Wimbledon CC have carried their good form from the Ryman Surrey Championship into the ECB National Twenty20 Competition.
Yesterday they represented Surrey in the South Area Finals of the National Competition. This took place at Hursley Park CC in Hampshire.
In the Area Semi-Final Wimbledon came up against the Sussex Champions, Horsham CC. Horsham batted first and, at 80 -2 after 10 overs, looked set for a big score.
However some good bowling and fielding, resulting in two run-outs, pegged Horsham back to such an extent that Wimbledon bowled them out for 117 after 19.5 overs. Seb Franke-Matthecka took 3-30.
In reply, Wimbledon also lost early wickets to some injudicious shots and an early exit looked on the cards. Not for the first time this season though, James Brown came to the rescue, batting sensibly, picking up the ones and twos and gradually edging Wimbledon closer to their target.
The winning runs were hit of the penultimate ball for Wimbledon to finish on 120-8 off 19.5 overs. James Brown was 38*.
In the Final, Wimbledon came up against Hartley Country Club, the Kent Champions, who had won their semi-final in convincing manner.
Wimbledon played much better in this match, taking early wickets and never letting the Hartley batsmen settle. The bowling and fielding was good with all the catches being held. Hartley finished their 20 overs at 100-9.
Wimbledon got off to a slow start but gradually they increased the run rate. Graham Grace held things together with a solid knock and when captain Neil Turk strode to the wicket he provided the impetus striking the biggest six of the day to put Wimbledon in total control.
The Surrey side reached their target in just 16.1 overs finishing on 104 -3. Grace was 35* and Turk 32*.
Wimbledon now go into the Regional Final to be played on Sunday 19 August. The do not yet know their opponents as the South-West Area Finals were postponed yesterday until next Sunday due to the weather.
Whoever they play, Wimbledon face a long journey as they will play the winners coming from either Cornwall, Devon, South Wales or West of England Premier Leagues.
They are therefore just one match away from another date live on Sky Sports on the National Finals Day – to be played at Edgbaston on September 6.
Report by David Edwards