T20 Cup win­ners 2005

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - By Neil Fissler

Som­er­set sur­prised even them­selves when they be­came the third county to win the re­cently in­tro­duced T20 Cup. In the first eight sea­sons of the com­pe­ti­tion, there were seven dif­fer­ent win­ners with Le­ices­ter­shire, who Som­er­set were to beat in their 2005 semi­fi­nal, the only side to win it twice.

In the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons Som­er­set had failed to get past the group stages of the tour­na­ment but this time they squeezed through af­ter fin­ish­ing third in the Mid­lands/Wales/ West Divi­sion.

Northamp­ton­shire Steel­backs, who won the divi­sion, were their hosts in the knock­out quar­ter fi­nal and made 154-8 which Som­er­set knocked off with a ball to spare to win by four wick­ets.

It en­abled the Sabres to qual­ify for fi­nals day at the Oval along with hosts Sur­rey, who would play Lan­cashire in the first semi-fi­nal, and their op­po­nents, reign­ing cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter­shire.

Af­ter watch­ing Lan­cashire crush Sur­rey by 22 runs, Som­er­set faced Le­ices­ter­shire and made 157-9, bat­ting first.

Ian Black­well and Richard John­son, on his T20 de­but, each took three wick­ets as the Foxes fell four runs short of their tar­get.

Som­er­set all-rounder Keith Par­sons said: “The com­pe­ti­tion had only started in 2003 so fi­nals day prob­a­bly wasn’t as big as it is now, but it was a big achieve and to win it was a sur­prise to ev­ery­body re­ally.

“We had a vague idea what to ex­pect be­cause we’d seen it on the TV the pre­vi­ous two years, it was ob­vi­ously a big oc­ca­sion and it was al­ways nice to play on those days.

“We didn’t get too many and Le­ices­ter­shire were go­ing well but then they had a col­lapse against the spin­ners and we just sneaked home.

“Carl Gaz­zard was the man of the match, he made a few runs at the end of our in­nings and then made a cou­ple of key stump­ings.”

Rain de­layed the start of the fi­nal by an hour and it was re­duced to 16 overs. Lan­cashire bat­ted first af­ter win­ning the toss but strug­gled.

Stu­art Law’s 59 off 45 balls helped them to 118-8 but it was never go­ing to be enough Graeme Smith scor­ing 64 off 47 to see his side home by seven wick­ets with 11 balls to spare.

Par­sons added: “Lan­cashire were pretty big favourites for the fi­nal, but they lost five or six early wick­ets so we had con­trol right from the start of the fi­nal.

“We were a pretty young side and we hadn’t re­ally played an aw­ful lot of cricket. So it was a good ef­fort to beat a Lan­cashire side in the fi­nal that was full of in­ter­na­tion­als.

“The key was that we had two South Africans – Graeme Smith and Charl Langeveldt and they were very good sign­ings for that com­pe­ti­tion, they gave us a good run.

“Graeme took con­trol of our in­nings and saw the game out for us. He had the abil­ity to say, ‘don’t worry lads, I’ll sort this out’, and he did it. That was the sort of char­ac­ter that he was.

“He was the South Africa cap­tain and it was good to get him to come and play for us. In the six to eight weeks that he was with us he had a big im­pact.” BACK ROW (LEFT-RIGHT): Matt Wood: The open­ing bats­man has stayed in cricket and is now the Cricket De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer for Not­ting­hamshire CCC at Trent Bridge. Wes Durston: Bats­man, who left Der­byshire by mu­tual con­sent at the end of last sea­son af­ter cap­tain­ing the side in lim­ited over cricket. John Fran­cis: Spin­ner. The brother of Si­mon, ran a wed­ding and event com­pany as well as a mar­quee hire firm, he is now an as­sur­ance as­so­ciate at PwC. Gareth Andrew: All-rounder who is about to start his se­cond sea­son with Hamp­shire and is study­ing for a Char­tered In­sti­tute of Mar­ket­ing Pro­fes­sional Cer­tifi­cate. Michael Par­sons: Seamer. He is now the store man­ager for Som­er­set County Sports which is based at the County Ground, Taun­ton. James Hil­dreth: Eng­land Lions bats­man. Has been play­ing for Som­er­set since 2003 and was a sub­sti­tute fielder for Eng­land through­out their 2005 Ashes win­ning cam­paign. Arul Sup­piah: Bats­man who was an Eng­land U16s hockey in­ter­na­tional is now the di­rec­tor of cricket and eco­nom­ics teacher at Queen’s Col­lege in Taun­ton. MID­DLE ROW (play­ers only): Carl Gaz­zard: Wick­et­keeper,. He re­tired in 2009 to fo­cus on his ca­reer in fi­nan­cial ser­vices and is fi­nan­cial con­sul­tant at Cooper As­so­ciates Wealth Man­age­ment. Ian Black­well: An Eng­land all rounder who is now on the ECB’s re­serve um­pires list and runs his own Taun­ton-based cricket acad­emy. Aaron Lara­man: Bats­man. Is now based in Steve­nage, Hert­ford­shire, where he is fleet ser­vices di­rec­tor at VMS Fleet Man­age­ment. Neil Ed­wards: Bats­man, who set­tled in Not­ting­ham where he fin­ished his ca­reer and is busi­ness man­ager for Barker Ross Food af­ter work­ing as a re­cruit­ment con­sul­tant. Nixon McLean: West In­dian fast bowler. Has coached St. Vin­cent & the Gre­nadines and has been a Wind­ward Is­lands se­lec­tor. He is also the vi­cepres­i­dent of the West Indies Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion. Si­mon Fran­cis: Eng­land A seamer, and the brother of John, is now a PE teacher and di­rec­tor of cricket at War­wick School. FRONT ROW (play­ers only): Mike Burns: The for­mer Som­er­set cap­tain has worked in cricket shops, for a bat com­pany and also de­liv­ered cars. He is now on the list of first-class um­pires. Rob Turner: Wick­et­keeper. Spent a decade as head of cricket and teach­ing maths at Blun­dell’s School. He is now a maths teacher at Richard Huish Col­lege in Taun­ton. Richard John­son: Eng­land seamer is on the staff of cur­rent County Cham­pi­ons Mid­dle­sex where he is one of two as­sis­tant coaches. Mar­cus Trescoth­ick: Open­ing bats­man who has also served Eng­land and is set to start his 24th sum­mer with Som­er­set this sea­son. Andrew Cad­dick: Eng­land fast bowler. Is now a qual­i­fied he­li­copter pi­lot and runs an avi­a­tion bro­ker­age firm – he also has busi­ness in­ter­ests in property and com­modi­ties. Keith Par­sons: All-rounder, whose twin brother Kevin is now a coach. He is also cor­po­rate cloth­ing man­ager for Som­er­set County Sports.

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