Oundle Rovers clinched their first Cricketer Cup semi-final slot since 2010 with a hard fought victory over Old Brightonians at Oundle on Sunday.
Brighton having won the toss and elected to bat, made a strong start scoring at four an over for the first 10-15 overs. Simon Hicks (0-28) produced a fine spell in place of Patch Foster, who was away on wedding duties. Once Oundle’s spin quartet were introduced Brighton found the going harder and harder and they subsided from 79-1 to 124-8. Ben Graves (3-23), Harry Ramsden (4-32) and Will Street (2-21) were the pick of the attack with Stephen Lowe’s tidy glove work producing two neat stumpings. Brighton’s stubborn 9th wicket stand took them to 166 all out.
On a slow wicket scoring was never easy and an accurate opening attack from Brighton made life hard for the Oundle top order. Ben Graves (52) completed a fine all round performance with his first meaningful Cricketer Cup score of the season. There was still work to do when Graves departed at 71-3 in the 25th over. Smith (33) and Dobson (10) produced an important partnership of 48 and although both fell with 40 required a determined Ramsden (13*) and Rovers’ Cricketer Cup find of the season, Charlie Fernandes (33* off 17 balls), saw the Rovers over the line with 5 overs to spare.
Team: Graves, Fernandes S, Johansen, Smith*, Dobson, Ramsden, Fernandes C, Lowe, Bishop, Hicks, Street.
Both sides then retreated to the JMMills Pavilion for a truly memorable evening watching the climax of England’s sensational World Cup victory. Congratulations to Tom Harrison Chief Executive of the ECB and, of course, ex-Captain of the Rovers Cricketer Cup side.
Rovers will compete in their 15th Cricketer Cup semi-final at Malvern on 28th July, 11.30 am start. Supporters are strongly encouraged to attend on Malvern’s truly beautiful ground.
In the other semi final Old Tonbridgians will host Charterhouse Friars meaning that the four most successful sides in the 52 year old competition’s history are all through to the semi-finals.
Tim Elliott (St A 77)
Oundle Rovers CC