Jervis stars for England in cricket Tri-Nations opening win

A cricket player takes applause

Alex Jervis and Dan Bowser combined to earn England a comfortable win in the first game of the International Federation for Intellectual Disability Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Cricket Tri-Nations at a blustery Chester Boughton Hall in Cheshire on Monday (10 July).

Jervis, a 22-year-old seamer who plays club cricket for Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire but represents Yorkshire, took five for 46 as South Africa lost momentum after a flying start.

Then Bowser, a powerful left-hander from Devon who has played second team cricket for Leicestershire and Somerset, made short work of the target with an unbeaten 84 from 56 balls, as England cruised home with six wickets and more than 15 of their 40 overs to spare.

“It’s a very good start to the series for us,” said Jervis, who was named man of the match after claiming his first five-wicket haul for England.

“We were a little bit over-excited in the first few overs but after that we calmed down and played well. Taking five wickets for England is a great feeling but I had great support from the bowlers at the other end and also our fielding. And Dan Bowser played some great shots to give us a perfect start.

“Now we are looking forward to meeting up with some old friends in our first game against Australia.”

That game will be played at Grappenhall on Tuesday (11 July), and another victory would leave England on the brink of qualification for the 40-over Tri-Series final at Neston next Monday (17 July) – before the three teams play a T20 Tri-Nations over the next four days.

Tayler Young, a tall fast bowler from Chessington in Surrey, provided a spectacular start to the two weeks of competition, uprooting the off stump of opener Keketso Chabedi with a superb delivery after South Africa had won the toss and chosen to bat.

But England were then thrust on to the back foot by a second-wicket stand of 80 inside nine overs between Phaphama Mthana and Eldrich George.

A squally rain shower gave them a chance to regroup, and it was Young again who broke the partnership with the wicket of George, a left-hander who hit 10 fours in racing to 44 from 30 balls – but was brilliantly caught by Jonny Gale low down at backward point.

Then Jervis took over, claiming five of the next six wickets as skipper Chris Edwards let him bowl his eight-over allocation in a single spell.

Mthana was the first to go lbw, before Mzwandile Mhlongo drove to Matt Cowdery at mid-off.

Matt Browne, another of the five Surrey-based players in the team, interrupted the Jervis show with a beauty to bowl Ayanda Kolisi, a wicket which was the least his bustling spell deserved on an impressive debut.

South Africa’s captain Jan Makololo counter-attacked with a big six off Jervis before he was the victim of another fine catch, this time by Bowser at extra cover.

Jack Perry, a teenage wicketkeeper making his England debut in his home county – and looking forward to playing at his home club of Oxton later in the series – claimed Winston Johnson as his first victim standing up to Jervis.

Browne and Edwards then polished off the last couple of wickets, meaning South Africa had lost their last nine for 81.

But England made a nervous start to their reply, with Gale surviving one dropped catch before he was out for 10, driving to mid-off.

Edwards, England’s experienced captain who was on familiar territory near his base on the Wirral, seemed determined to play patiently but he fell for 11 in the 10th over.

Then Lee Stenning went lbw to Makololo, and England were wobbling slightly at 86 for three.

But Bowser, who also spent his early years on the Wirral before moving to the south-west where he now plays and coaches at the North Devon club, eased their nerves by hitting regular boundaries all around the wicket. He reached his half century from only 32 balls and continued to dominate the scoring as Yorkshire’s Rob Hewitt played a sensible supporting role in a fourth-wicket stand of 74 in 10 overs.

Hewitt fell for 20 with only 14 runs required but Bowser completed the job with a flurry of boundaries. “I’m just pleased to be enjoying my cricket again,” he said afterwards. “But the credit today should go to Alex Jervis, for taking those five wickets.”

The 2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Tri-Nations features a series of 40-over and T20 games between hosts England, Australia and South Africa. Matches are being played at grounds across Cheshire until 21 July.

Live scoring is available throughout at the England and Wales Cricket Board website.

