It’s been just out of their reach before but on Sunday afternoon Leeds Police CC finally got their hands on the Fred Fleetwood Trophy.
They beat Walton by two wickets to claim the cup, and had a heroic performance by man of the match Tariq Muhammed to thank for securing it.
When bowling, Muhammed was hit in the face and left the field with a swollen nose and cut to his forehead. Then during batting, he retired hurt with a pulled hamstring, only to return at the fall of the eighth wicket with a runner to see Police home. The eighth wicket pair of Tariq and Ateeq Khan put on 34 to win the game in the final over.
“We didn’t think he’d come back on, his nose was really swollen, but he ended up getting the winning runs,” said Police skipper Andy Conboy.
“We needed 34 and he and Ateeq Khan (8) got them for us. It was pretty impressive.”
Ben Driver (33) top-scored for Walton with both Anthony Daniels contributing 23 as Walton posted 136. Conboy claimed 3-25 and Ali Rizwan 2-15.
In reply Ahmed Bhatti crafted an individual knock of 47 to pave the way for Police, before Muhammed (21) and Khan (8) guided them home at 137-8.
“It’s the first time we’ve won it; we got to the final a few years ago but didn’t quite manage it,” said Conboy.
“But quite a few of the Walton players who played on Sunday played for us back then.
“They won the toss and batted, but it wasn’t an easy wicket to score runs on and because it was a low-scoring game, it was actually quite tense but Ahmed Bhatti got 47 for us and that was enough.”
“It wasn’t easy. Nine of our players are observing Ramadan at the moment and quite a few of the Walton lads were too so they played through without anything to eat or drink.”