Newport CC Beat Swansea to Win SWPL T20 Final
Newport Captain Mark Wallace being presented with the SWPL T20 Trophy
from League Chairman Paul Morgan
Back Row:-Kevin Probert (Scorer), Michael Clayden, Harry Friend, Nathan Berry, Hasnain Nawaz.
Steff Kelly, Mujahid Ilyas
Front Row:-Josh Waughington, Charlie Stewart, Mark Wallace (Capt.), Imran Hassan, Morgan Bevans.
Absent from Photo:- Callum Taylor, Chris Hardy, Zac Essenhigh
Newport Cricket Club bounced back from their Welsh Cup Final defeat at the hands of Swansea, to win the SWPL T20 Tournament against the same opponents at St Fagans.
Both teams won their way through to the Final by winning tough matches, Newport having beaten Chepstow, Cardiff and Port Talbot in the Semi Final, whilst Swansea had accounted for Mumbles, Neath and Clydach.
Newport won the toss and elected to bat with openers Harry Friend and Imran Hassan finding it difficult to score freely against tight bowling. However the pair accumulated 44 runs in 8 overs before Friend was out for 17, with Hassan quickly following for a good 35 with the score on 54-2 (10.3 overs). Josh Waughington and Morgan Bevans upped the tempo as Waughington struck two big sixes to boost the run rate, but Newport suffered a big blow as he was caught on the boundary edge for 14 in just 10 balls, with the score now on 74-3 (12 overs).
A further two quick wickets were lost and with the score on 97-5 (15.4 overs), Newport had to make sure they posted a challenging score. Bevans had anchored the innings and was playing well and when he was joined by Michael Clayden the pair began to score freely. A final flourish, including two big sixes from Bevans who scored a fine 44 not out in just 27 balls (3 fours and 2 sixes), and useful contributions from Clayden who was run out off the last ball of the innings for a valuable 18, took the final Newport score to a challenging 138-6.
Although Swansea got off to a quick start, Newport claimed the prize wicket of Bradley Wadlan,(5) well caught by Mujahid Ilyas off the bowling of Clayden with the score on 10-1 off 1 over. Steffan Roberts joined Gori and looked in fine form and the pair took the Swansea score to 23-2 (3.4 overs) before Gori was out for 9.
Ioan Webber joined Roberts and it looked as though it could have been the match winning partnership, with Roberts smashing 4 fours in just 7 balls, but just as the game was turning Swansea’s way he was well caught by Hassan off the bowling of Stef Kelly for 25, in just 16 balls, and Swansea were 40-3 off 5.3 overs. Swansea’s fast start had come at a big price with star players Wadlan and Roberts back in the pavilion within the first 6 overs of the innings.
Newport grabbed their chance and with Webber, stumped by Nathan Berry, off the bowling of Charlie Stewart for 13, Waqas Tanveer LBW to Ilyas for15 (including 2 sixes), followed by another quick wicket claimed by Ilyas, Swansea had slipped to 72-6 off 12.2 overs. The leg spin pair of Stewart (1-23) and Ilyas (2-19) were not going to let Swansea off the hook, bowling their spells superbly and after 17 overs Swansea were 104-6. Needing 35 to win in the final 3 overs was a big ask, but Gareth Hayden and Kazi Szymanski were proving stubborn resistance. However, when Harry Friend was brought into the attack he immediately claimed the wicket of Szymanski for 12 with Swansea on 108-7. Gareth Hayden 33 n.o tried his hardest but the Newport bowlers remained on top and the Swansea innings petered out, with 24 needed off the final over, eventually falling 11 runs short on 127-7
Newport claimed the Trophy for the second time in 5 years and will now go through to the West of England knock out stage next season where they will face the Winners from WEPL Cornwall and Devon.
On Saturday, Sept. 18th, Newport will play their 3rd Cup Final of the season, against Abergavenny, at Abergavenny (Start 11.00am) in the Gwent Macey Final.