Lancashire Disability Hardball squad – National Champions 2011
Following on from the success of Lancashire winning the LV= County Championship, the Lancashire Disability Hardball squad took the National Championship by beating Cheshire in the Final at Derbyshire CCC.
This adds to the other national successes for Lancashire teams including, Lancashire Boys U14s – National Champions, Lancashire Girls U13s – National Champions and Lancashire Disability Incrediball squad – National Champions.
The day started with grey unsettled weather on a track that was dry and hard with the outfield short and fast. The toss was won by Cheshire who elected to bowl first.
Lancashire opened their innings with the Whitaker brothers. Unfortunately Andrew was bowled by former Lancashire player Kyle Topping for 4 with the score on 5. This brought young 16 year old Calum Flynn to the crease who batted extremely well for a young player, building partnerships with M Thompson (17) and S Braithwaite (19). The score had moved on to 149 off 33 overs of the 40 allocated overs when Calum lost his wicket scoring 68. Reece Whitehead (21) pushed the score up to a respectable 188 all out.
As the sun came out for the Lancashire team taking the field, they knew they had to start well and put the Cheshire batters under pressure quickly. M Partington and Adam Finneran, Lancashire's opening bowlers, did just that by restricting Cheshire to 7 runs in the first 8 overs. Steve Braithwaite took the first wicket of M O’Brian (22) and this inspired the Lancashire team to keep the pressure on Cheshire. Wacquas Khan joined the attack and with tight bowling and some outstanding catches by new boy Andrew Barr, Cheshire were reduced to 84 for 9 off 27 overs. There was some resistance from Dan Holder (18) and Mark Edwards (14) but this was all in vain as the last wicket fell at 85, when Captain Mark Thompson caught David Cotts off the bowling of Steve Braithwaite to seal the win for the Red Rose County. Wacquas Khan finished up with bowling figures of 8 over 4 wickets for 26 runs and Steve Braithwaite with 8 overs 4 wickets for 32 runs.
John Rain (Lancashire Hardball Coach) said: “This was an outstanding performance by the bowlers in particular Steve Braithwaite and Wacquas Khan. I was very pleased with the exceptional fielding by all. This is a great result for the team and for everyone’s commitment and hard work over the course of the season.”
View a short video clip from the ECB website at: Lancashire Disability Hardball win County Championship.
Photos from the day available in the Image gallery on the right.