Thorpoe Arnold seal dramatic victory from final ball of the contest
Thorpe Arnold made the long trip to take on high flying Kibworth Seconds in the Leicestershire and Rutland Division One on Saturday.
Richard Randall made his way to the middle for toss, which he won and the decision was made to have a bowl.
Thorpe Arnold opened up the bowling attack of Mark Starkey and Chris Waldron.
The first two overs were tight and scoreboard was slowly moving along with only one expensive over and then in the fifth over Waldron struck trapping the opening batmans LBW, 19-1.
And the classic cricketing expression of one brings two as Starkey got in on the act a mere two balls later and got the other opening bat trapped LBW with a swinging full delivery, 19-2.
The Thorpe Arnold field started to become even more lively than normal.
Then Kibworth began to fight back with some good solid batting, but the Thorpe bowlers still kept good control with a maximum of six runs per over from overs four to 13.
Then Starkey claimed his second victim of the day with another swinging delivery with got a thick outside edge and after a masterful grab from Dom Exton, 44-3.
Kibworth started to get the scoreboard moving but slowly due the tight bowling of the change bowlers of Jaimin Mistry and Jordan Hirst and it was not long until there good bowling was rewarded.
Hirst who bowled a tight line for long spells of the game got an outside edge and Exton took another grab, 63-4.
Then came the Kibworth come back with Sejpal and Patel both batting with confidence and get poise, the scoreboard then started to go towards the 100 mark.
The batmans both batted well but the Thorpe bowlers and fielders did a great job of restricting the runs per over, overs 16-33 only yielded one double digit over and impressive feat.
Credit does have to be given to Sejpal who made his way to well deserved 50. The 150 came up for Kibworth but not in the quick manner than the situation required.
Then after some tight bowling overs from Matty Truter, he then dismissed Sejpal after a well worked 65, 162-5.
Thorpe turned to its opening bowler Waldron who came back for his second spell and dismissed the other set batmans on 41 after a well taken catch from Truter, 179-6.
The game was beginning to turn in Thorpe Arnold’s favour.
With Truter taking his second wicket of the day with a spinning delivery which bamboozled the batman, 184-7.
Starkey in the similar style to Waldron came back on for his second spell and this soon paid dividends. With his pace too much to handle for the lower order batsman, 196-8.
Waldron not wanting to be outdone by his opening bowling partner struck again after another fine grab from Truter, 198-9.
Kibworth got the scoreboard over 200, but soon after Starkey claimed his fourth victim of the day with captain Richard Randall taking the catch.
Kibworth were 206 all out and the target of 207 was set.
With the target of 207 set, the Thorpe innings began. With Starkey and Adam Clarke opening up.
Both batmens were proactive but Kibworth's opening bowlers did well to limit the runs.
Then Kibworth struck dismissing Clarke after a wonderful seaming delivery, 33-1.
Mistry came in at number three and unfortunately got another good delivery and Thorpe were 36-2.
The other opening bowler of Kibworth then got into the action dimissing Starkey, 38-3.
With Thorpe in some trouble Exton was joined in the middle by Waldron and rebuild began.
This began slowly but quickly gained momentum, with lots of singles and some powerful shots from Waldron.
Exton also played some classy shots with fantastic timing and poise. The score ticked over 70 and then 80.
Waldron was then dismissed after trying to accelerate the run rate, 93-4, which put the end to an impressive 50-plus run partnership.
Exton was then joined by S. Pollard with game in the balance.
The runs then began to flow, with hard running from both players and a combination of power shots, sweetly timed drives and majestic sweeps.
The scoreboard quickly moved in the right direction for Thorpe.
Exton made his way to a well deserved 50. Then the 150 came up for Thorpe Arnold.
Pollard was then dismissed soon after the 150 came up, after his well played 34 and gave Thorpe Arnold a chance to win the game, 153-5.
Exton kept the scoreboard ticking over and A. Cropper was a happy runner and enable Thorpe to get some vital runs.
A Cropper was then undone by the Kibworth Captain and it was 174-6.
In came L. Perry to join Exton, unfortunately for Perry he was bowled an unplayable delivery and was dismissed 174-7.
Now the game was in the truly on a knife edge and Exton was run out trying to push the run rate. He played incredibly well and deserved his all of his 69 runs, 175-8.
It was then J. Hirst and R. Randall in the middle. Hirst smashed a four which brought cheers from the Thorpe players on the sidelines.
When Thorpe entered the 43rd over they needed the runs quickly, the Kibworth bowlers contributed with some wides and also some great Thorpe running.
But he bowled a good delivery to Hirst and it was 187-9.
So it was now Truter and Randall to see if the game could be won. A massive 16 runs came from the penultimate over.
Going into the final over the target was clear - nine runs to win.
The first ball was set to boundary rope by Truter with a Steve Smith style sweep shot, the nerves and tension were high, now five runs from five balls.
After some smart running and good cricket from all it ended up with Thorpe needing two runs from the final delivery, captain Randall to face.
You could cut the tension with a knife.
The ball was bowled and struck and clear run of two was called and Kibworth threw to wrong end as Richard Randall steamed in for his second run and Thorpe won in a final ball thriller.
This was a fantastic game of cricket with over 400 runs and 19 wickets in a day a true delight to watch from start to finish.
Some fantastic bowling came from Waldron (3-31 8 overs), Starkey (4-41 9 overs), Truter (2-35 9 overs) with Exton (69), Pollard (34) and Waldron (25) batting well.