The Kidbrooke Kings were crowned inaugural Cup Winners of "The Fifty" Competition, following a comprehensive win over the Sydenham Sonics.
In the morning semi-final they had edged past the Bellingham Bats, winners of "The Fifty" League Competition last week, with solid contributions from Siddarth Sah and Sam McGinn.
In the second semi-final, The Sydenham Sonics won a last-ball thriller against the Hither Green Hawks to book their place in the final. Tight bowling from Rathfern Primary School's Thirusuthan Praparagaran and Haseltine Primary School's Tristan Gray restricted the Hawks total, but it was Shastri Rajoo who kept his cool to score the one required off the final ball of the Sonics innings to see them through.
The Final itself turned out to be a more one-sided affair despite the all-round heroics of Kilmorie Primary School's Nathan Richards. The Kings batted first and industriously amassed a total of 245 - an imposing total on a pitch inconducive to stroke-play due to the previous day's rain. Only Aidan Hall managed to find the boundary. Disciplined bowling from Haimo Primary School's Jack Addley and Holy Family RC Primary's Zac Dias ensured the Sonics chase never got going and Alexander Yau-Alfredson's side eventually secured a 22 run victory to lift the cup.
Having introduced a significant number of children into community cricket participation in 2019, for a number of reasons we felt that a jump into established local junior leagues would be inappropriate in 2020.
2020 was also scheduled to see the start of a new professional cricket competition called “The Hundred”, so we devised a competition based on this new format, but half the length - ”The Fifty”.
The Covid-19 lockdown scuppered our original plans to run the competition in May and June, and then the lingering restrictions on cricket caused a two week delay to our rescheduled start date at the end of June. We got underway in early July and in all, 132 players competed for the 8 teams that took part. We were very pleased with the format - it allowed for learning in a match-play environment, was a manageable length for newcomers and challenged more experienced players to take responsibility. Playing games at Blackheath CC (grass pitch) and Forster Memorial Park (artificial pitch) was also a good preparatory experience for those involved.
The competition itself could not have been tighter. Players across all teams produced eye-catching performances and there was a 3-way tie for first place going into the final round of matches.
On the Final Day of the league season, the Bellingham Bats sent a strong message by amassing 259 against the Sydenham Sonics with solid contributions from Daniel Burgess, Adeel Haider, William Benedict and Shiv Singh. At the Rectory Field, Captain Sam Edwards led the way for the Hither Green Hawks who edged out league leaders Blackheath Honeybadgers, but the Bats superior tally of cumulative league runs meant that a Sydenham Sonics victory was required to hand the title to the Hither Green Hawks. That looked unlikely until the Sonics final pairing or Shastri Rajoo and Arlonzo Pearce put together a blistering 28 run partnership. The intensifying rain added to the drama but a cool-headed last over from Adeel Haider and some superb boundary fielding from Jaemar Stanley denied the Sonics and William Benedict’s Bellingham Bats became the inaugural champions of The Fifty league competition.