Wolverhampton U13s triumph
Wolverhampton smashed their way to a thrilling victory to secure the MCC Spirit of Cricket Under 13 National Club Championship title.
Three of the four finalists - Wolverhampton, North Cotswolds and Cambridge NCI - finished the finals festival with two wins.
But the boys from Staffordshire secured the narrowest of victories over Cambridge NCI on run rate - scoring at 6.12 an over compared to Cambridge NCI’s 6.02.
Going into the final day at Oakham, three teams had a chance to win the Ken Barrington Cup, with Washington from Durham cast adrift with two defeats.
Cambridge NCI had won both their matches yesterday but lost out to North Cotswolds by 15 runs.
Jack Groves and Darrel Williams both retired on 30 not out for North Cotswolds as they compiled 116 for three in the face of tight bowling from Freddie Upton (2-11). Some brilliant fielding then restricted Cambridge NCI to 101 five despite Jack Harvey’s 31 not out.
On the other pitch, eventual winners Wolverhampton restricted Washington to 115 for three before Damanpreet Singh and Jack Lewis each scored 30 not out to knock off the runs in 18.4 overs - speed which would prove crucial.
On the morning of the first day of the finals festival, North Cotswolds scored 97 for nine against Washington with Jack Groves (27) and Robert Curtis (20) instrumental. Groves scored 89 runs and was out just once out over the three matches.
Skipper James Thompson (4-6) and Niall Cutter (3-9) were the pick of the Washington bowlers.
In reply Washington lost wickets at regular intervals as the North Cotswold attack all chipped in with wickets. The last Washington wicket fell on the last ball of the 20th over as the Durham side were dismissed for 81.
In the other match Wolverhampton lost just one wicket in compiling 136 for one with some scintillating strokes - Singh (30 not out), Shoaib Malik (31 not out) and Amritpal Singh (31 not out) all enjoyed the conditions.
Unfortunately for them Cambridge NCI’s batsmen were also in good form, particularly Alex Scully (33 not out), Chris Pepper (30 not out) and Jack Harvey (33 not out), as they won by 10 wickets.
In round two, after the lunch interval, North Cotswolds batted first on the main ground against Wolverhampton and were restricted to 86 for five with Jack Groves retiring with a score of 32.
In reply Wolverhampton knocked off the runs in 16.4 overs with Amritpal Singh scoring 30 in this game to add to his good knock in the morning.
On the smaller pitch behind the main ground Washington batted first and scored 100. James Thompson (30 not out) and Jordan Matthews (30 not out) started their innings in fine style but once Darren Geeringh (20) was out the rest of the team offered little resistance as five players were out for ducks.
Cambridge NCI recorded their second win of the festival as Chris Pepper scored 31 before retiring. Cambridge NCI won by seven wickets with three balls remaining.
A record 1,803 teams entered the competition and all four sides had won their regional titles.
The Ken Barrington Cup was presented by Ken’s widow Ann to winning captain Wahab Malik, and MCC president Derek Underwood presented Wolverhampton their medals.