OVs fight back to comfortable win over Scots

OV's all-rounder Rob Duckett took an excellent sliding catch during their 19 run win over Forfarshire Pictre: EUROPEAN CRICKET NETWORK (37729406)

OLD Victorians were set to conclude the group stage of European Cricket Championship Week by taking on the unbeaten table toppers Hornchurch [6.30pm], after securing a tense 19-run victory over Scottish side Forfarshire.

After a less-than-ideal start for the Islanders, they showed excellent character to fight back and earn what ended up looking a comfortable victory.

Winning the toss, skipper James Duckett chose to stick to his team’s strengths and bat first.

However, star batsman Jonty Jenner, who made unbeaten scores of 99 and 120 in the previous two matches, fell in the second over for just one run.

Wildcard pick Julius Sumerauer and in-form Jamie Watling set about restoring the shaky start, as OVs ended their three-over powerplay at 38/1.

Sumerauer and Watling built a solid partnership before the former fell in the fifth over for 39, leaving the his side at 74/2.

Watling continued his miraculous form, smashing 32 before he was dismissed, miscuing an attempted maximum. This brought about a new scenario for OVs, as their middle to lower order had not been required to bat due to Jenner’s heroics earlier in the tournament.

But tested they were, and Forfarshire fought their way back, stemming the flow of runs and picking up regular wickets to leave the Islanders with a light score of 116/7.

With a previously thought-to-be impossible chance of qualifying for finals day now within their grasp, Forfarshire set about the chase.

The Scots needed to reach the 117-run target within seven overs for a bonus-point to throw the group wide open.

The Scottish side started well, with the previously economical Sumerauer smashed for three sixes.

But it was fellow wildcard Zac Wilson whose spell changed the momentum.

Despite grassing a catch he would have been expected to take, he picked himself up to bowl his two-over spell for just 11 runs, picking up a wicket in the process.

With the game on a knife edge courtesy of Wilson and Scott Simpson’s economic spells, 18-year-old Matthew Webb stepped up to bowl the eighth over.

His first wicket was that of key batter and Forfarshire skipper Callum Garden for 33, caught on the boundary by an excellent grab from Mark Boarer. Incredibly, Webb followed it up the very next ball by repeating the trick, as the new man in Lewis James was also caught by Boarer on the boundary.

The two wickets swung the pendulum firmly in OVs’ favour, which Forfarshire could not recover from.

An excellent penultimate over from captain James Duckett left 26 required from the final over, to be bowled by Sumerauer.

The big paceman proved too much for the tail-enders, conceding just six runs to seal a vital win for the Islanders and dumping their Scottish counterparts out of the tournament.

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