Guernsey v Norway

on Sat 9th May 2015

at Grainville, Jersey

Umpires: A Haggo, J Jensen

Scorers: J Mountford (G), E Powell (N)

Toss won by Norway who elected to field

Guernsey won by 23 runs

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Kimber has plenty to celebrate       by Gareth Le Prevost

A WEARY Tom Kimber promised he would celebrate his birthday by being in bed by midnight on Saturday night. It was his final day as a 24-year-old and most in that position would be ‘living it large’ until the early hours of the morning, but it was already a day for the Guernsey batsman to remember long before he and his teammates sat down to dinner in St Helier. As all batsmen know, when you hit a purple patch of form, you have to make the most of it and Kimber did just that on the first day of the ICC European Division One T20 Championship.

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Tom Kimber hits to leg in his man-of-the-match innings           GEP

Having already made a crucial half-century at the top of the order in the historic win over Denmark at Grainville, Kimber walked out to bat against Norway full of confidence and, boy, how it showed. Earlier he had confirmed that the ball had not come onto the bat against the Danes on a damp morning and although the pitch was improving as the day wore on, it was not a belter by any means when he took guard for a second time come Saturday afternoon. However, from the off he was timing the ball beautifully and although he had had his fair share of lives by the time his knock of 87 came to an end, the vast majority of those came after he had reached 50 once again, when fatigue was setting in and he could chance his arm safe in the knowledge that there was still plenty of batting to come. At the other end, he lost his opening partner Jason Martin when the wicketkeeper failed to clear mid off and Tim Ravenscroft also fell in the power-play, miscuing a full toss to mid on, but Kimber had already taken the lead role and Norway were suffering. He brought up his 50 with a help-around-the-corner to the fine leg boundary and the next ball fairly raced to the rope at square-leg with the minimum of effort, but arguably his shot of the day came in the next over when he launched a straight six into the sight-screen.

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More runs for Tom Kimber                 GEP

Eventually, having dished up a couple of chances that were not taken and having seen off another useful ally in Ollie Newey, Kimber fell to the final ball of the 16th over for a man-of-the-match award winning 87 from 61 balls, including 10 fours and a couple of sixes, with Guernsey well set on 126.

Ben Ferbrache, with 25 including one massive six that cleared the bank, and Ollie Nightingale, with 19 from just nine balls, helped Guernsey up to 172 for eight and that always looked too many for Norway to chase down. To their credit, though, the Norwegians kept Guernsey honest in the field, particularly opener Ehtsham Ul-Haq who made an aggressive 54 from 40 balls. The Norwegians’ all-or-nothing approach was reminiscent of a good, old-fashioned lower division Evening League team and the ball flew to the boundary when they managed to connect. However, they were never up with the required rate as Jordon Martel and David Hooper both picked up a couple of wickets while there was one apiece for both Matt Stokes and Ravenscroft and captain Nussbaumer’s pace caused more problems than his figures suggest. Bar a brief lull midway through the reply, the fielding was also up to the mark once more and this was exactly the sort of professional victory Guernsey wanted after their morning heroics.

Nussbaumer and Martel finished things off with a couple of tidy overs at the end when the asking rate for the Norwegians was already far beyond them and the Sarnians could be highly satisfied with their day’s work.