Belper Amateurs held their nerve to lift the Boolers Wright Cup on Sunday at Heanor Town CC in a game that ended in a thrilling manner.
The start of the cup final against Rolls-Royce Leisure was marked with a minute’s silence, in respect of former Belper Amateurs CC player Neil Dalton, who was murdered in Borneo earlier this month.
Belper won the toss and batted, but soon lost both openers to calamitous run outs. Tony Boucher (21) started the recovery, and John Beard with 54 not out held the innings together, while Belper wickets fell regularly after the bowling introduction of Rolls-Royce Leisure skipper Raza Khushnud, who took the last six wickets, to record a career best 6-33, and was later to be named as man of the match. The Belper Amateurs innings eventually closed on 158 all out.
Rolls-Royce Leisure got off to an equally disastrous start, losing both openers without a run on the board, before a recovery looked to be swinging the game their way, but Paul Spencer with 3-17 and Chris Maleham with 3-39 reduced them to 104-8. Sensible batting then got them ahead of the required rate, but young Josh Pickering bowled two incredibly tight overs to leave Rolls-Royce Leisure needing six from the final over, bowled by Richard Deeming. Off the fifth ball, Maxwell was run out going for a second run.
With two needed from the final ball for RR to tie the match (and win on the loss of fewer wickets) - nothing was scored and so Rolls-Royce closed on 156-9 and Amateurs had won the cup by two runs.