Shenley Village boys rewrite Herts cricket history with National crown
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 August 2017
Shenley Village under-13s became the first Hertfordshire club to win the ECB's National Championship at Rugby School last week.
Having won their Herts Junior League title and knocked out the champions of Suffolk (Mildenhall), Surrey (Royal Ascot) and Middlesex (Eastcote), they travelled to the finals day in high spirits.
After a special dinner the night before, the semi-final draw paired them with Derbyshire and North England champions Denby, as Gloucestershire and South West champions Dumbleton faced Bedfordshire and Midlands champions Bedford.
Denby, who boasted six county players in their ranks, won the toss and decided to bat first, reaching 50-2 in nine overs.
But they were pegged back by Oliver White (3-12), and Will Poynton (3-15) to finish on 85-9 from their 20 overs, after the champagne moment of the day from Graydon Orchard, who took a tremendous catch in the deep to account for one of Derbyshire’s leading batsmen.
Shenley’s Toby Elliott and Zahid Nasser both ended with figures of 0-12 from their tight four-over spells, but their reply got off to a disastrous start as they slumped to 0-2 after nine balls.
However, a steady 18 from Max Delyfer, plus an unbeaten 21 from White and a blistering 29 off 14 balls from Elliott saw Shenley safely home in 14 overs and into the final.
The other semi-final saw Bedford dismiss Dumbleton for 74, only to then be bowled out for 58, setting up an all-south final.
Shenley won the toss and decided to bat first against one of the best bowling attacks in the country, with Dumbleton rarely having conceded more than 60 runs in the T20 format.
Ryan Kilimister and Will Guilderson were particularly impressive, catching the eye of England’s Jake Ball along with Shenley’s Elliott.
But a dogged 30 retired from Delyfer, supported by 14 crucial runs late on by Ben Werter saw Shenley limp to 102.
A fired-up Elliott removed two Dumbleton batsmen in two balls as Shenley reduced their rivals to 34-5 in the eighth over, before 36 more runs were added in the next four overs.
But a maiden, followed by a double-wicket maiden from White, put the brakes on and Zahid Nasser also took two wickets in two balls as Shenley secured a memorable 21-run win.