CRICKETER CUP FINAL
SUNDAY 6 AUGUST 2017
Old Wellingtonians defeated Old Eastbournians by 80 runs at Arundel Castle
Old Wellingtonians 182 (48.2 overs) E.Young 100, B.Evans 3-16, J.Smith 3-32
Old Eastbournians 102 (36.5 overs) J.Dewes 5-28, A.Dewes 3-32
Arundel in bright sunshine was a treat for all present for the Cricketer Cup final on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the competition. Much rain during the preceding week had left the outfield green for August, and the wicket had enough in it for the bowlers to make batting a struggle for both sides. Old Wellingtonians won the toss and batted. They lost Ben Curran early, but Adam Dewes and Ed Young then took the score to 61 before Dewes fell to Jacob Smith’s off breaks. At 107-5 Wellington looked in trouble but Hugo Shephard gave Ed Young strong support in a very important partnership of 69. The last five wickets then fell for only six runs, but not before Young had gone to a match-deciding hundred. He was never dominant, and his innings spanned over 40 overs, but crucially he held the innings together, taking every opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking with singles and putting away the bad balls. The fact that no other batsman in the match reached thirty showed what a good innings it was, and followed an equally important century in the semi-final against the Old Malvernians. Eastbourne bowled well with Brad Evans taking 3-16 in only six overs, and Jacob Smith 3-32, and the fielding of a young side was all that it should have been with two run outs effected.
Opinion was divided on what was a par score. 182 was the smallest first innings score in a final for nine years, but runs on the board were bound to exert their own pressure. In the event it proved more than enough. Old Eastbournians’ successes in all the previous rounds had been achieved batting first and their young side, with all but two aged 22 or under, lacked the experience to build and then sustain a run chase against very accurate bowling, especially from the left arm spinners. They never managed to put the bowlers and fielders under pressure with quick singles, and the only significant partnership was 41 for the second wicket between Jacob Smith and Harry Lloyd. Angus Stewart, the captain, made 23 in the middle order but no one could stay with him, and they were bowled out for 102 in 36 overs. JJ Dewes with 5-28 in his 10 overs was the pick of the Wellington bowling, and he was well backed up by his brother Angus with 3-32 and by some excellent fielding. Old Wellingtonians thus recorded their second Cricketer Cup success, the previous one being in 1995, but Old Eastbournians should be congratulated on reaching their first final with such a young side and will certainly come again.
There was an excellent crowd of partisan and neutral supporters, with at least 250 cars parked around the ground. A brass quartet played by the pavilion, bouncy castle and face-painting were available for the children, and a champagne reception was held to mark the 50th anniversary, with the champagne kindly donated by Moet and Chandon to mark their original twenty-one years of sponsorship of the Cricketer Cup. Matthew Fleming, President of MCC, kindly presented the cup to the winners, remarking on how good it was to have the final of such an important competition at this iconic venue, and thanking Alan Lorenz and Herbalife, the main sponsors of the Cricketer Cup.