University of Kent Men’s Cricket – Record Breakers and National Champions

Thursday 6th April 2023

The University of Kent have been crowned the national champions for the ECB indoor national club championship in 2023, the first university side ever to win the competition.  The team, which is now the most successful indoor cricket team that the university has ever had, went unbeaten throughout the National club competition from the beginning of the Kent regional league which started in October through to final’s day at Lords, the home of cricket on April 2nd, 2023.

National Finals Day 2023 – Semi Final vs Neyland CC

The final hurdle to climb for the boys would be 2 games played at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket. First up was a National Semi-final against Neyland CC. The first ball being bowled at 11:00, UKC were put into bat and didn’t have an ideal start being 0-1 and 10-2. Their backs were up against the wall already but with small contributions from Lewis White (11), Owen Griffiths (11) and Kartikye Wadwha (19) as well as a captains knock of 33 not out from Euan Munday the boys managed to put 79 on the board which turned out to be a defendable total. Griffiths and Wadwha took the new ball instantly applying pressure on the Neyland batters who got off to a nervy start, but they kept the runs ticking over, and managed to accumulate a first partnership of 27 before the loss of the first wicket as Munday hit the Neyland opener in front of all three. The Neyland batters were still accumulating runs managing to get to 32-2 before Griffiths struck next. However, with Neyland 67-2 with 4 overs remaining it was over to White to take 2 wickets in as many balls making it 67-4, and Munday taking the 5th wicket of the game at 69-5 it was all down to the final two overs with Neyland still in the driving seat. Two overs to go, 11 runs required and the Neyland in batter scored 7 off leaving themselves with 4 runs to win off the final over. Two dot balls to start the over built pressure, before a leg bye in the third. 3 balls left, 3 to win and what happened next was as crazy as it sounds. Wadwha bowls and hits the Neyland batter on the pad with big appeals for LBW turned down and the batters looked to run to win the game, however the quick thinking White with a clean pick up off the back wall and a backhand flick throw to Durrant at the keeper’s end, running the batter out by the barest of margins – Kent won the semi final by 1 run, with 2 balls to spare.

Top Run scorer: E. Munday – 33*, Best Figures: E. Munday 3-1-2-9

Pictured: The team huddle before the bowling innings in the Final vs University of Sheffield

Final vs University of Sheffield

After the University of Sheffield beat Cherry Willingham CC it was a first ever University vs University final. A repeat of the BUCS indoor 3rd vs 4th place playoff game which Sheffield won in February. Sheffield won the toss and elected to bat first, and O. Griffiths bowled the spell of his life taking 2 early wickets as Sheffield were 18-2 finishing his spell with 3 overs, 2 wickets for just 14 runs. However, Sheffield Uni batted extremely well against a firing bowling attack, 4 batters retired, and they finished on 114 setting UKC 115 runs to win, which looked a daunting task. However, in complete contrast to the first game. Liam Durrant and Luke Williams batted out of their skin. Putting on a 40-run partnership before Durrant scored one of the most important 25s in the university’s history and retired. Scoring above the required run-rate, Munday was in next, and Williams got to 22 before being run out, with Kent 65-1 and cruising White came in and was run out with the score at 88-2. Needing 27 to win, Griffiths entered the pitch and again continued in the same vein of form allowing for runs to be scored freely from both ends, before Munday retired off 10 balls. The final batting partnership of the day to take UKC over the line had to involved K. Wadwha, better known as the wizard. Griffiths and Wadwha ticked the runs over until UKC needed 3 runs to become national champions and as he always does, in style, Wadwha hit a boundary to crown the University of Kent as the National Champions.

Top Scorer – E. Munday 27*, Best Figures – O. Griffiths 3-0-2-14

The playing squad from Left to right: Owen Griffiths, Luke Williams, Liam Durrant (Wk – Sports Scholar), Euan Munday (Captain – Sports Scholar), Richard Durrant (Coach), Kartikye Wadwha, Lewis White.
Not in picture – Jarryd Taig (Coach), Henry Smith (7th Man)