SKIPPER Richard Morris settled in Bashley ’s favour an epic Southern Premier League t20 Cup final and then saluted his players for holding their nerve.
Morris pierced the boundary rope off the final ball of a dramatic tie-breaker as Bashley relieved holders Havant of the trophy at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.
An absorbing contest had to be decided by a one-over eliminator after the two clubs had both totalled 164 from their allotted 20 overs.
Havant, who had required 15 from the final over of their innings to retain the silverware, took the clash into overtime when Ben Walker hit a four off the last ball to level the scores.
Walker’s heroics left some Bashley players visibly crestfallen, although they quickly regrouped and fielded superbly to restrict Havant to 10 off their six-ball eliminator.
However, despite Sean Terry taking eight off the first three deliveries of their reply, his demise coupled with Morris failing to score from his first ball, left Bashley needing three for victory.
And Morris sealed a night of high drama when he despatched for four the final ball of Walker’s over, sparking jubilant scenes in the Bashley camp, led by their captain.
Morris told the Daily Echo: “It was a fantastic game. It swayed one way and then the other. I thought we were in control for the first 10 overs of their innings but they came back into it. You could sense it was going to go to the wire but I didn’t vouch for the fact it would go to a one-over eliminator.
“There were times when I thought we were ahead and times I thought we were behind. It was testament to the character of the lads because, with one ball to go of their innings, we probably thought we had won. The lads picked themselves up and did the business in the eliminator.
“It was an exciting way to finish even if it is a bit of a lottery when it comes down to one over. We fielded well and managed to keep our heads. It was a great effort in the end.”
Hampshire prospect Terry (42) gave Bashley an excellent start, clubbing five fours and two sixes from 21 balls. Dan Friedman (51) and Blandford ’s Nick Baker (23) then shared 75 for the fifth wicket as the New Forest outfit posted 164 for eight.
Although Havant slumped to 45 for three, Pete Hopson (45) and Walker (37) ensured they would match Bashley’s total at 164 for five, with Terry (1-14) sending down an impeccable four-over spell.
Bashley tomorrow go forward to meet Kent League leaders Hartley Country Club in the regional finals of the ECB Club t20 Cup at Hursley Park.