Cestrians make finals day with convincing win

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CHESTER-LE-STREET will be back at the National T20 finals day in September after travelling to South Yorkshire and hammering hosts Treeton by seven wickets in the quarter-final yesterday.

The home club got off to a bad start when star man Stephen Foster was run out early in their innings, Andrew Smith the man with the golden arm. With Graeme Cessford then bagging a couple of early wickets Treeton were struggling on 59-4 and it took a fine fifth wicket stand to get them back on track.

Greg Norton was the man providing the impetus as he cracked two fours and four sixes in an 18-ball 34 that lifted the scoring rate, and with Danny Kemp (37no in 32 balls) playing the holding role the home club eventually posted a respectable 151-6, Cessford the top Cestrian bowler with 2-17, and Alan Mustard the most economical of the rest with 1-26.

Chester were then shaken when they lost John Coxon for a duck at the start of the run chase, but they still had plenty of firepower at their disposal and Simon Birtwisle was in cracking form as he gave the innings lift off. A knock of 21 from Andrew Smith, followed by 30 from Gary Scott took Street to a comfortable 122-3 from where Birtwisle reigned supreme. All told he hit 12 fours and one six, his unbeaten 75 coming from just 47 balls faced which propelled his team to convincing success in one ball over 16 overs.

Chester’s second date with destiny – they reached last year’s final match only to end as runners-up – will be at Edgbaston on the September 6 with two of their fellow finalists already known in the shape of Cuckney, from Nottinghamshire, and Wimbledon. The finals day will be played out live on Sky TV with the final itself played under floodlights.