Jersey Dominates, But Good Signs for all Teams
Not an international match for two years but it didn’t look like it as Jersey triumphed in the France Quadrangular 2022. Their batters in particular were in sizzling form and given that most are teenagers, the future looks excellent for this young team.
So dominant was Jersey that with one day still to play in the series, they had already secured the trophy, having won all four of their matches. It was down to the batting, having two of their batters in the top five run makers. However, as with all the teams the conditions were not bowler friendly and Jersey had only one bowler in the top five wicket takers.
All teams struggled to take wickets. Only one team, Spain, was bowled out during the tournament with most teams only losing a handful of wickets in the main. This does suggest two things: a lack of bowling depth to match the batting and a commitment within these teams to bat out the overs, no matter what.
A sign of things to come when they defeated France by 7 wickets in the first match with 7.5 overs to spare. Where France had started the tournament slowly, these Jersey batters were on a mission. They turned the dial right up against Spain in their second match where they scored a historic high total for the team of 175/4, including an unbroken stand of 119, their highest partnership.
Charlie Miles (136 runs at 136.00) was consistent throughout the tournament and finished second on the run scorers list. Just behind her, Trinity Smith (120 runs) was not dismissed during the tournament and along the way scored Jersey’s first half century (59*) in a T20I. Both players made their debut in this tournament. Smith with 4 wickets was Jersey’s leading wicket taker.
New captain Chloe Greechan who took 3 wickets has shot to the top of the all-time wicket takers for Jersey and lead her team well. This young outfit has great potential and with more cricket under their belt will be a strong force in Europe in the years ahead.
France began the tournament riding a bicycle and finished in a speedy Renault automobile. They had the scheduling misfortune of meeting Jersey twice and on neither occasion rattled the opposition. However in the second match, Poppy McGeown (50*) scored France’s first T20 International half century and this seemed to ignite a fire inside the team, for their batting reached tremendous new highs in their last two fixtures.
Against Spain they smashed their previous high score by racking up 163/5 and in doing so, recorded their highest victory margin of 66 runs. They beat that total in the afternoon match where they scored a whopping 167/2 against Austria, finishing the tournament on a high.
In that innings, Tara Britton (68*) made the highest individual score for France – Poppy’s record lasting less than a day. In the process she scored a 100 run opening stand with Lara Aramas (39) who recorded her highest score.
It really was a tournament of two halves, a struggle to score runs at a rate good enough to post a competitive total, followed by batting hieroglyphics culminating in the first six ever scored by France, by Lydie Wykes-Templeman.
A new captain in Marie Violleau and it seems a team with a new vibe.
Any campaign without the team’s best player will be tough and while Austria did miss the brilliance of Andrea-Mae Zepeda, they performed as a collective far better than on previous occasions.
Brought back to earth after a big loss to Jersey, they came back well and accounted for Spain in the next match by 48 runs. Again it was Stiglitz with the bat and indeed she finished as the highest run scorer for Austria in the tournament.
Mahadewa Pathirannehelage finished the tournament as the leading wicket taker with 8 wickets at 10.50 but for her allround performance with both bat and ball was named Player of the Tournament.
Nothing to lose for a team making their debut on the international stage but despite finishing fourth as expected, Spain showed that they are ready for the battle at this level.
Captain Elspeth Fowler did all she could with the bat and in fact ended the tournament as the leading run scorer with 141 runs at 47.00. She had minimal assistance but some good signs from the teenager Amy Brown-Carrera for the future and some gritty knocks by Uswa Syed.
Wania Malik was the leading wicket taker with 4 to her name but the Spanish bowling in general was wayward. A key area to work on will be cutting down the wides, for they gave countless number away during the campaign. Likewise the no-balls – most of which were head high full tosses. These will need to be eliminated from their game.
Fielding is another area the team will be keen to work on. Fix the bowling and the fielding, with the batting already starting to fire this team will have gained enormously from this tournament and a win in the next is a sure thing.
All photos: Cricket France