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Riley proud of Bexley success
Riley proud of Bexley success

Captain Adam Riley has spoken of his pride in the way Bexley fought hard to win the National Club Championship at Lord’s on Saturday.

Bexley and Nantwich met in the final of the National Club Championship in a game went all the way to the final ball before the team from Kent claimed victory by one run.

Shaun Evans got the Bexley innings off to a good start scoring 56 off just 47 deliveries before being judged caught behind, then Ben Aldred scored an excellent 68 as the innings closed on a competitive 241 for 8.

Marcus Stables looked in good form until Luke Robinson drove straight back to Adam Riley who deflected it onto the stumps and Stables was left stranded.

Robinson then took over and it looked as though he and Spencer Byatt were going to steer the Cheshire side home.

Captain Riley then recalled Adam Ball and Robinson, looking to add to the three sixes that he had already struck, tried to hoist the bowler over the short boundary, but got under it and heaved it into the air.

Anish Patel got under it and judged it perfectly despite the pressure. Ball also removed Scott Wardley, finishing with 3 for 37, leaving Nantwich needing eight to win off the final over, although a tie would have been sufficient on boundaries struck.

Byatt, on 53, turned down a single off the first ball of Evans’ over before driving two off the second. He reverse swept the third ball to the short boundary leaving one run required for the tie.

He failed to get the fourth or fifth ball away and could only hit the final ball back to Evans who ran the non-striker out to signal mayhem.

After the game, Riley couldn’t explain how the game ended. He said: “ I can’t remember what happened in the final over. I just remember the pandemonium at the end.”

“An unbelievable game of cricket that ebbed and flowed and I’m just pleased with the end result.”

He thought that his team were well in control until Robinson and Byatt came together. “We had them at 90 for 4” he said “then the next bloke came out and started hitting sixes. Their two middle order batsmen played really well.”

“They put us under pressure. Even at the end the game ebbed and flowed. They hit a couple of boundaries and I thought the game was dead but it’s a funny old game.”

Both teams were aware with what would happen if the sides ended level.

“We knew that if the game was tied they would win on a boundary countback so there was lots going on in the last few balls.” he confirmed.

However, he could only exhibit pride for his side who were crowned as Kent League champions twelve months earlier.

He beamed: “The same squad of players have done really, really well. They’re predominantly home grown. We had nine colts on the pitch today, and two that joined at eighteen, so I’m really proud of what the club do.”

“It’s a bigger day for the club today, than it is for the players. It’s a massive achievement.”

Pictures supplied by Andy Clay.