Bexley CC win ECB National Club title

Wednesday 21st September 2022

Bexley CC win ECB National Club title

Bexley Cricket Club are the 2022 ECB National Club champions, after a dramatic last ball victory, by one run, in the final against Nantwich Cricket Club, at Lord’s.

Put in to bat, Bexley made 241 for 8 from their 40 overs. In their chase for victory, Nantwich needed eight runs of the last over of the match, with their wicketkeeper Spencer Byatt, confident, already with a half century, but a brilliant last three deliveries from spinner Shaun Evans saw the Kent League side snatch a last gasp win.

Off the first ball of the final six, Byatt turned down a single, then ran two, before hitting a reverse sweep to the boundary for four. It looked all over for Bexley, with their opponents needing just two runs from three deliveries to win the game. Byatt could only find a fielder off the fourth ball, and then missed the penultimate delivery. He then tried to hit the winning runs, but sent the ball straight back to Evans, who ran out the non-striker, who was backing up.

The Bexley players suddenly realised they had gained a remarkable win, and ran over to celebrate with their supporters, friends and family, still not quite believing what had happened.

It was quite a day for Evans, the all-rounder, scoring 56, opening the Bexley innings. When the team fielded he took a brilliant catch over his head on the boundary in front of the pavilion, then collapsed with a severe attack of cramp when bowling and had to leave the field for treatment, before returning to become the match winner for his team.

Bexley got their innings off to a bright start scoring 63 off the first 10 overs with one wicket down but in the nineties they lost three wickets for six runs, before youngster Ben Aldred, Kent’s Second XI wicketkeeper, reached a superb half century from 51 balls, and was finally out for 68, with three sixes and six fours, to help Bexley to a competitive total. Nantwich skipper Ray Doyle, taking a creditable 4 for 49.

There was heartache for his side, however, as that amazing last over unfolded and they ended their innings on 240 for 9. Byatt was not out 59, but that was little consolation to him in his sides defeat or to batter, Luke Robinson who scored an attractive 75 in their innings. Former Kent bowler, Adam Ball with 3 for 37 for Bexley. Double disappointment for Nantwich, who also lost in the 2019 final.

Despite his last over heroics, Evans did not win the Player of the Match award. That went to Aldred for his mature innings when Bexley looked to be floundering.

Bexley’s captain, Adam Riley, the former Kent spin bowler, was full of praise for his squad, most of whom were home grown. “I am really proud of all of them”, he said.

“It is a massive achievement for the club. It is difficult to remember those final moments which were pandemonium when we realised we had won. It was an unbelievable game of cricket.

“I thought we had missed out in that last over, so to win it as we did was just brilliant.”

By Peter Burrowes

Vote for Kent’s 2022 Men’s Player of the Year now

Voting is now open for Kent supporters to select who they feel is Kent’s most valuable Men’s player from the 2022 season.

31 players have represented Kent Men in First XI cricket this season, including a Tour Match against Sri Lanka Development XI & the squad available to the county during the Royal London Cup.

Cast your vote now

Voting closes at 17:00 on Friday 30 September.