There will be a repeat of the 2016 Jaidka Cup Final next week after Peterborough Town booked their date at Bretton Gate with holders Bourne with a nervy three-wicket win over Wisbech last night (June 21).
Town slumped from 96-2 to 126-7 before scrambling past a modest Wisbech score of 136-9 with nine balls to spare of an absorbing Twenty/20 contest.
The favourites were missing some big hitters (notably Minor Counties workhorses Lewis Bruce and Joe Dawborn), but Wisbech were missing the biggest hitter of them all, Gary Freear, and who knows how the contest would have developed if all had been present.
It’s doubtful Wisbech would have started their innings any quicker as Parth Patel and Sam Albutt blazed 38 from the opening three overs before both fell to catches in the deep. Danny Oldham’s catch to dismiss Patel off Paul McMahon was a cracker.
Spin bowling is a key skill when the boundaries at Bretton Gate are big and 16 of the overs delivered by Town were slow and deliberate. It was an effective tactic as once Josh Bowers was dismissed for a well crafted 36, Wisbech only had an earnest 26 not out from Danny Haynes to look back on with fondness.
McMahon was making his Jaidka Cup debut six years after joining Town and finished with 2-27 from his four overs, figures not helped by some dismal fielding, but leg-spinner Oldham, despite not taking a wicket, was Town’s outstanding bowler conceding just 14 runs in his four overs.
Richard Kendall took wickets with consecutive balls late on to finish with 3-33, while teenager Connor Parnell picked up two decent scalps in Cambridgeshire Minor Counties men Bowers and James Williams.
Town have laboured chasing modest scores in this competition before and when Asim Butt and Hasan Azad, a stylish left-hander who appeared in a University final at Lord’s last weekend, fell in the first five overs Wisbech were dreaming of an upset.
But McMahon and skipper David Clarke added 49 for the third wicket. Their departures in quick succession gave Town’s youngsters some useful experience of playing under pressure.
Not all handled it well, but the Wisbech bowling unit wasn’t quite accurate enough to stop Kieran Judd (16no) seeing Town home in the 19th over.
Seamer Edgeller, who bowled a couple of quick balls, dismissed Town’s two star men, while Jason Young saw off top scorer Clarke (39) with the help of a casual one-handed catch from Sam Albutt.
The Jaidka Cup Final between Bourne and Peterborough Town will take place at Bretton Gate next wednesday (June 28, 6.15pm start)
S. Albutt c Butt b Azad 19
P. Patel c Oldham b McMahon 18
J. Bowers c McMahon b Parnell 36
J. Gollands c Judd b McMahon 2
J. Williams c Milner b Parnell 3
D. Haynes not out 26
D. Oldfield c Milner b Kendall 12
P. Edgeller b Kendall 8
J. Young lbw Kendall 0
B. Ellis st Milner b Danyaal 4
J. Dunning not out 0
TOTAL (9 wkts) 136
Bowling: R. Kendall 4-0-33-3; M. Danyaal 2-0-21-1; H. Azad 4-0-27-1; P. McMahon 4-0-28-2; D. Oldham 4-0-14-0; C. Parnell 2-0-7-2.
A. Butt c Gollands b Edgeller 7
D. Clarke c Albutt b Young 39
H. Azad c Williams b Edgeller 18
P. McMahon b Dunning 17
K. Judd not out 16
S. Howard b Patel 12
C. Milner c Oldfield b Young 5
M. Danyaal st Bowers b Gollands 1
C. Parnell not out 3
TOTAL (7 wkts) 157
Bowling: P. Edgeller 3-0-20-2; B. Ellis 2-0-25-0; P. Patel 3-0-19-1; J. Gollands 4-0-20-1; J, Dunning 3-0-18-1; J. Young 3.4-0-23-2.
Bourne take on Woodhall Spa in the Winkworth Cup Final at Sleaford tonight.