18th September 2013 at Oakham Town Cricket Club (Wales won the toss): Kent 195-5, 45 ovs (Chris Swadkin 60, Frank Packman 52); Wales 183-7, 45 ovs (Chris Swadkin 3-39) Kent won by 12 runs
Kent Win their First Championship
The 5th Spitfire Seevent DMS National County Championship was played uninterrupted in a myriad of weather conditions; enormous black clouds, spitting rain, freezing winds and at times very hot sunshine. Truly the Gods smiled on Oakham Cricket Club, who had endured a belly full of rain on the Monday and coped manfully. The wicket was green, bur having played there for years, always benign and never really two faced. And so it proved. Wales won the toss and inserted Kent. This time the opposite occurred as nerves from the batsmen and straight strike bowling gave way to the opposite. Wales normally arrow straight attack wasn’t quite as economical as usual and sawdust was called for.
Peter Eames displayed his leg side array, square leg (high), midwicket (high) and long on (high). At the other end Frank Packman was the opposite. Eames continued to keep the scorers (and catchers) busy and was dropped twice. Third time lucky as a skier was poached by Timpson, Eames 23 out.
Bob Phillips (4) wasnt timing well and soon went for another skier to mid off, but Kent’s captain for the day, ( the normal captain, was on holiday in Bournemouth !!) was someone who has been on the rostrum for four of Kents famous over 50 ECB Championship victories , Chris Swadkin.
Swadkin immediately looked at ease, playing Glamorgans Geoff Ellis with panache and despite the usual economy from Ron Walton and Gordon Voke, Wales fifth bowlers, split around, proved a tad more prolific.
As Packman continued in a manner Boycott would have eulogized over, Swadkin piled up the runs, but not in a noticeable fashion: 4 or 5 an over, keep it ticking over. Swadkin’s demise for 60 in 67 saw Kent chasing runs and somewhere towards the 35th over, Packman hit his first 4. And second. But at 145-5 in 35, there was a good base. This actually failed to materialize and no one was sure whether 195-5 was enough, Packman perishing for 57 in 120 balls in 43rd over. Would he be hero or villain? The eternal prolific opening bat nightmare…. Pace it because you don’t trust the lower order, or give it the big guns? Kent have a balance here! Kent’s innings finishes at 3pm, exactly 3 hours on the field for Wales, less one short drinks break. Tiring.
Wales also started brightly and at 10 overs had 31-0 with neither opener Gwyn Price or Malc Lewis seemingly too stressed. But the advent of spin saw a lull in scoring and only 20 were scored in the next 10, still zero wickets but suddenly Kent looked favourites. Price, more adventurous, perished for 57, and captain Ryland Wallis entered the scene.
The left hander, powerful, immediately pulled violently (ball to the boundary) and cut in the same manner. However, Kent, despite some dropped catches in the same manner as Wales, indeed catching was a difficult exercise for both sides, had spinners in the bank. Messrs Richards, Prior, Mendham and Swadkin are all quality performers and unlikely to give you too many four balls. And so it proved, as attacking them (successfully) proved extremely difficult and actually only Voke successfully attempted a dart out of the crease and drive upwards. Swadkin kept chipping away and as the wickets fell, naming Man of the Match became easier. Wales, however, were still within a shout, until the 41st and 42nd overs when Mendham and Swadkin (40 needed in 5, 5 wickets left) completely stifled the batting side.
It came down to 20 in 2, Swadkin again and only 5 off the over. So 15 to win the last over and that proved much too much, so Kent with 3 balls to go, realized the game was theirs. A tight encounter, played in very good spirit throughout and a pleasure to watch. MOM went to the standout cricketer, Chris Swadkin, 60 and 9-1-49-3. But Packman,s innings proved crucial………
Very many thanks to Bob and Sue Inchley who organized everything including the after match supper, Malcolm Rawlings, the Oakham Groundsman, Ian Hoffler and Barry Tombes for umpiring and both sets of teams for a great days cricket. Martin Pearse
2013 Champions - Kent
The scorecards of the Final and all other Playoff matches are on Play-Cricket
Other 2013 Finals
1st XI Plate:
10th September at Frocester: Gloucestershire 175-6, 45 ovs: Northamptonshire 177-4, 44.1 ovs. Northamptonshire won by 6 wkts.
1st XI Bowl:
10th September at Fishlake (Durham/Northld won the toss): Cambs/Hunts 159-4, 37 ovs (Stuart Unwin 51*); Durham/Northumberland 159-7, 37 ovs (Steve Cox 3-18). Cambs/Hunts won having lost fewer wickets.
2nd XI Final:
24th September at Dunstable (Yorkshire won the toss): Kent 129-9, 45 ovs (D Chapman 3-22); Yorkshire 118, 43.1 ovs (B North 3-21): Kent won by 11 runs.
2nd XI Plate:
19th September at Kidderminster (Cheshire won the toss): Cheshire 112-8, 30 ovs (Stephen Wilson 3-12, Mike Litchfield 3-31); Hertfordshire 114-4, 29 ovs. Hertfordshire won by 6 wkts.
2nd XI Bowl:
24th September at Horsley & Send CC (Wales won the toss): Surrey 186-7, 43 ovs (John Parkins 68, Roger Edwards 4-42); Wales 86, 31.4 ovs (Robert Brown 5-10). Surrey won by 100 runs.
Over 70s Champions: Worcestershire 229 pts; Runners-up, Sussex 226 pts