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Instant Sharma! Swaine Rebuff Moorlands & Bridge Win Debut Shield - T20 Finals Review

Instant Sharma! Swaine Rebuff Moorlands & Bridge Win Debut Shield - T20 Finals Review

4 Sep 2023

Hoylandswaine’s stellar Indian Pragam Sharma got his hands on the T20 Trophy at the first time of asking, precisely a year after he was on the losing side for Thongsbridge. Finals Day hosts, Armitage Bridge, sank T20 maestros Delph & Dobcross following a brilliant all-round performance by Jaycub Curtling.

Moorlands 146-8, Hoylandswaine 150-2

Pragam Sharma lifted a rare gloomy season for Hoylandswaine after his tour de force show consigned Moorlands a second final defeat in the space of three weeks. Electing to bat first, Moorlands once again failed to bat their opponents out of the contest to leave a comfortable pursuit for Hoylandswaine who made no mistake in overhauling their benign 146-8 with nearly five overs left to play. The Premiership title winners may point to aggressive strike batsmen Shoukat Ali and Siraj Sajid being out before they could exert their influence on the game. Ali, who hammered a 59 ball 113 when the sides last met in the final two years ago, could only manage 12 as he was lured down the wicket by Max Morley before being stumped by Duncan Brown. Sajid (9) had his stumps knocked over by Umer Yaqoob who claimed 2-34, however by this point, Swaine were well and truly on top of a flat, one-sided contest. Captain Eddie Walmsley, who can strike at a bellicose rate, was forced onto the back foot and made a gritty 44 as wickets were constantly surrendered by his teammates with Pragam Sharma’s brilliant 1-14 from four overs during the power play the fulcrum of Hoylandswaine’s control.

With a modest total on the board, it was crucial Moorlands could make early inroads but Swaine made hay in the power play and got off to a flyer with Furqan Shafiq making a breezy 33. He was the first batsman out on 59 and Chris Holliday (above) took over to score a belligerent 40 from 27 balls which included four sixes, a couple of whom completely cleared Armitage Bridge’s large ground. Walmsley used seven bowlers, including himself, to try and stymie the ongoing destruction, with frontline bowler Jon Rudge curiously only handed one over. Sharma continued the onslaught by blasting 48 from 29 deliveries as Hoylandswaine cantered to their sixth T20 Trophy success.

Man of the Match: Pragam Sharma for his tight bowling during the power play and his unbeaten 48 during the second innings. 

Armitage Bridge 172-4, Delph & Dobcross 161-9

Championship leaders Delph & Dobcross lost their T20 mojo after a spectacular T20 Shield final which ended in defeat to hosts Armitage Bridge. Current holders of the T20 Trophy, Delph were unable to defend their silverware following their relegation from the Premiership in 2022. A league reshuffle of the competition saw them competing in the T20 Shield for their first time and a routine run to the final pitched them as favourites against an Armitage Bridge team struggling for consistency in the league. Both sides suffered a torrid start as bowlers got on top in the opening power play. Armitage Bridge slumped to 21-2 but Bevan Coveley tapped into fertile areas once joined with Steven Cawood. Queensland-born Cawood took over when Coveley (27) inexplicably wandered down the wicket to be run out by sharp fielding from Isaac Jones. The Australian slammed 7 fours and 3 sixes whilst scoring 72 off 46 balls before falling to a brilliant catch by Jones in the deep. Jaycub Curtling’s calm 50no gave Cawood the platform to shine and saw the innings through to set 172-4.

Bridge were handed the perfect tonic when opener Mosun Hussain chopped the first delivery from Connor Parr onto his own stumps to spark jubilant celebrations. Their grip on the match was tightened when talented Lancashire prospect and T20 skipper Lucas Selby was clean bowled by Yorkshire academy bowler Jonah Thackeray for 9 before Anguillan, Demari Prince was adjudged LBW for 2 to leave Delph reeling on 21-3. Nathan Jones fell for 17 soon after following a brilliant catch by Curtling who misjudged the shot off his own bowling only to recover with a sublime diving grab. Overseas man Nayyar Abbas (above) attempted to guide Delph through this hostile spell and was out for 53, caught by Shaun Woodhams off the bowling of Curtling, just after hitting a huge six to take him over the half-century mark. Delph’s last throw of the dice was Adnan Ghani who threatened to drag Delph to victory with a series of big hits. He was forced into a mistake by captain Chris Dennison with Parr taking the catch to send the host club into raptures. Too much was left to do for an inexperienced tail and Bridge saw out the final over in relative comfort to bookend an compelling contest.

Man of the match: Jacob Curtling for his half-century and controlled bowling in the second innings.

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