Cricket / Benson and Hedges Cup Final: Cork rises to wash away Lancashire: Derbyshire's all-rounder proves his match-winning abilities as Fairbrother's men fall short

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Derbyshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252-6

Lancashire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246-7

Derbyshire win by 6 runs

THE forecast was for scattered showers, and so it proved. Derbyshire's batsmen peformed like one in the first hour, while Lancashire's fielders were a shower all day. But in between spells of the real wet stuff it was Lancashire who were washed away by a torrent of runs from Dominic Cork as yesterday's Benson and Hedges Cup final produced a thunderous ending.

Cork not only played the innings of his life but paved the way for a scrapbook full of 'Champagne Cork' headlines and a bellyful of Ian Botham comparisons by doing just enough with the ball at the death. He even showed he had some of the warhorse's luck by seeing Wasim Akram dismissed the ball after he had dropped him off Frank Griffith.

At that point Griffith, who had followed a golden duck by suffering enormous punishment with the ball, must have felt like giving up. Instead he responded with a cool, tight final over that clinched Derbyshire's first Benson and Hedges win in their third final.

Cork, the Gold Award winner scored 92 not out of Derbyshire's 252 for 6, having come to the wicket at 66 for 4. In an innings that ended at 8.29pm Lancashire, despite a typically brilliant run-a- ball knock of 87 not out by Neil Fairbrother, fell six short.

Fairbrother had led the final assault on a target that went from 83 off 10, to 36 off 4 - at which point Cork dismissed Mike Watkinson and conceded just four runs. It came to 11 off the last, a tie being no good to Lancashire - the wickets lost were equal but they had made fewer runs at the tie- breaking 30-over mark.

Fairbrother was batting in pain after suffering a shoulder injury that required a cortisone injection earlier, but there was no obvious sign of it hindering his efforts. He took one off the first two, Phillip DeFreitas was caught skying the next, Fairbrother escaped a televised replay run-out appeal going for two off the fourth and, with eight required off two balls, could only manage a single. With seven required off the last the match was won and lost.

Had it not been for Cork there would not have been a match at all. Until his entrance Derbyshire's day was a repetition of 1988. Back then Derbyshire went into lunch at 80 for 6 and the caterers served a double helping as they did not think tea would be required. They eventually lost to Hampshire with 23 overs to spare, and a stunning fine leg catch by Steve Goldsmith was the only impressive thing they achieved all day.

So it was with a sense of deja vu that the kitchen staff reached for the extra large plates yesterday as Chris Adams trotted to the pavilion halfway into the first session with his team 66 for four. Captain Kim Barnett later said: 'I thought we were out of it then.'

It was an unpropitious moment to come to the wicket but Cork left it to a standing ovation, having struck not only the highest but also far and away the best innings of his career, which may now make that difficult transition from potential to performance. Whether, as the 'new Botham' he will get past the stage of modelling for Playgirl to that of being a model for young players will depend on how well he can harness consistency to his undoubted talent and temperament.

While he was given excellent support from Tim O'Gorman - who made 49 in a resourceful 28- over partnership of 109 - and Karl Krikken, with whom he added 77 in 11 overs, the innings belonged to 21-year-old Cork. Unperturbed by the way his senior batsmen had perished on the attack, he went after the bowling with panache and confidence, especially against Wasim. The Pakistani, who was hit for 65 in 11 overs including 13 off the last, was twice driven smartly through the covers and, in that final over, audaciously wafted to the leg boundary, Cork having walked a yard outside off stump to do so.

It was a staggering shot, one normally only attempted by players of the calibre of Javed Miandad and Viv Richards, and it summed up Cork's ebullient performance.

The pre-match prognosis was that the only chance Derbyshire had of surviving the vengeful wrath of Wasim - who had been fired up by their veiled accusations of ball-tampering in their recent championship match - was through the strength of their top four. In the event all were back in the hutch inside 16 overs.

Openers Barnett and Peter Bowler were parted as early as the 11th ball, DeFreitas bringing one in to have Bowler leg before for four, an echo of his 1988 score. Barnett, attempting to repeat a cut off Wasim for four, then played on. Wasim's leg before appeal against Adams from the next ball sent the physio diving for the throat lozenges but failed to stir umpire Barry Meyer and, apart from hitting Adams on the shoulder with a beamer - for which he received the mandatory warning - Wasim made no further impact as a bowler.

Instead it was the lesser known all-rounder Mike Watkinson who took the ball and the applause with two wickets in his first over, Morris caught behind attempting to crash him to the cover boundary with the barest foot movement and Adams off another inside edge off a defensive push.

