The Unicorn is a mythical creature and also the moniker adopted by Uppingham Town’s T20 team.
The all-round performance put in to destroy the hard-hitting Ketton Lions and regain the Vitas Rutland T20 title with a comprehensive seven wicket win on Friday night is sure to go down in the club’s folklore.
Ketton won the toss and chose to bat first and must have instantly regretted the decision as an impeccable opening spell from Scott Green and Alex Ashwin reduced the Lions to 17-6 inside seven overs.
Green struck first dismissing Josh Gallimore and Ulricht van Duyker in the first over, both caught by Danny Dumford. After a brief respite Ashwin’s second over turned into a double-wicket maiden as Rowe and Mahmood were despatched – Rowe the ‘victim’ of a fantastic diving grab by Tom Roberts. Green removed Bird before Milner ran himself out, failing to beat Sam Hodson’s throw.
Green’s final figures of 4-1-7-3 were reward for a controlled spell and would earn him man of the match honours. Ashwin carded 2-1-7-2.
The change of bowling provided Ketton with the chance to build the sole partnership of note with Manzoor and Miller putting on 24 for the seventh wicket before Miller was caught behind by Jamie Dumford off the bowling of brother Danny. Durant didn’t survive long before he was castled by Cox, with Vitas suffering a similar fate at the hands of Roberts.
The coup de grace was applied by Don Butchart for whom two deliveries was enough to see off the stubborn Manzoor who found the safe hands of Roberts on the long off boundary. Ketton all out for 56 inside 17 overs.
If the Unicorns were rubbing their hands at the prospect of chasing such a meagre total, the mood changed after just one delivery as Van Duyker forced Hodson to play on – 1-1 from one over.
Jamie Dumford launched Cotton over the square leg boundary and clipped two more boundaries in his 17 before he was third out with the score at 34, Martin Bennett having earlier perished to a smart caught and bowled by Van Duyker.
It therefore fell to Mark Cox and Hamish Merriman to see the Unicorns home. Cox ending unbeaten on 21 – the game’s highest score, and young Hamish following his skipper’s lead in smashing Manzoor over square for the game winning six in just the 12th over.