BAT Sports win Indoor Finals
The National Indoor Finals were played in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd on Sunday March 12, with BAT Sports CC running out eventual winners.
Hampstead, the local club, were naturally well supported, while BAT Sports brought a coach-load of fervent supporters with them, hoping that their heroes would manage to go one better than last year when they lost by one run in the Final to Madisons.
Both Longton, from Staffordshire, and Felixstowe enjoyed good travelling support as well at the first ever appearance of these two clubs at Lord's.
The first semi-final was played between Hampstead and Felixstowe. Hampstead won the toss and batted first and produced a performance of high quality throughout, scoring 154 and setting Felixstowe a challenging target to chase in their 12 overs.
Felixstowe lost early wickets and struggled to cope with the accurate bowling and keen fielding of the Hampstead side, eventually losing by 50 runs.
The second semi-final was a much closer affair with both teams striving to reach the Final.
BAT Sports batted first and were made to work extremely hard for their runs by some accurate Longton bowling that was backed up by some very keen fielding.
BAT were indebted to Richard Kenway who scored an unbeaten 50 (returning later on in the innings after a flurry of wickets) and ensured that BAT reached 101-5, thus giving the bowlers something to work with.
Longton, at this stage, looked favourites, but they required a good start to their reply.
BAT continued in the vein of the other sides and bowled to a well-executed plan backed up by the keenest fielding of the day.
Longton lost early wickets, which put them under pressure, but they kept scoring at a good rate and a final flurry of runs meant that with two balls left they needed eight runs to win a pulsating match.
The final Longton batsman was caught trying to hit a boundary off the penultimate ball to close the innings at 94 all out.
For the Final Hampstead again won the toss and followed the formula of the semi-final in choosing to bat first.
BAT Sports bowling and fielding was even better than in their earlier game and they kept Hampstead pinned down throughout their innings.
Wickets fell regularly which meant that Hampstead struggled to settle into the quick scoring tempo that they had managed earlier, and they were all out for 87.
This total did not look as if it would be a challenging one to BAT's batsmen and the Hampstead cause was not helped by some wayward bowling.
With a 3-1 field, too many balls were bowled on the leg-side and by the time BAT had reached 50 they had benefited from 11 extras.
This meant that BAT were able to cruise to victory without losing a wicket and Richard Kenway added another unbeaten 25 to his earlier 50.
David Holland, of the ECB's Recreational Cricket Group, made the Presentations to the teams.
Special awards on the day were made for Man of the Day (a bat kindly donated by Gray Nicholls), which was won by Richard Kenway (BAT Sports), and one for Outstanding Fielder (presentation basket kindly donated by Cockspur Rum), which went to James Kershen (Hampstead CC).
- Hampstead CC (154) beat Felixstowe CC (104) by 50 runs
- BAT Sports CC (101-5) beat Longton CC (94 all out) by seven runs
- BAT Sports CC (88-0) beat Hampstead CC (87 all out) by six wickets
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