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Royal Air Force Retains Inter Services T20 Crown

Inter-Services T20 at Lord's

Under sunny skies and Lord's looking at its very best, the Royal Air Force retained their Inter Services Twenty20 crown on 19th June 2012.

The three contests were played out in front of a lively crowd that enjoyed the high standard of competitive cricket that was on offer. In addition, local school children were given the opportunity to play Kwik Cricket on the outfield during the first interval and the crowd was entertained by the Royal Artillery Band in the second interval.

The first game of the tournament set the scene for an exciting day with the Royal Navy scoring 132 runs off their allotted 20 overs for the loss of four wickets.

In reply, the Army matched the Royal Navy’s score off the last ball having also lost four wickets, producing a tied game that required the umpires and tournament officials to reach back in to the scorebook to see who had won. After a few moments of stunned silence from the crowd, it was announced that the Royal Navy had won; the result being determined on which team had the better run rate after 10 overs. A truly memorable start to the tournament that served to set the standard for the rest of the day.

The second game saw the Army look to regroup against the Royal Air Force. Batting first, the Army lost early wickets and the Royal Air Force maintained the pressure throughout by attacking the batting with aggressive bowling and fielding. This resulted in a below par Army score of 44 all out.

In reply, the Royal Air Force was made to struggle early on with aggressive Army bowling pinning the Royal Air Force batsmen back before finally scoring the runs required for the loss of one wicket.

Inter-Services T20 at Lord's

The final game saw the two unbeaten sides come together. Having won the toss, the Royal Navy batted first and the two openers made the most of their opportunity with both scoring deserved half-centuries. The second half of the innings faltered slightly as wickets started to tumble but a final score of 147 seemed certain to challenge the Royal Air Force.

In reply, the Royal Air Force batted steadily, maintaining the required run rate before some explosive hitting from the middle order gained the advantage and ensured victory in the penultimate over.

For the second year running, Flight Lieutenant Matt Compton received the Energy Plus Management Ltd Inter Services Twenty20 Trophy from Mr Mike Griffith (Chairman of the MCC Cricket Committee and MCC President (Designate)) and held it aloft to rapturous applause in front of the Pavilion.

Also, for the second year running, Senior Aircraftsman Graeme Cessford was awarded the Player of the Tournament for his all-round contribution of aggressive opening bowling, big hitting middle-order batting and fine fielding in the deep.

The winning moment
The moment Royal Air Force hit the winning runs

The opportunity to play at Lord's is one that is relished by every cricketer and this year's tournament served to display the very best of the available service talent on the most renowned cricketing stage while raising funds for Combat Stress, the chosen charity partner.

It could not have been achieved without the unswerving support of the MCC; the IST20 event sponsors Heineken and BFBS; the ball sponsor Sodexo; the myriad of event partners that agreed to the sponsorship package; and to Cricketworld, the IST20 media partner.

Match 1 - Royal Navy won the toss and chose to bat 
Royal Navy 132-4 (Needham 37, Green 29, Thompson 27, Hudeson 3-20) tied with Army 132-4 (Varley 37, Pollard 2-18) -
Royal Navy won on ten-over countback

Match 2 Army won the toss and chose to bat
Royal Air Force 46-1 (Adcock 22no) beat Army 44 (Cessford 3-7, Edmed 2-8) by 9 wickets

Match 3 Royal Navy won the toss and chose to bat
Royal Air Force 149-4 (Cessford 56, Storey 2-15) beat Royal Navy 147-4 (Thompson 52, Evans 52no) by 6 wickets

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