Milford Hall’s dream of a trip to Lord’s is over for another year, despite captain Stuart Phazey producing an heroic innings.
Milford Hall looked to be exiting the National Village Cup in emphatic fashion in their last-16 tie at Gloucestershire side Dumbleton on Sunday.
The home team had set a testing target of 226 to win – and it seemed to be well out of Milford Hall’s reach when they limped to 50-2 with just 20 of their 40 overs remaining.
Tom Eley (25) attempted to inject some impetus in to the chase, although at 127-7 the game appeared to be up for Phazey’s men.
The skipper was having none of it, though. He produced a superb counter-attacking innings to provide his side with a glimmer of hope.
Phazey sent the ball flying to all parts of Dumbleton – and beyond it felt like – as he smashed 113 off just 62 balls, an innings which contained 10 sixes and five fours.
But the target proved to be just out of reach for Milford Hall with Phazey dismissed off the last ball to give Dumbleton a 12-run victory.
Milford Hall had Dumbleton in check during the hosts’ innings before Myles Holland and Robbie Hardwick opened their shoulders in the final 10 overs, which yielded 100 runs.
Holland finished on 81 not out, while Hardwick added 38 after the platform had been set by Ben Degg (50). Phazey picked up a couple of wickets.
Ryan Kilmister claimed 3-46 after the interval and despite Phazey’s brave innings, Milford Hall were bowled out for 213.
There was some good news from the weekend, however, as Milford Hall made it six straight wins in the Staffs Club Championship Premier Division to strengthen their grip on top spot.
Visitors Tamworth made excellent progress to 198 all out, in which Stuart Burrows top-scored with 69 and there were a couple of wickets for Phazey, Rob Firth and Chris Dean.
The rain then arrived and Milford Hall were set a revised target of 122 in 20 overs.
They managed to cross the line with four wickets in hand and one ball remaining.
Useful contributions came from James Davis (22), Ibby Thaman (20) and Sahal Malvernkar (31) but it needed a quickfire 18 not out from Ejaz Nawaz to see Milford over the line.