Club dismantle Bath to book National KO Final place
A comprehensive 95 run victory over West Of England Premier club Bath on Sunday, saw Blackheath's 1st XI book a place in the National Club Championship Final for the first time since 1981.
Chris Willetts won the toss and made a brave decision to bat first in dark and overcast conditions which, at 11-2 with both Jahid Ahmed and himself back in the pavilion, looked like something he may regret.
Tanweer Sikandar and Michael Thornely then set about repairing the damage, first blunting the buoyant Bath attack and later beginning to manoeuvre the ball around to good effect. The pace of both players' innings were perfectly judged and whilst conditions provided a continual test, it was Sikandar who first broke the shackles, pouncing on any width.
A mistimed lofted drive saw the former Essex all-rounder held on the long-on boundary, ending a 95 run partnership which had put the home side in a strong position.
Thornely meanwhile, was playing the perfect anchor role by keeping the scoreboard ticking yet still finding a boundary when his partners were new to the crease and needed time to settle in. He added important partnerships of 30 with Dipayan Paul and 40 with Duncan Willetts before he mistimed a clip to the mid-wicket boundary for a high quality 75.
As the opening bowlers returned, Duncan Willetts (33 from 27 balls) continued with the perfect cameo that was taking the Blackheath total into "above par" territory and assisted by 17 year old Mahi Mahfuzul (10* from 10 balls), they took the final Blackheath total to a solid 217-7 from their 45 overs.
Both Bath's pursuit of the total and Blackheath's hunt for their wickets began with equal purpose but it wasn't long before the irrepressible Sikandar made the first breakthrough with the score on 11.
Still the visitors came hard but the early introduction of Jahid Ahmed (2-18) saw the remaining Bath opener and his new partner dismissed in quick succession, both caught at the wicket by Joe Kerridge. Sikandar (3-33) continued from the Charlton Road end with an immaculate length and late movement that accounted for batsmen 4 and 5 leaving the Somerset side 40-5.
Teams that reach the semi-final stage of the National KO do not roll over though and 43 runs were added for the 6th wicket as the vociferous visiting supporters may have begun to entertain thoughts of a fairytale fight back.
The skilled and experienced home attack was just too much for the visitors though and after Tom Mees (2-26) removed the Bath wicket-keeper, he and James Hands (2-20) closed out the tie, although it was left to the returning Warren Lee to bag the final wicket.
Blackheath will now contest the Final against Liverpool & District Competition side Northern CC on Sunday 20th September.
OTHER CLUB NEWS
Premier League Cricket in Central South & East London
Blackheath Cricket Club is one of the leading cricket clubs in London. Formed over one hundred and fifty years ago and sporting a colourful history, Blackheath fields 7 league teams every Saturday, up to 3 teams on a Sunday and also operates an extensive youth section as well as a growing women’s section.
The 1st XI play in the Premier Division of the Kent League, one of the strongest amateur cricket leagues in the UK. The Club’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th XIs also play in to the Kent Premier League structure making the number of opportunities available for high level cricket at one club relatively unique. As such the Club has recently opened a new second ground at the Academy in Woolwich.
The Club’s other XIs, Sunday teams, midweek programme and vibrant social scene mean there is a place for everyone from current internationals to complete beginners.
Blackheath also has one of the leading youth sections in the UK, regularly progressing to the latter stages of the ECB National U13 and U15 Cup competitions. An ECB Focus Club with Clubmark accreditation and a wealth of experienced coaches, Blackheath provides an environment where young people can enjoy the game recreationally but also supports a steady stream of young people to access county age-group squads.
Blackheath Cricket Club is situated in the London Borough of Greenwich but serves much of central south and east London. As such the Club prides itself on a diverse membership with players from around the UK and around the world currently calling the Club’s Rectory Field ground home.
The ECB continues to work with Sport England on the pioneering club accreditation scheme 'Clubmark' to develop a vibrant and healthy club cricket infrastructure.
Cricket clubs can play a key role in the successful delivery of Building Partnerships – cricket's strategic plan for 2006-2009 - by supporting the delivery and implementation of the following programmes:
The ECB Clubmark and community cricket clubs play a central role in all of these programmes and Clubmark will provide the standards that clubs involved in these programmes will aspire to.
In addition, it is expected that clubs who achieve the ECB Clubmark will be recognised and rewarded for their hard work and commitment to club cricket in England and Wales.
By registering to work towards ECB Clubmark, clubs join a growing number of cricket clubs across England and Wales that are prioritising junior development, creating a benchmark for high quality community club cricket.
County Cricket Development Managers can help clubs through the process of achieving ECB Clubmark Accreditation.
ECB Clubmark gives clubs an opportunity to write and implement new procedures as well as acknowledge existing practices. Cricket clubs are required to present evidence and demonstrate implementation across four different themes, culminating in the production of a Club Development Plan.
The four themes are:
For more information see www.ecb.co.uk/clubmark