Cricket Cuppers Final: Jesus Crush Christ’s
Cricket: Jesus trash Christ’s. “Matches don’t come much more one-sided than this.”
Jesus 177 – 9
Christ’s 39 all out
Matches don’t come much more one-sided than this. Despite a promising run of form in the quarter and semi-finals, Christ’s were totally rolled over by a Charlie Hopkins-inspired Jesus side.
Coming into the match Christ’s captain Harry Bardon could have been forgiven for being quietly confident. His team had progressed without hassle through the group stages and roundly thrashed Churchill to reach their first final since 2001. Their opponents, Jesus, on the other hand, had only just scraped past Caius in their semi.
However, the final was contested by arguably changed sides to those that had blitzed and bumbled their way through the earlier round. Christ’s were missing their batting linchpin, Chris Blake, and Jesus now boasted a side bursting with blues and crusaders players. It was two blues players Frankie Brown and, in particular, Charlie “Hoppo” Hopkins who proved to be the difference in the match.
Bardon, having won the toss, elected to bowl first hoping that his bowlers would restrict the Jesuans to a target his batting-lite side could reach. With the early dismissal of Sam Grimshaw for only 8 runs, Bardon’s strategy faith in his quickies appeared justified.
This dismissal proved to be a false omen. Hopkins and Brown proceeded to smash the Christ’s attack to all corners. The pair racked up 63 runs off just 44 deliveries. Brown was dismissed on the brink of his fifty and, on his way back to the pavilion, appeared just a tad unconvinced by the decision, arguing that the ball had come off pad not bat.
Hopkins raced on to make his half century, including a towering six in the 13th over, before being dismissed for 62. It was around this point that the Christ’s fielders began to stem the flow of runs.
While Ed Pope chipped in with a stylish 20 before being dismissed by the ever-threatening Stephen Harrison, Jesus’ tail and lower middle order failed to match the batting display that had preceded them. Despite this, Jesus closed on an impressive 177 for 9.
Given their performance in the semi-final – they lost only one wicket against Churchill – no one expected Christ’s to collapse in the manner they did. Yet, when faced with the rip-snorting pace of Hopkins, Christ’s batsmen simply disintegrated.
The three opening batsmen were dismissed for a meagre 3 runs but it was in the third over of the match that the rout truly began. Hopkins began by bowling out Bardon and then, after the rare blip of a wide, bagged himself a hat-trick, with Cade and Shah dismissed lbw and James Revell having his stumps destroyed by a vicious in-swinger.
It was only Harrison, the most senior member of the Christ’s side, who prevented the score card from bearing an even more embarrassing total. He battled his way to 18 but the rest of the Christ’s side proved unable to match his heroics.
Speaking at a dinner after the match Jesus captain, Duncan Allan, commented that “We expected a tougher game given Christ’s performances in the earlier rounds but they wilted under the fire of Hopkins. Credit to them for fighting the whole way through though.”