PAIGNTON booked their ticket to a Brockman Cup final date against South Devon when they beat Abbotskerswell by 25 runs in the second semi-final.
Paignton lost opener Archie Farkins to the second ball of the night bowled by Zahed Hussain and found runs hard to come by on a damp and dingy Tuesday night by the seaside.
Charlie Ward, who went in first wicket down, played the anchorman role for Paignton with a patient 42 that took them to 82 for five. Along the way there wre stands of 38 with Luke Medlock (12) and 25 with Sam Woodcock (25).
After Tom Heath bowled Ward the runs kept coming from Sam Woodcock and brother George (17no) as Paignton posted 119 for five.
Hussain, Heath, Chris Meikle and Charlie Smout-Cooper all took a wicket and none went for more than six an over.
Abbots’ innings started in the same way as Paignton’s when opener Adam Latham was dismissed second ball by Ward.
An asking rate of six an over to win should have been in range for Abbots, but they lost wickets regularly to Ward (2-13), Jack Harman (2-14) and Luke Medlock (4-16) on the way to 39 for eight.
Harman did something seldom seen in T20 cricket: he bowled a maiden over.
Medlock was on a hat-trick after removing Dan Cowdry and Aidan Lightowlers, but Hussain managed to avoid being the third victim.
Tail-end batters Graham Catley (30) and Chris Meikle (20) raised spirits with a stand of 46 for the ninth wicket, but the damage was done and Abbots bowed out for 94 with four balls to go.
The way Catley – six fours - was driving the ball square of the wicket begged the question what was he doing batting at number nine?
The final against South Devon is booked for Friday, June 28, at Torquay. South Devon beat Lustleigh by five runs in the first semi-final on Monday night.
Paignton 119-5 (C Ward 42, S Woodcock 25, G Woodcock 19no), Abbotskerswell 94 (G Catley 30, C Meikle 20, I Jarman 17; L Medlock 4-16, C Ward 2-13, J Harman 2-14). Paignton bt Abbotskerswell by 25 runs.