LONDON sealed the top place in group 3 — and a place in the quarter-finals — on Tuesday, with a victory over Guildford/St Albans at the Normandy Cricket Club.
Guildford/St Albans won the toss and, noting a very green wicket, opted to bowl. London began cautiously as Matt Prior bowled tightly, having his reward when Beeby was caught from behind from an excellent rising delivery. Lee and Knowles then put on 49 for the second wicket, before Adam Prior then got in on the action, and three wickets fell for 14 runs, leaving London on 116 for 5. London’s tail then wagged to good effect, with partnerships between Rose and Kendall and Rose and Hellings — and a one-ball cameo from Downes — taking London to 183 for 7 from 35 overs.
In reply, Guildford/St Albans started briskly, with the in-form Gibbs hitting some streaky boundaries. The tide turned towards London with a fine spell of bowling from Kendall, who bowled Middlebrook and Akbar in quick succession. When Gibbs was caught by Watkins off the bowling of Knowles, the innings lost momentum; but a fine partnership between the Prior brothers helped Guildford to reach 116 for 7 from their 35 overs.
Canterbury/Rochester beat Southwark at Thames Ditton. Southwark batted first, reaching 120 for 8 from the allotted 30 overs. Canterbury/Rochester made a strong showing in reply, however, going on to win by six wickets, and securing a place in the quarter-finals. As runners up in group 3, they will play the winners of group 4, Bristol.
WinChichester played Oxford at Ripley on Monday. Each team could only muster nine players, so a tenth man from the batting side fielded in both innings (clergy cricketers are nothing if not resourceful).
WinChichester won to the toss and chose to bat first. They lost an early wicket, Imtiaz falling in the first over after only six runs had been scored, but King and Kemp then put on a partnership of 155 in the next 24 overs. WinChichester ended their 35 overs on 243 for 5 — an outstanding score.
Oxford went into bat after lunch, and made an unpromising start, Johnson being run out in the second over. White and Glenny then put on a partnership of 25, but Oxford collapsed under the onslaught of WinChichester bowling. Oxford were all out for 45 after only 14 overs.
WinChichester finish runners up in group 4, and will play London in the quarter-finals.
Lichfield, one of the cup’s strongest sides, played Chester/Liverpool on a glorious day at Crewe Vagrants CC, on Thursday of last week. Lichfield won the toss and batted first. The pitch offered variable bounce, but Cranston and Gregory negotiated the steady bowling well to score 59 for the first wicket. Cranston continued to an impressive 64, but, with four wickets falling in the space of 10 overs, it was left to Lefroy (39 not out) to hold the rest of the innings together as Lichfield finished on 201 for 6. The Chester/Liverpool bowlers shared the wickets, with Curry and Razzle being the most economical.
In reply, the Chester/Liverpool batsmen struggled to score freely against tight Lichfield bowling, with only Corbett (13 not out) providing sustained resistance. Rylands took an extremely sharp chance off Goodwin, which evoked memories of his time as a Chester player as the nine men of Chester/Liverpool were all out for 68. Hemming, Skidmore, and Gregory were the pick of the Lichfield bowlers, with 2 wickets apiece.
As the Church Times went to press, Lichfield looked likely to secure a quarter-final place, although group 1’s final places would only be decided by the outcome of matches that were due to take place yesterday. If Manchester beat Leeds and Lichfield beat Chester, Manchester and Lichfield would reach the quarter-finals. But if Lichfield was to suffer a shock defeat to Chester, and Leeds were to beat Manchester, then Manchester and Leeds would go through to the final eight.
Coventry had been due to play Leicester on Monday, but the latter side was unable to field a team, handing Coventry the points. Coventry finished top of group 2, and will play the runner up of group 1 in the quarter-finals.
London 183 for 7 (Knowles 37, Rose 30 n.o.; Prior 3 for 23, Burt 2 for 22). Guildford/St Albans 116 for 7 (Gibbs 30, A Prior 27; Kendall 2 for 15, Knowles 2 for 18). London won by 67 runs.
Southwark 120 for 8. Canterbury/Rochester XXX . Canterbury/Rochester won by six wickets.
WinChichester 243 for 5 (King 73, Kemp 92, Scrivener 26 n.o., Etheridge 16 n.o.; Goulston 1 for 32, Bentley 1 for 30, Hamilton-Box 3 for 57). Oxford 45 all out (Johnson 3, White 12, Glenny 14, Hamilton 3, Bently 4, Montague 3). WinChichester won by 198 runs.
Lichfield 201 for 6 (Cranston 64, Lefroy 39 n.o., Gregory 18, Ackroyd 18, Hemming 17; Page 2 for 51). Chester/Liverpool 68 all out (Corbett 13 n.o.; Skidmore 2 for 8, Hemming 2 for 14, Gregory 2 for 15). Lichfield won by 133 runs.