Worksop book T20 semi-final place with derby win over rivals Anston

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Worksop Cricket Club’s T20 side booked their place in the Mallen Trophy semi-final, winning a cracking match against Anston.

The Central Avenue men made 143-3 before bowling out their near neighbours for 126 in the clash of the Northen Group top two.

A Man of the Match performance from former Anston pace bowler Andy Stoneman and a sprinkle of magic from South African Bernie Beukman brought victory, despite the best efforts of Anston’s long serving Sri Lankan Amila Perera.

Anston won the toss and elected to field, and at the halfway point Worksop were just 46-2 with both openers back in the pavilion.

Chris Taylor (6) chipped the ball straight back to Perera to depart first before Captain Conor Smith (11) was caught by his opposite number Callum Smith when trying to reverse sweep the last ball of the same over.

This brought overseas batsman Beukman to the crease along with Stoneman, and together they produced some fine shots including a huge six from Stoneman which landed on the next door bowling green.

Ten overs later Stoneman would depart, bowled by Jonathan Plant after a very entertaining 38 from 32 balls, leaving the hosts 91-3 with four overs to go.

At this point the mercurial South African decided to take the fight to Anston, ably supported by Luke Ambrose, the pair putting on 54 from just 27 balls.

Worksop closed on 143-3 with Ambrose (18) running two on the final ball.

At the other end Beukman finished not out once again, this time his knock of 61 from 44 balls included three sixes, the best of which was brilliantly clipped away off his legs to the square leg boundary.

Anston’s replied almost faltered before it had begun as Worksop had two good chances for run outs in the first three balls.

However it wasn’t long before they did strike as Stoneman trapped Roddis (1) lbw with his first ball and five balls later opening partner Jonathan Plant was run out by Stoneman to leave the visitors floundering at 4-2.

Perera and Pickering added 27 before Wicks bowled Pickering (10).

Ampolu joined Perera and Anston continued to score quickly, hitting the halfway point with a score of 55-3, but one over later Ampolu (12) was bowled by Beukman.

Callum Smith and Perera put on a fifth wicket stand of 34 before Smith (7) was caught at gully by Cairns and in the same over Hill was run out by Baker leaving Anston needing 43 from 24 balls.

In the field Worksop were almost faultless, producing two more brilliant run-outs to remove Littlewood and Brearley.

The game looked to be in the bag when Anston were 107-8 with two overs remaining.

However the dangerous Perera, supported by Pearson, smashed 15 from the penultimate over to leave them needing 20 from the final over to be bowled by Stoneman.

First ball Perera tried to sweep his former team mate but it went straight into the waiting hands of Tom Baker.

Perera (65) batted magnificently and his wicket finally broke the tension as Worksop realised their main threat was trudging back to the pavilion.

Anston were left needing 18 from the final three balls and the match came to a close as Pearson tried to heave Stoneman (3.4-0-10-3) away over mid-wicket for six, but captain Smith was waiting on the boundary to send Worksop into the semi-finals.

Victory in their final game against Cuckney will secure Worksop a home semi-final.