Cumberland edge home in quarter final thriller.
On a glorious day at Ernest Pass, home of Barrow CC, Cumberland took on Suffolk in the NCCA quarter final and came out victorious by the closest of margins.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first hoping to put the hosts under easy pressure. Sam Dutton and Michael Slack opened the innings , and Cumberland soon found themselves in trouble as Dutton, Slack and Nathan Waterston were all dismissed cheaply leaving the home side at 25-3. The experienced skipper, Gary Pratt was joined by Matthew Semple and the pair began to build a steady partnership until the former mis timed a drive and was smartly caught for 19 and Cumberland were 74-4. The next partnership between Paul Hindmash and Semple was one that began slowly as the ball continued to nip around on a good cricket wicket making the batsman work for their runs, but their priority was to take the game deep into the innings. Semple was first to pass 50 before he caught and bowled adding just 1 more to his total 51 from 104 balls in a partnership worth 70, Cumberland 144-4. Hindmarsh was now beginning to play some big shots, including 2 sixes which disappeared through the back windows of cars in successive overs.
The innings was beginning to get some impetus when Hindmarsh was LBW for 52 from 84 balls including 4 sixes and 2 fours. Thomas Benn made 2, Nico Watt, James McGown and Sam Sharp all made good lower order contributions of 11, 12 and 22 respectively, and with Matthew Siddall 9 not out the Cumberland innings finished on 213-9. Darren Batch the pick of the Suffolk bowling with 3-33 off his 10 overs.
With the score considered possibly slightly under par, it was vital the home side got off to a good start, but they couldn’t have dreamt of the one they got as McGown (2) Slack (1) Siddall (3) and Sharp (1) made inroads into the Suffolk batting to leave the visitors reeling at 62-7. As is often the case with Minor Counties sides, many of the lower order players can bat, and this proved the case as Josh Cantrell (63) Tom Rash (21) and Adam Mansfield (52) batted excellently to keep the visitors in the game – the Cantrell/Mansfield partnership putting on 98 before the former was bowled by Hindmarsh in what was probably the decisive wicket.
Rash returned after retiring injured in an attempt to help Mansfield get Suffolk over the line, but good death bowling by Sharp and Hindmarsh backed with excellent fielding meant Suffolk needed 13 off the final over but finishing 5 short on 208-9.
An excellent game of cricket played in the right spirit, with a good crowd watching and Ernest Pass looking splendid in the sunshine.
Cumberland move into the semi final in a few weeks time, venue to be confirmed.
Link to score card here ; https://cumbriaccc.play-cricket.com/website/results/4937557
Full gallery of images here ; https://www.flickr.com/photos/ianally/albums/72157719612054385