Italy best Jersey to stay in the hunt at Europe T20 Qualifier

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Madsen made an impressive debut for Italy.
Madsen made an impressive debut for Italy. © Getty

Reinforced by the arrival of Wayne Madsen and Grant Stewart, a full-strength Italy proved too much for third-seeded Jersey on the third day's play of the ongoing Europe T20 World Cup Qualifier Regional Final at Edinburgh, the contributions of the county-contracted pair key to securing a crucial 25-run win that keeps them in touch with favourites Scotland and Ireland at the top of the table. Ireland meanwhile made short work of Austria, racking up a record 226-4 before bowling the Austrians out for 98 to leapfrog Scotland into pole position.

The key game of the day was the clash between Jersey and Italy at Goldenacre, where Jersey were made to regret their decision to bowl first as Justin Mosca and Ben Manenti piled on a 72-run opening partnership inside 8 overs. The stand was broken by legspinner Ben Ward's second ball, which skidded on with the arm as Manenti played around it, and Mosca followed him to the pavilion three balls later, falling one short of fifty as a leading edge flew to Sumerauer at cover, but the double breakthrough did not slow the scoring. Anthony Mosca and Madsen (the latter on much-anticipated debut) took Italy to three figures before another double breakthrough set the Jersey fans cheering, Chuggy Perchard striking twice in two balls, Mosca driving high and straight but well held by Britton at long on, and Stewart chopping his first ball onto his stumps.

Madsen was unfazed however, bringing up a fifty on debut slamming a low full toss from Ward over the square rope for six and then lofting the next delivery over mid off for four. He went for a 30-ball 52 failing to clear Jenner on the midwicket rope next ball, but Marcus Campopiano would provide a flourish at the finish. Reprieved on the first ball of the final over as he miscued Perchard up toward long off to see a tough chance spilled by Charlie Brennan running back from extra cover. Campopiano made Jersey pay for the drop slamming the next three deliveries straight for six to take the total past 180 before finally holing out at long on.

Chasing 184 to win Jersey had to take some chances, but the promotion of Julius Sumerauer to open didn't pay off as he was caught off Harry Manenti by his brother for 9, and wickets would keep falling throughout the chase. Nick Greenwood and Asa Tribe's half-century partnership for the third wicket kept Jersey in the game, but they were always chasing the rate as it crept past tens, and the scoreboard pressure would tell.

Greenwood holed out off Ben Manenti for 32 in the 11th, and the rest of the middle order, despite getting starts, would fall in like manner. Jonty Jenner and Ben Ward briefly gave the Jersey faithful hope with a 37-run stand for the 5th wicket, but after Ward was caught off Jaspreet Singh the procession resumed. By the final over the asking rate was in the twenties and Jersey were 8 down. Perchard elicited a final cheer clubbing Stewart for six over midwicket, but was bounced out next ball on the pull, and Eliot Miles could only flat bat the final ball back to Stewart as Jersey were bowled out 25 short in exactly 20 overs.

Over at the Grange, Ireland had already wrapped up a thumping win over Austria, doing their net run rate some good in the process. Austria had something to celebrate early as they claimed a big early wicket, Paul Stirling driving Amit Nathwani straight to Razmal Shingwal at cover in the third over, but from there it was all Ireland. Lorcan Tucker and Ross Adair (the latter in for Andrew Balbirnie, who pulled up injured in the warm-up) began to bully the Austrian attack. The pair added 65 in the next six overs before Adair fell for a 24-ball 46, bowled by an Abdullah Akbarjan slower ball. Tucker only accelerated from there, finding support from Harry Tector and Neil Rock, the latter striking a personal best 36 off 18. Tucker finished just 6 short of a century, unbeaten on 94 off 51 having taken Ireland to their highest ever total in T20Is.

Chasing 227 was hardly on the cards, and the Austrian reply got off to the worst of possible starts as Iqbal Hossain's tough tournament continued when he was caught off Mark Adair's first ball popping a leading edge to point. Adair went on to record his best T20I figures of 4-13 as the rest of the innings followed the tone set by the first ball, though Shigiwal's dogged 33 off 32 and Aqib Iqbal's gung-ho 17-ball 29 offered a couple of positive notes for Austria to look to as they were bowled out for 98.

The day's final match proved a surprisingly straightforward victory for Germany over Denmark at the Grange. The Danes were seemingly still struggling in the absence of their captain Hamid Shah as they were held to 124-9, Joshua van Heerden top scoring in the reply as Germany closed out a 6-wicket win.

Dieter Klein put the Danes on the back foot early, going short to Laegsgaard first up and a nicked pull held by Richardson, before taking Abdul Hashmi's off stump four balls later. Taranjit Singh and Saif Ahmad steadied the innings with an initially cautious partnership of 77, but after Elam Barathi removed both in succession the initiative shifted back toward Germany. Following Singh's dismissal in the 14th over Denmark added just 29 more runs at the cost of seven wickets, leaving the Germans needing barely a run a ball to chase.

Shrugging off the early run-out of Venkat Ganesan, Joshua van Heerden and Michael Richardson took them to 64-1 in the powerplay and half-way home before the field spread. Shaheen Mahmood threatened to derail the chase taking three successive wickets through the middle including both set bats, but there were just not enough runs on the board to put the result in doubt. Faisal bin Mubashir and Dylan Blignaut kept their nerve to see their side home with 19 balls to spare, Blignaut finishing the day off with a six into the spectators beyond the midwicket boundary.




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