Jersey and Guernsey were the big winners on day one of the battle for the last remaining places in July’s ICC World T20 qualifier.
The ICC Europe Division One championship – featuring host-nation Jersey alongside Guernsey, Italy, France, Norway and Denmark – kicked off on Saturday.
The winner of the five-day round-robin tournament will compete in the ICC’s World T20 qualifying tournament, to be held in Scotland and Ireland in July.
The United States and Canada have already sealed their places in the qualifier securing the top two positions in the ICC Americas Division One Championship with one day remaining.
Italy overcome good France start
France openers Komalan Thavalingam (41) and Waseem Bhatti (63) got their country off to a dream start, reaching 100 without the loss of a wicket inside 13 overs.
But it all came undone when former Sydney Thunder spinner Carl Sandri’s proved too wiley for the French batting line up. The Australian-born Italy star took took three wickets for 28 runs to restrict France for 8-150.
Italy’s top order all contributed to the chase with Dinidu Asanka Marage (26), Peter Petricola (20) and Damien Crowley (25) chipping in before before Sandri hit 51 runs from 36 balls to lead Italy to a six-wicket victory.
Italy fought back after a tough start against France // ICC
Jonty sets the tournament alight
Jersey 17-year-old Jonty Jenner got proceedings off to an electric start with a stunning 81 runs from 34 deliveries, including three fours and seven sixes as the hosts beat Norway by 108 runs.
Skipper Peter Gough (63) and Ed Farley (51) added 103 for the first wicket, before Jenner and Cornelis Bodenstein took Jersey to a massive 5-236 from their 20 overs.
It was an all-round performance by the Jersey team as they restricted Norway to 9-128, with Ben Stevens (2-20) the best of the bowlers.
Guernsey shocks Denmark
Denmark were favoured heading into their match against Guernsey but stumbled chasing 132, the Scandinavian side dismissed for 110 in the final over.
Thomas Kimber was the stand out batsman for Guernsey tallying 55 from 40 balls, to help Guernsey reach 7-131.
Mads Henriksen (35) and Freddie Klokker (22) were the only Denmark batsman to provide any real resistance as David Hooper took 2-16 to dismiss the Danes for 110.
Thomas Kimber (left) starred for Guernsey // ICC
Jersey triumphs in a thriller
Jersey started their afternoon session by restricting tournament favourites Italy to 4-155, before scraping through for a four-wicket victory with one ball to spare.
The defending champions had good input from Petricola (54, four fours) and captain Crowley (54 not out, five fours), but their bowlers weren’t able to restrict the Jersey bats, with Farley (39), Jenner (39), Stevens (29 not out) and Corey Bisson (16 not out) providing handy knocks.
Jersey are on track for a World T20 Qualifier berth // ICC
Guernsey downs Norway
Guernsey carried their momentum from the morning into their second match against Norway, scoring a commanding 8-172 thanks to the batting of Kimber, who smashed 10 fours and two sixes on his way to 87 from 61.
Norway fell 23 runs short in reply to finish the day on the bottom of the table.
Denmark crushes France
Denmark got their tournament back on track in the afternoon session with an eight-wicket win over France.
There were a remarkable five run outs in the French innings, with Usman Khan (37) and Waseem Bhatti (26) the only significant run scorers as France scored 7-117.
The Danish openers Zahmeer Khan (32) and Aftab Ahmed (54) then gave Denmark the start they needed in reply.
Sunday is a rest day for the tournament, with action continuing on Monday.
Denmark steadied the ship against France // ICC