The 8th Seevent Final Over 60 1st X1
Kent v Cheshire
6th September 2016 at Lutterworth CC
Another trouble free conclusion to the eighth 1st X1 Final saw the Lutterworth ground completely flooded after a freak storm at the weekend. So much so, there was shock on the players faces, used to two months of bone hard tracks. And it was damp, overcast, spitting with rain. Shades of two years ago.
Cheshire warmed up thoroughly led by their England 70+ Vice Captain Chris Lees. Kent were a little more laid back-Rupert turned up half an hour before the start, quite early it seems. Cheshire won the toss and hard Northerners always field first. It is in their DNA. Just as soft Southerners bat first. It is historic. (Norfolk can’t make up their minds.
Immediately, Cheshire were celebrating when the dangerous Chris Swadkin, edgy for once, was caught and bowled by Mike Cushion. But then a long stand ensued, between Andrew Dixon, very tall, very white haired, very dogged and, luckily no relation, Chris Tarrant, a leftie, shorter, barrel chested and bustling...
This stand lasted for circa 28 overs until, eventually Dixon threw caution to the wind and was smartly stumped by Graham Coull for 27 off 74. Tarrant and Jim Phillips then started to dominate. Phillips (if a team was selected today for Australia he would walk it), clips the ball beautifully off his legs and with Tarrant attacking the long on boundary, the score went to 170-3 in circa 38 before the latter was caught for a very valuable 84 in 113. Wickets sacrificed meant Kent ended up on 203-7, not where they really wanted to be, but still on the board. Star for Cheshire was Howard Morris, veteran of many Finals, 9-4-21-2. Great figures.
And the sun was by now shining brightly....
Cheshire’s innings mirrored Kent’s, ... Not easy. John Edwards displayed his Caribbean roots, but fellow cricketer Rupert Staple nearly had him a number of times. Nick Sharp played on and then Jim Phillips came on and after 4 balls of trickery, had Edwards heading for the pavilion, 28 off 48, 50-2 in 16. Lady luck then showed its hand when Paul Mitchell was run out by a direct hit from Andrew Dixon from 50 yards, 65.3 in 20.
Bernie Bishop (54) and Colin Norbury (47) then started to dominate, but Kent had the ace up their sleeve bringing on Chris Swadkin and Colin Breed then had Bishop stumped. Swadkin’s floaty left arm spin, slower than his run up, accounted for 4 Cheshire wickets for 25, as they fell away at the death, always slightly behind, but still in contention. Derek Towe also contributed well with 3-26 as the game concluded on 44.5, Cheshire 190 all out, Kent victorious by 13 runs.
The MOM was difficult to judge. Jim Phillips damaged Cheshire badly, as did the whirling little dervish Chris Swadkin, despite a rare batting failure. However 84 in a National Final is a massive contribution, and so the 8th Final MOM was awarded to Chris Tarrant
So Cheshire still remain 3 times as Champions, Kent twice and Norfolk, Essex ,and Somerset once each .
Many thanks to Geoff and Katherine Baxter for all their hard work: the ground, food, everything at Lutterworth and for the great spread afterwards.
Also to Myra Isterling and Tim Redsell for the scoring and to Mervyn Mann and former Leicestershire CCC player John Harrop for umpiring.
Other 2015 Finals
2nd XI Final:
24th September (Cheshire won the toss): Surrey 133-9, 45 ovs (G Howgate 60, N Senior 3-17); Cheshire 134-8, 44.5 ovs (G Mountford 32 Not Out, A. Hurworth 31): Cheshire won by 2 wickets
2nd XI Plate:
Due to persistent bad weather shared between Yorkshire and Sussex.
2nd XI Bowl:
Due to persistent bad weather shared between Essex an d Kent.
10th September , Sussex 86-1 (W Jones 43 Not Out, B Peay 32) beat Surrey 85 All Out (A Shanks 3-11, H Milner 3-14) by 9 wickets
Over 60s 3rd XI Champions: Kent