The Old Vigornians won a thrilling game against Bretforton at the county ground on Sunday to win the Gray’s County Plate. It was welcome silverware after the club lost three finals in the past three years.
In front of a sizeable crowd an on a beautiful Sunday morning the OVs elected to bat first in the twenty over match. Osman Fiaz got them off to a good start, scoring 38 from 31 balls including a six and 7 fours. After he was bowled by spinner Daniel Lamb (2-18), the in-form Chris Drew marshalled the Worcester side’s innings, despite wickets falling at the other end. He received support from skipper James Bader (21) in a 6th wicket partnership worth 47.
Drew reached his fifty off the penultimate ball of the innings and finished 52 not out from 44 balls including 6 fours and a six.
The old boys posted a respectable 140-7. Jamie Clarke and Steven Edghill also took two wickets for the Cotswold Hills Premier League side.
Bretforton, cheered on by their vocal support in the Graeme Hick pavilion lost two early wickets to catches in the deep off Angus Guthrie and Charlie Lamb. Jamie Clarke made a well constructed 39 in 36 balls, and when he was dropped twice on the boundary in the same Amelia Kite over, Bretforton seemed certain to win.
The OVs battled back thanks to an excellent spell from spinner Alex Parker (4-0-15-0)and the two veteran seamers – Bader (2-14) and Phil Mackie – who conceded just 26 runs in their combined four overs.
Luke Richardson looked well set and seemed likely to steer the Evesham side to victory but the Worcester team bowled superbly at the death. Bretforton could only score two boundaries in the final six overs and although in the penultimate over a loose Charlie Lamb (2-28) no ball cost 5 runs – the subsequent free hit was a dot and Bretforton were left needing 7 to win from the final over.
It ought to have been straightforward but panic set in against Angus Guthrie (1-18), who bowled with guile and accuracy. There were two run outs in four balls as Bretforton tried in vain to give Richardson the strike. He was left undefeated on 28 and Bretforton were dismissed for 135 with two balls remaining.