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Brewers heartbreak in tie-break at Langley

When Alton CC don the Brewers Blue of their T20 kit high drama and excitement never seems to be far away, and so it proved once again on Sunday as fell to Langley Manor in a ‘super-over’ in the second round of the Southern Electric T20.

Langley Manor, whose ground was subjected to terrible weather in the lead up to the weekend, had done a fine job at creating a decent looking surface, though perhaps slightly softer under a harder top layer than would be ideal.

Manor skipper Robert Noble won the toss and chose to make first use, the Brewers were quickly at a disadvantage as Dewayne Bowden pulled up lame after just one over. The relaxing Michael Heffernan – a spectator on this occasion – was quickly changed and entered the fray as twelfth man.

Manor openers Graham Noble and Steve Harris struck the ball very cleanly, taking advantage of the power play where the Brewers could only set a field with two players outside the 30 yard circle.

Scott Myers replaced the sidelined Bowden and made the breakthrough, a beautifully disguised delivery saw Phillips take the catch, Noble gone for 15 with the score 36-1.

Ireson replaced Myers and turned one through Caleb Brookland’s defences to bowl the number 3 for 9 (53-2) and when Craig Renders took on Ireson, the short boundary and sub Heffernan the left hander fell slightly shy of his target and Heffernan completed an excellent catch on the boundary edge (59-3).

The Brewers were clawing their way back into the contest after a superb start by the home side, Jack Budd next to go as Jack Myers spun a delivery past edge of the advancing Budd, Mark Heffernan completing a simple stumping (75-4).

Dow then struck, Harris whose striking had been supreme finally took one chance too many in his pursuit for quick runs, Heffernan again with great work behind the stumps to complete the stumping. Naz Ayub then lofted Dow to long-on where Sub Michael Heffernan completed an easy catch (97-6). Ballinger then trapped Wateridge LBW for 6 (102-7).

Manor keeper reached a powerful 11 before finding the safe hands of Ireson at long-on – 118-8 and Dow struck again bowling Jerram for 0 (120-9).

Noble and Peters added ten more valuable runs to see Langley Manor finish on 130-9 from their 20 overs.

The Injury to Bowden meant a slight change to the batting order, Jack Penn joining Jon Dow at the top of the innings, but Dow in his attempt to flick Noble to the legside was trapped in front for 1 – Alton 6-1.

Scott Myers and Penn added a well crafted 21 before Penn fell to the spin of Craig Renders for 14 (27-2).

Myers quick to cut anything short had progressed to 18 before a short Noble delivery stayed lower than expected, the Brewers Skipper already looking to latch on to the ball and pull it away defeated by the bounce and bowled with the score on 46-3.

Heffernan and Phillips started to mount a serious charge, before a good catch at backward point saw an unfortunate end for Heffernan, gone for 19 the score 101-4.

Howard Gadsby was then run out for 1 (102-5) and then Phillips went the same way for an excellent 39, Alton were still well and truly in the game at 112-6.

Jack Austin and Jack Myers took the score to 124-7, the heavily limping Bowden joined the increasingly impressive Jack Austin and took the score to 129 with just one delivery left, Manor brought the field in tight to save the single and it was left to Austin to face the final delivery of the innings. Austin swung and didn’t connect fully – the batsmen scrambling a single to tie the scores at 130 each.

The large crowd had been treated to an excellent game of cricket, and showed their appreciation of both sides, but the contest was yet to be decided. It fell to a super over.

Myers and Phillips were restricted to 7 off of their over and so Manor only needed to score 7 to win as an additional deciding factor for the contest was the number of boundaries scored in both the main 20 overs and the super over – Manor leading the boundary count by 2 prior to the Brewers facing the additional 6 balls.

Myers selected Ballinger to deliver the Brewers super over, Manor stuck with openers Noble and Harris, and the contest was effectively over first ball as Noble danced down the pitch and launched the ball into the long-off fence for 6. The Brewers need to take 2 wickets for no runs to win, Ballinger’s second delivery was crashed back at him head high but he couldn’t hang onto the tough chance and Noble and Harris scrambled through for 2 runs to win.

The home crowd were in raptures the disappointment etched all over the Brewers faces.

An excellent and entertaining match that the Brewers can surely be disappointed to have completed their disciplines in so well only to come out of as the losing side, but equally huge congratulations to Langley Manor who progress on to the quarter-finals.

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