A YOUTHFUL Jersey outfit got off to the perfect start at the European Cricket Championships in Spain, with brothers Asa and Zak Tribe leading the charge against Belgium before the Islanders put on a dominant display against Bulgaria.
Neil MacRae’s men enjoyed a comprehensive nine-wicket victory in their first game, prior to an equally ruthless 103-run success over Bulgaria.
The Islanders were set to face neighbours Guernsey and Croatia today to round off their Group B fixtures.
Captain Chuggy Perchard won the toss against Belgium and elected to field, with the plan executed to perfection in the opening stages.
He led from the front, taking two wickets for just seven runs in the opening over to put his side firmly in the driving seat.
Julius Sumerauer then followed suit, with a stingy second over, conceding just two runs as Belgium’s sluggish start continued.
However, 46 was scored from Toby Britton and Will Perchard’s overs as the Belgiums clawed their way back into the contest.
The momentum shifted and, after adding 42 from the next couple of overs, Jersey were up against it.
Opener Waqas Raja fired 36 from 18 balls, while Burhan Niaz’s cameo saw him amass 41 runs from just 12 balls.
Jersey stemmed the bleeding during Louis Kelly’s over, where two wickets came from the six balls, as Belgium’s run-rate faltered.
The Islanders were set a target of 145 from the allotted ten overs.
Charlie Brennan opened up with Asa Tribe, but it was the latter who stole all the headlines of the openers.
Tribe, who has impressed of late for Welsh outfit Glamorgan in their second team, was in fine fettle, as he found the boundary at will.
The teenager has been a mainstay in the national side recently, and stamped his authority on the innings with ten maximums and six fours en route to an unbeaten 94 from just 29 balls.
Brennan was dismissed on ten, leaving Zak Tribe to join his brother in the middle to join the party.
There was no respite for Belgium at either end of the wicket as Zak found five maximums and a couple of fours to race to an unbeaten 43 from 15 deliveries.
The siblings wrapped up the chase with nine balls and as many wickets in hand.
MacRae changed the order round for the afternoon meeting with Bulgaria, as Asa made way for Patrick Gouge to partner Brennan.
Perchard again won the toss, but this time put his men intobat.
Gouge and Brennan led stoutly from the word go, as the former raced to a 22 ball half-century prior to being caught by Zeerak Chughtai.
Meanwhile, Brennan did not hang around either, scoring 53 from 14 deliveries prior to falling by the same method as Gouge.
Josh Lawrenson, James Smith and Zak Tribe fell for a combined ten runs, as Bulgaria fought to claw the game back.
However, Sumerauer and Asa Tribe quickly shifted the pendulum back in the favour of the Caesareans.
The former hit an unbeaten 35 from nine balls, while Tribe amassed 41 from the same number of deliveries.
200 was the staggering figure after ten overs, as Bulgaria had a mountain to climb.
Perchard again led by example, removing the two openers within the first three overs.
Zane Asif (14) and Zaid Soulat (22) provided some resistance, but the rate crept ever higher.
Jersey reduced their opponents to 97/6 from the allotted ten overs for a comfortable victory.
Theo Pullman, at just 16 years old, proved the pick of the bowlers, fully rewarding MacRae’s faith in his selection.
He missed out on the morning fixture with Belgium, but took three wickets from two overs, conceding just 13 runs in the process.
Kelly provided the other wicket, another Islander who caught the eye recently for the under-19s.