Swardeston win Vitality Club Twenty20 to complete national double
PUBLISHED: 22:17 22 September 2019 | UPDATED: 22:17 22 September 2019
Swardeston claimed a slice of cricketing history on Sunday evening when they won the Vitality Club Twenty20 Championship at the Pattonair County Ground in Derby.
Having lifted the Royal London Club Championship trophy at Lord's last Monday the Norfolk side became the first team to complete a national double when they beat Toft by 21 runs in the final over the shorter distance.
In a match played under floodlights after a long rain delay, Swardeston made 178-7 in their 20 overs and then bowled their Cheshire opponents our for 157.
After being asked to bat first Swardeston got off to a steady start, with opener Jordan Taylor leading way with 45 and Callum Taylor, Stephen Gray and skipper Joe Gatting also making useful contributions.
At 102-4 Swardeston's total then needed a boost and it came from a swift partnership of 63 between Peter Lambert and Lewis Denmark who made 33 and 39 respectively after each facing 21 deliveries.
Toft were soon in trouble in reply, slipping to 9-2 as Callum Taylor struck twice. Robert Sehmi and Andrew Jackson then gave them some hope by putting on 54 for the third wicket before Freddie Ruffell had the latter caught by Jordan Taylor for 28. Sehmi quickly followed for 25, caught behind off Richard Sims with the required rate having risen to nearly 11 an over at the halfway stage.
Toft were far from finished however, with Henry Hughes and James Scott adding a hard-hitting 64 in a stand that was finally ended when Hughes became another victim for Gray off the bowling of Gatting. When Scott then went for 41 the race was all but run and Toft eventually finished 21 runs short, with Callum Taylor taking 5-18 in his four overs.
Swardeston had booked their place in the final with a comfortable 47 run win over Surrey side Cranleigh which was completed before the arrival of the rain which caused the second semi-final to be reduced to 12 overs a side.
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After being asked to bat first Gatting's side recovered from an indifferent start to make 200-6 in their 20 overs. The innings was built around a fourth wicket partnership of 99 between Lambert and Gatting, who made 70 and 61 respectively. Cranleigh were always up against it in reply and finished on 153-8.
There will be just three Norfolk teams in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League next season after North Runcton were well beaten in the play-off final.
Sawston and Babraham were the team to move up after claiming a comprehensive six wicket victory over the Cecil Amey Norfolk Alliance champions in Cambridgeshire on Saturday.
With Vauxhall Mallards folding at the end of the season due to a lack of players it will be left to Swardeston, Horsford and Great Witchingham to fly the flag for the county in 2020.
Without the services of their influential overseas player Kirwin Christoffels Runcton struggled with the bat and were dismissed for just 107 in the 50 overs a side contest.
They made a solid start, passing 40 for the loss of only one wicket as openers George Rawlings (17) and Jack Major (12) dealt well with the new ball.
But the home side then took charge, with only Ben Skipper (25) and Ben Coote (20) getting past the teens.
Sawston needed less than 17 overs to wrap up victory, with a top score of 42 from opener Waqas Hussain setting them on the road to promotion.
All the bowlers were expensive although Major at least had the consolation of taking a couple of wickets.
Runcton's defeat means promotion and relegation will go ahead as normal in the Alliance, with two teams going up and two teams going down. Had they move up to the EAPL it would have meant an extra place to fill in the Premier Division.