Bromley v Kibworth, Cockspur Cup final, Lord's September 11, 2007

Bromley edge thrilling Cockspur Cup final

Bromley 179 (Wells 64, Watson 47, Renshaw 3-21) beat Kibworth 175 (Hanger 40, Sheen 4-30) by five runs

Kibworth's Simon Renshaw cleans up Bromley's Ruel Brathwaite © Martin Williamson
Bromley from Kent won the Cockspur Cup with a tense four-run victory over Kibworth from Leicestershire at a sun-drenched Lord's.

Bromley, last year's beaten finalists, batted first and didn't seem to have made enough when they were bowled out for 179 in the last over of their innings. But Kibworth, who made a solid start to their reply, lost wickets at key stages and in the end they were left needing nine to win with two wickets in hand off the last over.

Nobody could accuse James Butterfill, Bromley's captain, of lacking courage as he brought himself on to bowl. His third ball was a long hop which Mahmood tried to hit out of the ground but was bowled, and off the final ball Chris Hill, Kibworth's No.11 fell to a catch a couple of yards inside the short midwicket boundary as he went for the six needed for glory.

Kibworth made a slow start against the accurate Tom Mees and Ruel Brathwaite, Mees, bowling from the Pavilion End, being particularly hard to get away. His opening spell of six overs yielded eight runs and he finished with 0 for 18 off nine. But after seeing off the new-ball bowlers, Kibworth failed to press on.

Kibworth's John Hanger on his way to 40 © Martin Williamson
Their openers, whose hundred stand in the semi-final had helped them into the final, lost their way. Sunny Patel, who played for England Under-19s earlier this summer, started confidently but quickly lost his touch, and John Hanger struggled to find the gaps. Seventeen-year-old Josh Cobb briefly upped the tempo with a breezy 22, but once he fell to Man-of-the-Match Grant Sheen, the innings again hit the doldrums as Bromley strangled their middle order.

It was only in the final five overs, with the rate in double figures, that Kibworth finally started hitting out, but by then they had left themselves with too much of an ask.

Former Surrey batsman Nadeem Shahid admitted afterwards that he thought Bromley were 20 runs short at the end of their innings.

On a slow and low pitch - the same one that had been so batsman-friendly in the Village final on Sunday - Bromley lost three early wickets, two to the lively Mahmood and then the key one of Shahid to Nick Ferraby, chipping limply to mid-on.

Alan Wells drives inches over the bowler's outstretched fingers © Martin Williamson
The former Sussex and Kent batsman Alan Wells and James Watson rebuilt the innings. Wells, now 46 but in fine trim, was in good touch until he injured himself scurrying a quick single; Watson, who could politely be described as burly, looked as if he would hit the ball a long way but only opened his arms in the final few overs.

Bromley's running was poor, rarely putting pressure on the fielders, and nor did they milk the absurdly short Tavern boundary - but neither did Kibworth. After Wells holed out for an admirable 64, the innings subsided with a whimper.

Watson fell three short of what would have been a pedestrian fifty - he faced 83 balls - as Simon Renshaw returned to mop up the tail. However, Renshaw bowled four booming leg-side wides in his last two overs, and in the event that was the difference between the sides.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo