Monday 3 December 2007 

ECB Cockspur Cup Final 2007: Bromley v Kibworth

Bromley (179 all out in 44.2 overs) beat Kibworth (175 all out in 45 overs) by 4 runs on the last ball of the match!

For the second time in three years the Cockspur Cup Final went down to the very last ball of the match with, once again, the side batting second, in this case Kibworth, needing a boundary to win the Cup and the fielding side holding their nerve to emerge victorious.

There were a number of players of note representing both sides with Kibworth boasting three players with county experience ranging from 17 year-old Josh Cobb, who had just made his Leicestershire debut, and Nick Ferraby through to veteran Simon Renshaw who has played for Hampshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. Bromley had an even more experienced side with ex-England, Sussex and Kent player Alan Wells and Surrey 2nd XI Coach Nadeem Shahid as the mainstays of their batting and Tom Mees (Warwickshire), Matt Dennington (Kent) and Ruel Braithwaite (British Universities) who had appeared earlier in the season for the West Indies in their one-day match against the English Lions leading their bowling attack.

On a sunny morning Bromley won the toss and elected to bat first. A brave decision by James Butterfill as in September there can be some early assistance for bowlers at Lord’s. Very quickly Bromley were in some trouble as both Leo Taylor and Grant Sheen were dismissed for ducks by Aamir Mahmood. When Nick Ferraby had Nadeem Shahid caught behind by Steve Thompson Bromley were reduced to 30-3. It looked as if the Bromley batting would disintegrate as they had done in the 2006 Final against South Northumberland but the difference this time was that Alan Wells and James Watson rescued the situation with a partnership of 90. In the middle of this partnership Alan Wells pulled an adductor muscle but continued with the aid of a runner. His innings was cut short when he was caught behind for 64 off the bowling of Josh Cobb. James Watson departed for 47 and from 120-3 Bromley stumbled to 179 all out at the start of the last over of their innings. Pick of the Kibworth bowlers were the opening attack of Mahmood (2-18) and Simon Renshaw (3-21).

In reply Kibworth started rather circumspectly against the Bromley attack of Ruel Braithwaite and Tom Mees, the latter returned extremely economical figures of 9-1-18-0. An opening partnership of 49 looked to put Kibworth on their way with John Hanger leading the way with 40. However when the score reached 81-3 it was obvious that the slow start was putting the Kibworth batting under pressure and when 113-3 became 142-6 the pressure was really on. Matters appeared to change dramatically in favour of the Leicestershire side when the 43rd over from Matt Dennington was collared for 15 valuable runs taking the score to 170-6 and leaving only 10 needed from the last two overs. Ruel Braithwaite then kept his head and bowled an exceptional over as he took two vital wickets including Tim Mason (30) and only conceded two runs.

The final over of the match was certainly a case of ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’ in the shape of the Bromley Captain, James Butterfill. Having seen his experienced ex-Kent seamer disappear around the ground in his previous over James made the momentous decision to change the bowling and come on himself to bowl his only over in the game. To put this decision in context and appreciate the gamble involved James bowls off-spin and was bowling with a very short boundary to the Tavern.

James bowled Aamir Mahmood to add to the mounting excitement but then managed to bowl a wide to last man Chris Hill and the batsmen managed to run. On the penultimate ball Steve Thompson scored a single to put Chris Hill back on strike with the score on 175-9. One ball to go and a boundary would level the scores and Kibworth would pick up the cup by virtue of losing fewer wickets. To make matters even more tense Chris Hill is a left-handed batsmen and the very short boundary was on his leg-side! Butterfill then bowled a rank long-hop and Chris Hill instead of smashing it out of the ground as it deserved tried to place it clear of the boundary rider and ended up being caught by Ruel Braithwaite well inside the rope! In a pulsating match that swung one way and then the other all day Bromley eventually managed to prevail by 4 runs and make amends for their poor performance the year before with their Captain claiming 2-4 from his one over.

Alan Wells was presented with the Man of the Match Award and James Butterfill took great delight in holding the Cockspur Cup aloft. Both teams will renew their acquaintance when they visit Barbados for the 30th Rumsey Pro-Am Festival in November courtesy of the competition sponsors Cockspur Rum.

© ECB