UPPINGHAM Town have won the Rutland Twenty20 Cup after finishing runners-up in the last two seasons.
It was always going to be Uppingham’s night at the Lime Kilns on Wednesday evening with the club’s first and second sides both reaching the final, but it was the 1st XI who had the upper hand throughout a low-scoring match.
Uppingham seconds batted first and struggled to score runs on the damp, slow wicket, making just 69 all out in a fraction under their allotted 20 overs. It was a total that the 1st XI rattled off with three overs to spare, but at the expense of five wickets of their own on a tough wicket for batsmen.
Dave Fish opened the innings and top scored with just 13 runs as the bowlers dominated and the seconds lost five early wickets for just 34 runs. Alex Ashwin claimed three for 14, and Danny Dumford two for a measly five runs, but all six bowlers were economical.
In reply Uppingham 1st fared little better as Chris Howe (4 for 9) ripped through the top order taking the first four wickets for just 30 runs, as well as an excellent catch to remove top scorer Max Collins (17) as the firsts slumped to 47 runs for 5 wickets.
Danny Dumford (11) was the last wicket to fall, taken brilliantly by a flying Fish catch, claimed one-handed, diving to his right off the bowling of Will Armstrong.
That brought Alex “Smasher” Ashwin to the crease and he quickly rounded off the innings and the match. First he cracked a big six back over bowler Armstrong. He took a big swipe and missed his next shot but then slammed another boundary to end proceedings.
Uppingham skipper Jamie Dumford said: “It might look like a low-scoring game but the wicket was very bowler friendly. After all the rain, they did well to get the game on at all.”
Given the dominance of the bowlers it was no surprise when Alex Ashwin and Chris Howe were named man of the match of reach side.
“It was a nice night for Uppingham,” added the Uppingham skipper.
More than that, it has been an excellent week for Upppingham’s cricketers with the 1st XI overpowering an understrength Market Overton in the top flight of the Rutland League on Sunday, and young bowler Ben Collins being called up to the England U19 World Cup.
Town beat Marko by 88 runs in a rain-shortened game at Castle Hill on Sunday with Jamie Richardson scoring 78 in only his second game for the side, and Mark Cox adding 84 not out as Town raced to 207-3; their highest league score of 2012.
In reply Marko were bowled out for 119, losing their last six wickets for just 21 runs with Collins claiming four for 21.
Dumford added: “It’s ironic that we got our biggest total in a game that was reduced to 25 overs. We ran well and took a lot of runs between the wickets.
“We had a strong side out and it showed that we have a good balanced side if the players are all available.”
And that is the key. Uppingham face Bourne on Sunday with Jamie Richardson and Ben Harford unavailabe, and Ben Collins preparing for England duty.
“We wish Ben all the best with England at the World Cup,” added Uppingham’s victorious skipper.