There was to be no repeat of recent National T20 heroics, but Peterborough Town’s young side left Bretton Gate with heads held high yesterday (August 5).
Town, national semi-finalists in 2014, hosted an area finals day as Northants champions and saw off Leicestershire’s finest Kibworth by nine wickets in a one-sided semi-final.
But the final against Home Counties Premier Division leaders Slough proved a game too far. Slough, a team of power-hitting Pakistani players, sealed a seven-wicket win with an over to spare to book a National quarter-final date next Sunday (August 12).
Town started poorly in the final losing skipper David Clarke to the second ball of the match and their other star men Lewis Bruce and Asim Butt in successive overs. Bruce had smacked seven boundaries in his 30, but it was always going to be an uphill struggle from 36-3.
That Town reached a respectable 142-7 was down to some terrific imagination from Chris Milner who cracked 35 from just 20 balls and 16 year-old Danny Malik who coped well under pressure to finish unbeaten on 29.
Teenage seamer Connor Parnell claimed one of his two wickets in the first over of Slough’s reply, but the visitors were always on top clubbing six sixes over the big Bretton Gate boundaries.
Clarke (72no) and Bruce (60) batted superbly as Town chased down Kibworth’s 149-8 with 11 balls to spare. Bruce cracked three sixes and six fours in his knock.
Earlier Leicestershire first-team squad member Aadil Ali had been bowled by Town’s 17 year-old off spinner Mohammed Saif for a rapid 37, but Kibworth lost ground after reaching 55-1 in the first six overs.
Slough’s semi-final win was a remarkable one. They beat Birmingham League leaders Berkswell by one wicket chasing just 67.
Town also reached the last 16 of the National Club KO competition - a 40-overs-a-side event - which was a best ever run.
PETERBOROUGH TOWN beat KIBWORTH by 9 wkts
Kibworth 149-8 (A. Ali 38).
Bowling: D. Sayer 2-0-22-0; V. Bajaj 4-0-31-2; C. Parnell 2-0-14-0; M. Saif 4-0-30-1; L. Bruce 4-0-26-3; M. Milner 4-1-24-1.
Peterborough Town 152-1 (D. Clarke 72no, L. Bruce 60, A. Butt 11no)
SLOUGH beat BERKSWILL by 1 wkt
SLOUGH beat PETERBOROUGH TOWN by 7 wkts
Peterborough Town 142-7 (C. Milner 35, L. Bruce 30, D. Malik 29no).
Slough 146-3 (S. Khan 52no).
Bowling: C. Parnell 3-0-22; D. Sayer 4-0-32-0; L. Bruce 4-0-31-0; M. Saif 4-0-31-0; M. Milner 4-0-27-1.