CRICKET: AN OUTSTANDING double century for Dominic Harding helped Knowle and Dorridge defeat Kenilworth Wardens by 95 runs to lift the Harlequins Logistics Floodlit T20 Cup.
It proved to be Knowle and Dorridge’s first success in the annual tournament, which sees Leamington, Berkswell, Wardens, and K&D battle during a five-day competition.
The Solihull School product played what might be one of the greatest innings ever seen at Glasshouse Park as the youngster stuck 21 sixes and 14 fours to record a stunning 79-ball knock of 203.
Harding, who survived a difficult chance off Tom Mordey early in his knock, received good support from Tom Smith (49) and Will Rigg (31*) after Wardens had been buoyed by the early dismissal of Alex Phillips.
After being dismissed by the final delivery of the innings, Harding left the field to a standing ovation from a packed ground.
And with his team firmly in the driving seat, Harding helped K&D set three-time winners Wardens a daunting target of 300.
Wardens’ talented young side made an awful start in reply, losing opener Basit Zaman and overseas professional Prerak Mankad in Chris Cheslin’s first over.
Scott Stenning (13) was Cheslin’s next wicket as he fell in the third over.
Although Harry Johnson (88) and Tom Brammer (30) rebuilt Wardens’ innings, the pair faced the daunting task of having to score at 15 runs per over.
As a consequence, wickets started to fall at regular intervals.
Despite a battling 43 from Dan Mousley, Smith (24/2) and Saunders (28/2) helped Knowle and Dorridge’s task while Cheslin (42/4) returned to pick up his fourth wicket.
Wardens’ spirited attempt to chase down the mammoth total ended in the 18th over when they bowled out for 204.
The Birmingham Premier League leaders – and pre-tournament favourites – took the trophy and prize money back to Station Road at the sixth attempt.
After striking 200 in the final, Harding was chosen as Man of the Match and Player of the Tournament.
K&D had enjoyed an unbeaten route to the final, with their abandoned game against Leamington on Monday being followed by comfortable victories against reigning Birmingham Premier League champions Berkswell and Wardens, by eight wickets, thanks to Alex Phillips’ 74 and Harding’s unbeaten 67.
Wardens showed promise throughout the week, with Indian overseas batsman Prerak Mankad scoring 124* against K&D and 15-year-old spinner Mousley picking up five wickets for 17 runs in their win over two-time former champions Leamington.
Leamington’s sole win came against Berkswell, thanks to one of two fine half centuries made during the week by Lee Hopkins.
Pictures by Gill Phillips.