Swardeston’s dreams of Natwest Twenty20 glory end on home turf
21:14 17 August 2014
Swardeston’s dreams of progressing to the Natwest Twenty20 national finals came to end on their own turf this evening.
The East Anglian Premier League outfit thumped Middlesex by 10 wickets to cruise to the south-east final and give themselves a chance of progressing to the country’s last eight. But they couldn’t see off Wanstead & Snaresbrook – who earlier in the day had disposed of Henley – as they won the event at The Common to keep alive their hopes of playing in the showcase, screened by Sky Sports, at Northampton next month.
Michael Eccles and George Walker took two wickets apiece as the hosts reduced Middlesex to 122-8 from their 20 overs in the first semi. And that score never troubled the 2010 winners (then called Cockspur Club Twenty20) as openers Peter Lambert and Jordan Taylor got their side over the line after just 11.3 overs. Lambert struck an impressive 63, which included seven fours and three sixes, while Taylor helped himself to nine boundaries on his way to 56.
Swardeston won the all-important toss against Wanstead in the final and opted to field. It looked to have been the right decision as three players were dismissed for single figures. However, wicketkeeper Matt Smith had other ideas and his 60 inspired the visitors to 146-6.
Worse was to come for the Norfolk team after that late rally as Lambert (4) and Taylor (3) were dismissed. And despite Richard Sims’ best efforts, his 24 was never going to help as his team-mates crumbled to a paltry 69-all-out with Azhar Janjua helping himself to four wickets.