Maddy deeply happy

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Unfashionable Leicestershire confirmed themselves as English cricket’s coolest customers after claiming a second title in three attempts at rain-hit Trent Bridge.

Although their four-run win in the final came amid mild controversy - as Nottinghamshire’s Will Smith hit a waist-high full toss from Jim Allenby, which bordered on a no-ball, for six - they deserved their success for their never-say-die approach.

Nottinghamshire were dominating at 108 for one in the 12th over, chasing 178, with overseas pair Stephen Fleming and David Hussey in tandem.

Both fell in successive overs, however, and wickets fell as heavily as the rain in the closing stages to trigger last-over celebrations from the Foxes, the winners in 2004 and victors over Essex in the day’s first semi-final.

“At one stage we were looking down the barrel,” admitted man-of-the-match Darren Maddy.

“I would like to say we kept very calm out there but I have lost my voice shouting and Jeremy didn’t hear a word I said.

“But we have an inner belief in this competition and once we were here we were not intimidated by any team.

“It is amazing when you have a belief in a certain competition how it sees you through.”

Maddy became the first player in the competition’s brief lifespan to pass 1,000 runs and finished unbeaten on 86, sharing a decisive 133-run stand with youngster Allenby as Leicestershire posted a challenging 177 for two.

"It is a competition I really enjoy. It’s one I seem to excel in, it excites me, I love hitting the ball to the boundary and until this weekend I had had a relatively quiet tournament, so that shows the strength of the team,” added Maddy.

“We knew 160-170 was a par score in this competition and therefore we always had a chance.

“One of the things we do is try to get a senior batsman through the innings, HD Ackerman did that in the first game and thankfully I did in the second.”

Leicestershire captain Jeremy Snape, who experienced five one-day trophy wins in four years at Gloucestershire, rubbished suggestions that the on-field officials should have deemed Allenby’s last delivery illegal.

“We got into a winning position and Jimmy, all credit to him, bowled a great last couple of overs,” Snape said.

“We deserved to win the game. The ball was wet, you could see the guys had rags to try to control it and throughout the day there were balls of that height not being called. The umpires were greatly consistent throughout.”

Snape turned to medium-pacer Allenby, who earlier struck 64 from only 41 deliveries, with Nottinghamshire 141 for four after 17 overs.

“Jim Allenby had a great day, the way he batted showed great maturity and to bowl the last few overs like that was brilliant,” Snape said.

“As a captain, knowing that you can go to one of the young players with such strong character is a Godsend, especially in Twenty20 cricket when it is very hectic.

"There has only been four years of it so we are not going to get too carried away with breaking history but it is obviously a great competition and we have won it twice.”

Home captain Stephen Fleming was gracious in defeat, having dragged Nottinghamshire from bottom in the northern group in 2005 to finalists 12 months later.

“From where we’ve come to get to a final and almost win it means we’ve got a pretty good formula for next year,” said Fleming, whose departure for 53 turned the contest.

“It’s disappointing not to win but we were up against a champion side and we’re just happy it was a good final.

“We had a good start and we’ve got good hitters down the order so we thought if we could keep it close we had a chance later on.

“We got pretty close but it just didn’t go our way on the night. We were up against a good side who have won key moments and won key games before.”

Director of cricket Mick Newell believes it is the overall standard and not just his Nottinghamshire team that is improving thanks to the popular
20-over tournament.

“Our captain is very good at devising plans and we carried them out really well,” Newell said.

“If you had seen us in the field two years ago you wouldn’t have recognised us.

“Twenty20 is improving English cricket, certainly at county level.

“The standards of people who bowl at the death, those that hit the ball a long way and the standards of fielding are certainly improved and I hope it is improving international cricket as well.” Salve helices pariah inure paleoserology evangelistic?
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