U17 glory for Kent and Gloucestershire

Kent and Gloucestershire won the ‘A Division’ and ‘B Division’ Yorkshire Bank U17 County Cup titles at Kibworth Cricket Club, Leicestershire, on Sunday 1st September as they overcame Warwickshire and Hertfordshire in two high-scoring and high-quality finals.

Kent had to pick themselves up after being beaten by Durham in the U17 County Championship two-day final only 48 hours earlier. Determined to overcome that disappointment, they produced an excellent all-round display to beat Warwickshire by 30 runs.

Michael Waller fell to Aaron Thomason for 17 after Kent chose to bat, but Ryan Davies and Zac Crawley then put on 88 for the second wicket.

Crawley, who top-scored for Kent in the championship final at Arundel on Friday, repeated the feat in making 61 before becoming Thomason’s second victim.

Mark Adair also picked up two wickets, but James Meddings’ unbeaten 60 helped Kent to 230 for five.

Junaid Nadir and Harry Bernard were taken for several boundaries at the start of Warwickshire’s reply, but first-change bowler Harry Furze broke the opening stand at 39 when Jim Clifford fell victim to a superb slip catch by Kent skipper Robert Sehmi.

Jack Laraman and Piers Richardson each claimed two wickets to further dent Warwickshire hopes, but it was Ranjit Singh and James Meddings who ultimately provided the decisive contributions when teaming up to take the final five scalps.

Singh finished with 3-6 from six excellent overs, including the key wicket of opener Andrew Umeed for 66, and Meddings returned 2-18 as Warwickshire were dismissed in the 50th and final over for 200.

In the B Division final Gloucestershire elected to bat and put on 300 for the third time in the competition this summer.

They were initially reduced to nine for two by Hashim Hussain but rebuilt impressively through a third-wicket partnership of 162 between captain Tom Smith and Kieran Smith, who struck 74 and 90 respectively.

Powerful knocks from Patrick Grieshaber, who hit 35, and Marc Lezar, unbeaten on 61 at the end of the innings, helped Gloucestershire to a mighty 301 for six.

Ryan Wells struck 106, his maiden century for Hertfordshire, in reply but lacked support.

Wells was one of four batsmen to be run out and Kasey Harris’ unbeaten 44 proved in vain as Hertfordshire were dismissed for 257, with Danny Slade claiming 3-32.

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