Birmingham Future chairman Darren Walker revealed his talents as a sportsman last week helping his firm Cobbetts win a memorable last ball victory in the Lord’s Taverners John Bright Trophy.
Their opponents estate agents Savills making their debut in Birmingham’s main corporate cricket tournament sponsored by fund managers William de Broe amassed an impressive 196/6 in their 16 overs with skipper Peter Gough, David Farrow and Neil Starkie all reaching the batting retirement mark of 35.
Cobbetts had lived up to their reputation as “social” side bowling a bewildering assortment of wides and long hops.
But then the solicitors, easily beaten by DTZ in their opening trophy game, remarkably transformed themselves into a cricket team achieving the highest run chase in the trophy’s eight-year history despite ever-worsening light.
Fine aggressive strokeplay by Darryl Shorthouse (38 rtd), Walker (36 rtd), whose innings included a massive back foot six over extra cover into the huge oak tree on the boundary of the picturesque ground at Britannic Park, Moseley, and David Price (30) provided the key innings.
With 13 needed off the final eight-ball over, it was left to Cobbetts partner Mark Gibson, who had earlier cleverly conserved his energy fielding at slip during almost the entire Saville innings, to scamper a matchwinning two off the final ball after clearing mid-off with a lofted drive.
Other early results in this summer’s trophy included trophy holders KPMG’s emphatic 110-run win against Shakespeare Putsman. Last year’s beaten finalist Phoenix Group also started well beating former trophy holders Ernst & Young with an over to spare.
In his final game for the life assurance consolidators before moving to a post up north, Qasim Akbar (3-6 and 37 retd) turned in an impressive matchwinning performance while E & Y captain Simon Bird struck a superb 56 not out for the losers.
JOHN BRIGHT TROPHY 2011
Tues April 19 – Challinors 190/2 in 14 overs (C Lloyd Smith 40 rtd, D Houghton 37 rtd, R Lowe 36 rtd) Wragge & Co 93/4 in 14 overs (M Twining 37 rtd, L Ashworth 1-3, C Lloyd Smith 1-5) Challinors won by 97 runs
Wed April 20 – DTZ 147/5 in 14 overs (T Burn 35 rtd, A Townson 19, W Clarke 18*, J Cantwell 2-5, M Gibson 1-4) Cobbetts 93/8 in 14 overs. (R Bajway 22, R Nickless 3-8, F Wildblood 2-4, T Reade 1-9) DTZ won by 54 runs
Thurs May 6 – Ernst & Young 160/9 in 16 overs (S Bird 56*, A Christoforou 22, D Roden 15*, Q Akbar 3-6, M Hoyes 2-29, M Lewis 1-11) Phoenix Group 163/4 in 15 overs (Q Akbar 37 rtd, D Kok 28, S Clevett 23*, A Christoforou 2-6, J Acaster 1-16). Phoenix Group won by 6 wkts
Mon May 9 – Savills 196/6 in 16 overs (P Gough 39 rtd, D Farrow 36 rtd, N Starkie 38 rtd, S Horan 30, T Skidmore 2-23, R Bajway 2-29, D Price 1-8,) Cobbetts 197/5 in 16 overs ( D Shorthose 38*, D Walker 36 rtd, D Price 30, P Gough 2-17). Cobbetts won by 5 wkts
Tues May 10 – Deloitte 136 in 14 overs (A Khan 35 rtd, S Gaddamanugu 17, M Greenaway 3-22, T Price 2-14) GVA Grimley 137/0 in 13.3 overs (L McKenna 35 rtd, J Gibson 35 rtd, A Ryall 34*) Grimley won by 10 wkts
Thurs May 12 – KPMG 181/5 in 16 overs (, P Evans 37 rtd, M Gahir 36 rtd, M Eastham 33, Y Kola 1-17, Shakespeare Putsman 71 in 11.3 overs (A Percival 11, M Trivedi 3-8, I Khalid 2-11. C Eastham 2-20) KPMG won by 110 runs