Barley crowned Cambridgeshire Junior League champions

Shafi Ullah shines with bat and ball to lead Barley to victory

CCA Junior League

Championship play-off final

Godolphin 154

Barley 159-8

Barley won by two wickets

IN a thrilling finale to the season Barley were crowned Cambridgeshire Junior League Champions on Saturday when they defeated a strong Godolphin side to win the Cambridgeshire Challenge Cup.

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From the off though, the Suffolk team found runs hard to come by. Leigh Stewart 7-0-40-1 and Jimmy Ghani 7-2-21-2 bowled superbly and had Jafer Rai and Behroz Khan flashing at thin air. Rai was soon caught by Ali Wallace for a duck off Stewart and Khan went for just 4, run out by Chris Allan.

Naseer Ahmad, the pick of the Godolphin batters, then showed his class with a series of boundaries whilst at the other end wickets continued to fall. Allan, the Barley wicketkeeper, took a diving catch off Ghani to dismiss Saeed Akbar for 1 and then Shafi Ullah (10-1-47-4), coming round the wicket, clean bowled Vincent Fernandes for 13.

Only Florio Fernandes (18) and Zaheer Ahmed Dahri (13) reached double figures for the Godolphin lower order. Man of the Match Ullah was the pick of the Barley bowlers after putting in a sterling performance with the ball.

In reply Barley soon discovered that despite batting practice against Cokenach the week before it was going to be hard work to get the runs on the board. Walters and Symes seemed comfortable against Rashid (10-0-54-0) but were unable to make any head way against excellent spin from Rai (10-4-8-2).

Indeed Symes was soon bowled by him for 3 and almost immediately Shah went for a duck. Richie Wilson looked to rebuild with Walters and played some fine looking shots.

Walters then cut at a ball from Muhammad and was brilliantly caught by Vincent Fernandes at short backward point. In his frustration Wilson then misjudged one from Muhammad and was caught behind by Behroz Khan for 12. Afridi was then caught for 3 and Ali Wallace slogging across the line then went for a duck as Barley slumped to 66-6.

Things were about to change, however, as Ullah came to the crease and performed one of the greatest innings ever seen at Barley. No Godolphin bowler was safe as he struck six after six after six. Although Allan and Inayat Khan got themselves out cheaply trying to give Ullah the strike, it was left to Stewart to stay with him as his onslaught continued. To the delight of the jubilant crowd Ullah smashed 10 sixes and 3 fours in an unbeaten 90 as Barley passed their target with four overs to spare.

First contested in 1923, this was the first time Barley’s name had ever appeared on the trophy.