LORD'S SCOREBOARD

Derbyshire beat Lancashire by 6 runs.

(One day: Lancashire won toss)

DERBYSHIRE

* K J Barnett b Wasim Akram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

(44 min, 41 balls, 3 fours)

P D Bowler lbw b DeFreitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

(6 min, 5 balls)

J E Morris c Hegg b Watkinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

(57 min, 37 balls, 4 fours)

C J Adams b Watkinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

(23 min, 12 balls, 1 four)

T J G O'Gorman c Hegg b DeFreitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

(100 min, 77 balls, 4 fours, 1 six)

D G Cork not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

(141 min, 124 balls, 7 fours)

F A Griffith c Hegg b DeFreitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

(2 min, 1 ball)

] K M Krikken not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

(42 min, 35 balls, 3 fours)

Extras (b1, lb11, w1, nb5) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Total (for 6, 211 min, 55 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252

Fall: 1-7 (Bowler), 2-32 (Barnett), 3-61 (Morris), 4- 66 (Adams), 5-175 (O'Gorman), 6-175 (Griffith).

Did not bat: A E Warner, D E Malcolm, O H Mortensen.

Bowling: Austin 11-2-47-0 (6-2-12-0, 3-0-11-0, 2-0- 24-0); DeFreitas 11-2-39-3 (w1) (4-1-15-1, 3-1-6-0, 4- 0-18-2); Wasim Akram 11-0-65-1 (nb2) (3-0-17-1, 3- 0-15-0, 2-0-7-0, 3-0-26-0); Watkinson 11-2-44-2 (1- 0-6-0, 6-1-24-2, 2-1-5-0, 2-0-9-0); Barnett 11-0-45-0 (3-0-15-0, 8-0-30-0).

Progress: 50: 57 min, 14 overs. 100: 97 min, 23.4 overs. Lunch: 133-4 (O'Gorman 25, Cork 43) 35 overs. 150: 150 min, 39.1 overs. Rain stopped play: 2.25-2.35pm, 175-5 (Cork 54, Griffith 0) 43.5 overs. 200: 193 min, 50 overs. 250: 210 min, 49.5 overs.

Cork's 50: 82 min, 83 balls, 3 fours.

LANCASHIRE

M A Atherton c and b Griffith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

(146 min, 111 balls, 4 fours)

S P Titchard c Adams b Warner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

(8 min, 4 balls)

N J Speak b Mortensen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

(81 min, 85 balls, 3 fours)

* N H Fairbrother not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

(120 min, 85 balls, 5 fours, 1 six)

G D Lloyd lbw b Warner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

(10 min, 12 balls)

Wasim Akram c and b Warner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

(15 min, 13 balls, 1 four)

M Watkinson b Cork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

(20 min, 12 balls, 1 four)

P A J DeFreitas c Krikken b Griffith . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

(13 min, 10 balls, 1 fours, 1 six)

I D Austin not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

(3 min, 1 ball)

Extras (lb11, w3, nb6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Total (for 7, 211 min, 55 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246

Fall: 1-9 (Titchard), 2-80 (Speak), 3-150 (Atherton), 4-159 (Lloyd), 5-184 (Wasim Akram), 6-218 (Watkinson), 7-243 (DeFreitas).

Did not bat: W K Hegg, A A Barnett.

Bowling: Malcolm 11-0-53-0 (nb2, w1) (4-0-16-0, 4-0-12-0, 3-0-25-0); Warner 11-1-31-3 (w1) (6-1-12-1, 5-0-19-2); Cork 11-1-50-1 (nb1, w1) (6-1-15-0, 2-0- 10-0, 3-0-25-1); Mortensen 11-0-41-1; Griffith 11-0- 60-2 (5-0-26-0, 4-0-19-1, 2-0-15-1).

Progress: 50: 54 min, 14 overs. Tea: 78-1 (Atherton 25, Speak 40) 25 overs. 100: 105 min, 29.3 overs. Rain stopped play: 6.07-7.13pm, 141-2 (Atherton 48, Fairbrother 34) 38 overs. 150: 145 min, 40.3 overs. 200: 182 min, 49.1 overs.

Atherton's 50: 139 min, 102 balls, 4 fours. Fairbrother's 50: 76 min, 58 balls, 3 fours.

Match finished: 8.27pm.

Umpires: B J Meyer and D R Shepherd.

TV Replay Umpire: J W Holder.

Man of the Match: D G Cork.

More cricket, page 28

(Photograph omitted)

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