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Runs galore as Tuff Dogs claim title

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Rolling back the years: Dean Minors, the former Bermuda wicketkeeper, flicks the ball off his legs for four runs during his 40-ball knock of 88 in Tuff Dogs’ 347-run victory over North Village in the Central Counties final at Devonshire Recreation Club on Saturday(Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

North Village captain Allen Walker’s decision to send holders Tuff Dogs into bat backfired big time in the Central Counties final as they posted a season-high total of 427 at Devonshire Recreation Club to claim a 347-run victory on Saturday.

Village proved no match for their opponents in the first all-Evening League counties final, with the encounter over as a contest at the resolution of Tuff Dogs’ innings in which four players scored half-centuries.

So many sixes were hit during their innings that one of the umpires estimated that about 12 balls were lost, and Dean Minors, who probably did not even think he would get to bat after watching his team amass 263 by the 35th over, hit 88 off just 40 balls.

Minors and another veteran, Arnold Manders, brought up the 400 during a last-wicket stand of 45 in the final 4.1 overs.

Minors smashed his 50 off just 23 balls, hitting five fours and five sixes before he added another 38 to finish with seven fours and eight sixes. He was bowled off the final ball of the innings going for another shot.

“I had a bit of fun, I guess at this point in my career I can just go out and enjoy my cricket,” Minors said. “I’m not concerned about winning or losing, I just want to have fun. There’s no pressure on us.

“Village decided to send us in to bat and we decided to make the most of it on a good wicket. We took advantage of it and batted them out of the game.

“Tim Davies batted really well to anchor and solidify the innings. Everyone else just chipped in and did what we had to do.

“When we first came into the competition we wanted to make up the numbers and help get the Central Counties back with its popularity. It has worked out in the end and I’m hoping more people will come back and watch the Central Counties. We want to help bring the interest back.”

Earlier Davies (76) and McLaren Lowe (52) put the Village bowlers to the sword with a stand of 51 in just 5.3 overs for the second wicket after Azeem Khan departed in the third over with just ten runs on the board.

Davies, an Australian left-hander batting at No 3, faced 78 balls and hit seven fours and three sixes while Lowe faced 27 balls, hitting six fours and three sixes.

After Lowe’s departure on 61 for two, Davies and Jordan DeSilva shared in a third-wicket stand of 109 with Desilva hitting a 57-ball 71 with seven fours and four sixes.

Derrick Brangman contributed 39 from 30 balls at No 7 after adding 82 in eight overs with Minors for the seventh wicket, taking the score from 263 to 345. Village used seven bowlers with spinner Dion Ball Jr the most successful, and expensive, his five wickets costing 94 runs in ten overs. Terryn Fray, their guest player, claimed two for 73 and Mike Levon Jr two for 60 off six overs.

In reply, Village were dismissed for just 80 in 20.4 overs with spinners Derrick Brangman and Manders doing the damage with four wickets apiece as Village slumped from 50 for two to 80 all out.

Brangman claimed four for nine from five overs with three maidens while Manders wrapped up the win with four for seven off just 2.4 overs. Village lost Fray for nine when the score was 14 before fellow opener led the scoring with 16 and Dion Ball contributed 14, both falling to Brangman.

Terence Corday, captain of Tuff Dogs, is pleased with his team’s unbeaten run in the series.

“This is a true reflection of what this team is all about, with everyone playing their part and contributing to a great victory,” he said. “McLaren and Tim set the stage for us to put on such a huge total by getting us off to such a good start. And with guys like Jordan and Derrick coming in to keep the scoreboard ticking over it allowed the likes of Dean Minors to play freely and show just how destructive he can be to an attack.”

Corday added: “Credit to Village as they kept at it under tough circumstances and hats off to Dion Ball for picking up five wickets. We knew it was never going to be easy for Village to chase that total and when they lost Terryn Fray and ‘Patches’ Dill early on, it was just a matter of time.

“We’d like to thank the Central Counties for inviting us in and Devonshire Rec for hosting and preparing such good wickets over the course of this competition. Lastly, a big thanks to our small but loyal group of supporters who come out and watch us every week.”

Tim Davies of Tuff Dogs cringes after falling for 76 to a skied catch at long-off by Terryn Fray, knowing a century was there for the taking at Devonshire Rec in the Central Counties final (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Arnold Manders and Dean Minors slap hands at the end of the Tuff dogs innings, when their last wicket stand of 45 brought up the 400. Minors finished with 88 from 40 balls, hitting seven fours and eight sixes. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
No quick singles, see: Former Cup veterans Arnold Manders (right) and Dean Minors talks tactics during their last wicket stand which brought up the 400 for Tuff Dogs in the Central Counties final (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
In there somewhere: North Village players spent a lot of time retrieving the ball from the tries or out of the ground after Tuff Dogs smashed boundary after boundary in their innings of 427 in the Central Counties final at Devonshire Rec on Saturday (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Watch me then: Dean Minors shares a joke with North Village pair Dion Ball and Terryn Fray after smashing another six during his 40-ball knock of 88 in the Central Counties final (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Dean Minors hits out during his knock of 88, the 50 coming in just 23 balls from five fours and five sixes (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)