The Ultras played their final group game last week against Deloitte and it proved to be an absolute thriller. Despite already qualifying for the final it was important to finish on a high as a defeat would have left Ultras facing a buoyant Deloitte in the final.
Deloitte won the toss and chose to bat first, but they would not have been expecting to face the high-quality of bowling straight up from “The Enigma” Kenza Barton, with 6 absolute beauties beating the bat to start off with a maiden. Deloitte began to tick along at a steady pace, but then Crawford entered the attack and bowled a supreme spell of 3-15 off 4 overs to take the sting out of the Deloitte batsmen.
“The Maestro” Pete Slade mad a crucial breakthrough in the 17th over but dismissing their number 3 who oozed class and this was then backed up by some quality death bowling by “The Skipper” Russell who claimed his 8th Ultras wicket of the season to make him joint top Ultras wicket taker [This article was written by J Russell].
Deloitte finally ended on 136-6 off 20 overs, which was considered to be a very gettable score for the Ultras, with the biggest danger being the impending dark. However, the reply did not start well as openers Russell and Wincott were both dismissed early by Premier League bowler Gill from Sulhampstead and Punter was dismissed by the Embrook leftie for what he claims to be his first ever duck in his life.
Luke Gray made a good impression on his debut for the Ultras by plundering a powerful 24 to get the innings moving with good support from “The Chairman” Tomlinson. Sadly both fell in quick succession and Ultras were left languishing at 44 for 5 when “The Aussie” Crawford made his way to the crease. A lower order collapse then saw Kenza run himself out like a loon and the Maestro out first ball to a golden duck. At 72-8 the victory target of 137 looked very far away. Alex McGee provided excellent initial support to Crawfs (with some beautiful guided shots behind square) before being very unlucky to be run out backing up as the bowler got a finger to the ball to divert it on to the stumps.
With 47 to win, “The Number 11” Donny Norman strode to the crease looking confident. Victory looked a step too far for Ultras, but this changed when Crawford hammered 26 off a single over to completely change the dynamic, leaving only 7 to win with 4 overs left. Crawford then took the ridiculous decision to expose Donny to the Berkshire Select XI opening bowler who had been brought back to win the game for Deloitte. Thankfully Donny played superbly, including digging out a vicious inswinging Yorker in the dark. In the following over Crawford closed it out with a boundary to grab victory against all the odds for Ultras – so the 100% G20 record maintained!!
With all 3 other teams equal within one win, KPMG snuck through to the final on net run rate. This will give Ultras the chance to go up against our very own Ricky Ponting.
King Cobra almost goes to Donny for performing well beyond the call of duty after being exposed by Crawford, however Alex’s superb bowling spell and majestic match winning 56 not out gives him the prize.