Mid CC’s triangular T20 tussle with the Wolves and Bears from Toulouse CC in the ACCSO Southern pool ended in a three-way tie on Sunday with each team winning and losing one match.
But based on runs per over, the Wolves mauled their opponents and made it through to the Blevins Franks T20 finals on 2 June and will play Damazan CC from the Northern Pool.
After the Wolves had beaten the Bears in the Toulouse derby, Midi took the field against the Bears. Midi’s captain Dom George won the toss and decided to bat. Clean striking from Joris Verdaasdonk (34), supported by Ben Morgan (17) and Kashifa Safi (13), saw Midi race to 61 for one after just six overs.
However, Midi’s middle order found it difficult to come to terms with the variations in line and length sent down by the Bears’ bowlers, and the middle third of the innings produced just 38 runs for the loss of four wickets. Mark Hayden’s dismissal for a painfully-compiled six allowed the tail to wag in the final overs, with a quick-fire 14 not out from Waseem Akhtar helping Midi to post a reasonably competitive total of 146 from their 20 overs.
Midi’s quick bowlers then made good use of the skiddy plastic pitch at Toulouse to reduce the Bears to 37 for three after eight overs. The Bears’ batsmen found Midi’s medium pacers more to their liking, however, with fully one-quarter of the required runs coming off just two overs from Naeem Abbas and Verdaasdonk.
The Bears’ Rama (51), supported by Michael (42 not out ) brought the score to 140 before Rama was run out in the 19th over with the Bears just six short of their target. Possibly a little belatedly, Midi brought the field in to cut off easy singles, but Michael responded by striking two boundaries off the final over to give the Bears victory with three balls to spare.
Midi’s narrow defeat left the team a little deflated. The Wolves took advantage of this, opting to bat first in the day’s third and final match, and they put a 100 runs on the board inside the first 10 overs, for the loss of just one wicket.
Helped notably by Waseem’s tidy spell of one for 26 from his four overs, Midi managed to stem the flow of runs somewhat in the second half of the Wolves’ innings, to restrict them to a nonetheless challenging total of 173 for two. Wolves opening batsman Peter Jarvis added an unbeaten 82, building on his undefeated score of 95 in the earlier match against the Bears.
Midi started their innings briskly, with Morgan (28) at the top of the order again providing a solid foundation. While keeping up with the required run rate of almost nine an over proved not to be a problem, the loss of two wickets through run outs left Midi on 66 for four after eight overs, raising the prospect that they might be bowled out inside their allotted 20 overs.
However, a magnificent innings of 80 from Ahmad Sher, including eight sixes and five fours, turned the innings around. When he was dismissed with the total on 154, Midi needed just 21 runs from the final four overs. As the evening shadows stretched across the pitch, captain Dom George nudged and French cut his way to 17 not out, before Louis Parry achieved a career first by striking the winning run from the second ball of the final over.