PHOTO GALLERY: Sprowston upset Vauxhall Mallards to win their first Norfolk Twenty20 Cup
Spinner Will Hampson stole the show as Sprowston upset Vauxhall Mallards last night to lift the Norfolk Twenty20 Cup for the first time.
Hampson ripped through Mallards' middle order, taking four for 13 as his side won the 20-over showcase convincingly by 46 runs.
The sides took to Horsford's Manor Park ground seven days later than they had hoped after rain forced last week's scheduled final to be postponed.
This time, sunshine and a large crowd greeted both clubs as they took to the crease to win the prestigious final – and collect �1,000 prize money.
While higher-level East Anglian Premier League Mallards may have been favourites, Sprowston had already beaten EAPL side Great Witchingham in the semi-finals.
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Former Mallards star Rob Purton, who won the inaugural title with his former club in 2005, was in inspired form as he helped his side reach 50 for one in just five overs. A couple of sweetly-struck fours moved him along to 31 before he sliced a Tom Brice delivery to Stuart Lipshaw.
That brought skipper Simon Chipperfield to the crease and he soon set about bludgeoning his way to the night's top score of 48. His near-half century came off just 29 balls as he sent four huge sixes crashing out of the field and into a sea of parked cars.
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While his side slipped from 60 for two to 96 for five, Chipperfield continued his captain's knock to ease his side past 100. And he was soon joined by Sam Hales, who added a much-needed 31 off 26 balls.
Sprowston's talisman was finally removed in the 19th over but by then he had already done the damage by setting Mallards 157 for victory. Lipshaw – who ended as the competition's leading wicket taker with 12 scalps – ended with fine figures of three for 28 and two catches to his name.
But it was time for another bowler, namely man-of-the-match Hampson, pictured, to take centre stage as Mallards crumbled in reply.
Ashaay Nangia removed opener Matt Plater, caught and bowled, in the second over and apart from Carl Amos' 24 and Sam Plater's unbeaten 27, Mallards struggled.
Spinner Hampson did his damage in the middle of Vauxhall's innings as the EAPL side chased 10 runs an over from the half-way point. At 65 for three, he soon had the Mallards batting line-up in disarray with three quick wickets, two of which came in successive deliveries.
And from that point, Sprowston never allowed their opponents to recover as they closed in on a famous victory by restricting Mallards to 111 for nine and a deserved – and in the end – fairly comfortable victory.
Chipperfield said: 'Our total was par for the course but we fielded and bowled better and it's why we won the game. In Twenty20 we've tried to emphasise on basic cricket. We've not been flamboyant but it's paid dividends.'
Sprowston's skipper will be hoping for more of the same when his in-form cup side face Garboldisham in the Carter Cup semi-final tomorrow.