THE semi-finals of the 2017 Church Times Cricket Cup took place on Monday.
Canterbury-Rochester played Lichfield at Brasenose College, Oxford.
A combination of tight bowling, variable bounce, and some unforced errors saw Lichfield lose early wickets. Precise shot-placement by Rylands, however, some quick running between wickets, and late powerful hitting by Searle took the side to 190-8 from their 40 overs.
In reply, Canterbury/Rochester started at a blistering pace, and then the opening pair were dismissed by sharp catches by Morgan and Ackroyd, and the game’s momentum changed for a while.
Slowly, though, with a couple of solid partnerships, Canterbury/Rochester got back into the game, and it began to seem as if victory was likely. Several more wickets fell, however, and the Canterbury/Rochester tail could not score at the required rate, putting Lichfield in sight of victory. Canterbury/Rochester lost their final wicket for 166, 25 runs short of a place in the final.
In the other semi-final, Leeds took on London, at the Long Whatton Cricket Ground, just outside Loughborough.
Leeds won the toss, and put London into bat. Some strong bowling left London in trouble at 21 for 2. A strong partnership between Lee and Kennedy, however, solidified London’s position, and they finished on 217 for 6.
In reply, Leeds started solidly, and at drinks were on 80-2, needing about 140 runs from 17 overs to win. But excellent tandem bowling from Allerton and Knowles resulted in a run of Leeds wickets, and they were all out for 128.
The final will take place on 7 September at the Walker Cricket Ground, Southgate.
Lichfield 190 for 8 (Rylands 61 n.o., Cranston 32; Lefroy 22; Jennings 3 for 31; Emslie 3 for 45). Canterbury/Rochester 166 all out (Clark 66, Mann 25, Lefroy 2 for 15; Hemming 2 for 26, Reeve 2 for 41). Lichfield won by 24 runs.
London 217 for 6 (Kennedy 86, Lee 62; Buttenshaw 2 for 20, Tyler 1 for 26). Leeds 128 all out (Groenwald 37, Earnshaw 33; Kendall 3 for 28, Allerton 2 for 32).
London won by 89 runs.