HAS there ever been a game like the one between Cullompton and Alphington in the Ivor Dewdney Corinthian Cup competition? Probably not!
Jamal Anwar slammed 19 fours and three sixes from just 63 balls faced for his 130 not out as Cullompton hurtled to 194 four two in their 20 overs.
Alphington captain Matt Taylor responded with an unbeaten 120 of his own as Alphington roared to a four-wicket win with three balls to spare.
Waiting for Alphington in finals day at Bovey Tracey on August 4 will be either Sampford Peverell & Tiverton or Shobrooke Park, who don’t play their last-eight game until July 28.
Kam Singh bowled Cully captain Jason Parr in the first over of the game, which brought out Brendon Parr to join Anwar to start a 74-run stand.
Tom Mortiboys was second man in and he made 27 not out in a stand of 120 with Anwar.
Alphington’s start did not get off to the best of starts losing Mark Halse on nought to Todd Scrace (3-28). He had scored a ton against Paignton 2ndXI in the previous round
Taylor, fresh from his league century against Sidmouth, and Nick Halse set about chasing down the target. Some big hitting from both got the score up to 92 before Halse (37) was caught and bowled by Alex Clist.
Big-hitting Ian Macdonald (20) put on a quick-fire 75 with Taylor before Scrace ended his fun.
A flurry of wickets fell as the Alphas tried to keep up with the rate. Taylor stayed calm and got Alphington down to the last over from Jason Parr needing seven to win. Two consecutive fours did it.
Andy Mills, a former Alphington captain who watched the game, said, Taylor played it straight to win.
“Losing Mark Halse wasn’t the best of starts for us, but Matt stayed focused and just batted properly,” said Mills.
“Matt isn’t one for slogging sixes away: he is fours on the floor and keep the runs coming.
“We needed around a hundred of the last 10 overs with wickets in hand and the way Matt was batting it started to look like we could actually win it.”
Taylor’s professional commitments with Exeter City mean he has probably played his last Saturday league game this season. But cup finals day is a Sunday, which should rule him in.
Previously through to the finals day at Bovey Tracey were Sidmouth 2nd XI, who defeated Upottery by nine runs in a high-scoring affair.
Sidmouth skipper Anthony Griffiths was satisfied rather than super confident by his side’s bat-first total of 177 for five.
Man of the match Byron Knowles (31) and Griffiths (37) got the score up top 64 for two then Jashan Patidar (33) and Ed Hurley (32no) kept the board moving.
Jack Larcombe (2-22) was the meanest of the Upottery bowlers.
Upottery gave Sidmouth a real scare as Larcombe (36) and Rob Tasker (69) put on 95 for the third wicket.
Only when Tasker was seventh out on 155 could Sidmouth feel the game was there to be one.
Toby Seldon (3-27) bowled tidily but it was Holmes who got Sidmouth off the hook.
“With a short boundary on one side and players who know their own ground, you can’t be sure 177 is going to be enough,” said Sidmouth skipper Griffiths.
“Too much of our bowling was dreadful – short, wide, all over the place – and without Byron we would have lost.
“Byron bowled four overs, three for 15 and got Tasker out, who batted very well indeed.
“Without Byron doing what he did we would have lost.”
Sidmouth will face either Plymstock or Ottery St Mary, whose quarter-final tie is fixed for Wednesday, July 31.