Lionesses roar in ICC opener

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JERSEY’S Lionesses were set for a crucial double-header today at Grainville, in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Division 2 Qualifier.

Lee Meloy’s fledgling side first face Germany, before returning to host Turkey this evening.

Despite unsettled, windy conditions, the Islanders made the best possible start yesterday, with a ‘clinical’ victory against Italy, chasing down a target of 42 in just 7.2 overs.

Player of the game Georgia Mallet proved the pick of a potent bowling attack, claiming four Italy wickets in the space of three overs, all while giving up just five runs.

The head coach saw plenty to cheer about and is confident his side will enter today on a high.

He said: ‘We were really happy to bowl first.

‘We have a great bowling unit and really pride ourselves on doing that well.

‘With it being the opening game of a home tournament, we wanted everyone out on the field in front of a great home crowd.

‘We spoke about being clinical and ruthless and blowing them away.

‘The way the girls showed up to the warm-up and the intensity that they brought was superb and after that it was all about the bowlers being disciplined and the fielders being there to back them up.’

Despite the loss of a couple of key early wickets during the chase, there was an air of calm about the Jersey camp as Analise Merritt and Charlie Miles settled in to close out the contest.

Meloy said: ‘From our point of view, we would have liked to have closed out the game with a few less wickets, but ultimately getting over the line and winning by seven wickets and doing it with the right intent was what we wanted to see.

‘Charlie [Miles] performed brilliantly from the front and when Analise [Merritt] came out with some pressure there, I thought she handled herself perfectly.

‘The win settled some of the nerves that were in the dressing room.

‘Obviously, these girls haven’t played on this kind of stage before so there were bound to be some nerves there and a couple of rash decisions probably showed that, but pressure does funny things.

‘But if somebody had asked me if I’d have taken this outcome before the game, I would have bitten their hand off.

‘Massive credit to all the girls because they were superb.

‘We have a big day against Germany and Turkey, but for us, it is about staying focused and taking each game as it comes. We cannot afford to look too far ahead.’

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