JERSEY’S Lionesses have already shown the resilience required to succeed in tournament cricket, but their captain insists that they remain fully focused on their next game against France today.
Lee Meloy’s side responded brilliantly to bounce back from defeat against Germany to comfortably beat Turkey on the same day.
That victory saw them shoot to the top of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Division 2 Qualifier table – level on points with Germany and Italy, with the former having the benefit of a game in hand.
Despite falling to Germany, captain Chloe Greechan described the batting efforts of Grace Wetherall and Analise Merritt as ‘exemplary’. When the pair came together in the middle, Jersey were faltering at 20-6 but the two teenagers launched a blistering counter-attack in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 101.
‘It is a true credit to their character and talent,’ Greechan said. ‘They are both only 16 years old and to go out there when the pressure was really on and perform like that was incredible.
‘It would have been easy for them to retreat into their shell and pick at the odd single, but they both took the fight to Germany.
‘They gave the bowlers all sorts of problems as they were attacking everyone the opposition threw at them.’
A potentially damaging defeat for a young side could have thrown their tournament prospects into jeopardy, but Jersey put on a clinical display to keep their hopes of progression alive.
Greechan added: ‘I am very proud of the way the side collected themselves after a loss and bounced back immediately.
‘That is the way tournament cricket is and there isn’t really any time to dwell on losses.
‘We came back and played very well in the afternoon against Turkey and ensured that put us back on track.’
While the benefits of hosting a tournament of this calibre are clear to see, there is an additional pressure of playing in front of a home audience and wanting to put on a show.
With friends and family members in attendance, the pressure undoubtedly ramps up on a side filled with teenagers.
Greechan said: ‘We spoke about the pressures and expectations in the lead-up to the tournament.
‘We know the standards that we want to be at and there is an added expectation from those in attendance for us to play to that level.
‘But for us, it’s important to stay focused on the things we do well and if we can bowl and bat like we know we are capable of, we can come out of this week with promotion.
‘Captaining this side is an absolute honour. Yes, the squad is young, but I don’t think the talent on offer is in any doubt.
‘Seeing the support on show has been brilliant and really highlights that women’s cricket in Jersey is in a great place.’
The Lionesses are back in action today, as they host France at the FB Fields at 4pm.
They will then return the following day to face Sweden in their fifth and final fixture.
The top two sides will progress into Division 1 and meet Scotland and the Netherlands in Spain in September for two places in the Global Qualifier for the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup.