Penzance win twice to reach next stage of national event
Two victories for Penzance helped them reach the next stage of the competition PICTURE: PAUL WILLIAMS
By Gareth Davies
Penzance snuck through to the regional finals day of the Vitality Club T20 competition with two remarkable bowling displays in their quarter-final matches, which took place at Port Talbot, Wales, on Sunday.
The reward for Penzance is a trip to Basingstoke Cricket Club in Hampshire where they will firstly play Essex Premier League outfit Brentwood on August 15.
The victors then face the winners of Alton or Tunbridge Wells v Slough for a place in the national final, which will take place at Derby, the home of Derbyshire Cricket Club, on Sunday, September 19.
Penzance made hard work of making it through to play at Basingstoke after they were paired with Bradninch for the first quarter-final match. Penzance skipper Greg Smith won the toss and after choosing to field first, his side routed the Devonians for a paltry score of 70. Only captain Gary Chappell (17) and Will Squire (11*) made double figures as Giles Lawrence (3- 19), Ali Usman (3-3), Tom Dinnis (2-15) and Christian Purchase (2-13) bowled well to restrict Bradninch to such a small total.
The old adage of never judging a pitch or score until both sides have batted came to roost for Penzance as Purchase was out first ball when he was leg before to Ross Acton (1-26). Former Leicestershire county star
Tom Wells also failed to trouble the scorers when he was stumped and Penzance were in trouble at 5-2. Dan Lello (26) and Smith did halt the fall of wickets but the Penzance skipper and Antony Angove both went with the score on 27 to put Bradninch right back in the game.
Lello remained at the crease while the carnage was unfolding at the other end, but he fell with the score on 46. Lawrence and Usman both departed soon after to leave Penzance 17 runs from home with just three wickets left.
Penzance recovered, again, and had seemingly done enough but with just four needed, Rhys Brownfield went and Jonny Ludlam became the ninth man to fall.
In a tense finale, Glyn Furnival and Dinnis showed nerves of steel to guide Penzance home by one wicket. Their barest of all margins win meant that West of England Premier League side Potterne awaited in the area final and another dramatic low scoring affair ensued.
Usman top scored with 31 for Penzance as Smith saw the coin come down in his favour and he opted to bat first. The captain himself and Purchase both scored 15 with Wells (14) the next highest run score.
Penzance made 120-9 from their allocation although at 85-4, with overs and wickets in the bank, they would been disappointed not to score more.
For Wiltshire side Potterne, Josh De Souza, Graham Wiseman and Roshorn John all took two wickets. The Potterne chase got off to the worst possible star as after captain Basil Akram had launched Lawrence for six in the first over, he came charging out of his crease and Brownfield whipped off the bails.
The final ball of the first over saw Wiseman caught by Jack Paull and at 6-2, Penzance were in control already. Spin was Penzance’s trump card as Lawrence (3-16) and Usman (3-16) reduced Potterne to 46-6. The Cornish side looked favourites to run through the tail and claim an easy victory, but De Souza (24) and Jake Goodwin (37) had other ideas.
A seventh wicket partnership of exactly 50 put the game very much in the balance once more. Potterne’s brave challenge was ended in the penultimate over when Goodwin holed out to Smith as Ludlam took his first and only wicket. Needing 22 off the final over, Wells accounted for De Souza, Bramwell and Ethan Hutchens and Penzance were victorious by 13 runs.