Image: Peterborough Town
A club cricket team who needed just three runs to win lost seven wickets for one run in a spectacular collapse that handed victory to their opponents.
Peterborough Town were hosts to High Wycombe in the regional final of the ECB National Club Championship, and a match of such high stakes turned out to be one of high drama. In pursuit of 189, the visitors were cruising to victory having lost only three wickets, and required a further three runs to beat Peterborough from the last 12 balls of their 40 overs.
But High Wycombe crumbled remarkably from 186-3 to 187 all out, losing seven wickets in 11 balls and scoring just one run, falling two shy of their target. The dismissal of George Russell from the first delivery of the penultimate over prompted an inspired burst of pace bowling from Kieran Jones, who took four in four balls and didn’t concede a run from his final two deliveries.
At 186-7, Peterborough began to dream, but few would have believed that 16-year old spinner Danyaal Malik could finish off the job. Nathan Hawkes, who finished unbeaten on 59 for High Wycombe, took a single from the first ball of the conclusive over leaving his side needing two runs to win the game. Malik cleaned up the tail with three wickets in four balls, meaning that six batsmen in a row had recorded scores of zero, and Peterborough won a sensational victory.
Had the hosts’ line-up not been depleted due to first-team absences, then Powell would not have even played, having spent the majority of his season in the second XI. Now that they have reached the last 16 of the National Club Championship following the win, Peterborough Town captain David Clarke will surely be considering bringing in the man who notched an unbelievable quadruple-wicket maiden.
“Kieran came in for this one game. We could have our top players back by then, but there’s every chance he could play,” Clarke told BBC Sport.
“It was quite incredible. It didn’t really sink in for a while. All the lads couldn’t really believe it. Danny was thrown the ball and he kept his nerve. There was fantastic euphoria for us. It’s nice to reflect on a victory from the jaws of defeat.”
— Peterborough Town CC (@pborotowncc) June 24, 2018
There is clearly some strength in depth bowling-wise on the Peterborough Town roster. Astoundingly, 16-year old Danyaal Malik, who wrapped up the game for the hosts, is Clarke’s sixth choice spinner and is predominantly a batsman. He chipped in with 51 for Peterborough in the first innings.
“I’d thought they would make it comfortably – they were cruising along until the last two overs,” Malik said.
“I think our other bowlers had bowled their maximum amount and when Clarkey gave me the ball, I did believe there was a chance to win. Hopefully I get to bowl at bit more often because I think it has improved.”
Meanwhile, unbeaten High Wycombe batsman Nathan Hawkes was dumbfounded that his side didn’t see out the game.
“I’d battled through and thought I got ourselves into a winning position,” he said. “I was just watching wickets fall at the other end. I’ve not seen or heard of anything like that in that standard of cricket. Needing three runs off 12 balls with seven wickets in hand, you ought to be able to get that. It was bizarre. There was some uneven bounce and a bit of turn, but from my point of view, it was a little bit embarrassing.”