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Report: RAF Wins T20 Inter-Services Cricket Title At Lord's In Centenary Year

The RAF is celebrating winning the Inter-Services Triangular T20 cricket tournament at Lord's in its centenary year...

The RAF is celebrating winning the Inter-Services Triangular T20 cricket tournament at Lord's in its centenary year.

The Air Force men beat both the Navy and the Army, who had held the trophy for the past five years.

It came after a title decider in the final match of the day between the RAF and the Army, with the Navy having been beaten in both the earlier games.

The RAF players, buoyed by their decisive victory over the Navy, were happy to bat first on a good wicket in the best conditions of the day.

Openers Rob Diver and Tom Shorthouse put on 40 in the first six overs before Shorthouse was caught behind by Connor Reed from Denison Narayon's delivery.

 

Diver was ultimately bowled for 35 by Narayon, leaving the RAF on 67-2 but that soon became 74-3, with Fisher brilliantly caught in the gulley.

Andy McGeorge then came to the crease, with his 40-run innings supported by Ash Watson.

The partnership, which included 15 off the penultimate over of the match, was to prove crucial.

The RAF's total of 147-6 looked a good one to defend, but the Army had the talent to claim their sixth successive title.

Opener Jordan Relph made a good start with eight runs off the first over, meeting the required run rate.

He fell on 20 to an lbw decision, with Watson having trapped his man on the way to his second four-wicket haul of the tournament.

 

When fellow opener Graham Wiseman departed four runs later and Liam Fletcher was given out lbw in the next ball, the Army was in trouble on 24-3.

The side only managed to increase its score to 39-3 at the halfway stage, with the RAF's bowlers and fielders dominating.

The Army was never able to get on top from that point, falling further and further behind on the required run rate.

Despite the best efforts of captain Jay Boynton and Tade Carmichael, the Army couldn't handle the outstanding bowling of Watson, Shorthouse, Tom Fairclough and Ian Sinclair, with the fielding also top-drawer.

Despite their best efforts, there was to be no sensational ending for the Army, who finished just over the 100 mark.

Player of the tournament, Corporal Watson, told Forces Network:

"To win it on the RAF 100[th anniversary] is a fantastic, a great achievement for the lads."

Army skipper Cpl Boynton said: "We just didn't turn up in the final game. We've been well-prepared... [but] the RAF were the better team on the day.

"We'll be back next year and we'll get this trophy back."

The RAF captain, Flight Lieutenant Fisher, was delighted, however. He said:

"I think we deserved it on the balance. I thought the lads executed the match plans absolutely perfectly, so I'm really, really happy with them. 

"They've worked hard. Superb."

The RAF's deserved win comes in a tournament they came third in last year, which shows that on the day any one of these three teams can be successful at the 'Home of Cricket'.

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