Isle of Wight Cricket

Newport Retain Leslies Motors Indoor Cup

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23 Oct 2016 Newport retained their Leslies Motors Indoor Cup on Sunday evening after three enthralling matches on finals night.

The reigning champions, with just one player who played in last season's final, faced IOW EPP in the final, with the latter putting Newport into bat first. The experienced duo of Andy Long and Mike Watson opened up for Newport and made a comfortable start with 57 coming off the first five overs.

However, the introduction of Ben White saw the end of Long for 17 with his very first ball, Zach Wells with the catch. Newport continued to play in a positive manner though, with Watson (36 not out) and Aaron Hartup (25 not out) both retiring as Newport passed the 100 mark.

Despite this, a mini wobble in the tenth over saw Newport go from 108-1 to 112-3 as George Willis ran out both Ollie McArthur (15) and Lewis Wright (3).

An impressive final two overs saw Newport add an extra 34 runs to their score, finishing on 146-3, Kevin Winchcombe adding an unbeaten 15. White was the pick of the EPP bowlers, returning figures of 1-29 from his three overs.

The EPP run chase got off to a shaky start as White (3) fell to Hartup in the opening over, a wonderful catch from Winchcombe low down to his left.

Two quick wickets in the middle overs also saw EPP stutter from 46-1 to 57-3 at the halfway stage, Hartup running John Buckman out for 19 and Winchcombe bowling James Woodward for 0.

Another couple of tight overs saw the EPP stuck on 76-3 from eight overs, requiring 71 from the final four overs.

However, Ben Attrill quickly retired for his side and a wonderful partnership from Willis and Wells quickly developed to give the young EPP side a glimmer of hope, as they took 33 from the next two overs.

A huge 25 runs came from the penultimate over, 19 of those coming from the bat of the returning Attrill, as EPP edged closer to a memorable victory. Attrill, however, was forced to retire again after passing his fifty.

With thirteen to win, a dot ball from Winchcombe was followed by three threes, before Willis was run out by Watson for 37, an innings that included three powerful sixes.

The EPP side then needed four runs to win from the final delivery, the exceptional Attrill only able to get three from it, meaning the match ended in a tie, Attrill ending on an unbeaten 55 and Wells finishing with a creditable 14 not out.

The tie meant that Newport were crowned champions by virtue of losing fewer wickets in the match, Winchcombe holding his nerve to finish with a match-winning 1-23 from his three overs.

Unbelievably, the EPP side also qualified for the final with a tie, this time coming out on top against East Cowes.

Mark Hartnell almost single-handedly got East Cowes up to 132-5 from their 12 overs, hitting 47 not out as White's 3-27 triggered a middle order collapse.

With the EPP on 83-5 in reply, White then turned hero with the bat as he scored an incredible 57 not out to tie the game from the final ball, Chris Higgins taking 2-34.

This time, the wickets lost were equal, the overs faced were equal, meaning the third tie rule came into the equation, which was the highest score after six overs.

East Cowes had been on 72-0 at that stage, whilst IOW EPP were 73-3, meaning EPP qualified by just one run, East Cowes agonisingly crashing out at the semi-final stage.

The other semi-final was also a close contest that saw Newport just get the better of Shanklin.

Callum Wright (33 not out) and James Lucy (26 not out) both retired as Shanklin posted 139-3 from their 12 overs, Hartup the pick of Newport's bowling with 1-20.

With the match in the balance on 95-2 after nine overs in the second innings, an inspired Wright (29 not out) smashed four sixes to put Newport on the front foot, Watson (25) and Hartup (25 not out) also performing well with the bat as Newport won by four wickets with just one ball remaining.
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