Stunning effort sees Barney progress in national T20 cup
Barnard Castle CC
FOR Barney, there have never been times quite like it. With skill, flair and daring – and to the rapturous acclaim of their travelling supporters – they reached the quarter finals of the National Club Twenty20 competition on Sunday.
To reach a stage of the event unfamiliar to them, they had to beat two of the most formidable sides in northern cricket, South Northumberland and York, both of them former national cub champions. There were moments in both matches when it was looking grim for Barney but the players collectively held their nerve and at crucial moments produced something remarkable to ensure they stayed in the contest.
The semi-final tie against South Northumberland, unbeaten all season, was arguably the tougher. But both games presented huge challenges and Barney met them.
In the opening match, starting at 10am, they needed 44 runs from the last five overs to overtake South North’s 132-5 and won by four wickets with a ball to spare. In the second York looked dangerously comfortable at 94-3, requiring 44 with seven overs left but Barney held their nerve.
There were heroes galore. Samarth Seth scored half centuries in both matches, Karl Carver grabbed the first game by the scruff with the bat and took a hat-trick in the second. But the bowling was almost uniformly excellent from both seam and spin departments, the batting never cowed when it mattered, the fielding of a young and athletic team simply superb.
South North perhaps did not make as many as they would have liked in the first match but they still probably thought they had enough on their home ground. Several of them got in but none of them stayed in as Barney kept chipping away, taking the catches on offer in the deep.
Captain James Quinn held back seamer Rob Dixon until the 12th over and he responded with 2-17 from four overs – exemplary stuff.
Equally Josh Bousfield and Tom Merryweather were just as effective in the powerplay when only two fielders are allowed outside the ring while neither Finn Usher nor Rob West permitted liberties to be taken.
When Bousfield was out first ball in the chase, Barney knew they were up against it. But Seth now played a sublime innings, full of outrageous strokes – a straight six which cleared the indoor cricket school on the ground perimeter, another six blazed over extra cover. With James Clarkson playing intelligently for him at the other end they put on 74 for the third wicket from 71 balls. But when both were out, Seth stumped advancing the pitch, Barney still needed 42.
But Richard Borrowdale thumped a six over mid-wicket, Carver calmly drove two fours through the covers. Barney were still in touch. Ten were needed from the final over. Carver, looking for a gap in the field, scooped the first ball for four, took three runs off the next two and left Rob West, nervous but not showing it, to finish off the match.
After that Barney were probably favourites against a York team which had prevailed Undercliffe in the semi-final but are not having the best of seasons in the Yorkshire Premier League. Batting first on a pitch becoming slower, Barney were given a rapid start by Bousfield.
The innings was again illuminated by Seth, who passed 1,000 runs for the season in all competitions. Not quite as flamboyant as in the semi-final he was still a menacing opponent. He was being cheered by scores of supporters watching on the live stream back in the Barney clubhouse. Upon his dismissal the innings foundered slightly and instead of making 160, which had looked possible, Barney had 137-5.
York’s openers had put in 60 by the eighth over. But Barney, sticking at it, removed them both in successive overs. As York regrouped, Barney then enjoyed two pieces of good fortune, again demonstrating the good old long hop can sometimes be the bowler’s best friend.
Finn Usher was the first to benefit as the prolific Duncan Snell pulled to square leg and then Carver had Finlay Bean caught on the opposite boundary. That was the prelude to a hat-trick and the game was up for York. From 94-3 they subsided, losing their last seven wickets for 11 runs in 4.1 overs.
Semi-final: South North 132-5 (20 overs, C Hewison 36, M Richardson 22, R Dixon 2-17, T Merryweather 1-9)
Barney 133-6 (19.5 overs, S Seth 56, K Carver 25no, J Clarkson 21, R Borrowdale 21, S Tindale 2-13) Barney won by 4 wkts.
Final: Barney 137-5 (20 overs, S Seth 59, J Bousfield 23, K Carver 23, C Doughney 3-25); York 105 all out (18.2 overs, S Lambert 35, F Bean 24, C Elliott 23, K Carver 4-15, F Usher 2-20) Barney won by 32 runs