Louth Taverners beat Alford to T20 Finals Day spot

Louth Taverners captain Zubair Ahmed EMN-150309-124049002
Louth Taverners captain Zubair Ahmed EMN-150309-124049002

Louth Taverners will be out to win silverware on Sunday after qualifying for T20 finals day with two victories over Alford.

After winning the toss and batting, Louth were soon in the ascendancy with 42 on the board after five overs as Imran Cheema blasted 29 off 13 balls before he was out for 31.

Things started to go downhill as Laurence Scott was bowled round his legs by the impressive Bradley McGilloway, and the middle order faltered to 73-5 after 10 overs.

Rory Osmond and Tom Corden regained the initiative for Louth, keeping the scoreboard moving with Osmond particularly powerful in his fine innings of 55.

Corden played the supporting role well to finish unbeaten on 29 as Louth closed on a respectable 146 on a slow wicket.

Alford’s innings started well as Michael Fitzsimmons (14) and Jack Wrightwick set a solid platform at 36-0 in the sixth over.

William Allis took a smart catch running back over his shoulder to remove Fitzsimmons, but Wrightwick reached his 50 in the 12th over.

Sam Lempard went for 16, but Alford marched on with Andrew White hitting a quick 24 and Wrightwick making a magnificent 75 from 58 balls, allowing Alford to comfortably reach their total with eight balls to spare.

In the second game, Louth again won the toss and this time elected to field.

A normal start turned to chaos in the fifth over when Matthew Hamilton ran out an Alford opener after a mix-up with the score on 28.

Louth skipper Zubair Ahmed (4-0-16-3) claimed the prize wicket of Wrightwick for 20 and then ran through the Alford middle order with Cheema (4-0-19-4).

The spin duo claimed 7 for 35 between them as Alford lost eight wickets for nine runs to leave them floundering on 37-8. Brave resistance from Bradley McGilloway with a counter-attacking run-a-ball 15 took the hosts to a meagre 59 all out.

With it all to do, Alford could not make early inroads in the Louth innings. Hamilton was the chief aggressor, smashing 31 off just 21 balls including three fours and a six, as Louth put on 38 for the first wicket.

Another wicket fell, but Cheema smashed 16 not out off just seven balls to send Louth through with an impressive eight-wicket win.