After a steady platform was laid by the Brioche Pasquier openers Aaron Day and Sylvester, the middle order of Matt Lewis and Atif Mushtaq attacked in the closing two overs. Dileep Narayanasa bowled Aaron, but in order to get to the crease, Atif controversially retired out his other opener. In reply, the Castlethorpe pair of Jones and Jones carried out a clinical run-chase to win the game with eleven balls still to go.
Hanslope had a difficult start against an MK Air team with impressive batting power. Their total of 65 for one, the highest of the tournament, was built around an unbeaten 38 from opener Punit who was supposed to have retired on reaching 30, but wasn't informed that he'd got there. The slightly chastened Hanslopians were always going to struggle against such a total, but unbeaten innings from Will Marsh and Jack Johnson meant that the result was respectable.
After winning the toss and batting first, Hanslope captain Jack Johnson carried on from where he left off in the first game by adding an unbeaten 19 to his 24 from the first game. Unfortunately, he was starved of the strike as his opening partner faced 21 of the innings' 30 balls, including a maiden from young James Chantry. The result was that Castlethorpe made light work of the target of 43, with opener Martin Jones hitting three sixes on his way to an unbeaten twelve-ball 30.
Bolstered by the arrival of Jon Hill and Stuart Gray, Brioche put in a much-improved fielding effort to restrict MK Air to 42 while also taking three wickets. The star of the fielding display was definitely Matt Lewis, whose over conceded only one run and ended in an injury that forced him behind the stumps (where he claimed a run-out and a stumping). The new opening pair of Atif Mushtaq and Syed Naqvi got Brioche to their target with nine balls to spare.
With their four sixes from the first two matches leaving them almost guaranteed a final berth, Castlethorpe changed up their batting order. The MK Air bowlers took full advantage to restrict them to a mere 24 for the loss of three wickets. At this point, the win was a foregone conclusion and took only ten legitimate balls to arrive.
This game was a semi-final for Brioche: a win for Hanslope would knock Brioche out and send MK Air into the final to meet Castlethorpe. Brioche, however, set about their task exceptionally well, with Jon Hill in particular taking on an outstanding role with two run-outs and an over that conceded only one run. He then also played a breezy innings in which he struck 22 of the 30 runs Brioche needed.
In reply, the Castlethorpe opening pair of Jones and Jones fired yet again, and they were still together at the start of the final over with nine needed. However, a moment of controversy left Castlethorpe with seven runs still needed from the last two balls. A square-cut for four by Russell followed by a hard-run two tied the scores.
There followed a brief debate as there wasn't any provision for such a result in the rules. Both teams eventually agreed on a Super Over to decide the tournament.
Batting first for Castlethorpe, Martin Jones struck the first ball from Jon Hill for four. There followed four balls of excellence from Jon Hill that went one, wicket, dot, one and left Martin on strike for the final ball of the over. He hit it hard and high, but it only carried far enough for two runs to be scored.
In reply, Martin conceded only five runs from the first five balls of the over thanks to his changes of pace. With four required from the final ball, he trusted his stock delivery, a hard-spun off-break. Playing against the spin, Syed Naqvi advanced down the track and played a perfect on-drive for four to claim a remarkable win for Brioche.
An excellent day finished with the trophy presentation being carried out by our Chairman, David Spinelli. Congratulations to all seven members of the Brioche squad: Aaron, Atif, Jon, Matt, Stuart, Syed and Sylvester.
Martin Jones (CA) - 79 runs off 45 balls (not out)
Jon Hill (BP) - 2 wickets for 21 from 4 overs