On a cool and blustery Sunday afternoon in the Cotswolds, Skandia were hoping to defend their national ‘Spirit of Commerce’ Corporate 20/20 Cup (SOC2020) title against competition newcomers Amscan, at the impressive and picturesque Bourton Vale CC.
A superb wicket had been prepared for this the fourth final, played since the competition began in 2007 and with the food matching the cricket, a September run-fest ensued as Skandia (once they found their way!), asked to bat first, posted a formidable total of 154-6 off their allotted 20 overs.
Initially John Smith (25) had given them a good start but by half-way Skandia had only reached 55-2. While the bowling was good, too many dot balls were allowed to pass without any threat to the boundary boards. However, with wickets in hand, sensible batting and good running from both Tim Goodall (30) and Avnish Upadhyay (40*) allowed captain Ben Wythe (11) and Neil Farmer (7 off 3 balls) to ensure they passed the 150 mark as the last 2 overs yielded 29 runs.
Amscan’s bowlers were occasionally off-target and gave away a few wides but Jack Nickson (3-0-13-1) and Ric Elliott (4-0-20-2) were the pick, with a particularly miserly spell from Rob Kenny (4-0-17-0).
After a fantastic tea, Skandia continued their good work and in reply, Amscan were off to what can only be described as an unusual start.
Skandia’s opening bowlers started well with Siva Chandresekaran (4-0-10-1) difficult to get away and a maiden over from Goodall (3-1-23-0) but it was the running between the wickets from Amscan’s Paul Cox and the Sam Wright that had the crowd on their feet.
Cox appeared to want to dive into his crease at any given opportunity and the last of these was to cause him to retire hurt for 5 runs as he was unable to lift his bat after damaging his shoulder. This might have been a good move if the following batsmen had scored quickly but when Floyd Bullman was bowled soon after, he left the pitch exclaiming ‘My fielding was my highlight today!’
Skandia were now in the driving seat with Amscan struggling at 36-1 off 9 overs but as the tenth went for 15 runs, there were signs that the tide might be turning.
Scores were comparable at halfway with only 4 runs the difference but in the next few overs, superb batting from Rob Lyon (36 off 16 balls, including three towering sixes) and Jack Nickson (42* off 19 balls) swung the match firmly towards Amscan.
The introduction of the excellent Wagav (2-18) looked to give Skandia a chance but with Nickson well supported by Rob Kenny (13*), Amscan were home with two overs to spare as they took 71 off the last 34 balls.
Three dropped catches may have made the difference for Skandia but ultimately their 154 proved not to be enough as Amscan were crowed SOC 2020 Champions for 2010.
Jack Nickson was named as Man of the Match and captain Rob Kenny collected the SOC2020 trophy for Amscan.
Thanks were given to the umpires and scorers for their hard work and also to Mark Arthurs and all at Bourton Vale CC for hosting such a great day.
© Cricket World 2010