Awe-inspiring Kendal book final berth and solidify third with superb weekend

KENDAL reached the final of the Readers Cup for the second successive season with a resounding 132-run victory over league rivals Leyland on Sunday.

It came on the back of a similarly comfortable victory against Blackpool the previous day as they cantered over the line for a seven-wicket win to keep up the pressure on Barrow and Fleetwood.

Jack White was once again in scintillating form in the cup semi-final with fourth-placed Leyland, striking 43 when opening the batting with Nick Phillips and bowling a superb 3-19 as Kendal booked their final date with Fleetwood at Shap Road this Sunday.

Extras helped Kendal out immensely in a match reduced to 36 overs because of rain, with 17 runs coming from wides, four from no balls, one bye and 12 leg byes.

But a partnership of 78 between White and Phillips got Kendal off to a perfect start before Andrew Makinson caught the latter off Liam Hurt for 19.

All of Kendal’s batsmen scored solidly with pro Jamie How notching up 27, and Terry Hunte 20.

A 45-run unbeaten partnership between Graham Baker (33 not out) and Nick Lewthwaite (22 not out) took the Cumbrians to an accomplished 198-4 off the first innings.

In Leyland’s reply, White struck in the third over as Graham Baker caught him for one.

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Captain Chris Miller was even better with the ball, claiming 4-11, Nick Lewthwaite bowled a proficient 2-12, while Stu Parkin was 1-21.

At number two Karl Cross provided the only resistance for Leyland with 23 as Kendal’s impressive bowling attack tore into their innings to dismiss the Lancashire side for 66 and round off an easy semi-final victory.

Blackpool were very slow out of the starting blocks on Saturday and didn’t get on the scoreboard until the third over.

Miller secured another four-wicket haul but Parkin got the top three batters out, including Dale Deeb for a four-ball duck when wicketkeeper Shane Hyland caught him.

Adrian Darlington put on a good show with Alex Smith as they scored 44 together, and the former was only two runs short of his half-century when Miller caught and bowled him late in the innings.

Three wickets fell in three overs as Kendal finished their bowling with a fluorish to leave Blackpool 132-9.

The reply did not begin so well for the Shap Road side. Phillips, Donovan Du Plessis and Paul Dodds failed to get significant runs and Kendal were 39-3 when the dynamic duo of How and Hunte came to the crease together.

Together they put on 96 runs in 19 overs as they scored 135-3 to secure a seven-wicket victory by the 32nd over. How picked up 57 not out including three sixes and five fours, while Hunte was agonisingly close to a half-century as he scored an unbeaten 49, including 12 off the last over with Blackpool pro Deeb bowling.

Kendal remain third in the Northern Premier League.

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