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Witches given final masterclass

PUBLISHED: 10:32 22 July 2010 | UPDATED: 20:37 01 August 2010

Swardeston lifted the Norfolk Twenty20 Cup for the third time as Richard Sims provided a batting and bowling masterclass in the short form of the game against Great Witchingham.

Swardeston lifted the Norfolk Twenty20 Cup for the third time as Richard Sims provided a batting and bowling masterclass in the short form of the game against Great Witchingham.

After Great Witchingham had huffed and puffed their way to 130 for six from their 20 overs, Swardeston recovered from a tricky start to cruise to a seven-wicket victory with 15 balls remaining.

Sims, who had earlier claimed three for 17 from four overs, finished unbeaten on 58, featuring in an unbroken stand of 116 with George Walker (54no) to earn the man of the match award.

Witchingham chose to bat first and after Sam Thelwell's opening over went for 16, Michael Eccles and Sims applied the brakes for Swardeston.

Carl Rogers was run out by Daniel Martin at midwicket after being sent back by opening partner Shaun Arthurton, who struggled to get the ball away in the early stages. He played out a maiden to Sims as Witchingham added just 10 runs in six overs. Finally Arthurton, who later collected the trophy for hitting most sixes in the competition, broke the shackles as he deposited a Jaden Hatwell delivery over long on for a maximum.

Tom Collishaw slog-swept Walker for six before clearing the pavilion in the left-arm spinner's next over and soon afterwards landing the ball on top of the changing rooms. Another six followed in Hatwell's next over, but Collishaw's assault was brought to an end in the 12th over by Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas as a top edge flew straight up and Hatwell ran in to take the catch, with the score on 73.

Arthurton was bowled by Sims in the 15th over for 26, but Simon Chipperfield began to provide some late impetus for Witchingham as he flat-pulled Thomas for six.

Witches' skipper James Spelman struck the first ball of the 17th over sweetly for six over mid-on but Sims had his revenge next ball as Spelman missed an attempted reverse sweep.

Eccles' figures were dented in the penultimate over as Chipperfield struck three sixes, included a wonderfully improvised hook shot, but the big-hitter perished in the final over with Walker conceding just three runs.

Witchingham started well with the ball as Peter Lambert fended a Jonathan Spelman delivery to Chipperfield and in the third over, Thomas was caught at long-off at the second attempt by James Spelman off Chris Fuller's bowling.

Later in the same over, Fuller produced a brilliant yorker to claim the key wicket of Hatwell, leaving Swardeston on 18 for three.

Sims and Walker remained calm and proceeded to work the ball around Manor Park, pinching some vital singles - an area where Witchingham had failed badly.

Sims brought up his half-century from 39 balls, with Walker following suit soon afterwards at exactly the same rate.

Walker swept Collishaw for four to win the match in the 18th over and ensure Swardeston collected the £1,000 prize money. Thomas' team will also now go through to the regional stages of the national Cockspur Club Twenty20, with the ultimate prize of a finals day at Hampshire's Rose Bowl on offer.

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