WGC are champions once again after final ball drama
PUBLISHED: 15:06 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:10 18 September 2017
Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club made it back-to-back play-off titles in sensational circumstances - beating Totteridge Millhillians on the final ball.
City had won the trophy comfortably last year at Radlett but this was much more nerve wracking for the watching crowd at Digswell Park.
However, like the semi-final last week, the game would not have gone ahead at all had it not been for ground manager Simon Bridgewater and his team of volunteers.
They spent most of the week putting covers on and off to ensure the surface was kept dry and playable.
Added to the team’s problems was the loss of a couple of sightscreens, victims of the strong winds during the week.
And Bridgewater obviously had a lot of tension he needed to release, something he did superbly well against the Millhillians batting line-up.
After Ben Howgego and Jon Miles had given the visitors a good start, skipper Andy Nolan brought Bridgewater in as the first change and he made quick inroads, finishing on 3-46.
Steve Selwood’s excellent 70 not out from 100 balls helped push Totteridge to a competitive 222-6 from their 50 overs.
Welwyn’s target would be slightly less than that following rain during the interval, brought down by Duckworth Lewis to 213 from 45 overs.
They lost Adil Arif and Louis Champion early on and with one eye on the weather, only a partnership between Dan Blacktopp (74) and Owais Shah (39) got WGC ahead of the DLS par rate after 20 overs.
Losing Shah slowed things down for a bit but having former skipper James Hewitt coming in at number six was a boon for the home team and he and Blacktopp set about the bowlers to take WGC to the brink.
However, both fell with the job not quite complete – Hewitt for a well-made 53 from 43 balls and a scurry of wickets meant that Bridgewater was needed as WGC’s last man.
He and Julian Chinn got to the final over needing six, and Chinn hit four from the first ball and a single from the third.
Two dot balls followed but Bridgewater managed to get enough on the final delivery and the pair scurried through for the winning run and the start of much celebration.