By Joe Mayes
Durham MCCU all-rounder Ben Stevens won the Player of the Tournament award and inspired Jersey to victory in World Cricket League Division 5 in Malaysia this week.
Stevens, who studies Spanish at St Aidan’s College and is currently on a year-abroad in Argentina, was the top-run scorer in the tournament, making 403 runs at an average of 67.17.
His highest score of 84 came in the final against Malaysia, where he shared in a match-winning 152-run stand with ex-Durham MCC cricketer Nathaniel Watkins (116), leading Jersey to a 71-run win.
The left-arm spinner also picked up thirteen wickets in Kuala Lumpur at an average of 15.08.
Stevens’s performances across the week helped Jersey to win all of their games, seeing off hosts Malaysia, Tanzania, the Cayman Islands, Nigeria and local rivals Guernsey to secure promotion to Division 4.
Jersey, who’s squad also includes Durham graduate Ed Farley, now travel to Singapore for World Cricket League Division 4 in June.
Speaking after the final, Stevens said, “It’s been an unbelievable ride and it feels incredible now to know that our hard work has given us a trip to Singapore.
“We knew we had it in us to win the tournament so we’re happy we’ve been able to do that.”
Reflecting on the best moments of the week, Stevens said: “From a cricketing perspective, Nat’s century to win against the home favourites in the final was pretty special.
“There was also the win against the Cayman Islands that secured our promotion.
“Personally, I’m obviously very happy to have got runs and wickets in the tournament, and it’s nice to know you’ve done your bit for promotion. Conversely, it’s not so nice to know I’m completely incapable of scoring a century.”
Stevens also won the Player of the Tournament award when Jersey were promoted from World Cricket League Division 6 last summer, making it two in two for the Durham all-rounder.
Photographs: Cricket Europe & International Cricket Committee