Stanford-le-hope CC 131/6 (20 overs) beat Thurrock CC 123/8 (20 overs)
Blackshots hosted this year’s Thurrock Knockout T20 final between Stanford and Thurrock. Stand-in Stanford captain Harry Maher won the toss and elected to bat on a fantastic looking pitch. Both himself and Michael Gray opened the batting and were soon to be in the pavilion without troubling the scorers too much, as Thurrock looked to make early in-roads into the Stanford batting order.
Robert Page took advantage of the power-play overs with a brisk 23 before being removed by young spinner Stephen Brooks. At 50-4 Stanford looked in trouble, but a patient 22 from both Martin Leslie and Matthew Page rebuilt the innings as they looked to post a defendable total. Stanford ended their innings on 131/6 as Brooks finished with figures of 2/13 off his 4 overs.
In reply the Thurrock batsman got off to a flyer as Ayub (32) and Stanikzai (37) took the attack to the Stanford opening pair of Cohen and Higgins. With Thurrock cruising at 70/1 from 7 overs the game looked to be in the bag, however, Stanford spin pairing of Neil Samwell and Ross Poulton put a dent in their plans of an early victory.
Both spinners tied down the Thurrock batsman, with increased pressure on scoring runs the Thurrock batsman faltered and started to lose their momentum. Poulton got plenty of turn and removed dangerman Stanikzai and finished with figures of 2/13 from his 4 overs in a match turning spell of bowling. Former Thurrock man Neil Samwell celebrated with figures of 1/15 from his 4 overs including the prize wicket of Robert Baker for 7. Thurrock ended on 123/8 as
Stanford proved to be worthy winners despite an all-round disappointing performance from the boys from the Rec. Stanford players were jubilant after the match as the masses at Blackshots started to disappear. After the match Stanford captain Harry Maher said ‘In the end it proved that we got plenty with the bat, but we have spinners Ross Poulton and Neil Samwell to thank for keeping it tight during the middle overs and taking the game away from Thurrock’.