Kibworth return to Lord's to meet Malden Wanderers
Kibworth, last year's beaten Cockspur Cup finalists, will return to Lord's for their third visit in five seasons to take on Malden Wanderers following a semi-final victory at Sandiacre Town.
Kibworth won the Cockspur Cup in 2004 and will be hoping to repeat that feat this year after the disappointment of losing last year to Bromley on the last ball of the match when Chris Hill was caught on the Tavern boundary going for the winning hit.
Winning the toss proved significant as water had seeped under the covers during heavy overnight rain. Sandiacre were put into bat first and posted a total of 168 for nine with veteran spinner Russell Spiers bowling a miserly spell of nine overs and taking 1-17.
In reply, Kibworth opener Greg Smith, fresh from his exploits for England U19, and Sunny Patel added 72 for the first wicket. Captain Andy Smith then played a vital innings as he saw his team within 10 runs of their target with Nick Ferraby adding 44 not out.
Kibworth managed to knock off the runs with four wickets and three overs to spare to start their planning for another outing to the Home of Cricket.
The other semi at Waltham was another tight match as Malden Wanderers booked their place in the Final with a battling performance on a bowler-friendly wicket.
Batting first, Malden lost wickets regularly with no-one able to master a tricky surface which offered the bowlers movement and variable bounce (Tanweer Sikander 3-23, Atta Ur Rehaman 3-21 and Azhar Ali 3-31) and found themselves reduced to 93 for eight before Neil Mander (25) and Simon Crampton (15) came together to build a vital partnership of 38.
Malden were all out for 133 in the 45th over. However, with a good bowling attack, slow outfield and an athletic fielding side they always felt they had a chance.
Michael Cottrell got the ball rolling by taking 2-15 in seven overs as Waltham looked to be positive but were reduced to 36 for two.
The key was always going to be the Malden spinners of Giles Puckle (1-15), Simon Crampton (4-16) and Jon Albert (2-17) who bowled 26.4 overs taking seven wickets for 48 runs backed up by brilliant out cricket with Neil Mander taking three catches, two of which were outstanding.
Despite a controlled innings by Naseer Ahmed (31) wickets fell around him forcing him into taking one risk too many and providing Mander with his best catch of the day.
With Jon Albert taking the last wicket Malden dismissed Waltham for 109 to win by 24 runs.
For his significant batting contribution followed by a key bowling spell of 4-16 Simon Crampton won the Man of the Match award.