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Cuts too strong for challengers Warwick

Safe hands: Allan Douglas catches Sergio Raynor off Kani Darrell as Willow cuts lose their first wicket in the Western Counties todayPhotograph by Akil Simmons

Southampton Oval (Willow Cuts won toss): Willow Cuts beat Warwick by 100 runs

Willow Cuts ended the Western Counties series as champions after a comfortable victory in the final despite an outstanding all-round performance from Warwick’s guest player Allan Douglas.

The Cleveland captain gaint the Warwick fans a faint glimmer of hope after a dashing knock of 58 in the middle order after Willow Cuts had restricted them to 57 for five by the 19th over in response to Cuts’ daunting total of 239 in 46.4 overs. Douglas threatened to turn the match around as he began to tear into the Cuts bowling as wickets continued to fall around him.

Douglas struck four fours and four sixes after coming to the wicket in the 18th over at 57 for four. He smashed Deunte Darrell for three straight fours in one over before sixes at the other end off Malachi Jones’s bowling made it entertaining as Douglas raced to his 50 in just 35 balls. Douglas was eventually ninth out in the 30th over, skying a catch to Shamar Gomes, the 15-year-old colt, who took his first wicket in the counties.

Gomes actually had Douglas caught in the covers with his first delivery but the umpire’s arm had already been raised for a no-ball. The following over he did remove Warwick’s main threat, when Douglas skied a straight drive and Gomes settled under it to take a comfortable catch.

Warwick were banking on the experience of their two guest players, Douglas and Jordan DeSilva, for good contributions with both the bat and ball. The pair were only together at the crease for less than an over as DeSilva departed in the 19th over to a good diving catch at long off by Bergon Spencer. Warwick’s hopes began to fade after that.

Only teenager Kyle Swan made a decent contribution with the bat, the 17-year-old playing some exciting shots in his knock of 36 at No 3 which included six fours. Deunte Darrell and Malachi Jones both claimed four wickets each for Cuts, Darrell finishing with four for 42 from nine overs and Jones four for 50 off 9.3 overs.

Earlier the pair made certain of a good total for Cuts to defend when both reached the 40s, Jones stroking 48 at No 3 off four fours and two sixes while Darrell scored 47 from three sixes and a four. Chris Douglas, a guest player for Cuts, hit four fours in his knock of 29 while Kavon Fubler supported with a valuable 32 in the middle order. There were also a generous 47 extras conceded by the Warwick bowlers, including 28 wides.

Douglas, who also had a stint behind the stumps, finished with four for 32 off 8.4 overs to also lead the Warwick bowling while DeSilva claimed three for 25 and Kani Darrell two for 45.