Swardeston claimed a slice of cricketing history on Sunday evening when they won the Vitality Club Twenty20 Championship at the Pattonair County Ground in Derby.
Having lifted the Royal London Club Championship trophy at Lord’s last Monday the Norfolk side became the first team to complete a national double when they beat Toft by 21 runs in the final over the shorter distance.
In a match played under floodlights after a long rain delay, Swardeston made 178-7 in their 20 overs and then bowled their Cheshire opponents our for 157.
After being asked to bat first Swardeston got off to a steady start, with opener Jordan Taylor leading way with 45 and Callum Taylor, Stephen Gray and skipper Joe Gatting also making useful contributions.
At 102-4 Swardeston’s total then needed a boost and it came from a swift partnership of 63 between Peter Lambert and Lewis Denmark who made 33 and 39 respectively after each facing 21 deliveries.
Toft were soon in trouble in reply, slipping to 9-2 as Callum Taylor struck twice. Robert Sehmi and Andrew Jackson then gave them some hope by putting on 54 for the third wicket before Freddie Ruffell had the latter caught by Jordan Taylor for 28. Sehmi quickly followed for 25, caught behind off Richard Sims with the required rate having risen to nearly 11 an over at the halfway stage.
Toft were far from finished however, with Henry Hughes and James Scott adding a hard-hitting 64 in a stand that was finally ended when Hughes became another victim for Gray off the bowling of Gatting. When Scott then went for 41 the race was all but run and Toft eventually finished 21 runs short, with Callum Taylor taking 5-18 in his four overs.
Swardeston had booked their place in the final with a comfortable 47 run win over Surrey side Cranleigh which was completed before the arrival of the rain which caused the second semi-final to be reduced to 12 overs a side.
- Report courtesy of Chris Wise and the Eastern Daily Press.