Swardeston beat Horsford by eight wickets to retain Norfolk Twenty20 title
PUBLISHED: 08:49 18 August 2018
Swardeston comfortably retained their NW Brown Norfolk Twenty20 title at Manor Park on Friday night when they cruised to an eight wicket victory over Horsford.
Opener Jordan Taylor and skipper Joe Gatting put together an unbroken third wicket stand of 75 to see the holders home after they had turned in an excellent display with the ball to dismiss their hosts for just 107.
With a combination of a slow pitch and indifferent light making it a real challenge for batsmen, the match was hardly a classic, but it was a thoroughly professsional display from Gatting’s men which bodes well for their challenge at the Vitality Club Twenty20 Finals at Derby next month.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first Horsford could hardly have made a worst start to the match, with openers Luke Findlay and Stephan Marillier both going for ducks.
The run-out of the big-hitting Marillier was a particularly harsh blow for the hosts, although Will Rogers and John Ratledge did repair some of the damage, taking the score along to 48 before Rogers was caught by Lewis Denmark off the bowling of young left arm spinner Joe Flatt for 36. It was an attractive innings that included an impressive tally of six fours - the most by any player - on an evening when no-one managed to clear the ropes.
Ratledge (26) and Ryan Findlay (25) added another 40 for the fourth wicket, but by Twenty20 standards it was slow going and once they went it was all over very quickly, with Horsford sliding from 88-3 to 107 all out in the final four overs.
The most successful Swardeston bowler was Callum Taylor, who took 3-11 in his four overs, while good support came from Tom Oxley, who took 3-26, and Flatt, who claimed 2-15 from his full allocation.
Horsford got an early boost when a good catch in the deep from Ryan Findlay off the bowling of Nathan Thurston accounted for dangerman Callum Taylor for just 14 while Stephan Gray then went for five to leave Swardeston on 40-2 after five overs.
It was still just about game on at that point, but Jordan Taylor and Gatting ensured there would be no more drama as they batted sensibly to see their side home off the second ball of the 17th over.
The pair managed only seven boundaries between them but it was exactly what was required in the circumstances, with Taylor finishing unbeaten on 52 and Gatting on 35.