Lord’s Taverners Corporate Cricket Challenge 2016 Indoor Tournament: Finals
Sports Gazette reports from the MCC Indoor Cricket Academy on the finals night of the tournament
Sticky Wicket 115/3 beat Simmons & Simmons 114/2 by 3 wickets
The air at the MCC Cricket Academy seemed to be filled with excitement and tension. The team who could hold on to their nerves would take the trophy home. Yes ! It was the finals night ! Simmons & Simmons’ openers walked in to bat. It was a perfect start to the finals as the openers, Kunal (25*) and Ewan (25*) started off with boundaries. Couple of magnificent boundaries in the first over meant they managed to pile up 18 runs. This was followed by a six. The openers projected their power-hitting ability. This was combined with rotating the strike at regular intervals. By the time the sixth over was bowled, Simmons & Simmons had put up 66 runs on the board, without losing a wicket. Imran (20) made a useful contribution towards his team’s total, before he was runout by Gordon. But this happened only in the ninth over. Sticky Wicket failed to pick up wickets early on and Simmons & Simmons kept building partnerships. A total mix up in the tenth over led to a run-out at the wicketkeeper’s end. Simmons & Simmons were targeting a minimum score of 110 runs. They went on to score 114 runs. Sticky wicket had a decent start as the openers, Revell (25*) and Jeff (23) made sure they make it easy for the batsmen following them. Bowlers, Kumar and Imran bowled well. some good swing bowling was on display. Jeff was run-out in the fifth over. This was followed by another quick wicket of Gordon (4). Brown (23) and Abid (25*) hit a handful of boundaries. A massive six hit by Abid in the eighth over almost sealed the deal for Sticky Wicket. The ninth over saw another wicket fall before Sticky Wicket finished it off in the same over. The extras which included 12 wides and 4 no balls must have hurt Simmons & Simmons. But the commendable part about the match was that this is the first time Simmons & Simmons have reached the finals.
Barclays Capital 81/3 beat Sticky Wicket 80/5 by 3 wickets
After a convincing victory over Simmons & Simmons, Sticky Wicket had a outcome against Barclays Capital. Barclays lost their opener Tom (7) in the form of a run-out in the second over itself. Tom's partner, Jeff (9) too didn't last long at the crease. Jeff attempted an aerial shot but the ball sat comfortably in the hands of the fielder. On the other had, JG (39*) was the lone saving grace for Sticky Wicket. JG kept losing partners at the other end. The third wicket was in the form of a hit wicket. This was followed by another quick wicket. Apart from managing to take wickets at regular invervals, the Barclays bowlers did not allow the batsmen to settle in and take singles easily. Unlike Sticky Wicket, Barclays Capital did not have a single star performer. It was a complete team effort with multiple contributors. Opener Vish remained unbeaten on 25. While his partner Aaron fell on 11. Krishna (15) looked promising after his two sixes but failed to stick around at the crease. The next two wickets fell within a span of two overs each. Mark, Tom and ABDY picked up a wicket each. In a comparatively low scoring game, it was a comfortable win for Barclays Capital.
JP Morgan 78/3 beat Sticky Wicket 77/4 by 3 wickets
After losing to Barclays Capital, Sticky Wicket now had to face the tournament's most successful team, JP Morgan. David, who was later announced as the Player of the Night, picked up the first wicket in the very first over. JP Morgan seemed to be on fire as they dismissed another batsman in the second over. Vishal made sure Jonno (6) did not reach the bowlers end. And Jonno was run-out. The third and fourth wicket fell in the fifth over. While Geoff (38*) opened the innings, Ewan (17*) produced a few hits in the last over. JP Morgan leaked only one run in the form of a wide. apart from that, they bowled tightly and gave the Sticky Wicket batsmen a tough time. Chasing 77, JP Morgan would have wanted a good start. But it was a pretty slow start for the openers. Saleem (4) was run-out in the third over. Meanwhile his partner Dhanush (25) showed some intent.Dhanush hit the ball and it travelled to the boundary like a rocket. Everett (26) supported Dhanush well in etching a fine partnership at a crucial stage. Both, Dhanush and Everett returned to the pavillion in quick succession. Vishal (8*) with his mammoth six and David (7*), with his sweetly-timed four saw their team through.
JP Morgan ended Barclays Capital's winning streak. Barclays Capital won the tournament in the last three seasons. But this time around, Barclays had to settle as the Runners-up. JP Morgan became the new champions after an all-round effort that resulted in an entertaining game !