MOBY Dick’s Bears beat Saggies by 23 runs to win the CM Energy UK Cup in an entertaining final at Redlands.
The Bears’ Paul Payne capped a fine all-round performance to scoop the man of the match award as his four-wicket haul turned the final, after earlier adding 49 with the bat.
The Bears had set an imposing total of 164-4 from their 20 overs, with Payne and Johnny Armfield (49no) scoring the bulk of the runs and sharing a second-wicket partnership of 72.
After Payne had fallen just one run short of a deserved half-century, Armfield was joined by Will McKay (23) and the pair added 48 to help boost their total.
The Bears benefited from the absence of Paul Gadsby from the Saggies’ bowling attack, who was injured taking a spectacular catch in the semi-finals, though keeper Kieran Womble (1-25) was an able replacement with a tidy four-over spell and captured the wicket of Payne.
In reply, Saggies got off to a steady start as Simon Browne (42) and Womble (33) shared a 76-run opening partnership and looked to be in control.
However, the Bears struck back as skipper Laurie Whyte tempted Womble into clearing the ropes, but he found Armfield at long-off, who held a fine catch.
Browne departed soon afterwards, picking out Mitchem in the covers as Armfield got some reward for his efforts.
Some lightning fielding by Whyte saw Brendon King depart following a direct hit, but the introduction of Payne into the attack turned the match.
Matt Camp (29) had been scoring quickly, but he was undone by Payne and this proved to be the key wicket.
Saggies slumped from 126-4 after 15 overs, to all out for 141 in the 19th over with Payne picking up 4-16.
Bears’ captain Whyte praised his side for their comeback.
He said: “Saggies may have provided the party off the pitch but we made it happen out in the middle.”
He also thanked league president Neil Hardisty for his role in the presentation ceremony.
Earlier in the semi-finals, the Bears won comfortably against the Royal Portland Arms as they amassed 181-3 from 16 overs, thanks to an unbeaten 112 from Simon Mitchem.
Along with Paul Payne (42), he added 111 for the first wicket, until Payne fell to veteran spinner Richard Stewkesbury as Pete Tombs held a steepling catch at deep mid-wicket.
The Arms were always behind the run-rate, but Jan Davey (17) and Dave Price (33) helped give the score some respectability, though Price was on a one-man mission to run out his batting partners, claiming three victims.
Dave Northover’s cameo with the ball wrapped up the inn- ings, taking 2-14.
In the second semi-final, Saggies cruised to a 10-wicket win against the Balti House.
The House found runs hard to come by, especially after losing pinch hitter Kit Rudolph to the first ball of the match.
Dave Adkins (24) and Chris Skinner (27) rallied to set a target, but a steady loss of wickets hampered their efforts.
Harry Mitchell (3-13) worked through the middle order and they finished on 87-7.
Simon Browne (54no) and Womble (30) played out a chanceless innings as they were always in control.
Balti fielded well to keep the run-rate down in the early stages, but the pair passed the target in the 13th over and Browne brought up his 50 with a six to win the match.
Knockout Cup Results Semi-finals: Moby Dick’s Bears 181-3 (S Mitchem 112no, P Payne 42, P Tombs 1-24) beat Royal Portland Arms 87-8 (D Price 33, D Northover 2-14) by 94 runs, Balti House 87-7 (C Skinner 27, D Adkins 24, H Mitchell 3-13) lost to Saggies 89-0 (S Browne 54no, K Womble 30no) by 10 wickets.
Final: Moby Dick’s Bears 164-4 (J Armfield 49no, P Payne 49, W McKay 23, S Browne 1-15) beat Saggies 141-9 (S Browne 42, K Womble 33, M Camp 29, P Payne 4-16) by 23 runs