Wanderers topple unbeaten Cobo in CI club final

Thu, Sep 25, 2008 12:07 PM

PKF Wanderers won the 2008 NatWest CI Club Championship on Saturday after beating Total Cobo by 4 wickets at KGV with more than two overs to spare. The victory caps a remarkable season for Wanderers, having finished bottom of the Guernsey domestic league in both of the two previous seasons, and spoiled Cobo's 100% winning record in all weekend cricket in 2008, a season in which they have fielded an average of 9 island squad players throughout.

Cobo won the toss and elected to bat first. After an opening partnership of 40 in 10 overs, the loss of Matt Oliver was followed by the cheap dismissals of key batsmen Jeremy Frith and Stuart Le Prevost who both fell to the offspin of Phil Challenger. Wanderers kept taking wickets regularly in an outstanding bowling and fielding performance and Cobo were indebted to a dogged 61 from veteran opener Peter Vidamour, in his final game before retirement, in reaching their total of 152 for 9.

Phil Challenger returned the best figures of 3 for 16 in his 9 overs, while Pierre Moody took 3 for 43. Ben Taylor and Mike Savage both conceded less than 2 runs per over in a highly-disciplined performance by the entire bowling unit.

Wanderers lost opener Spencer Noyon early on to a runout, and when fellow opener James Warr followed the same way after a promising second wicket partnership with Ross Kneller, Cobo knew that another couple of quick wickets could see them in the driving seat. Kneller was then joined by skipper Ben Driver and the pair took the score into the 70s before Kneller was bowled by Frith for 28. When Will Thompson fell lbw to Jamie Nussbaumer soon afterwards, Cobo were right back in the game at 75 for 4.

The next partnership between Driver and Ben Taylor was to prove crucial as the pair steadily put on 50 for the 5th wicket. Taylor, who normally bats very aggressively, was very circumspect by his standards but was fortunate to survive a couple of skied shots which the fielders lost in the sun at long-off. Meanwhile Driver remained totally in control, quietly working the ball around into the gaps. Taylor was then stumped off Gary Rich and when Matt Thornton fell lbw first ball, Wanderers were still needing 25 to win. Former island player Pierre Moody, a very useful batsman indeed to have coming in at number 8, then joined his skipper in an unbeaten partnership to see their side home in the 43rd over, with Driver ending unbeaten on 59 in a superb captain's innings which was paced to perfection.

It was always going to have to be an exceptional performance to break Cobo's unbeaten record for the season. Wanderers could not have timed it better to find that performance.

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