Deano digs deep to help England veterans to a famous Bridgetown triumph

Sunday 6th December 2009

Dean Headley bowled four tight overs despite carrying a knee injury

By Mark Pennell in Bridgetown

Kent“s former England pace bowler Dean Headley went through the Bridgetown pain barrier to play his part in England“s eight-wicket success over South Africa in the inaugural Cricket Legends of Barbados Cup final on Saturday evening.
Headley, who turns 40 in January, bowled a frugal four-over stint with a badly swollen left knee to help restrict South Africa to 156 for five in this new Twenty20 floodlit event for the over-35s.
Ex-Derbyshire strike bowler Devon Malcolm, who terrorised the Proteas on their 1994 tour of England with career-best figures at The Oval of five for 57, rolled back the clock by taking three for 17 from his four, hostile overs here at the Kensington Oval.
Having suffered an eight-wicket drubbing by South Africa in their final round-robin game just 24 hours, England“s injury hit veterans bounced back to claim the hand-crafted, solid mahogany trophy by knocking off the runs with an over to spare courtesy of a cameo 19-ball knock worth 32 from Graham Thorpe and a brilliant, unbeaten third-wicket stand of 116 in 14.2 overs by Mark Ramprakash (51*) and Graeme Hick (67*).
Ramprakash hit the winning boundary to post a 47-ball half-century, leaving Hick unbeaten with 67 at the other end. The 43-year-old Zimbabwean took his tournament tally to 210 in three innings without once being dismissed.
After picking up his winner“s trophy and a share in a $US 50,000 prize fund, a delighted Headley said: “It feels really good to be winning trophies at my age, especially when you consider we always seemed to come second in my days at Kent and that I never won much as an England player.
“If I remember right, this is only the second time I“ve won anything on England duty, so it feels great right now. I“ve got a nasty feeling I“m going to be aching all over by the morning though, especially having played three nights in a row.
“We“ve all chipped in to this success, I guess you might say that“s what professional sportsmen and team-players do, but the funniest thing is that the oldest player on our side, John Emburey, has come through all this looking the fittest!
“After playing four games in a week he hasn“t got a mark on him right now. Just about everyone else is carrying an injury!”
He added: “I think the great thing about this event is that we“ve been given a chance to play again with people we came through the ranks with. Take ‘Ramps“ for instance, he“s still playing first-class cricket but alongside a new generation of Surrey player, for people like him it“s a really good feeling to back with his old mates again.”