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Somerset claim shock Twenty20 Cup triumph

26th September 2014

The 2014 BCEW Bill Frindall Memorial Twenty20 Cup Finals Day won’t be quickly forgotten as it was full of drama and surprises. A trio of thunderstorms within 24 hours of the event meant that by 11am only one of the ground’s three pitches was playable. Therefore the decision was taken to play 10 overs per side semi finals one after the other on the only usable wicket.

In the first semi final National League winners London Metro were sent in to bat against BBS Cup runners-up Somerset VICC. England captain Matt Dean got off to a flyer but found little support, Dean was eventually dismissed for 36 from 21 balls but only low partial batsman Mark Russell with 18 could join him in reaching double figures as the Londoners reached 94/7 from their allotted overs. Ed Hossell (1-4) and Rob Crisp (2-11) both delivered two excellent overs and Graham Glover also claimed two wickets.

In response Ed Hossell smashed 44 from 27 balls before falling to a superb catch from Rory Field from Rob Comber’s bowling. Field and Comber both only conceded 11 from their two overs as the game swung in one teams favour then the other as it all came down to the final ball. Somerset needed six to win and Rob Crisp duly obliged clearing the rope by less than two feet to spark delighted celebrations from the cidermen as they progressed by five wickets.

The second semi final was far less close as defending champions Warwickshire Bears proved far too strong for fourth place finishers in the National League Northants Steelbacks. The Bears didn’t lose a single wicket as Luke Sugg (78 not out) and Justin Hollingsworth (58 not out) shared a 155 run partnership. In the Northants innings no batsman reached twenty despite some lower order resistance that dragged the score up to 86/8 when the overs ran out. Justin Hollingsworth (3-16) and Asif Ali (2-7) starred with the ball as Warwickshire reached the final by 69 runs.

As the weather had improved two pitches were usable for the afternoon’s matches but the day was behind schedule so both the final and Third Place Play Off were to be 15 overs per side.

In the third-place game Metro batted first, Rob Comber batted through the innings for a well crafted 47 not out and Matt Dean thumped a brutal 45 not out from just 16 balls after two batsmen ahead of him in the order had retired. Despite good economical bowling from Dave Keeling, Dave Gavrilovic and Gav Griffiths the Londoners got hold of the other bowlers as they amassed a strong total of 143/0.

Northants’ innings never really got started as the top three were all run out, although Gav Griffiths did look in good touch notching 14 before his dismissal. Rory Field took two wickets in two balls but was unable to secure the hat-trick, but it didn’t matter as Steelbacks could only reach 53/5 before the game was abandoned in the eighth over after a player was taken ill. Although the player involved was taken to hospital he was later released and appears to have made a full recovery.

In the final Somerset were first to bat, several players chipped in and battled for their side but it was a fantastic 62 from 38 balls by Ed Hossell that ensured the cidermen put a good score on the board. Hossell was eventually dismissed by a great catch from Gary Holmes to give Asif Ali his second wicket of the final and fourth of the day. Somerset finished on 126/3 with Justin Hollingsworth (0-13) and Asif Ali (2-14) each bowling three good overs.

Hollingsworth and Luke Sugg got the Bears reply off to a good start but neither reached 30 as both were caught from the bowling of Graham Glover. Michael Church added to his catch of Hollingsworth by bowling Mark Turnham for 8 which left it to Asif Ali and Gerald Porter to try and change the game. Going into the last over Warwickshire needed 29 to win with Philip Frounks coming on to bowl. Despite the first ball going for a wide Frounks held his nerve and took two wickets for just six more runs as Ed Hossell caught both Porter and Ali, the latter falling for 35. Rob Crisp (0-15), Rory Hossell (0-15) and Ed Hossell (0-18) shared nine tight overs which left Bears needing 79 runs from the other six overs, a chase they couldn’t manage.

So a jubilant Somerset claimed their first ever major trophy as Ed Hossell and Philip Frounks were named partially sighted and total Player of the Day respectively.

BCEW would like to thank everyone at North London CC as well as ECB, The Primary Club, The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust and anyone else who has funded blind cricket this season and helped make 2014 a very successful year.