It wasn’t the sunniest night of the season so far, and the school game using the pitch before over-running meant the game didn’t get going till late. The captains decided on 20 overs a side though and The Blades won the toss and batted.
The well-established opening partnership of Farmer and Richardson began proceedings, and set about the attack. In only the second over Farmer hit the first six of the night at the Postage Stamp Arena, and he was soon on his way to another retirement after dismissals in the last two games. Hamer and Whitear M both smacked unbeaten scores, Hamer’s 26 including five fours and Whitear’s 25 coming in just three overs.
The Blades were scoring freely and the 100 came up in the 14th over with still no wickets down. Richardson’s solid support innings brought him a deserved 25 and a standing ovation from the pavilion. Fay H stepped up in the 18th over for his first match of this season as the score continued to build. The late wickets of Hurst, run out, and Galpin, hitting out on the last ball, didn’t dampen the spirits as The Blades amassed a healthy haul of 142-2.
The Sporty is infamous for its 1 or 4 boundaries, and a rate of seven an over still leaves the fielding side a little nervous. The Blades innings had consisted of a mixture of miserly and high scoring overs, and as the Shirley innings unfolded in a similar way the sound of nails being bitten around the ground was deafening. Shirley had helped themselves to 45-0 from the first six overs when Galpin bowled two in quick succession and the pendulum swung Bladeswards. Meering opened his spell with a miserly two run over, Farmer claimed a scalp as Hamer took a fine catch on the fence. Again though, the short boundaries came into play as the score increased, but Whitear J took two wickets to retaliate. Blades were lively in the field, their two Academy players in particular. The over-by-over scores were running side by side for the majority of the innings, but Shirley hit the accelerator around the three-quarter mark. With three overs to go, Shirley needed just 10 runs for victory but with 6 down, Blades sensed a result too. It wasn’t to be a sixth consecutive win for the Albanians however, with 10 balls to spare, a huge six saw Shirley victorious in this thriller with 146-6.
RESULT: Shirley WIN by 4 wickets
Champagne moment contenders:
Richardson’s solid 25
Hamer’s second retirement of the season
Hamer’s boundary catch from Farmer’s bowling
Whitear J’s two wickets