Jersey stars do Island proud in Portugal series

Jenner's unbeaten 105 in the final game took just 35 balls Picture: DIANA OROS

JERSEY cricket stars Jonty Jenner and Julius Sumerauer have returned victorious from Portugal as European Cricket Network Weston Shield champions.

Selected to represent the British and Irish Knights team (BIK) against Team Europe, they won the nine-match series 6-3.

Both players represented Jersey in October last year at the European Cricket Championship and, most recently, made it all the way to the final of the European Cricket League with local club side Old Victorians.

“It was a really cool environment to be around,” said Jenner. “There were some top-class cricketers on show and some excellent cricket played.”

It was a far from an ideal start for BIK as they succumbed to a narrow six-run defeat in the opener, despite Sumerauer taking two wickets with the ball.

They levelled the scoreboard in match two with a 23-run win, courtesy of Sussex’s Harrison Ward’s century.

After going 2-1 down in game three, a fantastic spell of 1-13 from two overs from Sumerauer helped BIK to level the series up and take a 3-2 lead at the end of day one thanks to a 93-run win in game five and a fine unbeaten century from Middlesex’s Dan Lincoln.

“Getting to play with these guys was a great experience,” added Jenner.

“Michael Leask [BIK captain and Scotland international] is someone I have played against many times for Jersey and know pretty well now.

“Dan Lincoln as well. He’s played in the Vitality Blast with Middlesex, so a lot of these boys have some serious cricket under their belts.

“But it was also awesome to share this experience with Julius, he’s a great mate and a brilliantly talented player himself.”

Day two started well for Jenner and co, with a comfortable seven-wicket win in game six.

Team Europe did snatch one back in game seven, but Sumerauer was undoubtedly the star with another spell of two wickets for a stingy 13 runs.

However, BIK rallied to wrap up the series in game eight with a comprehensive 49-run win.

In the final match, Jenner smashed a magnificent unbeaten 105 off 35 balls, including 13 maximums, to finish on a high and record a 6-3 series win for his side.

Sumerauer’s consistent performances earned him impressive tournament stats of ten wickets at an average of just eight runs per over, a phenomenal effort in a format heavily weighted in the batters’ favour.

Jenner’s final match century marked his fourth across the three ECN tournaments he has played in.

“I just hope I haven’t used up all my runs too early,” joked the former Sussex man.

“But in all seriousness, it was extremely pleasing to end on a high.

“The ECN is an incredible initiative that offers cricket to new parts of the world.

“There are a lot of expats and refugees playing, and it’s an opportunity they might not have had without it.

“They’re helping spread the game in such a positive way and it’s been a privilege to be a part of.”

Both Jenner and Sumerauer will reconnect with Jersey teammates this weekend as they are set to travel to La Manga to take on the Spanish national team in three T20I matches.

The fixture will be the duo’s first opportunity to link up with newly appointed head coach Paul Hutchison.

Jenner concluded: “It’ll be great to get back with the Jersey boys this weekend. It’s the first time we’ll have been together as a group since October last year.

“The Spain games will be a good test for us and it’ll be great to properly meet ‘Hutch’ and get our bearings of the new regime.”

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