THE group stages of the 2017 Church Times Cricket Cup are over, and the quarter finals are set to take place on Monday (or, in case of bad weather — which has been known to happen — on Thursday).
Leeds emerged victorious in group 1, and will play Norwich/Ely, the runners-up of group 2, in the quarter finals. Group 2’s winners were Coventry, who will play Lichfield, who came second in group 1.
It will come as little surprise to seasoned observers that London sailed through to the final eight, after winning group 3. They will play Bristol. At the time of going to press, it was not clear who the group-3 runner-up would be: a match between St Albans and Canterbury/Rochester, scheduled to take place yesterday, was due to have settled that.
Canterbury/Rochester put themselves in the running for a quarter-final place after beating Southwark at Rainham Cricket Club, in a 35-over match. In scorching heat, on a flat and even wicket, Southwark batted first, clocking up 125 for 9. Strong contributions came from Sewell (36) and Stonier (24), but tight fielding from Canterbury kept the score relatively low. Nelson, Fitter, and Jennings shared the wickets.
Canterbury got off to a slow start in reply, pinned down early on by accurate bowling from Daley, whose five-over spell included four maidens (two of them wicket maidens), and only a single boundary.
Canterbury then went up a gear, with Muthalaly (50 n.o.) and Jennings (29), putting in strong showings at the crease. The total was reached mostly through heavy hitting: 23 boundaries and a six made up 98 of Canterbury’s 128. The required total was reached with a dozen overs to spare.
Winchichester put themselves in line for a quarter-final place after beating group-4 rivals Bristol on Monday, on one of the hottest days of the year.
The joint Winchester/Chichester team won the toss and opted to bat, with only 9 men. They went on to score 114 all out from 31 overs. Opener Tuck clocked up 44, and Imtiaz scored a solid 26. Wilson and Sellers each took two wickets for Bristol.
After lunch, Bristol made a solid enough start, with Walker putting on 14, Coates 9 (run out thanks to Scrivener’s strong throwing arm), and Rylands 29 (before being caught and bowled by Etheridge).
But a collapse followed: five wickets were lost in three overs for only six runs, Etheridge and Davis sharing the scalps. Keen and Walton managed to stay at the crease for 15 overs, and got tantalisingly close to Winchichester’s total. But, at 112, Bristol again fell victim to Scrivener’s throwing arm, handing victory to Winchichester.
Three teams in group 4, Winchichester, Bristol, and Salisbury, ended the group on level points.The editor’s ruling, based on the games between the competing sides, confirmed Winchichester as winners, Bristol as runners-up, and put Salisbury in third place. The decision was disappointing for Salisbury, who do not progress to the quarter-finals, but it was received graciously by the team’s captain.
So, Winchichester will play the runner up of group 3 (at the time of going to press, either St Albans or Canterbury/Rochester), and Bristol will play London.
Southwark 125 for 9 from 32 overs (Sewell 36, Stonier 24, Daley 15 n.o.; Nelson 3 for 6, Fitter 3 for 33, Jennings 2 for 13). Canterbury/Rochester 128 for 4 from 23 overs (Muthalaly 50 n.o, Jennings 29, Fitter 15; Daley 2 for 4, Coulson 1 for 4, Percival 1 for 5. Canterbury/Rochester won by 5 wickets.
Winchichester 114 all out from 31 overs (Tuck 44, Imtiaz 26, Etheridge 18, Scrivener 13 n.o.; Wilson 2 wickets, Sellers 2 wickets, Watson 1 wicket, Keen 1 wicket, Walton 1 wicket). Bristol 112 all out (Walker 14, Coates 9, Rylands 29; Davis 3 for 7, Etheridge 4 for 5). Winchichester won by 2 runs.