Humble the hero for South North
Stephen Humble’s impressive all-round display helped South Northumberland achieve the first part of their double trophy charge courtesy of a narrow win over Ealing in the National Club Championship final.
They triumphed by five runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method as rain cut short Ealing’s pursuit to win at the County Ground in Derby.
Chasing 180 to win after bowling South Northumberland out with 9.5 of their 35.1 overs unused, Ealing were 113 for five from 31.1 overs when the weather intervened.
Humble boasted figures of 2-29 off seven overs at that point, having contributed 40 to a seemingly below-par total after South Northumberland were asked to bat first.
Adam Cragg weighed in with 40, adding 71 for the third wicket with Chris Hewison, who made 33, but South Northumberland were indebted to Humble’s contribution from number eight following their middle-order struggles.
Humble was among the last four wickets to fall for just 15 runs, thanks largely to Sameer Patel’s return of 3-21 off six overs. There were two wickets apiece for Tahir Afridi, Simon Hawk and Leigh Parry.
Ealing’s reply was undermined by Humble’s early double strike, Simon Hawk edging behind and Mylo Wilkin lbw aiming across the line.
Jonny Wightman, generating considerable pace, bowled Patrick Fallis before trapping former Middlesex off-spinner Chris Peploe in front first ball to leave Ealing tottering on 33 for four.
Although Captain David Holt saw Huw Jones fall cheaply, he and Chris Wakefield embarked on a restorative sixth-wicket stand in the rain that saw the gap to the D/L target gradually trimmed.
However, with their alliance worth 45 and the weather deteriorating, the players were forced from the field for good and South Northumberland crowned champions.
They will attempt to add another trophy to their cabinet at the Rose Bowl on Thursday when they contest Cockspur T20 finals day with Wimbledon, Swardeston and Bootle.