The opening night is one of discovery

Charles Vorster is run-out by wicketkeeper Matt Philp off the penultimate ball of the Irregulars innings. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 29837077)
Charles Vorster is run-out by wicketkeeper Matt Philp off the penultimate ball of the Irregulars innings. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 29837077)

The opening match of the EL1 100 Challenge Cup – Guernsey’s version of ‘The Hundred’ – provided intrigue and entertainment on Tuesday evening at the KGV, not always through the quality on show but also through the brief moments of confusion as the players tried to adapt to the format which sees bowlers delivering sets of five rather than the traditional six-ball overs and the change of ends coming after 10 balls.

Perhaps the biggest question posed as Griffins and Irregulars went head-to-head in game one was just what is a good score?

The answer was revealed to be more than the 128 posted by Irregulars on the mat.

Another dozen might have tested the EL champions in their run chase, but already 150 is suggested to be the benchmark sides will be looking for.

Irregulars had threatened to get much closer to that sort of total when skipper Martin-Dale Bradley and Ben Wentzel were going well in adding 79 for the second wicket.

Bradley faced 28 balls for his 40, hitting five fours, while Wentzel contributed 34 from 26 with four boundaries.

However, when they fell in quick succession, the innings lost some momentum and the boundaries, which are obviously so important in this short format, started to dry up.

Despite being the one wicket-less member of the Griffins attack, Adam Martel was arguably the pick of the bowlers with his 20 balls costing just 19.

Although Charles Vorster struck twice in the early stages of the Griffins run chase to remove dangerous hitters Damian Wallen and Matt Philp for single-figure scores, the big wicket was that of Luke Le Tissier and by the time Irregulars had sent him back to the pavilion, the damage had been done.

Luke Le Tissier's powerful straight drive is about to hit non-striker Matt Philp. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 29837079)
Luke Le Tissier’s powerful straight drive is about to hit non-striker Matt Philp. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 29837079)

With his 360-degree shot variety and positive intent, the format suits the Island all-rounder down to the ground and it was hardly a surprise that he became the first batsman to hit a half-century in the competition.

He faced 32 balls for his 57, with 40 of those runs coming in boundaries.

He received good support from Martel, who hit one of his side’s two sixes in an individual contribution of 39 off 28.

Although neither was there until the end, Tom Kirk saw his team home along with Marcus Thomas, who hit the winning four with 11 balls to spare.

Guernsey Press