A dramatic day of cricket at Wolverhampton CC saw Northants Steelbacks win the BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup for the first time & in doing so they became only the second team ever to win both the BBS Cup & the Twenty20 Cup in the same season.
Northants day started by bowling first against Sussex in the semi finals, Sharks were able to score a competitive 150/8 despite the fact that four of their batsmen reached 20 but none passed 31. Howard Greenhill took 2 wickets & 2 catches whilst David Howells took a wicket and the key catches of Dan Field & Si Ledwith.
In reply Northants were always behind the required rate & with Ian Morris taking 3-31 & Marcus Kippling 2-20 it looked like the Sharks were cruising into the final. With 5 overs left Northants were 6 wickets down & still needed 51 runs, with 4 overs to go a 7th wicket had fallen & 43 was still required. Then David Howells took control, incredibly he added 45 runs from the next 15 balls to finish 98 not out & lead Northants to a 3 wicket win. The dominance of Howells innings was shown by the fact that he shared a 52 run partnership with Hugh Spence in which Hugh ended up 0 not out.
The other semi final was far more straight forward, Lancashire batted first v Somerset and could only reach 125/9 despite 60 from Wasim Afridi & 30 from Roy Turnham, Ed Hossell took 3-12 and Steve Cook 2-25. In response Somerset stormed home with 10 wickets & 7.2 overs to spare, Ed Hossell smashing 72 & Rob Crisp 35.
The third place play off was a high scoring affair, Sussex wracked up a massive 231/1 thanks to 107 not out from Si Ledwith, 52 not out from Joe Harrison & 42 from Mark Oliphant. Lancashire’s reply could only reach 166/3 with Tahseen Sabir scoring 85 not out & Wasim Afridi recording his second fifty of the day.
In the final Northants provided a bowling & fielding masterclass, as he did in the BBS Cup final Dave Keeling took 3 early wickets, finishing with 3-13, Mike Harrison also did early damage with 2-7. Gav Griffiths, in the final game of his 35 year career, followed up with 3-11 as Steelbacks dismissed Somerset for just 47, due in part to a number of excellent catches. David Howells ensured there were no dramas in the run chase with 36 not out as Northants won by 10 wickets with 15 overs remaining.
This seals a remarkable rise for Northants who just 15 matches ago had never won a major trophy, now with the 2019 BCEW National League Title & the 2021 Cup double they have become just the third team to lift all three major trophies.
David Howells was named Partially Sighted Player of the Day primarily for his match winning semi final innings, whilst Gav Griffiths was Low Sighted Player of the Day for his excellent bowling in the final.
BCEW would like to thank Mike Elphick & the team at Wolverhampton Cricket Club for hosting finals day again this year, for all of their support leading up to the day & on the day itself & for allowing us to use their excellent ground.