Published: 12th September, 2017
Surrey club Wimbledon CC were forced to settle for runners up medals in this year’s Natwest T20 Club tournament after losing to South Northumberland under the floodlights at the 3aaa County Ground in Derby.
South Northumberland had been the first national T20 champions when the competition was introduced in 2008, and beat the 2012 and 2013 champions Wimbledon by seven wickets in a heavyweight final.
Wimbledon had won the toss but struggled to 117 all out, with Jonny Wightman claiming three for 18 and former Australia international Marcus North taking two for 20 with his canny off-spin.
North fell for 16 in the sixth over of the Bulls’ reply, but Birtwistle kept them on course, and wicketkeeper Rob Peyton steered them home with an unbeaten 37 – although it was captain Adam Cragg who applied a spectacular finish by hitting the second ball of the last over for six.
Simon Birtwistle was the man of the match, taking three for 23 with his left-arm spin, and then top-scoring with 47 as they added the T20 title to the longer-form Royal London National Club Championship they won last September.
South Northumberland had beaten the Cannock and Rugeley Hawks in the day’s first semi final, with John Graham’s unbeaten 56 proving the match-winning innings.
Then Wimbledon had a convincing eight-wicket victory over Clifton in the second semi, restricting the Salford club to 94 for seven – after Angus Boobbyer claimed the key wicket of the former Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman Gareth Cross, snapped up by the former Warwickshire player Jonathon Webb at short extra cover.
Nick Welch, a 19-year-old who has been playing for Surrey’s second team this summer, made short work of the modest chase with a rapid 60.
Aaron Campbell, the ECB’s Competitions Manager, said: “Congratulations to South Northumberland and the other three teams for reaching Finals Day and providing another excellent day of cricket. I’m sure all four teams would share our appreciation of the Derbyshire club and especially their groundstaff for allowing us to beat the weather.”