Jersey’s highest ever score in a T20 cricket competition was aided by an impressive team batting performance personified by Jonty Jenner’s unbeaten fifty against a Nigerian side that had Sesan Adedeji, Daniel Ajekun, Daniel Gim and Sulaimon Runsewe all making their T20 International debuts at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Jersey who won the toss and elected to bat first, had all their batsmen cross double figures starting with the openers Nick Ferraby and Harrison Carlyon, who made 20 each.
They were particularly impressive in the fourth-wicket stand between Jenner and Nick Greenwood which added 81 in 53 balls, before Greenwood was dismissed for a 28-ball 43 on the last ball of the 19th over. Jenner remained unbeaten on 57 off 42 balls and Jersey finished strong with Benjamin Ward making a five-ball 11 that included a six, as 14 were taken from the final over.
Nigeria, the lowest-ranked team in the 14-nation qualifiers and who are competing in the place of suspended Zimbabwe, responded positively at the start with the openers Daniel Ajekun and Leke Oyede adding 28 in the first four before Ajekun went for 17 off 10 on the first ball of the fifth, becoming left-arm spinner Elliot Miles’ first victim.
Ajekun’s dismissal precipitated a slump from which the Yellow Greens never recovered as Miles struck again four balls later to send No. 3 Sesan Adedeji back for a duck.
Oyede and Vincent Adewoye staged a brief recovery, adding 31 for the third wicket, but the required rate had touched 12 when Adewoye departed in the tenth over for 17.
Oyede held the innings together but failed to keep abreast of the mounting required rate, finally falling for a painstaking 39 off 44 balls in the 17th over, with an improbable 89 still needed from 20 balls.
Nigeria batted out their 20 overs but fell well short of their target, finishing on 115 for 7, and handing Jersey a massive win.
The Yellow Greens will hope to be much improved when they go up against Canada in their second match on Monday.
Jersey 184 for 4 (Jenner 57*, Greenwood 43, Ajekun 1-16) beat Nigeria 115 for 7 (Oyede 39, Miles 2-22, Blampied 2-24) by 69 runs