Downham Town CC secured a date at Lord’s, the home of cricket, after travelling to Edgbaston to represent Norfolk in the ECB 6-a-side Club Championship Regional Indoor League finals last Sunday.
Town were paired up with Herefordshire champions Burghill & Tillington CC in the Semi-Final and although not at their best with the ball restricted their opponents to 106 from their 12 overs with wickets shared between the bowlers and a couple of sharp stumpings from Tom Tansley.
Addam Todd and skipper Pat Yates got the reply off to a steady start against some hostile bowling. Todd was trapped LBW and Joss Stuart joined Yates. The pair batted sensibly and chipped away at the total.
Both were retired out on 25 and it was left to Angus Stuart and Tansley to see Town home with an over to spare.
Final opponents were impressive young Birmingham League Premier Division side Warmley who cruised through their semi.
Warmley chose to bat first and dominated Town’s bowlers from the off. Town’s ill discipline with wides didn’t help and the run rate was around 12 per over for most of the innings.
Joss Stuart was the pick of the bowlers as Town battled away.
A bizarre last ball eight, including a turned down stumping, a hurried single and then the umpire calling a wide, compounded by a boundary when the ball was bowled again, saw Warmley post an above par 140 in their 12 overs.
Todd smashed the first ball of Town’s innings for four as Town set about the Warmley bowlers. 12 more runs came from the next four balls before Todd was caught behind. Yates was in good form by now and was soon retired on 25.
Town lost three wickets before the end of the sixth over leaving Angus Stuart and the returning Yates to get 60 runs from 36 balls. Both players played magnificently and managed to keep up with the run rate as Warmley side lost some discipline.
The pair entered the last over with the scores level as Yates was finally out for a brilliant 61 caught behind hooking a lively delivery, leaving Stuart (38no), who played his best ever indoor innings, to guide a ball through gully for what seemed a very unlikely win at the halfway stage.
Town now head to Lord’s on Sunday, March 26 and in their semi-final play previous National Indoor champions Sarisbury Athletic who won the competition in 2015 and were runners up in 2013.
Town’s semi-final is at 11am with any spectators welcome with free entry into the Lord’s Indoor School and free parking at the Lord’s Car Park.
Please let Duncan Lanchester or Pat Yates know if you are coming along to support the lads as a Tour of Lord’s is arranged after the Semi for players and spectators.
DTCC’s final indoor practice net is at the Downham Sports Centre on Sunday, March 19 at 10am. New players welcome.