Jack Hinchliffe produced a superb display on his home ground at Armitage Bridge to catapult Huddersfield into the Joe Lumb Cup final
His rapid bowling helped the district’s juniors score a 45-run semi-final win over Doncaster and book a slot in the Sunday, August 28, showdown at a home venue to be confirmed.
Huddersfield will play the winners of next Sunday’s semi-final between Barnsley and Aire-Wharf.
Huddersfield must not be complacent as they lost their group match to Barnsley. However, their form in finals has been good – they beat Aire-Wharf in the 2012 final and beat Barnsley in the 2006 final.
We shall see.
In overcast conditions, Doncaster won the toss and asked Huddersfield to bat first in the semi.
It was a good toss to win. Huddersfield struggled against the new ball pairing of Matthews and Edwards and the score limped along at less than two per over.
In the 12th over, Elland’s Mohammed Ali took one risk too many and fell victim to a spectacular catch at mid-on for 16.
Denby Dale’s Liam Greig never settled and was adjudged lbw so Huddersfield were 23-2 after 14 overs.
Things got worse when the other opening batsman, Jacob Mulhall (Lepton), suffered a rare failure and it was 29-3 after 17.
Enter skipper Harry Bissett (Marsden), fresh from his holidays. Together with Hinchliffe, the pair embarked on rescuing the situation.
It wasn’t an easy task as Court bowled economically from the Woodfield Park end (he would eventually finish with two for 24 from 15 overs) meaning runs needed to be scored from the clubhouse end.
Eventually Bissett misjudged a straight delivery from Brooks and departed for a positive 15. Huddersfield, though, were still in trouble at 53-4 at the half-way point.
Kirkheaton’s Nathan Swift experienced a rare failure and he was quickly followed by Musa Ahmed (Hall Bower) as the scoreboard showed 77-6 after 34, with Hinchliffe 33 not out and running out of partners.
Upperthong’s Ben Balmforth joined and Hinchliffe started to hit boundaries. Doncaster desperately rotated their bowlers to stem the flow of runs, but the pair continued to find gaps in the field.
Hinchliffe reached his half-century in the 41st over as Huddersfield recovered to 103-6.
Eventually, in the 47th over, Balmforth edged behind for 20. Sam Baxter (Hall Bower) continued the positive batting, adding 16 with Hinchliffe over the next two overs, before being caught for six.
The last over added a further six runs, closing the Huddersfield innings at 169-8, Hinchliffe finishing unbeaten on 88 and leaving the pitch to rapturous applause.
Huddersfield started the second innings knowing they would have to bowl and field tightly to defend the total. They did better than this by getting off to an excellent start.
Hinchliffe, bowling quickly from the Woodfield Park end, had the opposing capain caught by keeper Greig for zero on the fourth ball of the innings.
Then, in the third over, Hinchliffe induced Rudkin to offer a simple return catch. At the Clubhouse end, Slaithwaite’s Nathan Cyrus skittled Race for one and Doncaster had a mountain to climb at 10-3 after eight.
Wildsmith and keeper Tennant then forged a Doncaster reply. Both batted sensibly, getting Doncaster to 63-3 after 25 overs, needing another 107.
The breakthrough came in the next over. Ahmed’s spin allowing Greig to stump Tennant for 18. Diggles soon followed, lobbing a return catch to the returning Hinchliffe for five, and then Wildsmith holed out to Sam Baxter off Ahmed for 37 (Doncaster 76-6 after 30, but still in the game).
Hinchliffe continued to bowl rapidly and cleaned up Matthews for six in the 35th over. Doncaster, at 83-7, needed 87 from 15.
Hogg and Court then batted positively, hitting Ahmed and Hinchliffe for boundaries. They had added 34 for the eighth wicket when Ahmen induced Court into a false shot for 14 in the 42nd over.
In the 44th, Ahmed bowled Hogg for 26 and then last man Brooks first ball to leave Doncaster 124 all out.
Ahmed finished with a five-for on debut, conceding 35 runs, but man-of-the match was Hinchliffe, with four for 22 from 12 overs to add to his batting heroics.