South Northumberland humble Bromley
South Northumberland 227 for 6 beat Bromley 143 by 84 runs
Despite scoring 50 runs off their last five overs to finish on 227 for 6, South Northumberland still looked to be about 20 runs short of a winning total on a Lord's strip that, due to its situation on the very south side of the square, boasted a very short boundary to the Mound stand.
However, it proved more than enough to defeat a Bromley side that, with the exception of Nadeem Shahid (78 from 63 balls) looked totally in awe of their surroundings.
Bromley were chasing the game from the start, with their innings reduced to 44 overs due to their slow over rate, and they lost Leo Taylor for a duck in the first over, lbw to the impressive Stephen Humble. They regrouped well, with Grant Sheen looking solid, and Shahid began to unfurl the shots that had seen him score an undefeated 197 in a previous round. He hit Brendan Ford, an Australian allrounder, for three fours in succession, and when Ford changed ends Shahid twice pulled him high into the Mound stand.
Sheen's dismissal in the 11th over, caught at slip slashing outside the off stump at Humble, proved the beginning of the end for Bromley. Nick Bluett (4) never got going, and after he was needlessly run out, James Watson and Matthew Isaacs both came and went without scoring in a tight spell by the offspinner Lee Crozier (2 for 28).
Bromley were eventually dismissed 84 shy of South Northumberland's total for 143, of which Shahid had made more than half.
They had only themselves to blame for their defeat, as lacklustre fielding had earlier allowed South Northumberland to recover from 81 for 4. Adam Heather (68) held the innings together well, giving them the platform from which Matthew Hall (60) and Humble (32 not out) could strike towards respectability in the final overs.
Hall could have been dismissed three times before he had 20, a missed run-out, an uncharacteristic drop from Shahid, and an extraordinary incident when Watson claimed a catch on the square leg boundary but was deemed to have stepped over the rope and a six was awarded. They paid for this carelessness as Hall and Heather put on a vital 92 for the fifth wicket.
Bromley were an absolute shambles by the end of the innings, with balls disappearing through fielders' legs, sixes peppering the Mound stand, and Shahid even appeared to take over the captaincy from Butterfill. Joey Benjamin had obviously had enough and he stormed into the pavilion whilst the rest of the Bromley team huddled together on the outfield at the end of the innings.
Humble, who finished with figures of 9-3-16-3 to add to his vital runs, was named Man of the Match to the delight of the typically vociferous travelling Toon army.