Harding spins to win in Lear Cup


Winning captain Paul Harding (centre) receiving his awards from Dick Lear's widow Sandra (right) and match organiser Tim Chapman
VETERAN spinner Paul Harding turned the inaugural Dick Lear Cup match with a devastating spell of bowling on his way to a five-wicket haul.

Harding skippered the Brockman Cup XI against the Aaron Printers Narracott Cup XI in the Torquay Recreation Ground showdown for the trophy.

Lear, who died in 2010, was a popular player and captain with both clubs during a cricket career spanning the best part of 40 years.

Harding, a team-mate at both clubs, brought himself on to bowl when the Narracott XI were 40 for one after nine overs chasing the Brockman’s 207 for eight.

After warming up for an over – five dot balls and a two taken by Dom Whitlock – Harding wrought havoc in the Narracott batting.

In the space of 16 balls the former Devon spin bowler took five wickets for no runs at all!

He was on a hat-trick after removing Rachit Lakhmani (20) caught behind and bowling Kazi Szymanski first ball. Joe Abbott survived the hat-trick ball, but no longer as he was bowled by the next one down!

Jono Colgate was caught behind then Steve Craig was bowled round his legs sweeping.

The Narracott XI had slumped from 45 for one to 46 for six by the time Harding had finished with them and the game was up.

Opener Whitlock went on to make 34 before he was bowled by Will Lewin.

Will Gorrnall (18) and Tom Carne (23no) heaved a few boundaries in the dying stages, but there was too much to do and both sides knew it.

There were two sizeable knocks in the Brockman innings from guest player Kobi Francis-Griggs – he made 58 off 41 balls – and 41 off 38 for Chris Sleep.

Francis-Griggs smashed Gornall out of the attack by hitting him for five fours on the trot and seven all told in two overs.

Sleep put on 53 with Ben Briscoe (21) and 21 with Will Denford, only to hole out to Rachit Lakhmani with a half-century in sight.

Colagate (2-16) was easily the pick of the bowlers with two for 16 off eight, which included three straight maidens in his first spell.

The winners’ trophy and the Man of the Match award were presented to Harding by Dick Lear’s widow Sandra, assisted by Tim Chapman in his role as family friend and Brockman Cup chairman.

Players from both sides were awarded commemorative caps for playing in the game, which is intended to be an annual event.

Brockman Cup XI 207-7 (K Francis-Griggs 58, C Sleep 41, B Briscoe 21, W Syzmanski 19; J Colgate 2-16, R Lakhmani 2-23), Aaron Printers Narracott Cup XI 107 (D Whitlock 34, T Carne 23no, R Lakhmani 20; P Harding 5-6, M Denford 2-26). Brockman XI bt Narracott XI by 100 runs,


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