Nat Watkins sweeps through square leg for a boundary on his way to top-scoring for Jersey
Nat Watkins‘ affinity for the Royal Selangor Club track has become readily apparent after his second fifty and second Player-of-the-Match award of the week on the ground in Jersey’s 10-run win over Malaysia via the DLS Method. Watkins followed his 86 three days ago in a loss to Denmark with a 79 against the tournament hosts in Jersey’s total of 270 for 8.
The bulk of Jersey’s runs came during an 87-run stand with Ben Stevens (47 off 59 balls). Unlike on Monday when Jersey stuttered in the last 20 overs after a solid platform had been laid by the two left-arm spinning allrounders, the middle order powered on behind a run-a-ball 52 from Nick Ferraby.
Malaysia had reached 116 for 1 in 27 overs but Watkins struck a crucial blow as rain began to fall at Royal Selangor, removing Ahmed Faiz for 47 at the start of the 28th. When the over was finished, play was halted and the wicket skewed the revised target slightly in Jersey’s favour once the rain stopped, with Malaysia needing a further 115 in the final 14 overs of a 42-over chase.
Virandeep Singh played the anchor role as Suhan Alagaratnam (28 off 24 balls) and Muhammad Syahadat took a license to swing big in the aim of keeping the required run rate from climbing into double-digits. Malaysia needed 28 off 19 balls when Syahadat was run out after an indecision with Virandeep over a second run.
With Malaysia’s long tail exposed following the loss of Syahadat, Cornelis Bodenstein struck twice in the 40th over while conceding just four runs. Eight came from the 41st off Anthony Hawkins-Kay, leaving Virandeep on strike to get 15 off the last over. The lanky opener struck a four off the second ball but after a dot on the third ball, he was caught off the fourth for 83.
With 11 needed off two balls, Muhammad Wafiq couldn’t get either of Bodenstein’s last two deliveries away and the left-arm seamer ended with 3 for 23 with a brilliant death-bowling spell to boot. The win keeps Jersey in the hunt for promotion at 2-2 while Malaysia’s chances of moving up a division, which once looked very promising after starting with two wins, are now hanging by a thread after back-to-back losses.