Tri-Nations to get underway with England v South Africa

By England and Wales Cricket Board

It is a long way from Lord’s to Chester Boughton Hall – but Chris Edwards and his team will be representing England with as much pride as Joe Root and co when they face South Africa in the first match of the International Federation for Intellectual Disability Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Tri-Nations, also involving Australia, on Monday (10 July).

It will be an especially significant occasion for Edwards, a mainstay of a dominant period for England against their rivals, as Chester is so close to his cricketing roots on the Wirral.

“It’s a dream come true to have an international series right on your doorstep,” the 24-year-old told the mini-magazine that has been produced to accompany the series – which itself provides tangible evidence of the growing stature of cricket for athletes with an intellectual impairments, and the England team, with the series also being supported by British bank NatWest.

It is only 12 years since they played for the first time, in a series involving the same three nations in Cape Town, South Africa.

Australia won that series, and the two that followed in 2007 and 2009 – when Edwards made his debut, at the age of 17.

So he was well-established by 2011, when the Tri-Nations returned to South Africa and England were crowned champions for the first time after winning the final in Kimberley.

And two years ago Edwards led from the front in Australia as England won a bilateral series 5-1 – rounding things off with a century in Melbourne.

This time Derek Morgan’s team will have home advantage on a number of leafy Premier League grounds around Cheshire, with the first phase of two weeks of competition involving 40-over matches before the action switches to T20.

After the opener in Chester, England face Australia in Grappenhall near Warrington on Tuesday (11 July), with return matches against South Africa in Bramhall, and the Aussies at Tattenhall, on Thursday and Friday (13-14 July).

They will then hope to be involved in the final in Neston, even nearer to Edwards’ home club ground of Caldy, on Monday 17 July – with the two Australia-South Africa matches in the Tri-Nations being staged at Nantwich on Wednesday, and Oxton on Sunday (16 July).

The T20 competition involves three double-headers, starting at Toft near Knutsford on Tuesday 18 July.

England play both South Africa and Australia the following day, back at Chester Boughton Hall, before the series returns to Oxton and then finally to Nantwich on Wednesday 21 July.

“What an exciting and competitive two weeks of cricket we have in prospect,” said Ian Martin, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB’s) Head of Disability Cricket, also expressing his gratitude to those who have helped to stage an Opening Ceremony and cap presentation night on Sunday at the beautiful Cranage Hall.

“ECB would like to thank the Cheshire Cricket Board and the hosting clubs as well as Richard Morrell and his team at Cranage Estate for all their help in making this event a success. We can’t wait to watch some fantastic cricket at the wonderful venues across Cheshire that are hosting the matches.

“We hope that this tournament will be a fantastic advert for our sport. Our aim is to raise the profile of disability cricket for all cricket fans, no matter their background or challenges in life.

England’s team is drawn from all parts of the country. Dan Bowser, a 29-year-old from Devon, made a major impact in Australia two years ago.

Alex Jervis and Robert Hewitt will be the Yorkshire voices in the squad, with Thomas Wilson ensuring Lancashire representation.

Wilson is one of four uncapped players with Dan Thomas of Essex, Jack Perry – who is from Oxton so will be playing on home territory like Edwards – and Matt Browne of Ashtead, one of five Surrey-based players in the squad.

Match schedule

10 July: England v South Africa, Chester Boughton Hall CC (40 over)
11 July: England v Australia, Grappenhall CC (40 over)
12 July: South Africa v Australia, Nantwich CC (40 over)
13 July: South Africa v England, Bramhall CC (40 over)
14 July: Australia v England, Tattenhall CC (40 over)
16 July: South Africa v Australia, Oxton CC (40 over)
17 July: Final, Neston CC (40 over)
18 July: England v Australia and Australia v South Africa, Toft CC (T20)
19 July: South Africa v England and England v Australia, Chester Boughton Hall CC (T20)
20 July: England v South Africa and South Africa v Australia, Oxton CC (T20)
21 July: Final, Nantwich CC (T20)