KCB announces Whitstable Cricket Club as National Indoor Cup Champions.

Wednesday 21st March 2012

KCB announces Whitstable Cricket Club as National Indoor Cup Champions.

Kent Cricket Board has announced that Kent’s Whitstable Cricket Club areNational Indoor Cup Champions.

National Indoor Cup finals were played at Lord’s on Sunday 18th March. Whitstable Cricket Club made their very first appearance at Lord’s as Kent representatives.

Southern Semi Final – Poole Town CC v Whitstable CC

Whitstable put their opponents into bat, but at first it looked not to be the a great decision after opening bowler Josh Gould struggled and Poole Town put on 36 off the first three overs. But the momentum swung in Whitstable’s favour after Max Campbell enticed an edge to wicketkeeper Tom Richardson to dismiss opener, Steve Wilson whilst his fellow opener Michael Porter retired.

Poole Captain Dave Miller was run out by Liam Legg for 9 and after Richardson took his second catch of the match, this time off the bowling of Byron Gould, to dismiss Ciaran Quinn for 7, Martin Ford was run out by Campbell for 2. John Fairless and the returning Porter pushed the Poole Town total past one hundred before Fairless became the third run out victim for 17 off the last ball of the innings leaving them on 106-5.

Whitstable lost opener Richardson early for 3 in another run out but that was as good as it got for Poole Town as the Whitstable batsmen controlled their chase. Opener Byron Gould (25*) was followed by Campbell and Tegg, who both scored 27*, as the three retirees that moved the Kent side to the brink of victory. A total of 16 wides did not help Poole Town as Whitstable captain James Loader scored the winning runs in their total of 108-1 from 9.4 overs.

National Final – Blaydon CC v Whitstable CC

Following a short break after the semi-final, Whitstable won the toss again and again elected to field first.

Blaydon, who themselves were happy to bat first, started well, but Whitstable were once again producing an excellent fielding display, putting pressure on the batsmen which led to Peter Howells being run out by Byron Gould following a mix up with fellow opener Allan Worthy.

This was followed next ball by Josh Gould trapping Graeme Bridge LBW without scoring. Worthy and Christopher Varley steadied the ship and after Varley was run out on 23, Gary Stewart and Martin Pollard moved the score onto 86. But tight bowling, especially from Liam Tegg (0-10 from three overs), had slowed the run rate and Max Campbell returned to capture the wickets of Pollard and the returning Worthy before a third run out of Stewart in an eventful final over saw Blaydon all out for 91 off 11.5 overs.

Whitstable, as they did in the semi final, again controlled their reply and had scored 46 from the first three overs thanks to openers Byron Gould and Tom Richardson. Richardson was run out for 20 but Campbell continued the assured batting.

Byron Gould retired on 27* and after Tegg was caught by Pollard off the bowling of Varley for 0 Whitstable had captain James Loader and Josh Gould at the crease. With overs in hand the Whitstable pair took their time and with the scores level, Varley pushed a ball down leg-side for a wide to give the Kent side victory by three wickets.

Putting the whole experience into some context though, it's fair to say that the Final was really one-sided, with Whitstable winning with considerable ease. It had been the semi-finals where they showed how nervous they actually were.

The venue at Lord's is completely different to where Whitstable play their usual indoor cricket. It is much bigger and the surface very different, as might be expected at Lord's.

In fact, the other three teams in the semi-finals were used to very similar venues as that at Lord's so Whitstable were at a large disadvantage going into the day.

However, all the team were their usual chipper and lively selves, with plenty of banter: they were also very well supported by other players and officials who travelled from Whitstable. That really kept them grounded! The captain also did a marvellous job by keeping them focussed and on task and all together it was a significant factor in well-deserved victories!

The whole event was very well hosted by ECB with a mini bus seeing them safely home!