London and Lichfield square up again

11 July 2014

IN THE 2014 Church Times Cricket Cup final, last year's finalists, London and Lichfield, will battle it out again, after overcoming Guildford and Leicester this week.

In the first semi-final, Guildford won the toss against London in a match that was pre-arranged for 40 overs, owing to players' PCC and other commitments. The Guildford skipper, Owen, decided to bat first, and he and Martin got stuck into the London bowling. Runs flowed freely. At 20 overs, Guildford were 99-0, and swiftly moved on to 122-0.

Owen eventually fell lbw to Marshall for 39; and just three balls later came the turning point. Emslie played forward to a ball from Marshall, got an outside edge, and Downes flung himself full length to take a stunning one-handed catch.

London's confidence returned, and the match began to swing in their favour. Martin went in Marshall's next over, caught at mid-off for an excellent 67, and from there, with tighter bowling from London, the innnings petered out. Guildford finished on 150-8.

In reply, London started fairly comfortably, until Moffat gambled on a fourth run to a long boundary, and was run out for five - a theme that was to plague the innings. Lee followed shortly after, lbw to Thomas for nine, which gave Guildford some hope. Allerton then joined Beeby at the crease, and began to rebuild things, despite some tight Guildford bowling. When Allerton fell lbw for 31, with the score at 91 for three, things seemed to be comfortable.

The new batsman, Rose, then inexplicably took a leaf out of the Boycott school of calling, and was run out for seven. Chrystal soon followed, run out for nought, and, when Marshall held out for two, London were suddenly 120-6. Guildford had not managed to dislodge Beeby, however. He was joined by Downes, the wicket keeper, and carried his bat for a magnificent 78 not out, which saw London home with five overs to spare. The last 20 runs came from five glorious boundaries from Beeby, and London were through to their third consecutive final. In the bright sunshine at Tamworth, Lichfield won the toss, and batted first against Leicester. An outstanding innings from Cranston, who is having the season of his life with the bat, and who was well supported by the stylish Hack, put on 170 for the first wicket before Hack was caught off the bowling of Burnham for 48.

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Cranston was eventually out for 140; and good hitting from Darlington and Rylands helped Lichfield to reach 316 for four from their 50 overs. In reply, Leicester struggled to get going, with the exception of the impressive Orridge, who scored 62.Hart was the pick of the Lichfield bowlers, taking four wickets for two runs in 2.3 overs; while Taylor did the damage to the Leicester top-order batsmen by taking three wickets for 21 in nine overs.

It will be Lichfield's fourth final in five years.

 

Guildford 150-8 (Martin 67, Owen 39; Marshall 3-35, Kendall 1-10). London 151-6 (Beeby 78*, Allerton 31; Martin 0-28, Thomas 1-35).

London beat Guildford by four wickets.

Lichfield 316 for 4 (Cranston 140, Darlington 38, Rylands 47*). Leicester 108 all-out (Orridge 62).

Lichfield beat Leicester by 208 runs.

*not out

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