September 5, 1981 – The first ever Lord’s final to end in a tie
Derbyshire were still getting the runs despite losing wickets under fading light.
Updated - Sep 5, 2018 4:13 pm
Exactly five years after the famous finish to the John Player Trophy in 1976, the National Westminster Bank Trophy also came to an exciting finish at the Lord’s after two nail-biting semi-finals. Derbyshire and Northamptonshire edged out their opponents to reach the final. Derbyshire, who faced Essex in the home semis, restricted the visiting side to 149 in 60 overs. Derbyshire struggled in the chase losing wickets regularly but Kim Barnett’s 59 kept them in the hunt.
Incidentally, the home team also finished on 149/8 in their 60 overs but got through to the final as they lost fewer wickets than Essex. At Northampton, Lancashire give it their all to defend their total of 186/9. The home team Northamptonshire were placed at 150/4 before they lost five wickets for 24 runs. They needed 13 more runs to win with the last pair at the crease. Timothy Lamb and Brian Griffiths, who shared five wickets between them with the ball, chased down the 13 runs with one ball to spare.
Collapses after big stands:
Derbyshire and Northants faced off at Lord’s on September 5th. Derbyshire elected to bowl first after winning the toss. However, they failed to capitalize on it as the Northants’ skipper Geoffrey Cook and Wayne Larkins put on a 99-run opening stand. Cook kept his side on top with a brilliant 111-run knock and Northamptonshire were cruising at 204/3 at one stage. However, trying to finish big, Northants lost six wickets for 31 runs to end up on 235/6.
In the chase, Derbyshire lost Allan Hill for 14 runs before John Wright and Peter Kirsten stitched a big partnership. The pair added 123 runs for the 2nd wicket as they were well in the chase at 164/1. Just like their opponents, Derbyshire also lost their plot towards the end. Neil Mallender dismissed both Wright (76) and Kristen (63) in space of one-run when they needed 71 from the last 12 overs.
A thrilling finish:
They were still getting the runs despite losing wickets under fading light. The batting side needed 19 from the last two overs with four wickets in hand with Sarfraz Nawaz running in to bowl the penultimate over. Colin Tunnicliffe thumped Nawaz for two boundaries in the 59th over that yielded 12 runs. With seven needed in the last over, Geoffrey Miller ran a couple on the first ball.
They got only three singles from the next four balls as the equation came down to two from the final ball. Miller rushed from the bowler’s end and ensured they completed a single with a dive. Tunnicliffe though in a state of panic but still managed to reach the non-striker’s end safely. The game ended in Tie but Derbyshire won the title as they lost fewer wickets just like the way they escaped against Essex in the semis.
This was the first ever tie in a Lord’s final repeated when Northamptonshire faced Yorkshire in the 1987 final of Benson and Hedges Cup with Northampton missing out once again. An ODI Tri-Series final between England and Australia in 2005 too ended in a tie at the Lord’s while the last one was in the 2012 Clydesdale Bank 40 tournament final between Hampshire and Warwickshire.