BEDMINSTER Bashers held off Bristol YMCA by five runs to emerge victorious from the Gloucestershire finals day of the Vitality U19 Club T20 in association with First Class Comms.
Stroud hosted a memorable conclusion to this season’s competition with Bedminster trumping Cheltenham Chiefs by 25 runs and YMCA defeating Twyford House by 45 runs in semi-finals staged simultaneously on adjoining pitches.
Those results set up an excellent final which went right down to the wire with Bedminster, the 2017 champions and beaten finalists last year, showing great character to take the spoils after a less than ideal start.
Left-arm spinner Cyrus Shafi grabbed two wickets in the first over of the play-off to have Bedminster on the back foot at 3-2 before opener Max Tryfonos and skipper Lewis Mason both hit 25 to drag their side up to a challenge of 131-9.
Shafi finished with figures of 3-12 while Dan Broome captured 3-19, both from four.
Opener Shafi then dominated YMCA’s reply, becoming the first person on finals day to retire when he reached an unbeaten half century off 53 deliveries.
Fuzael Ahmed (15) kept YMCA in the hunt before falling victim to Bailey Peacock (3-27) as wickets continued to tumble and the run rate began to creep up with Mason (1-22) and Harry Drissell (1-23, both from four) turning the screw.
The fall of the ninth wicket brought Shafi back out to the middle and the left-hander very nearly won the match with a flurry of hitting, including a six off the final ball of the match, as the final reached an exciting conclusion.
The batting award for the final went to Shafi with Broome landing the bowling honours and the fielding award going to Bedminster’s Jack Filer for a fine caught and bowled as well as a direct hit for a crucial run out.
Tournament organiser Scott Tremain said: “It’s been another great competition and another fantastic finals day with the standard of cricket continuing to improve every year.
“Well done to Bedminster who were unbeaten throughout the entire tournament and to all teams for their efforts. And we would also like to thank Stroud who were superb hosts for the finals and to First Class Comms for their very valuable support.”