – but the top-four placing that they craved was always going to be a tough ask.
With Canada becoming the fifth nation to swat aside Papua New Guinea on the other side of Windhoek, Neil MacRae’s side – down on net run rate in the league standings – had no chance of stealing that ODI prize (which would have included semi- or fully-professional status) at the death.
Perhaps if they had caught wind of a potential PNG upset they would have swung more freely, to close the margin as much as possible but, as it was, their attempts were thwarted by an Emirates side who just needed to avoid a heavy loss. They were sitting pretty in second spot, ahead of Namibia on net run rate, and had qualification for the final round of 2023 World Cup preliminaries in their grasp.
Defeat to the USA on Tuesday had effectively sealed Jersey’s fate but the Caesareans had a chance to end on a high and claim their second victory over a team ranked inside the top 20 on the ICC world rankings.
They enjoyed an early rush of adrenaline when Sumerauer dismissed Aryansh Sharma in the first over but they had to wait until the 17th for their next breakthrough, when Daniel Birrell and wicketkeeper Jake Dunford combined to see off Muhammad Waseem. Dunford turned, sprinted and leapt to take the catch and reduce UAE to 101/2.
That would become 147/5 when Sumerauer claimed two wickets in a maiden 29th over, but again UAE steadied the ship and Asif Khan reached 82 off 86 balls to help his side to a total of 284/6.
A required run rate of 5.70 per over was certainly within Jersey’s limits but their reply was short of pace from the off.
Opener Carlyon faced nine balls without scoring, and although he did then charge down the wicket to dispatch Sanchit Sharma for four, just five runs were scored in the first two overs.
Nick Greenwood and Josh Lawrenson registered 23 runs between them before Asa Tribe entered the fray, and the teenager showed his class one more time with a solid knock of 40 runs, off 48 balls.
Jenner (32) was caught leg-before-wicket just one ball after hitting Karthik Meiyappan for six and Jersey’s lower order – barring Sumerauer, with 21 – came and went all too quickly.
Jersey’s men will return to international action in July for T20 World Cup Europe Qualifying tournament in Scotland, before Tribe and his U19 colleagues travel to the Netherlands for their World Cup qualifier in August.
The Island’s women continue the early stages of their ICC journey with a tournament in France in June.