06:00PM, Tuesday 20 July 2021
Sukh Dhillon hailed Stoke Green CC’s ‘spirit and determination’ in the Julian Cup final after the side defeated Burnham CC by 30 runs at Boyne Hill Cricket Club last week.
Green have triumphed in the competition more often than not in recent years - lifting the trophy four times in their last seven appearances - and this was their third year in a row.
On Thursday evening, Dhillon’s men were hard-pressed for the 2021 honours by a resilient Burnham outfit which fiercely contested a target of 196-7 in a nervy second innings.
Green’s total was largely accumulated by opening batsman, and man-of-the-match, Hash Hussain for his superb 70 runs within the first six overs.
By the 15th over, they had managed 160-4 and, cheered on by those in attendance, the first innings concluded with a flurry of sixes as Green seemed to have one hand on the silverware.
In reply, Raminder Singh batted Burnham’s innings off with confidence with his contribution at the crease helping the side to 68-0 off six overs.
By their 15th over, Rizwan Nadeem’s side had managed 145-5, sending the Stoke Green supporters who were raucous with jubilation into mumbles of desperation.
It fell on Pavinder Bhachu’s shoulders to settle the nerves, with the Green bowler claiming two wickets within the final five overs to dismiss the Home Counties side for 166-7.
Having nervously watched the game unfold from the sidelines, captain Dhillon said: “We definitely knew it was a final. There was serious pressure at the end for our spinners to bowl well and our fielders to take their catches.
“When they were going through it in the middle overs, I thought the win had slipped out of our hands but the spirit, and determination, of the club came through.
“We did incredibly well to hold our nerve against a very experienced Home Counties side who knew what they were doing and gave our young men a game right to the end.”
Dhillon added: “This is our fourth Julian Cup win in seven years of being in the competition – our third in a row too.
“Not many clubs can say that, especially being relative newbies in the competition playing against the masters which are Burnham.
“We’re all going to be celebrating the win throughout the night and that’s what cricket is about.
“It’s not just about what you do on the field – win or lose, it’s how you appreciate moments like these.”
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