ACCSO BLEVINS FRANKS T20 FINAL S
Under the rules Eymet now had to play Bordeaux, and a win with a high run-rate could still give Eymet a shout if all teams won just one match. Eymet opened up like an express train and this time it continued. Although Ed and Ahmed Jewel
fell, Aussie Ben and Owais indulged in a mega-bash, racing to 95-2 in just 8 overs. But, alas, the wickets clattered again as Eymet slipped to 109-5 with Bordeaux skipper, Ferreira, taking a fine running catch to dismiss Ben. This led to some “afters” with the famous ebay bat looking somewhat incensed as it waggled in the air. This time the collapse did not continue with Ahmed Shezad, stand-in skipper, Richard Brown
, and Tim Chancellor
adding useful runs. Sausage Marshall then marched out as last man for the last ball. Time to be a hero and hit a 6? Sadly, no, as the ball was lobbed harmlessly into cover’s hands, Eymet all out for 153.
Was it enough with Bordeaux’s batting power? A run-out kerfuffle on the 4th ball and one was down. Enter Safi Luqman, the man from Kabul, who, last season, had hammered England test bowler, Andy Caddick, for successive 6s on this very ground. And he started off in the same vein as the ball clattered to the ropes. A chance for Owais from a towering hit but he lost it in the sun. Skipper Brown turned to Ahmed Jewel
, who applied a brake and then trapped Safi for 34, Bordeaux 50-2! Ferreira joined Ismail and chivvied the score along but the rate seemed to hover around 8 an over, just what Bordeaux needed. Numan came back and shattered Ismail’s stumps. Another run-out and then Ahmed Shehzad bowled Ramiz. After dipping to 7 the run-rate was climbing sharply.
But Ferreira was still there with Amir at his side, 23 needed and 2 overs left. The Eymet faithful smiled as Numan stepped up for his last over. The 1st ball missed by a whisker but then Amir connected for 4 and again as the pair somehow took 17 off the over. As the players walked round for the last over the hero of that one run league win at Giscours, Enayet, had the ball in his hand, but Skipper Brown grabbed it and gave it to Twirler Tim. The 1st ball was a scrambled bye and then Amir went for the big winning hit but the timbers rattled and he was gone. A single put Ferreira on strike. He danced down to strike the mortal blow but missed and Ed whipped off the bails. Another single and Bordeaux only really needed 2 off the last ball as they had lost less wickets than Eymet. Thajudeen also decided to dance down but the bails were whipped off again, Eymet had won. What a celebration, marred only by Ferreira berating the umpires for something and continuing at tea with Aussie Ben. Eymet had beaten Bordeaux twice in a season by the smallest of margins!
Eymet win by 2 runs
Eymet: 153 all out in 20 overs (B.Delaney 33, Owais 18, Thajudeen 2-10, S.Luqman 2-24)
Bordeaux: 151-7 in 20 overs (S.Luqman 34, C.Ferreira 34, T.Chancellor 3-22, A.Shezad 2-27)
And so, to the final match, with a Bordeaux win meaning the calculators would be out. Eymet’s poor run-rate in the 1st match would rule them out unless it was a low-scoring match. It turned into a formality for Bordeaux as Catus dropped Safi (lucky man) Luqman 7 times as well as missing an easy run out. He plundered boundaries everywhere as Bordeaux racked up 166-5.
Catus lost Farouk to the 2nd ball and although Sakhib briefly threatened they were never in the race. Ferreira was up to his antics again but this time met that impassive old buffer, The Colonel, standing as “arbitre”, who snorted something about handling petulant officers in the Mess. Catus fell well short on 97-8 but just enough to pip Eymet for 2nd place on run-rate.
It did not matter much to the Eymet players, who were handed the league trophy and their medals at the awards ceremony. The win over the auld enemy, Bordeaux, was enough for them. Twirler Tim even won “man of the day” for that astonishing last over denouement. The Horlock won the “shabby chic” prize for his attire as arbitre in the final match, which included an assortment of hats purloined from the bowlers! And so, the competitive season ends and the friendly season begins, including that chap from Crabtree Cavaliers, who thinks he can sing ...................
Eymet Players: D.Horlock (capt), E.Nicolson (wkt), Ahmed Jewel
, Numan, Owais, B.Delaney. R.Brown, Ahmed Shezad, Parneet, T.Chancellor, Enayet, Azizul, R.Marshall.
Thanks to everyone who helped on the day, the ACCSO sponsors, Blevins Franks, and our sponsors, Cafe de Paris, The Pizzeria, Aquitaine Info and Danelander.