YOUNGSTER Chris Sleep blazed a whirlwind 40 not out as Brixham raced to an unlikely six-wicket win over Kingskerswell in Friday night’s Brockman Cup final at Torquay Recreation Ground.
Kingskerswell’s 20-over total of 108 for six was better than it looked on a difficult batting strip. The Torquay club deserve huge amounts of praise just for getting the game on after the day-after-day downpours in the week before the game.
Brixham found runs even harder to come by and halfway through were 39 for two and looking at scoring at seven an over to win.
Phil Lacey, who had bowled four overs at a cost of just five runs, had been particularly difficult to get away.
Brixham hearts sank when opener Richard Ward was third out for 27 with the score on 69. The target was 50 to win on six overs and the order a tall one. Two balls later Chris Barron went for 16 and the game appeared to be slipping away.
Sleep had other ideas though and, in less than three overs, won the game almost on his own.
Sleep warmed up by working Nathan Weedon around in an over that brought to target down by eight.
Kerswell’s Dave Dingle was mauled for 23 in one over – three sixes sailing over mid-wicket – as 15-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Sleep really cut loose.
Four more balls from Weedon were all Sleep needed to win the game with a two and a couple of fours. Sleep faced just 16 balls making his 40 not out, hitting three of them for six and three more for four.
Not surprisingly, Sleep was an easy pick as Man of the Match for adjudicator Geoff Read, who presented him with the Bill Stanbury Trophy.
Earlier in the evening, Mike Etherington had top scored for Kingskerswell with 33 before a comedy run-out saw him sent back to the pavilion.
Etherington and South African Pieter Douglas found themselves at the same end after one went for a run and the other didn’t, leaving Craig Eaves to whip the bails off at the bowlers’ end.
Weedon hit 20 and Mark Kenyon made 19. Pick of Brixham’s bowlers with three for 29 was skipper Geoff Newman.
Kingskerswell 108-6 (M Etherington 33, N Weedon 20, M Kenyon 19, N Butt 13, P Lacey 11; G Newman 3-39), Brixham 112-4 (C Sleep 40, R Ward 27, C Barron 16; P Douglas 2-27, M Kenyon 2-20). Brixham bt Kingskerswell by 6 wkts.