Path to the 2007 Final

This year’s road to Lord’s has proved a longer road to travel than usual with the semi finals postponed several times due to bad weather.
In the first round Northamptonshire VI.XI.NS beat Eastern Vipers 2-0 on a bowl out after torrential rain caused the game to be abandoned without a ball
being bowled. Alastair Provan and Dave Gavrilovic scored the two points in the bowl out.

The other first round tie saw perennial under achievers London Sports take on an injury hit Sussex Sharks side. London hampered their own chances by only
turning up with nine players. One of whom, their captain and star batsman Chetan Davdra, turned up so late he could only bat at number seven as his side were bowled out for 137. They only got that many thanks to a superb 66 from the much improved Shakir Iqbal. The injury hit Sussex side still had to get
the runs though, which they managed with four wickets to spare thanks largely to Joe Harrison climbing off his sick bed to hit a brilliant 61 not out.

The quarter finals started with Yorkshire VICC conceding their game at South Wales Dragons to concentrate on their first ever season in the league.
In the other game in the bottom half of the draw, Birmingham SCVI hosted Sussex Sharks in the closest game of this year’s competition.
Birmingham, playing without their captain and star all-rounder Kurt Butler, could only manage 129 as their young side suffered from nerves and inexperience; throwing away some top order wickets including their best opener Ben Quinn, run out for 14. Matthew Ringland and Jack Kirkby got into their 20’s but tight Sharks bowling led by their captain Andy Dalby-Welsh with three wickets kept the score down. No Sussex batsman scored more than Joe Harrison’s 29 but more than 50 extras helped push the scoring rate along. Sharks had a late collapse – thanks largely to four wickets from Jack Kirkby – but Sussex edged over the line to win by three wickets.

In the top half of the draw neither game was close. Warwickshire Bears led by their three England stars, put in an incredible batting performance to wrack
up a huge total against Northamptonshire. Andy Powers with 84, Nathan Foy 70 and Luke Sugg 64 helped push the score to a massive 367 for 5 with the only resistance coming from Dave Keeling who took 2 for 34. Despite Jagdisch Pata hitting one of the biggest sixes seen in VI cricket, Northants collapsed to
83 all out as a phenomenal bowling performance of 6 for 17 from Luke Sugg shredded their batting line up.

In the fourth quarter final, an under-strength Northern Galloways side were bowled out for just 145 by Metro. John Prasher top scored with 29 as David
Townley, Rob Kershaw and Rory Field led the bowling attack; Dave claiming three wickets and Rob and Rory two each. Matt Dean then took the attack to the Galloways bowlers, smashing a rapid 104 not out as Rory Field played junior partner at the other end and let his England team-mate dominate the game. Field was dismissed near the end but Metro still wrapped up a nine wicket win.

Rain held up both semi finals for weeks but eventually Metro’s game with Warwickshire got started. Warwickshire racked up 196 all out, thanks largely to
80 from Luke Sugg. Roy Smith took four wickets as the Bears were dismissed in the thirtieth over. Metro made a strong start, reaching 31 for 1 after five
overs before rain forced the game to be abandoned. This meant a bowl out to see who would reach the final and the highly prized trip to Lord’s. Metro held
their nerve and reached yet another Lord’s final as they triumphed 2-1 over their Midlands opponents.

When the South Wales v Sussex semi final was finally played at the fourth time of asking, Dragons were put into bat. Sussex shared around the five wickets they took in the innings, but no bowler could get on top of the Dragons batsmen and Damion Corrigan struck a masterful 135 not out. Corrigan – who along with Dave Wood who hit 40 not out – finished off the innings, making sure Dragons posted a massive target. Sussex got off to a terrific start with Andy Dalby-Welsh and Joe Harrison sharing a 51 run opening stand, but once that opening pair departed, Simon Ledwith, Steve Troy and Laura Perry were the only other batters to make double figures as Damion Corrigan, 4 for 30, and Andy Law, 3 for 43, took control of the match to eventually dismiss the Sharks for a creditable 167. This gave the Dragons a 124 run win so we will have a Dragons v Metro final for a third year in a row. All that remains to be seen is whether the Dragons have it in them to repeat last year’s feat or whether Metro will recover to further demonstrate their overall dominance in this fixture.

Round 1
Northamptonshire VI.XI.NS beat Eastern Vipers – Match abandoned due to rain Northants beat Vipers 2-0 on bowl out

London Sports v Sussex Sharks
London 137 all out; Shakir Iqbal 66, M Burchell 3 for 28
Sussex 138 for 6; J Harrison 61 not out, R Mackenzie 3 for 29
Sussex won by 4 wickets

Quarter Finals
Northamptonshire VI.XI.NS v Warwickshire Bears
Warwickshire 367 for 5; A Powers 84, N Foy 70, L Sugg 64
Northants 83 all out; L Sugg 6 for 17
Warwickshire won by 284 runs

Northern Galloways v Metro
Northern 145 all out; J Prashar 29, D Townley 3 for 25
Metro 146 for 1; M Dean 104 not out
Metro won by 9 wickets

South Wales Dragons v Yorkshire VICC
South Wales won after Yorkshire conceded the match to concentrate on league commitments

Birmingham SCVI v Sussex Sharks
Birmingham 129 all out; M Ringland 27, A Dalby-Welsh 3 for 15
Sussex 131 for 7; J Harrison 29, J Kirkby 4 for 27
Sussex won by 3 wickets

Semi Finals
Warwickshire Bears V Metro
Warwickshire 196 all out; L Sugg 80, R Smith 4 wickets
Metro 31 for 1
Match abandoned due to rain Metro beat Warwickshire 2-1 on bowl out

South Wales Dragons v Sussex Sharks
South Wales 291 for 5; D Corrigan 135 not out, D Wood 40 not out
Sussex 167 all out; S Troy 24, D Corrigan 4 for 30, A Law 3 for 43
South Wales won by 124 run