THE Church Times Cricket Cup has been running in parallel with the Cricket World Cup. This was the week when the finalists in each were decided, though the clergy will have to wait until 5 September for their final. The match at the Walker Ground, Southgate, north London, will be between Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham (CBD), who reach this stage for the first time, and London, who are regular finalists.
In a highly competitive game, CBD overcame Exeter in the semi-final played at Brewood Cricket Club on Monday. Exeter won the toss and put in CBD on a good pitch with heavy overhead conditions.
CBD openers Wills and Bullock acquitted themselves skilfully against an excellent opening spell from Taylor and Elliston. Taylor, in particular, bowled with pace and accuracy, and CBD were relieved that he collected only one wicket from a miserly spell that deserved more. Wills steered the innings with a splendid 104 not out, while Woolford pressed the accelerator for a brisk 50 not out, to finish the innings on 188 for 2.
In reply, Abbot quickly reduced Exeter to 29-3 with impressive swing and seam bowling, before a century stand between Hobbs and Mark Rylands looked to be winning the game for Exeter. At 120 for 3, with Exeter ahead of the run rate, the game took a dramatic turn when McNally bowled Hobbs with a blistering delivery, and Rylands was caught at long on soon afterwards. Woolford then mopped up the tail to clinch the game for CBD.
Both sides fielded splendidly, but particular mention should be made of Carter, who retired hurt when batting and could not keep wicket, but fielded bravely at mid-off on one leg, and Hulme who fielded at mid-on. Between them they saved enough runs to win the match. Hulme also took a crucial catch, if proof were needed that women players can compete on equal terms.
London and Leeds met in their semi-final at the picturesque setting of Oundle School in Northamptonshire. London won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that seemed the wrong one, as Leeds openers Carew and Earnshaw put on a healthy opening stand. But Cama came into the attack and removed the dangerous Carew with a lovely delivery for 33.
Allerton then removed Groenwald, Bavingdon, and Parkinson, leaving Leeds on 92-4. Earnshaw was joined by Christian, and the two of them put on 50, before Earnshaw was finally caught by Allerton off Lee for 77. The tail wagged a little, and Leeds closed on 180-7 from their 35 overs.
Leeds began their bowling in good fashion. Cama was bowled by Parkinson for 5 with the score on 11. But, in his first over, Babbington pulled a muscle and was unable to bowl again. Leeds also had Christian, who had been injured on the Archbishop’s tour, unable to move freely; and two other bowlers were missing, making their job hard. Kennedy joined Allerton at the wicket, and, after a cautious start, they formed an excellent partnership. Kennedy finished on 82 not out, and Allerton made 73 not out. London finished on 181 for 1 off 30 overs.
CBD 188 for 2 (Wills 104*, Woolford 50*; Taylor 18-1).
Exeter 145 all out (Hobbs 53, Rylands 46; Abbot 38-4, Woolford 17-4).
CBD won by 43 runs.
Leeds 180-7 (Carew 72, Earnshaw 33; Allerton 3-35, Kennedy 2-24).
London 181-1 (Allerton 73*, Kennedy 82*; Parkinson 1-32, Christian 0-26).
London won by nine wickets.