A farewell blast by Aussie Sam Lavender and a blistering bowling performance by Chris Brown set up a thrilling victory for King’s Road against the Bloody Lads.
Bowling first at South Park, the Orange Caps began brightly, with “Little Bear” Brown and skipper Matt Small taking the new ball.
Brown’s first over was a maiden, but then the Bloody Lads opener Boorman attacked him in his second – scoring 11 runs from it.
It proved to be a mistake as he took revenge in his third over, clean bowling the other opener Leeson for a duck as part of an opening six-over spell which saw him take 1-16.
Small also felt the impact of Boorman’s big hitting as his third over went for 17, prompting the skipper to take himself off and introduce Mo Shaboodien into the attack – with immediate results.
In his first over, Shaboodien tempted Boorman into nicking one behind, where Elliott Small pouched the chance. Boorman had smashed 31 of the Lads’ 37 runs when he departed.
Another astute bowling change saw Michael Rossi replace Brown and take the wicket of Gibson for 8, caught by Chris MacNicol.
Resistance from Ensor (35) and Wilcox (21) helped the Lads but wickets continued to tumble.
Matt Glover’s first over saw him trap Bennett LBW for 12 and take the crucial wicket of Ensor.
Jamie Keating deceived Wilcox, who was stumped by Elliott in another smart display of wicketkeeping.
After that, Brown returned to mop up the tail in a two over burst which saw him take 3-1 to finish with figures of 4-17 off his 8 overs. The last time a victim was so badly mauled by a bear, Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for it.
Small finished with 0-22 off his 3 overs, Mo took 2-13 from 8 overs, Rossi 1-38 off 4, Glover 2-17 off 4 and Keating 1-28 from 4.
Set a target of 143 to win, Chris MacNicol and Dan Sherman could only manage an opening stand of 2 before Sherman was caught for 1.
David Hughes came to the crease to join MacNicol and the pair added 10 before the opener fell for 1.
The Lavender show then kicked off, with Sam smashing a succession of boundaries – including two huge 6s – to put the Road on the way to victory.
Hughes joined in the fun, hitting two 4s in an over before being clean bowled for 12 while attempting to blast a third boundary.
With the score on 47-3, Keating came out to join Lavender as the carnage continued. The pair took the score to 83 before Keating was caught for 12, which included two sweetly hit 4s.
Glover scored 3 before he was caught and Elliott was trapped LBW for 1 by Indian Summers actor Henry Lloyd-Hughes.
Rossi also perished to his fellow thespian for 5.
Mo joined Sam at the crease with the score on 104 but the pair were unable to finish the job as Lavender’s wonderful innings ended just 3 runs later, bowled by Ensor for 53 – which included 7 4s and 2 6s.
Skipper Small joined Mo to take the Road to victory, Mo hitting 6 4s in his 28 not out and Small hitting a single boundary in his 9 not out as victory came in the 27th over.