YB40 Final Was Cricket At Its Best
Saturday’s Yorkshire Bank 40 Final wasn’t just a triumph for Nottinghamshire, but cricket in general.
It was a prime example of how few sports can match the ebb and flow of cricket, whilst the diversity of those in attendance demonstrated that the sport is not just ‘for old men’.
From the moment the coin toss took place the games momentum moved like a pendulum, back and forth.
Glamorgan’s seized the most subtle of early advantages, putting Notts in to bat in overcast conditions on a wicket with a green tinge, only for Nottinghamshire Outlaws ‘shock and awe’ openers, Hales and Lumb, to put on a quick fire 50 before the first wicket fell.
Notts then slid to 90 for 4 (advantage Glamorgan) before Captain Chris Read and Australian international David Hussey steadied the ship and, with useful contributions from England’s Graeme Swann and Steven Mullaney, posted a very competitive 244.
Harry Guerney helped push Notts advantage when he removed Glamorgan skipper Mark Wallace with his first ball of the innings, only for the Welsh side to pull momentum back thanks to the impressive Gareth Rees and Chris Cooke.
Despite Ajmal Shahzad, in perhaps his best showing for Notts this season, removing the dangerous Rees, ‘Glammy’ held their advantage as the underrated Jim Allenby joined Cooke at the crease and the two put on something of a master class of ‘tip and run’.
Just as Outlaws fans began to fear the game was slipping away, all rounder Samit Patel dismissed Cooke, Allenby and veteran Murray Goodwin in successive overs to turn the tide.
Notts went on to seal victory, lifting the last YB40 trophy in front of the travelling Outlaws fans. A heady mix of young, old, male and female from across Nottinghamshire and the Midlands; whose songs and mirth were met with good humour and no small amount of singing of their own from the vociferous Glamorgan supporters. Both groups did their clubs proud and displayed the sheer range of ages and backgrounds that follow the game.
Both clubs will now hope that their Finals day appearance will help springboard them on to better things. Glamorgan have endured some difficult times in recent years, whilst Notts have had their own struggles (particularly this season). Success tends to breed interest though and the lasting affects will hopefully resonate well in to next season and beyond.
The wider game meanwhile needs to continue to fight the good fight and show that cricket, especially domestically, is as enthralling and exciting as any sport; albeit in perhaps a slightly different way.
There are still a great many hurdles to negotiate if the sport is too banish some of the myths and stereotypes that surround it, but as the YB40 Final showed – things are on the right track.