“You couldn’t write the script!”, so the expression goes. Well, the twists in the final few overs of the Cornwall Cricket Board’s Indoor Sixes Knockout Cup Final would have taken a fair amount of imagination to write, it’s true.
Truro CC’s up-and-coming indoor sixes team have beaten the previously ‘unbeatable’ St Austell twice in a fortnight and will now carry the Cornish flag into the national rounds of the ECB competition, where they begin away to the Devon champions on February 16.
The holders got off to the worst possible start, losing the prolific brothers Mike and Gary Bone for 0 and 3 respectively, both to the bowling of Cornwall player Rob Harrison.
Matt Ellison was also out with the score on just 20, but the inevitable recovery, this time from Scott Barrott (19) and Callum Wilson (24), saw the 4th wicket out on 58 runs.
St Austell were all out for 88 in just 11 overs, thereby wasting a valuable six balls of their innings, but the hostile attack of Harrison, Kyle van Rooyen and Neil Ivamy must take great credit for this.
They bowled a crucially accurate length, just short of what would be necessary outdoors, and moved the yellow ball about, which contributed to ‘keeper Tim Marrion claiming two victims ‘caught behind’.
St Austell were never going to give up their title without a fight and the Truro innings began steadily, but was set back by the loss of openers van Rooyen and Liam Lombard to run outs, something which was always on the cards.
Marrion and Harrison then scored an unusually high number of ‘ones’, ie. singles into the wall, not run, before the latter was out with the score on 68, bringing in Ivamy. The fielding of both sides had been razor sharp and the ball was flying around, making ‘backing up’ the most hazardous of occupations!
It all came down to an equation of 25 to win from three overs, a pretty much even situation. Ten runs then came from the tenth over, six of which were extras. 15 from 2 overs, then, perhaps just in Truro’s favour?
Two wickets still to fall, but next came a brilliant over from St Austell’s ‘man of the match’ Wilson, conceding just two runs and taking the wicket of Ivamy. Now 13 were need from just six balls, surely St Austell were the favourites?
Dot ball first (13 from 5), six from Marrion (7 from 4) – had Truro edged in front? Dot ball (7 from 3) – back to evens or the holders on top? What followed, no-one saw coming, I suspect … yes, all seven from the next ball, as Tim Marrion’s drive beat the diving Matt Lloyd to score four, plus two for running and another from the overthrow in a desperate attempt to run him out.
Much the underdogs until two weeks ago, Truro had scraped home to beat St Austell twice and march into the national competition. The next hot ticket, one suspects, is the League Final on March 23, when the two sides will be overwhelming favourites to meet once again.
Result: St Austell 88 (C Wilson 24*, R Harrison 3-18), Truro 89-4 (T Marrion 31*) – Truro won by 2 wickets.
Sunday February 9
6.10pm Premier Division St Austell v St Minver
7.05pm Premier Division Newquay v Truro
8.00pm County Division St Gluvias v Wadebridge
8.55pm County Division Falmouth v Beacon