THE one-day international this week might have generated headlines — but there is another tournament taking place that features sportsmen playing at the peak of their abilities: the 2018 Church Times Cricket Cup.
The quarter-final matches are due to take place on Monday (or, in case of bad weather, on Thursday). The winner of each group plays the runner-up of the nearest region.
Manchester won group 1, even though they suffered a heavy defeat to Leeds on Thursday of last week. On a sunny day in Manchester, Leeds won the toss and elected to bat on a firm and dry pitch. After an early loss, Groenwald and Bavington resurrected the innings, scoring 109 and 61 respectively.
Arnold added a quickfire 55, and Christian added a useful 29, ending on 270 for 5. Gattenby picked up two wickets.
In reply, Manchester started brightly, but early wickets from Buttanshaw, and, later, Christian put Leeds on the front foot. Cowling scored 26 valuable runs, but the home side were bowled out for 111.
The Roses battle was, on this occasion, white over red.
Manchester will play Lincoln, the runners-up of group 2, in the quarter-finals.
Lichfield, usually one of the tournament’s strongest sides, finished runner-up in group 1, and will play Coventry, the winners of group 2, in the quarter-finals. Leeds, who finished third in group 1, were unlucky not to proceed to the quarter-finals, having been denied the opportunity to take 10 points against Carlisle/Blackburn, which was called off at the last minute. They remain a team to watch in future tournaments.
The other quarter-final matches will be between London (the winners of group 3) and Winchester/Chichester, the runners-up in group 4; and Bristol (the winners of group 4) and Canterbury/Rochester, the runners-up in group 3.
Weather permitting, we will have the quarter-final results in next week’s Church Times.
Leeds 270 for 5 (Groenwald 109, Bavington 61, Arnold 55, Christian 29; Emmerson 1 for 21, Gatenby 2 for 19, Thompson 1 for 38, Hills 1 for 15). Manchester 122 all out (Wickham 14, Cowling 26, Hills 17, Thompson 16; Arnold 1 for 21, Buttanshaw 3 for 33, Christian 3 for 23, Bavington 1 for 16, Mason 1 for 24). Leeds won by 148 runs.