Wimbledon are the 2019 Surrey indoor League Champions!
Wimbledon overcame Outer London rivals Hampton Wick Royal by an emphatic 5 wickets, to seal a 3rd consecutive triumph.
Hampton Wick batted first, and soon found themselves in deep trouble. Trying to accelerate too fast, both openers fell to avoidable errors (a suicidal run and a hard-handed stab at a loose ball). As soon as Wimbledon got this opening, they were rampant. The high-pace quartet of Anand, Anand, Qadir and Hetherton gave away virtually no easy runs, forcing Royals into ever-greater risks to relive the pressure and post a respectable score. Ali Abid fought hard for 24, and Nick Browning’s late rally lifted Royals to a sub-par 81 all out.
Jack Huxtable and Eric Anand walked began the reply for Wimbledon, knowing a steady hand was all that was required to bring home the trophy. This they managed, with interest! Royals, straining too hard for a 1st over breakthrough, were sloppy early on. Wimbledon’s run-rate shot north of 10 per over – aided by several wides - and stayed there throughout the openers’ spells.
To Royals’ credit, they tightened up considerably after the 3rd over. Sam Jones and Hassan Amar both hurried the batsmen, challenging both edges. Although Huxtable was then dismissed to a sharp low catch by Nick Browning, new bat Colin Rose quickly seized the momentum again. Crisp hits and quick running between the wickets saw Royals brought the field in, which left the boundary wall open for 3 straight fours scored in the middle overs.
Wimbledon crossed the finish line in style, in the 10th over. It was a handsome win, and a dominant Finals Day performance (earlier they had trounced a strong Old Tenisonians side. Man of the match – Eric Anand – epitomised the team’s ruthlessness. With Royals teetering at 30-3 he made light work of the tail with 2-17 (including the epic caught and bowled below). He followed this up with a calm 22 off 19 balls.
Royals have built a reputation as this season’s “Comeback Kings”. A team who never make things easy for themselves, their roller coaster route to the final included not 1….not 2….but 3 LAST BALL OR LAST WICKET WINS! There is never a dull moment with this entertaining side! Although they will no doubt be disappointed to fall at the final hurdle once more, we hope to see them in action again next season!