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Warwickshire dominant in Twenty20 Cup Triumph

3rd October 2016

Warwickshire Bears won the BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup for the fourth time in the competition's eight-year history with a dominant display to comfortably see off Sussex Sharks in the Final.

In extremely windy conditions, Twenty20 Finals Day was held at Wolverhampton Cricket Club for the first time on Saturday 24th September. Whilst the weather wasn’t great, the facilities and pitches at the venue were excellent and allowed for some high quality cricket, although not until the Final and Third Place Play-Off as both semi-finals were very one sided.

The first semi-final saw Warwickshire crush an under strength Metro who, with only seven players available on the day, invited three Staffordshire Wolves players who had come along to watch to play for them instead.

The tone for the match was set when Luke Sugg bowled Metro captain Rory Field from the fourth ball of the match. Sugg proceeded to claim brilliant figures of 4-9 as well as taking a catch. Justin Hollingsworth also took two wickets and Gerald Porter claimed three catches as Metro could only limp to 40 All Out. In reply, Field claimed a caught and bowled to dismiss Asif Ali but 26 not out from Sugg saw the Bears into the Final thanks to a 9-wicket win with 15.2 overs to spare.

In the other semi-final, Cheshire Cobras took on national level opposition for the first time when they faced Sussex Sharks. A superb opening spell with the ball from Joe Harrison helped reduce Cobras to 15/4 and effectively ended the chances of them setting a troubling total. Cheshire stuck in well though and Howard Greenhill (26) batting with the stubborn Mike Harrison meant the newcomers saw out their overs finally reaching 75/8. As well as Harrison’s staggering 3-4 and a catch, Ian Morris bowled well to finish with an impressive 2-19. In reply, it only took Sussex openers Harrison (33 not out) & Si Ledwith (26 not out) 8.5 overs to see their side to victory.

In the Third Place Play-Off, Metro batted first reaching 131/4 thanks in the main to 71 from Rory Field. Andy Law and Aemonn Sheering both batted determinedly to support Field as the on loan Gav Griffiths took 2-17. Field claimed an early wicket as the second innings started but then Dave Knowles (32) and Tom Kitchen (50) shared a partnership of 90 to take Cobras to the verge of a win. Field wasn’t done though and he took another two wickets and a run out to get Metro back into it with help from an excellent catch by Andy Kaustin. That was as good as it got for Metro however, as Paul Knowles and Griffiths guided Cheshire over the line for a 6-wicket win.

So to the Final, that saw Warwickshire Bears and Sussex Sharks facing each other with the trophy on the line for the fourth time in eight years. Warwickshire took immediate control of the match as they started very fast, scoring at around 10 an over. Justin Hollingsworth led the way with a fantastic 98 before falling just short of his century, caught and bowled by Jimmy Millard. Nathan Foy then played a remarkable innings that ended after just seven balls when he was also caught by Millard, this time from Ian Morris’s bowling, for 22. Luke Sugg who had shared in Bears scintillating opening stand of 183 with Justin Hollingsworth, was unbeaten on 84 when the innings came to a close with Warwickshire recording a massive 227/2.

Sussex knew that they had to get off to a fast start to have any chance of chasing the Bears total, but any hope of that was quickly extinguished as Sugg removed Si Ledwith and Ian Morris with Hollingsworth dismissing Joe Harrison to leave Sharks in a world of trouble at 10/3. A 71-run partnership from Jimmy Millard (31) and Dan Field (65) saw Sussex build a score but both fell to catches from Hollingsworth and, whilst the lower order kept trying, Sussex could only reach 158/8 as Luke Sugg took four wickets for the second time in the day.

Justin Hollingsworth and Nathan Foy won the Partially Sighted and Low Sighted Player of the Day awards respectively and were presented with their trophies by legendary former England Womens captain, Baroness Rachel Heyhoe Flint.

BCEW would like to thank everyone at Wolverhampton CC who helped make the event so successful. Thanks also to The Primary Club without whose generous funding BCEW and our member clubs could not continue to grow the sport so successfully.